When I’m away on any camping trip, one of the most important aspects is the time spent around the campfire in the evening. I love the glow of the fire, the company of my fellow campers, the feeling of being away from the cares of everyday life – and of course, the food!
For sure, you can grill a piece of meat over a flame with just a stick – but if you want to do it properly, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper gear. Here’s my list of all the essential items of campfire cooking equipment you’ll need for a real gourmet camping experience.
Campfire Cooking Equipment You Need To Take
One of the most basic ways to cook almost anything is over a grill. There’s nothing like the smell of meat barbecuing over a hot fire and it’s the perfect way to cook vegetables too. This makes a portable grill the first essential item for campfire cooking.
The campfire grill that I’ve picked out is simple and practical but at the same time, it is a high-quality and well-made piece of equipment. You just need to unfold the legs and place it over the fire and you’re ready to get cooking. It’s very affordable too.
If you’re looking for a bit more versatility for your culinary creations, you may want to invest in a Dutch oven. Having one of these pots will allow you to slow-cook foods which means you will be able to produce roasts, stews, casseroles and more, things that you can’t do with just a grill.
This model is a 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven specially designed for campfire use. It is a heavy-duty pot that is made to last, it measures 12” in diameter by 3.75” deep, is easy to care for and will allow you to cook your camp food in this most time-honored of outdoor styles.
Another essential but inexpensive addition to your campfire cooking kit is a griddle. You can use it to fry eggs, make pancakes, cook bacon, steaks and all those other camping classics we all love to eat for breakfast or dinner when we’re out in the woods.
This griddle is large enough to be used over two burners which means you can cook plenty of food for everyone at the same time and it is non-stick which makes it easy to clean. It’s light and highly portable so it’s ideal for camping but also has a low price tag. A good option for simple cooking.
I think if there’s one kind of campfire cooking that makes my mouth water more than any other, it’s a juicy piece of chicken or lamb roasting slowly on a turning spit. Even now, I can almost smell the aroma filling the air as the meat cooks and the drips of fat fall into the sizzling coals below.
The Grizzly Spit Rotisserie is a great camping option as it is lightweight and portable but also very simple to operate. It stands at 26” with a vertical bar of 36” and the motor will run for up to 20 hours on a set of two batteries. A great option if you want spit roast meat on your camping trip.
If you decide to go with a Dutch oven for cooking, there are several ways to use it, but one of the easiest is to hang it over the flames on a tripod. Tripods are light and easy to transport, are easy to set up and allow you to hang your Dutch oven over any fire for ease of cooking.
I think this tripod is a good model as, hence the name, it has long legs. This means it is easy to adjust the height required for cooking by spreading the legs wider and it is also possible to use over just about any campfire. If I want to cook with a Dutch oven, I think using a tripod is the way to go.
If you are cooking with a Dutch oven, whether with a tripod or using another method, you will need somewhere to place the hot cauldron once you need to remove it from the fire. This will help ensure it doesn’t get kicked over and will also protect the ground from the heat.
This simple and affordable piece of kit will give you somewhere to place your hot Dutch oven when the cooking is done and it also provides somewhere safe for you to place the hot lid when you need to remove it to stir the food inside. It’s much better than juggling with hot pieces of iron!
One of the issues with cooking with cast iron Dutch ovens is that this heavy metal gets very hot and will retain that heat for a long time. For one, you should be careful about children when cooking with Dutch ovens – but you also need to take care not to burn yourself.
It can be a big pain messing around with towels or cloths trying to lift the lid without burning your hands while you’re cooking. That’s why a lid lifter is also an important item when cooking with Dutch ovens. This one is heavy duty iron, 15” long and comes at a very reasonable price.
Of course, cooking in the woods is not just about throwing hunks of meat onto a grill or roasting them on a spit. Unless you plan to eat only the most basic caveman fare, you will need all the necessary utensils to cut, chop and prepare the delicious meals you hope to eat.
This seven-piece kit is a perfect option because you have everything you need all together in one pack. You get a knife, a chopping board, a spatula, a soup ladle, cooking scissors and more, all kept together in an attractive storage bag. All you need to do now is to decide what to cook!
Once you’ve got all that mouth-watering food ready, you’ll need something to eat it off. Maybe everyone can bring their own assorted plates, cups and cutlery but if you’re camping and eating as a group, it’s much classier to have a proper dinner set to eat from – even in the woods.
With this camping set, you get four plates, four bowls, four cups and four sets of cutlery. The plates, bowls and cups are made from steel with an enamel finish – they’re designed for camping and will last a long time. Even when you’re on a camping trip, you can still eat like civilized people!
Perhaps this item is not the most essential piece of kit – after all, if the smell of cooked food doesn’t bring everyone to the table, you can always just yell. However, there’s something so much more refined and orderly about sounding a bell to alert everyone to the fact that the meal is ready.
This particular model is made of cast iron, it is black in color and has a black leather strap attaching the striker so you don’t end up losing it. After hours of slaving away getting the food prepared, this tuneful sound will have everyone running right back to camp to eat.
If there is one tradition that none of us can live without when out in the woods, it’s sitting around the campfire in the evening roasting marshmallows over the fire. There’s nothing that epitomizes the simple pleasures of sleeping under the stars than this age-old ritual.
This set of eight 32” marshmallow sticks are an excellent choice for anybody, especially families with children. The sticks are extendable meaning your kids won’t need to get too close to the fire and the prongs are not sharp which should help avoid accidents. You just need to buy the marshmallows!
There’s no reason why being on a campsite means you shouldn’t be able to release your inner chef – in fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to show off your cooking skills. However, it can sometimes be a bit awkward to transport and organize all the ingredients you need to prepare truly delicious food.
I think this Multi-Grill spice shaker is the perfect solution. It holds black pepper, salt, curry powder, cayenne pepper, paprika and garlic salt and is a simple and effective way to carry these essential ingredients in a way that protects them and keeps them easily accessible for cooking.
I’m sure everyone looks forward to all the tasty morsels the cook will be providing – but not everyone has the same talents in the camp kitchen. Maybe you have no idea how to grill or roast meat or perhaps you just want some fresh ideas for something original to eat on camping trips.
This book of over 200 campsite recipes explains how to cook all the old classics to perfection as well as suggestions for a few more original ideas that you can try. Camping is not only about culinary discovery – but eating well around the campfire is definitely one of my favorite parts of any trip.
Once you’ve decided on what kinds of cooking equipment you want to buy to take with you, you’ll want to make sure it all stays in good condition so you can get the most use out of it as possible. A lot of campfire cooking equipment is made of cast iron and you need to know how to care for it.
One of the most important parts of cooking with cast iron is that it needs to be conditioned. Properly conditioned, it imparts a special and unique flavor to the food that will always remind you of camping. This is a good option to make sure your food always has the perfect flavor.
Also related to caring for your equipment, once all the cooking is done and the food has been eaten, someone will need to clear up afterwards and you will want to make sure your cast iron cookware is properly cleaned. This will ensure it has a long life and can be used many times again in the future.
This cast iron cleaner is an essential item for anyone doing their campfire cooking in Dutch ovens or using other cast iron pots and pans and will help ensure your equipment is clean and ready for use next time. This one is a reliable yet affordable product and one you can’t do without.
You won’t necessarily need to take all of these items and some of them may be too heavy for trips where you need to reduce weight. You can decide which cooking methods you prefer and then choose the items which are best suited to your requirements.
For a more minimalist approach, a simple grill or griddle will suffice – however, if you really want to create some memorable campfire meals, a Dutch oven, a spit roast or even a combination of these will ensure everyone is more than satisfied with the meals you prepare.
Which method of campfire cooking do you prefer? Are you happy with a grill, are you a master with the Dutch oven or do you prefer to take it slow with a spit roast? What was the best campfire meal you ever had? Please leave me a comment – and don’t forget to share my article if you liked it!