Top 9 Camping Cooking Gear [Open Fire & Outdoor Equipment]


Nothing says camping adventures like al fresco cooking. From cast-iron skillets to portable ice chests, YOU can get the most out of your campfire cooking with these eight essentials.

Put the pot on the camp stove

Cooking gear is one of the first things I pack for an outdoor adventure. Forget the tent, the boots, the insect repellent: what matters to me is the food.

It goes without saying that when hiking or camping, it’s important to maintain energy levels, but preparing for outdoor cooking is so much more than that. It also forms one of the most exciting and enjoyable parts of the camping experience.

And when you’re cooking outdoors, doing it right and right is important. No one wants to be constantly looking after a bag of Doritos (I hope).

However, no-frills outdoor cooking is a whole different thing than cooking at home, which is why I’ve compiled my 8 best camping cooking supplies to make outdoor cooking a breeze.

From essential gear to essential tips, here’s everything you need to know for the ultimate camping cook-off.

Grate for Fireplace Grill

Grate for grilling over lit charcoal

A campfire grill is a great way to infuse your food with smoky flavors and give it that authentic campfire flavor you’re looking for. Using a fire pit grill will help you cook more effectively over an open fire, giving you plenty of room to work and more even and consistent cooking temperatures.

Cooler Storage

Camping trip storage

Safe and functional food storage can help keep your food fresh and safe, but it does more than that.

Camping can expose you to certain animals, namely bears, so it’s important to pack quickly and securely to avoid luring one in your way. Good portable food storage is the way to go and fortunately they are looked after and safe.

I like to be organized here and organize the food and drinks between a couple of cool boxes. I have a dedicated one for water and other liquids (you might even want an extra cooler for ‘larger’ drinks) and then a soft side cooler for any food that needs to be freshly stabilized, especially meat.

In addition, I would like an additional food box for non-perishable foods, which in my case are just snacks.

We Recommend: Coleman Cooler

Get a Tool box for the Essentials

Okay, sure, it’s not really a tool kit, but we pretend. This is for all your essential kitchen gadgets so you have everything in one place you can trust and refer to.

From the camping iron to the can opener whenever you have everything with you.

We Recommend: Knodel Organizer

The essential

  • Kitchen utensils (at least try to have a large serving spoon, cleaver, spatula, can opener, vegetable peeler, and wooden spoon)
  • A pain to mix
  • A cutting board
  • Bowls, plates and cups of plastic
  • Cutlery
  • A kettle  or pot for boiling water
  • Medium/Large pot
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels
  • Thwart
  • Liquid detergents and scouring pads
  • Matches
  • Grip (for overfire)
  • Tin opener

Get Firm With a Table

This isn’t always the first thing people think of when packing for camping, I can’t stress enough the importance of a good table. A preserved surface can help you prepare food and also have a place to eat.

However, I will admit that this largely depends on where you are camping. Many campgrounds have picnic tables, but if you’re traveling alone on a scattered lot, you may not have that luxury.

Some tables can be quite heavy and bulky even when folded. Bring even one of these if you live out of the car. Obviously these are not comfortable to wear when you are out on foot.

We Recommend: Coleman Outdoor Compact Table 

Your Centerpiece: Portable Stove for Camping

I know, I know we all prefer a natural fire in the center of our camp. However, not all camps allow them. If fire is a no-go for you, then a portable camping stove is the right choice.

Put the pot on the camp stove


Due to their relatively small size, portable stoves heat up fairly quickly and are easy to store. Even if you are allowed to make a fire at your campsite I would even recommend having one of these as a backup for easy access to hot water for morning tea or coffee.

We Recommend: Coleman Gas Stove 

Let There be Light: Propane Gas Lantern and Torch

So easy to forget but one of the most important things to bring with you. A simple flashlight will help you illuminate your entire campsite, while a flashlight will bring light to you while you are out and about.

If you’ve ever camped in the dark, take advantage of the glow of a flashlight.

We Recommend: LE LED Camping Lantern

Your Important Kitchen Tool: Iron Skillet

The outdoor chef’s best friend. I don’t think the importance of a simple iron skillet can be overstated. It’s one of the most versatile cooking utensils on the market and should be the centerpiece of your camping cookware set.

Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Grilled Vegetables…Even Pancakes. All matrices can be done in an iron pan.

Look for one that is durable, but make sure it’s light enough to carry around and also make sure it has a non-stick surface for easy cleaning.

We Recommend: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Skillet

Camping food in pan with beans and bread

Prepare as Much Food as Possible: Ziploc Bags

To keep things as organized and simple as possible, try to do as much of your meal prep at home as possible. Make cuts of every cut of meat and veggies at home before portioning in Ziploc brand bags or freezing and storing in your cooler. This saves unnecessary equipment and saves time preparing meals at camp.

Fan of Ruhr Egg? These can also be prepared well in advance. Break and beat the eggs before leaving the house. Serve in Ziploc bags and store in an airtight container to chill. This saves space and makes cooking at camp easier. Simply pour the mixture into your hot skillet and you’ll have scrambled eggs in minutes.

For Stovetop Cooking Fans: Embrace Indirect Cooking

If you’re lucky enough to cook over a fire, it’s important to consider positioning. Many people make the mistake of putting food directly on the fire. Not only does this put your food at high risk of burning, it can also create hot spots that can cause your food to cook unevenly. This can be dangerous, especially with meat.

When YOU cook on one side with indirect heat , the food is cooked evenly without burning.

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