Dutch oven tables are support surfaces on which a Dutch oven can be placed for cooking and heat production. The tables are always made of a fireproof metal, and they very often feature raised backs and sides to block wind. Hot coals or pieces of wood can be burned directly on the surface of Dutch oven tables, allowing a cook to evenly distribute the coals or wood for a consistent cooking temperature. The tables can also be used to support a charcoal chimney, which is a device used to get charcoal lit and hot enough for cooking use.
A Dutch oven is a cast iron pot with a cast iron lid as well as a metal handle for hauling the heavy pot. Cast iron is a great material for cooking, though it tends to be quite heavy. When cooking in a Dutch oven, it is a common practice to place hot coals both beneath and on top of the lid of the pot to ensure the food inside cooks evenly and thoroughly. This can be done by placing the Dutch oven directly into a fire, though using Dutch oven tables instead is a more convenient way to cook, and it is often much safer.
The advantages of Dutch oven tables range from convenience to safety. A person cooking with the Dutch oven will not need to bend over to tend to the heavy and hot cast iron pot, since the table is raised off the ground to a convenient height. This will reduce the risk of accidental burns, spilled meals, and heavy lifting requirements. The wind protection afforded by Dutch oven tables reduces the likelihood that flames will develop and spread unintentionally, and the surface of the table ensures that the charcoal chimney or the charcoal bricks do not burn or otherwise damage any other surfaces such as concrete, pavers, grass, and so on.
The size, cost, and weight of Dutch oven tables can be considered disadvantages. People who will be camping will have to transport the metal table to a campsite, and the table can be heavy and cumbersome even when folded for transport. These tables can vary in price according to size and features, and while many affordable models exist, the largest and sturdiest models can be fairly expensive. The size of the table can also be a difficulty, especially when it needs to be stored in between uses.