The Ultimate Campfire Cooking Kit Guide

By John Brown •  Updated: 06/30/22 •  15 min read

A fun camping trip experience without an appropriate campfire cooking kit is almost impossible. Bonding experience with friends or family and mother nature can become a nightmare if you are not well equipped.

Camping activities are done outdoors, and you must eat. You will need specific open-fire cooking equipment. In this article, I have shared factors to consider when choosing a campfire cooking kit, actual campfire cooking essentials, and FAQS about campfire cooking tools.

What’s the Importance of a Campfire Cooking Kit?


You don’t get to cook over an open fire every day, but when the time comes, you must be well prepared and have the right outdoor cooking tools. Most people enjoy campfire meals and mark them as the highlight of the camping trip.

With proper campfire cooking equipment, packing for your camping trip becomes faster and easier. You are assured that everything is in one package, and you don’t have to worry about leaving anything behind. If you use an RV during your camping trip, you can have your campfire cooking kit packed in the kitchen and ready to go whenever you leave.

Since the equipment is portable, you become more flexible. It’s also less hectic when carrying it around with your packing gear.

It also becomes easy and fun to cook your meal over a cozy open fire without any distractions or disappointments like burning food.

It saves you time and money rather than buying food in a restaurant.

Factors to consider when choosing the best campfire cooking kit

Campfire cooking kit
Campfire cooking kit camping table

This includes things to look out for for an ideal campfire cooking kit. Consider the following: camping location and the kind of meals you intend to cook or enjoy cooking when in the boondocks. These factors will determine the type of campfire cooking kit that you’ll need. It should withstand harsh outdoor conditions and still suit your camping style.


Safety first is always safety. I believe you are not ready to learn about safety rules by accident!

Before you light a fire, make sure that the wind strength is just right from medium to strong wind is dangerous. Sparks can explode into a wildfire. If the wind is strong, consider a sizable wind shelter.

Ensure that the chefs can manage the campfire’s open flame while cooking over the fire in the wild. In addition, everyone ought to be cautious as open fire is unpredictable, and it can easily hurt people or the person handling it. Never leave the fire unattended, and ensure that the fire is completely off before you go to bed.

Material of the cooking kit

One of the factors to consider in a cooking kit is the material it is built of. The material of the cooking kit plays a big role as it determines the capability of the cookware to cook food and clean it. It also influences its weight and durability. Most campfire cookware tools are stainless steel, cast iron, or aluminum. You choose depending on your needs, but beware that each material has pros and cons.

Weight of the cookware

Your camping style influences the desired weight of your cooking kit. If you are backpacking, you need a lighter campfire cooking kit. If you use your RV for camping, the weight doesn’t matter.

Cleaning of the cooking equipment

Easy cleaning is one of the top factors when choosing a campfire cooking kit. You would dread struggling to scrub off burnt food when you should be directing your energy to the camping adventure.

The durability of the cooking tools

Ensure that your campfire cooking kit is strong enough to withstand harsh wild conditions and scorching open-fire flames. This will save you money in the long run.

Campfire cooking essentials for your camping adventures.



There’s no campfire without firewood! Pack in dry and seasoned firewood if you doubt its availability at the camping grounds. I assume you don’t want to choke on smoke from wet or fresh wood while cooking. The smoke will spoil the fun.

Fire Starter

You can carry matchboxes, flint, or lighters, depending on your camping style. Luckily, you’ll find some camping places with ready hot coals, kindling firewood sticks, and logs. For those who like to be creative, you can make your DIY fire starter at home using basic household items such as candle wax, cotton balls, and Vaseline.


It is recommendable to have a dedicated campfire cooking kit rather than carrying the typical household cooking ware.

Camp stove

As an experienced camper, you already know the importance of a camp stove when camping. “A double burner propane stove is desired and will serve you for a lifetime, “says Rodgers. Test your camp stove before leaving to ensure it’s in good working condition, and remember to carry an extra canister of fuel. With this, you can comfortably change the canister fuel without worry.

Carrying a camp stove will ensure your stomach of a meal in case of uncertain weather changes, e.g., strong winds and heavy rain, or when you realize that the wood is damp. You might also need the camp stove to boil water, heat the kettle for coffee, or cook other meals if the over-fire grill is not big enough. “Having an open fire doesn’t necessarily mean you need to cook everything over it, “says Rodgers.

Over-fire grill

While cooking over open flames, a heavy-duty over-fire grill is not an option but a priority! Cooking in a campfire with open flames will burn your food. There are different types of grills depending on what you want to cook. For instance, a campfire grill grate, a campfire grilling rack mounts close to the fire with a spike and grill swing for burgers and steaks, and a rotisserie grill.

A grill basket is designed to hold flat foods, e.g., fish, over a fire. It’s suitable for grilling different types of food, e.g. hot dogs. You may also want to consider a swivel grill. It’s a great choice because it allows you to turn the grill over an open flame and to turn it away from the fire when flipping, stirring, or serving. It’s also stable because of its triangular shape, and it’s also possible to change the height of the cooking surface vertically and rotate it horizontally.

 A campfire cooking grate offers a sturdy platform for placing other cooking accessories such as stainless still pans, cast iron cookware, or Dutch ovens. Other kitchen tools can be hung on the side arms. You can use it as a temporary campfire grill if you don’t have a barbecue.

A campfire grill with foldable legs is preferable as it adds stability and portability. Don’t cook anything directly on the grill grate because fat may drop into the fire and spark a big fire.

Cast-iron skillet

A cast-iron skillet is a must-have in your campfire cooking kit. Cast iron skillets are heavy-duty cooking tools well known for their ability to cook evenly due to their favorable heating properties.

Foodies can fry eggs, grill steak, bake, sauté’ or stir fry.

Dutch oven

Your campfire cooking kit can’t be complete without a Dutch oven. It is an excellent heavy-duty and versatile tool for cooking anything: stews, soups, chili, biscuits, etc. It is also considered appropriate for boiling clean water over a campfire.

Camp Mess Kit

A camp mess kit is ideal for backpackers as it is light, easily portable, and compact enough to fit in a small space. It’s a survival camping cook set for most backpackers, designed to conduct heat fast, and is easy to store and clean.

Types of Campfire Cooking Equipment

Camping Tripod with Firewood

Campfire Tripod

You will need a tripod that can hold heavy cookware, a campfire grill basket, or a grill swing steadily. Camp chef Dutch stand elevates your campfire oven off the ground and holds other smaller ovens. It’s used for different purposes, such as protecting your charcoal from the dew or rainwater.

Campfire cooking table

It’s an excellent tool for Dutch oven cooking and can hold more than one bowl.

Long-handled locking tongs & spoons

Using tongs and cooking utensils with longer handles is safe for safety when handling an open fire. Tongs also give you a firm grip on your cooking pots. Longer wooden spoons or stainless steel spoons are perfect for stirring food without the risk of burning your fingers.

Folding camp kitchen

A folding camp kitchen will provide shelves and a sufficient workspace for food preparation. It is also a lovely spot to store your food away from the reach of wild animals and bugs. You can also put your camping stove up there.

Camp pantry

Including your camp pantry on your camping trip is crucial to seasoning your food. This will enable you to try out different recipes, and you never know. You may leave the trip with a new recipe. You can carry essentials, including salt, oils, dried spices and herbs, pepper, and dairy such as yogurt, salted butter, garlic onions, canned beans, and tomatoes.

Campfire utensil Kit

If you ever forget to carry your campfire utensil kit, you will ruin your camping experience. You will need serving spoons, tablespoons, teaspoons, knives, forks, cutting boards, plates, bowls, mugs, and a pot holder or heat-resistant mitts.

Campfire cooking tools for foods/drinks.

Camping Table

Some people can’t just give up their daily routine when camping and still prefer having bread and coffee in the morning.

If you are a coffee addict, look out for brewing gear, use it to boil water over the campfire, and mix it with your instant coffee in a mug. If you prefer boiled coffee, pour the grounds inside the pot to brew. You can then sieve the grounds. Carry a camping thermos to keep your coffee hot for as long as you drink it. You can also store it in a heat-resistant kettle, as you can heat it whenever you want to take it.

For bread lovers, a campfire toaster will help you prepare your buttered bread. A pie iron provides a fast and easy way to toast bread to make a delicious sandwich or pie.

For chicken lovers, roasting a whole chicken, turkey, or duck infused with any beverage or spice of your choice over a chicken rack will change the game!

If you love marshmallows and hotdogs, you’ll need roasting sticks to roast them over the campfire.

Essentials you’ll need to clean up dirty dishes. 

Doing dishes is part of our daily life, and you can’t escape this chore at the campsite. After cooking, you’ll have dirty utensils waiting to be cleaned, and it’s your responsibility to carry the cleaning stuff. Ensure you include steel wool, scrubbing brush, dishwashing liquid, cloth, and dish drying towel. Carry a garden hose to rinse off utensils if there’s a water hook-up near your camping spot. Consult if your camping site has a water hook-up, as most camping grounds have one.

Water Container

A water container is another essential campfire cooking kit. You can use it to store water for drinking, cooking, and washing dishes. Fred Hoffman recommends carrying a water cooler to keep your water clean rather than using a filter or purifier to clean the water. The camping site water may not be clean enough to cook or drink, so take this precaution. 

Nice to have.

To enjoy your camping trip, include a camp cooking book in your campfire cooking kit. You will see recipes to try out, cooking tricks, and tips that will make your campfire cooking more fun. The ideas will take your camping experience to a whole new level!

Campfire trip cooking hack: tin foil packets

If it’s your first time camping, you need tin foil packets. They occupy a small space and are a perfect choice for people camping for the first time. If you want to reduce the cost of buying more luxury camping equipment, consider tin foil packets. You can wrap food with elbow grease before placing it in the coals. You can lay out your food before cooking it and use it to cover food to keep it warm after cooking.

Get to it!

Cooking over a campfire will make you and your camping crew fond memories only if you have a proper campfire cooking kit and supplies. Don’t leave anything behind. Unleash your inner chef, and you can be sure to enjoy a moveable feast with your camping crew.


How Long Does It Take to Cook over a Campfire?

Cask iron skillet
Cask iron skillet

Cooking over a campfire requires patience and cautiousness. How long it takes to cook over a campfire depends on the type of food you are cooking. Some recipes take a long time and need patience, like roasting a whole chicken or turkey. It’s advisable to cook at a low to medium temperature to avoid burning the food and scorching your cookware.

Is cooking over an open fire healthy?

Open fire emits fine particles hazardous to your health when inhaled often. It can cause pneumonia, lung infections, bronchiolitis, and allergies. Campfire cooking is an activity you engage in occasionally, so the risk of contracting these health complications is extremely low.

What can you cook over a campfire? 

You can cook any meal over a campfire with the right cooking essentials. Anything you cook in your home kitchen can be replicated during your campfire trip. You can roast hotdogs, cook stews, grill chicken, and pancakes.

How much firewood is enough for camping?

“Most campers need between 2 to 5 bundles of firewood per day or about one bundle an hour for their campground campfire. If you plan to use your campfire for cooking, pack slightly more wood each day you’ll be camping”, says Outforia. Ensure the wood is dry so as not to choke on smoke every time you light your campfire.

How much water should I carry when camping? 

Packing enough water to drink, cook, wash, and clean is important. Don’t forget about your hygiene! Consider bringing about two gallons of water per person per day. Some camping grounds provide water, so check before you leave your home.

What is the easiest way to make coffee while camping?

A coffee a day keeps the grumpy away. Coffee lovers can still make coffee while camping. It’s as simple as boiling water over the campfire and dipping instant coffee. Cowboy coffee is also a great option for putting the coffee grounds in boiling water and then sieving them out. Pour-over coffee makers, French presses, and camp percolators are also excellent options.  

What are the camping rules that you should be cautious about?

There are rules in all aspects of life, and camping rules are no exception! Camping rules are all about ethics and courtesy. Consider other campers who need privacy and ample space to enjoy their camping. Avoid making noise and be polite when dealing with people around the campsite.  Make sure you clean your fire pit and the garbage before leaving the campsite. Above all, obey all the campsite rules and regulations.

What is the best campfire sandwich maker?

Who doesn’t like a sandwich? Having a campfire sandwich maker is good as you can make things such as grilled cheese. There are several options, but ensure that the one you choose is durable and can withstand the campfire. To avoid ruining your adventure, ensure it has a long handle not to burn your hands or fingers.

What are the best places to go camping?

Reusable plates are the best option as they are made from BPA-free plastic or stainless steel that will serve you in the long run. Avoid paper plates as they are weak and create trash that is not needed around nature. Having nice plates will see you enjoying your campfire meals more.

What are the cheapest foods you can bring when camping?

Working around a budget is always good to save a little more. Most camping foods are inexpensive, and anyone can afford them. Let’s say you start your camping day with coffee, eggs, buttered bread, or pancakes. You are good to go! Low-cost meals include hotdogs, S’mores, and sandwiches.

What is the best/safest way to store food while camping?

Perishable foods such as dairy, meat, and eggs should be stored in a small portable fridge or ice-filled cooler. Non-perishable foods can be stored anywhere but in a cool, dry place where wild animals cannot access them. You can also use a bear-proof canister when camping in a bear country. A proper canister can also be used to store fruits and vegetables.

What are the open-fire cooking essentials?

If you plan to camp in the wilderness, you may require specific camping supplies to prepare sumptuous meals. Consider the following essentials in your campfire cooking kit: a cast iron Dutch oven, pots or pans, and a metal grill or tripod to use over an open fire. Don’t forget to carry your tin foil, fire-starting materials, heat-resistant gloves, and utensils.

Some camping sites provide a ready fire pit and metal grill, so you can check before finding some.

What kind of a pan or pot can you use on a campfire?

Cast iron is an excellent option as it’s durable, withstands heat, and can cook various types of food. Storage also becomes easy if you are RVing. Stainless steel pots can also serve the purpose.

For backpackers, it’s recommended to carry lightweight stainless steel pans/pots nestled together for easy carrying and storage. Depending on your type of camping, there are always options that will fit your needs.

Can you use regular pans or pots on a campfire?

Regular pans are not designed to withstand direct heat from a campfire. The campfire will scorch the pan, melt the plastic handles, and burn the food. Using regular pans and pots over a campfire is a big mistake.

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John Brown

John Brown brings a wealth of experience and passion for DIY, Home and Garden, and Woodworking. With a dedication to empowering enthusiasts, he shares insights, tips, and comprehensive guides to help you transform spaces and master woodworking skills.