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Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker Review

Whether traveling or in the comfort of your own home, these tried-and-true cast iron skillets are perfect for preparing gourmet meals
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Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker Review (A Coleman stove and the Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker, a classic kit for the ages.)
A Coleman stove and the Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker, a classic kit for the ages.
Credit: Trish Matheny
Price:  $60 List
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Manufacturer:   Lodge
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 31, 2023
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 19
  • Cooking Performance - 35% 9.0
  • Features - 15% 5.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9.0
  • Durability - 15% 10.0
  • Packability - 10% 5.0
  • Weight - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker is perfect for anyone seeking top-notch cooking performance, versatility, and durability. The cast iron construction is PFOA and PTFE-free, and the non-stick surface only improves with time and care. The two skillets can be used separately or combined into one 3.2-quart Dutch oven, which can be utilized just about anywhere, from your home kitchen to the campfire. Though the material is incredibly durable, we recommend properly caring for the cast iron to avoid rusting, better prolonging the life of the set. Although this is a weighty set of cookware that lacks any additional features, these are a worthy tradeoff for the foodie on the go who values exceptional cooking performance. See how the Lodge Combo Cooker compares to other sets in our review of the best camping cookware.
REASONS TO BUY
Durable
Luxury cooking performance
Easy to clean
Versatile
Reasonably priced
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Requires a lot of space in cooking bin
Lacks features
Editor's Note: We added the Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker to our review on December 31, 2023.

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Bottom Line Heavy-duty cast iron prioritizes cooking performance, offering a gourmet cooking experience whether at home or on the roadA wonderful stainless-steel set for the value-oriented car camperA high value stainless steel solo cook set intended for the backpackerThis affordable cookware set is compact and lightweight, but it's low-quality construction makes it tough to recommendA stainless steel set ready for the hearty solo backpacker
Rating Categories Lodge 3.2 Quart Cas... Stanley Adventure B... GSI Outdoors Glacie... MalloMe 10 Piece Me... Snow Peak Personal...
Cooking Performance (35%)
9.0
9.0
4.0
6.0
4.0
Features (15%)
5.0
9.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Durability (15%)
10.0
8.0
9.0
3.0
7.0
Packability (10%)
5.0
4.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
4.0
7.5
9.2
9.3
9.1
Specs Lodge 3.2 Quart Cas... Stanley Adventure B... GSI Outdoors Glacie... MalloMe 10 Piece Me... Snow Peak Personal...
Measured Weight 12.3 lbs 4.8 lbs 1.0 lbs 0.94 lbs 1.3 lbs
Material Cast iron Stainless steel (pot and pan bottoms have additional layers) Stainless steel Non-Toxic anodized aluminum Stainless steel
Components 3.2 qt Dutch oven, 10" frypan/lid 3.5 L pot, vented lid, 7" 3-Ply frying pan, cutting board, ¹ spatula with extending handle, ¹ serving spoon with extending handle, ⁴ 6 in plates, ⁴ 22 oz bowls, ⁴ sporks, dish drying rack, heat resistant trivet, locking bungee 1 L pot, ¹ folding handle frying pan, ¹ bowl, ¹ cup, stuff sack 1 L pot, frypan/lid, ² bowls, ¹ spork, ¹ spoon, ¹ spatula, sponge, travel bag ² pots, ¹ lid, ¹ plate, ¹ bowl, ¹ pan
Avg Boil Time (mins) 4:30 4:12 3:56 2:00 3:03
3 L Pot? (>2.4L) 0 1 0 0 0
2 L Pot? (1.5-2.4L) 0 0 0 0 0
1 L Pot? (0.5-1.4L) 0 0 1 1 2
Frying Pan? 2 1 1 1 1
Frying Pan Lid? Yes No No Yes No
Packed Size 16.5 x 10.38 x 4.63 in 11 x 6 x 11 in 6.7 x 6.6 x 3.5 in 6 x 6 x 3.5 in 5.9 x 3.2 in
Weight of Pot Closest to 1.5 L (With Lid and Handle) 5.9 lbs 1.9 lbs 0.74 lbs 0.46 lbs 0.5 lbs
Cooking Surfaces Cast iron Stainless steel 18/8 stainless steel Non-toxic anodized aluminum Stainless steel

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker quickly became a favorite of our testing team thanks to its durable design and versatile cooking performance. The skillets arrive pre-seasoned and ready for use. Though this cookware set has limited features, a heavier design, and is less packable than other options, we were blown away by the cooking performance, even on a camp stove. If you're looking for a solid foundation for your car camping or at-home kitchen, this cast iron cookware simply can't be beaten.

Performance Comparison


lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker - the lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker is perfect for the...
The Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker is perfect for the traveling foodie who wants to keep their standards high even when on the road.
Credit: Trish Matheny


Cooking Performance


The Combo Cooker is designed to optimize cooking performance whether cooking at home, over a campfire, on your trusty Coleman two-burner, or on top of the grill. Thanks to their heat retention and evenly heated surface, these skillets are the perfect foundation for cooking up a gourmet meal no matter where you are. Well-seasoned cast iron is naturally non-stick, which avoids any potential health hazards of PFOA or PTFE non-stick coatings.


The heavy-duty design also helps to evenly distribute heat within the skillets, which helps to quickly sear a piece of meat in a single skillet or slow-cook a roast to perfection inside the combo Dutch oven. If you're going to cook pancakes – which we successfully did for the Tuolumne Meadows Search and Rescue team – we recommend pre-heating the skillets with oil. While this cookware set isn't exactly designed to boil water, you certainly can in the deeper, 3.2-quart pan.

lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker - this cookware set offers some of the best cooking performance that...
This cookware set offers some of the best cooking performance that we experienced during testing. However, it is limited to boiling water and cooking grains on the side.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Features


This isn't exactly your all-in-one cookware set that's specifically designed for camping. Instead, the Combo Cooker is meant to be the foundation of your car camping cookware kit.


The set features two skillets that can be used individually or combined into a Dutch oven for baking or slow cooking. It is versatile enough to provide optimal cooking performance no matter the location, but does not include any bells and whistles.

Though the features are limited the performance is solid and...
Though the features are limited the performance is solid and versatile.
The skillets can be combined into a Dutch oven.
The skillets can be combined into a Dutch oven.

Ease of Use


Don't believe the hype – cast iron is very easy to cook with. These skillets come pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil, though we recommend cooking a fatty meal in them to properly season before trying to cook eggs or pancakes. The heavy-duty cast iron construction provides a sturdy, well-balanced base for your meal, no matter whether you're cooking over an open flame, on a stovetop, or baking in the oven.


Our testing team also appreciated how easily these skillets clean up, even after cooking a sticky, heavily seasoned tri-tip for supper. To make it easy on ourselves, we simply filled the deeper skillet with boiling water and let it simmer for a few minutes as we cleaned up other messes around the campsite. A scouring pad can certainly aid difficult cleanups, but beware that any heavy scrubbing will remove seasoning from the skillet. Whether cooking in the two skillets separately or combining them into a Dutch oven, the chefs on our testing team appreciated the versatility of this cookware set.

lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker - sturdy handles make these skillets easy to use and balance on our...
Sturdy handles make these skillets easy to use and balance on our stove, just be mindful that they conduct heat and require additional protection for your hands.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Durability


The Combo Cooker is about as durable as it gets. This gourmet cookware set is constructed from heavy-duty cast iron that is made in the USA and built to last for years if not generations.


Although these skillets are seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil and ready for use as soon as you open the package, we recommend proper care to extend the life of this high-quality set. When finishing up your meal, simply wash with hot water and dry over an open flame. Taking care of your cast iron by regularly rubbing on an oil of your choice will certainly help extend the life of this highly durable cookware, but regularly cooking an oil-rich meal is better.

lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker - this cast iron cookware is as durable as it gets.
This cast iron cookware is as durable as it gets.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Packability


This set doesn't come with any carry bags, latches, or handles for security; you literally stack one skillet on top of the other, and they easily nest together for storage inside your traveling cooking bin.


Though there is not much room for a stove or fuel canisters within the deep skillet, we were able to stack some essentials such as spices, oils, and utensils. The Cast Iron Combo Cooker is easy to pack and unpack, we just recommend being mindful of the weight when transporting.

lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker - though these skillets are quite heavy, they still leave plenty of...
Though these skillets are quite heavy, they still leave plenty of room in our cooking bin for additional ingredients and spices.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Weight


Compared to modern camping cookware, the Combo Cooker is easily the heaviest set we've ever tested, weighing in at 12.3 pounds for both skillets. This is definitely something to take into account when purchasing other items (such as personal utensils and serving dishes) to round out your car camping kitchen, as the weight can really start to add up in your cooking bin.


If you aren't after the versatility of the Dutch oven feature and aren't planning on cooking for more than two people, consider traveling with just one skillet to save some weight and increase packability. The extra weight seems like a worthy sacrifice considering the versatility and performance of this set, whether you're cooking on the road or in your own home.

lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker - quality cooking performance and durability unfortunately come with a...
Quality cooking performance and durability unfortunately come with a substantial weight penalty.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Should You Buy the Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker?


The Cast Iron Combo Cooker is best suited for the foodie who wants to prepare a beautiful meal in a beautiful setting. This cookware set prioritizes cooking performance, easy cleanup, and durability. It is not an all-inclusive cookware set, nor is it really designed for anything other than car camping. If you want the option to cook over an open flame or on the grill, this heavy-duty set is one of the best choices to satisfy your gourmet tastes and can serve as a foundation of your car camping kit or even your home kitchen.

What Other Camping Cookware Should You Consider?


If you're interested in a niche, high-performance cookware set without the weight of cast iron, check out the MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set, our favorite non-stick set designed specifically for backpackers. For folks who don't want to shop separately for utensils, plates, mugs, and bowls, the all-inclusive GSI Pinnacle Camper or the stainless steel Stanley Adventure Base Camp are two great options to consider.

lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker - if you're interested in a cookware set that performs from the...
If you're interested in a cookware set that performs from the kitchen to the campfire, this versatile combo is a great choice.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Trish Matheny