Find out the best campfire cooking kit in 2023! When thinking about the best camping cooking set, you need to consider cost, weight, quality, durability, and ease of cleaning. Get tips on shopping for a campfire cooking equipment kit, as well as putting together a homemade campfire cooking set. Good, seasoned cast iron campfire cooking equipment will last a lifetime, but there are other options you should know about too.
- 🏆 Best Campfire Cooking Kit
- 💪 Best Lightweight Campfire Cook Set
- 🤑 Cheapest Open Fire Cooking Equipment
- ➕ Best Campfire Cooking Kit for One
- 🏅 Best Campfire Cooking Kit for Families
- ❓ What tools do you need to cook on a campfire?
- 🔥 What metal is best for campfire cooking?
- 👩🍳 What meals can you cook on a campfire?
- 🧐 More Reviews
- 🎥 Best Campfire Cooking Kit Video
- 💬 Comments
🏆 Best Campfire Cooking Kit
Item: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle
Material: Cast iron
My overall winner for best open fire cooking equipment is the Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle. I own a Lodge Dutch oven and skillets, and have been cooking with them for decades. With proper care, this cast iron cookware made in the USA will last for generations.
The Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle includes a 10.5-inch griddle, 8-inch skillet, 10.25-inch skillet, and 10.25-inch Dutch oven with lids. Lodge cast iron is pre-seasoned with oil for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use.
The pots in this set don’t have legs or a bail handle, so you can use them indoors or outdoors. It can be used in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or on campfire cooking grates over the campfire. Cast iron cookware is perfect for all your cooking needs including searing, sautéing, simmering, braising, boiling, baking, roasting, or frying.
The combination of versatility, durability, and reasonable price is what makes this set my choice for best overall. You can use it for everyday home cooking, while also having it on hand as a survival cooking kit in case of emergencies.
Cast iron cookware is known for its unparalleled heat retention and even heating, making it a durable and long-lasting addition to your campfire cooking gear. The biggest disadvantage of this cookware is its heavy weight. Consider Lodge for drive-in camping, but you’ll need to go lighter weight for backpack camping.
💪 Best Lightweight Campfire Cook Set
Item: Snow Peak Multi Compact Cook Set
Material: Japanese Titanium
If you’re hiking into your campsite, you need a lightweight and compact camp cooking kit. The Snow Peak Compact Cook Set is my top pick for ultralight backpack camping cookware. In addition, the pots nest together and have folding handles, so they’ll take less space in your bag.
Snow Peak's lightweight and durable cookset is perfect for efficient meal preparation on the go. The multifunctional lids can also double as plates and saucepans and can easily work for a solo camper or small family. The components include two pots (34 fl oz and 26 fl oz) plus two frying pans (17 fl oz and 12 fl oz) and a storage bag.
This set is not non-stick, and the small size of the pots isn’t enough to feed a medium or large family. Additionally, this set isn’t as durable as classic cast iron, costs more, and may not last as long. When hauling heavy cast iron to your site isn’t practical, however, this set is a great option.
🤑 Cheapest Open Fire Cooking Equipment
Item: Ozark Trail 4 Piece Cast Iron Cook Set
Material: Cast Iron
My winner for cheapest campfire cooking kit takes into account size and durability, not just price. For this reason, my winner is the Ozark Trail 4-Piece Cast Iron Cook Set. My local Walmart currently sells this set in the camping section for $29.88.
This set includes two skillets (10.5-inch and 6-inch), plus an 11-inch reversible griddle with a removable handle. You can also use the griddle as a makeshift lid for the skillets. This set doesn’t include a Dutch oven, which may limit your cooking options.
If you’re looking for a basic wood fire cooking kit at the best price, this is the set I’d recommend. It can feed one or a small family, though the weight of cast iron makes it too heavy to bring hiking.
That said, if price is your only concern, I haven’t found anything cheaper than the Ozark Trail Mess Kit. It costs a mere $7.97 in the Walmart camping section (or you can buy online for more). This 5-piece kit includes a 6.7-inch fry pan, 6.5-inch plate, 7-ounce plastic cup, and 0.5-quart pot with lid.
Some disadvantages of the mess kit are it’s meant for one (so additional campers would each need their own). Additionally, it is made with very thin, inexpensive stainless steel that doesn’t seem like it’s made to last. I have a more durable option for a solo bushcraft cooking kit below.
➕ Best Campfire Cooking Kit for One
Item: Goetland US Military Mess Kit
Material: Stainless Steel
When we’re talking campfire cooking equipment for one, nothing beats an old-fashioned military mess kit, IMHO. The Goetland Mess Kit comes with a skillet and plate that snaps together for easy storage. The Boy Scouts in our family have passed down our mess kit for decades, as a good mess kit may never need replacing.
Some mess kits come with utensils, but for the inexpensive price of the Goetland kit, I think it’s no trouble to supply your own. Keep in mind if you’re traveling as a couple (or with more people), each person will need their own kit.
This kit is made with thick stainless steel (18/8), so it should hold up well for your outdoor trek, hike, or picnic. It’s rust proof and (unlike cast iron cookware) is dishwasher safe. The cooking pan measures 8.1x6.5 inches while the eating tray is 7.9x6.3 inches.
🏅 Best Campfire Cooking Kit for Families
Item: Stanley Adventure Even Heat Camp Cookset
Material: Stainless Steel
My overall winner, the Lodge Cast Iron Cooking Kit, is a fine option for large families or for cowboy campfire cooking equipment. If you’d like a more premium option, however, Stanley's Even-Heat Camp Pro Cookset may be perfect for you.
This 11-piece camping cookware set from Stanley can help you elevate your camping cooking game. The set includes a 4.75-quart stock pot, 1.9-quart saucepan, 8.5-inch frying pan, vented lids, collapsible cutting board, two trivets, spatula, spoon, and a locking bungee.
My favorite feature of this set is the even-heat design. The pots and pans feature a multi-layer bottom that ensures even heating over campfires. If you want to stop burning campfire food, this set can help you out!
The whole set nests together to save space for hiking and backpacking. Thick 18/8 stainless steel doesn't break or rust, and it's dishwasher safe and BPA-free too. This set would make a wonderful gift for an outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman).
Campfire Cooking Kits Runners Up
Here are a few more options for quality campfire cooking kits that you may want to check out:
- Bruntmor Camping Cooking Set (cast iron)
- MSR Flex Group Camping Cook Set (aluminum)
- Bisgear Camping Cookware (stainless steel)
- Texsport The Scouter Outdoor Cook Set (hard anodized aluminum, Pathfinder appears to be an older version)
❓ What tools do you need to cook on a campfire?
Here is a list of other campfire cooking tools you should consider bringing with you when cooking on a campfire:
- Campfire Cooking Utensils: Utensils to prepare and cook your food are important campfire cooking essentials. Examples include a spatula, tongs, lid lifter, cutting board, and a sharp knife. Many campfire cooking kits come with utensils, but you can also purchase them separately. Choose utensils made of durable materials that can withstand high heat and are easy to clean.
- Fire Source and Fuel: You can pack a portable stove, camp stove, or grill if you prefer not to cook directly on a fire pit. Consider the size of your group and the type of food you plan to cook when selecting your camping gear. You might want a wrought iron campfire tripod if you want to suspend a pot over the fire.
- Fire Starters: Starting a fire can be challenging, especially if you're in an area without dry wood or kindling. Fire starters, such as matches, a lighter, or fire starter cubes, can make the process more manageable.
- Eating Utensils: In addition to cooking utensils, you'll also need plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery. Some campfire cooking kits come with camping utensils, including forks and spoons.
- Heat Resistant Gloves: Protect your hands while cooking in the outdoors with heat resistant gloves. I find these better for outdoor cooking than potholders, which more readily catch fire.
- Instant-Read Meat Thermometer: For grilling meats, a meat thermometer is a must. You don’t want to spoil your next camping trip with a bout of food poisoning.
- Can Opener: This is the item I’m most likely to forget when camping. Put this item on your list, and don’t be me!
🔥 What metal is best for campfire cooking?
Cast iron is a popular choice for campfire cooking due to its durability and ability to distribute heat evenly. It is also a great option for cooking over an open flame, as it can withstand high temperatures without warping. However, cast iron is heavy and can be difficult to transport, making it less ideal for backpacking or hiking trips.
Stainless steel is another popular choice for campfire cooking due to its durability and resistance to rust and corrosion. It is also lightweight and easy to clean, making it a great option for backpackers and hikers. However, stainless steel does not distribute heat as evenly as cast iron and can be more prone to hot spots.
Can you put cast iron directly on campfire?
Yes, you can put cast iron directly on a campfire, but you’re more likely to burn your food cooking this way. To keep cast iron off the fire, put it on a campfire grill grate or choose a pot with legs so you can place coals or embers underneath. Another option is to use a cast iron pot with a bail handle, so you can suspend the pot over the flames.
What kind of skillet do you use for a campfire?
When choosing a skillet for campfire cooking, look for one that's made of durable materials like cast iron or stainless steel. A cast iron skillet is a good choice if you're looking for even cooking and heat retention, while stainless steel is more resistant to rust and corrosion. Look for skillets with a lid and a long handle for easy handling over a campfire.
When it comes to steel vs cast iron for a fire pit, each has pros and cons. Steel is a good choice if you're looking for durability and affordability, but it may not retain heat as well as cast iron. Cast iron, on the other hand, is known for its heat retention and even cooking.
Aluminum is a lightweight and affordable option for a fire pit, but it may not be as durable as stainless steel. Stainless steel is more resistant to corrosion and rust, making it a good choice for outdoor use. It's also easier to clean than aluminum. However, stainless steel is heavier and more expensive than aluminum.
Carbon steel is a good choice for a fire pit if you're looking for durability and heat retention. It's also more affordable than stainless steel. However, carbon steel requires more maintenance since it's prone to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel is more resistant to rust and corrosion, making it a good choice for outdoor use.
Copper is a good choice for a fire pit if you're looking for a stylish and unique option. It's also a good conductor of heat, making it ideal for cooking. However, copper is more expensive than steel and requires more maintenance since it's prone to tarnishing.
Foil pans are a good option for campfire cooking since they're lightweight and disposable. If you’re looking for an inexpensive option and no clean up, aluminum foil pans are the way to go. Save your more expensive cookware for indoor use.
Can you use regular pans on a campfire?
You can use regular pans on a campfire, but it's important to choose pans that are made of durable materials like cast iron or stainless steel. Avoid using pans with plastic handles or non-stick coatings since they can melt or release harmful chemicals when exposed to high heat.
👩🍳 What meals can you cook on a campfire?
When it comes to campfire cooking, the possibilities are endless. With the right tools and ingredients, you can cook up a variety of delicious meals over an open flame. Here are some ideas for meals to cook on a campfire:
- Pancakes: Bring along a pre-made pancake mix and cook up some fluffy pancakes on a griddle or cast-iron pan over the fire.
- Breakfast burritos: Wrap up scrambled eggs, cheese, and cooked bacon in a tortilla and cook over the fire.
- Oatmeal: Cook up some oatmeal in a pot over the fire and add your favorite toppings like fruit and nuts.
- Foil packet meals: Wrap up your favorite meats, veggies, and seasonings in foil and cook over the fire for an easy and delicious meal.
- Kabobs: Skewer up your favorite meats, veggies, and fruits and grill over the fire.
- Chili: Cook up a big pot of chili in a cast iron pot over the fire for a hearty and satisfying meal. Stews are another super option.
- S'mores: No campfire meal is complete without s'mores. Roast marshmallows over the fire and sandwich them between graham crackers and chocolate for a classic treat.
- Campfire pies: Fill pie irons with pie filling and bread and cook over the fire for a warm and gooey dessert.
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