If the thought of a juicy steak washed down with a glass of red wine sounds more appealing than instant ramen or granola bars then welcome to the gourmet camping club.
Before we start debating the merits of your favorite camping recipe, let’s cover the cookware you need to cook your cuisines over an open fire.
The good news is, cooking delicious food outdoors doesn’t mean having to pack your entire kitchen every time you wan to set up a tent in the woods.
Here’s my selection of the best campfire cookware to create a meal worthy of sharing on Instagram!
Different Camping Cookware for Different Styles
Before we look at pots and pans, it’s worth considering how you’ll be cooking.
Cast-iron camping cookware is the best option for open fires, but if you’re only ever going to cook using a portable stove, then a more compact set of pans will be a better investment.
Many campsites, particularly in the US, come with fire pits or grills, but open fires aren’t always an option, mainly if the fire risk is high, so it’s worth having a stove as backup.
You can usually get by with a single stove for the lightweight camper, but if you car camp, then a two-burner camp stove is a good investment.
It gives you the flexibility to make meals requiring two pans without worrying about food getting cold before your dinner finishes cooking.
Fundamental Campfire Cookware
For a car camping trip, cast iron cookware is worth its weight in, well, iron.
If you want to create gourmet meals over a roaring campfire, a skillet and Dutch oven will allow you to cook pretty much everything you want.
The heat distribution of cast-iron is second to none so your meals will be cooked evenly every time.
If you have to carry your cookware any distance, you’ll want to look at more lightweight options.
A cast iron skillet for camping is your staple item for searing steaks, frying bacon and whipping up a stir-fry.
Cast iron skillets (that’s our favorite) come in lots of shapes and sizes. I would get either a 10-inch or 8-inch skillet – that will allow you to make multi-pan dishes or desserts.
If you’re buying a brand-new cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, then you may need to season it before taking it on your camping trip.
If you look after it properly, your cast iron cookware could easily outlive you.
The humble Dutch oven is the most versatile of all open-fire cooking pots.
A Cast-Iron Dutch oven is perfect for slow cooking meat, bean stews, and berry cobbler, but you can also use them to make lasagna, nachos, and even chocolate cake.
Don’t Miss: Gourmet Camping Recipes
Lots of campsites will provide grills, but you know what they say about assuming things…
If you want to leave no trace of your presence, then a portable flatpack fire pit and grill will let you grill meat, fish, and vegetables without impacting the environment.
Stainless Steel Skillet
There are times when a cast-iron pan isn’t ideal for cooking.
Learning how to fry eggs on a skillet is something of an art and if you’re backpacking or cooking over a small stove, you’ll probably want some lighter cookware.
For these occasions, a stainless steel frying pan is a worthy piece of camping cookware to have. Plus, most camping pans are made with foldable handles so they take up less space.
You will come across plenty of non-stick pans but many are not suited for use over open fires. That is is why we recommend this compact GSI stainless steel frypan.
Whether you’re a tea, coffee or hot chocolate lover, one thing you need for all three is boiling hot water.
There are plenty of options out there, from sturdy stainless-steel whistlers to lightweight titanium kettles.
We went with this GSI Outdoors kettle because the size was perfect for the two of us. Another benefit is that it’s very lightweight for any backpacking adventures we go on.
Specialty Camping Cookware Options
With those essential items on your fire-safe cookware list complete, you can create a myriad of delicious gourmet meals.
But if you want to be the envy of your friends, here’s the best camping cookware to make your food stand out from the crowd.
Sometimes a product comes along that looks so perfect, you wish you’d been the one to invent it.
A portable pizza oven is one of those things!
Well, now you can make your own pizza pies even out in the wild because one of our favorite camp cooking gear companies – Camp Chef – has its very own pizza oven.
In simple terms, a pie iron is a sandwich press on a stick.
I know what you’re thinking: grilled cheese sandwiches aren’t exactly the height of gourmet cuisine, but you can’t deny that they’re fun to make.
Besides, you don’t need to limit yourself to sandwiches – your pie iron can be used to make cinnamon buns, hash browns, and bacon and eggs.
If you’re still not convinced, try this drool-worthy blueberry cream cheese stuffed French toast recipe.
Brewing the perfect campsite coffee is a topic worthy of an entire blog post (go ahead and click that link to read our suggestions).
But for gourmet espresso, you need two things: a portable coffee grinder and a Wacaco Minipresso.
While Andrew’s an espresso addict, I’m more of a cappuccino person, which is why a battery-powered milk frother is on my essential camping cookware list!
Don’t Forget These Essentials
Once you have your open fire cooking equipment figured out, there are a few other items that will help make your outdoor cooking easier and safer!
Pack these extras in your beginners camping kit so you won’t forget them when you head out to the campsite…
Now that your open fire cookware list is complete, it’s time to dig out your favorite camping recipes.
Or, if a few pans aren’t enough, go the whole hog and invest in a full-on camp kitchen.
After all, if there’s ever a camping version of MasterChef, you want to be prepared.