Unless you thoroughly enjoy whittling campfire cooking tools from downed lumber that you can scavenger near your campsite, you’ll need to bring along your own cooking tools for outdoor meals when you’re lighting a fire to grill burgers, roast vegetables, or slap a steak on a hot campfire rock.
Whether you’re cooking on a campfire, a portable grill, or a propane camping stove, most of us probably like our fingers too much to handle hot foods and boiling pans with our hands.
That’s not to mention the complete lack of adherence to camp hygiene standards that a failure to use cooking tools brings into play.
So, let’s not tempt fate and, instead, you should consider adding some of the best campfire cooking tools for outdoor meals to your camping collection!
Best Campfire Cooking Tools For Outdoor Meals
Some of these cooking tools might be obvious and others might come as a surprise depending on how much camp cooking you’ve done in the past.
But pay attention to the order of these tools as well, unless you want to get stuck putting the cart before the horse!
- Camping Pocket Torch
- Fire Side Gloves
- Campfire Utensil Set
- Cutting Board
- Fire Grill
- Firepit Griddle
- Dutch Oven
- Pie Iron
- Waffle Iron
- Coleman Popcorn Popper
- Extendable Skewers
- Camp Dish Cloth
- Portable Fire Pit
You can’t cook delicious meals over a campfire without first starting the fire!
With that fact of camping life in mind, the first cooking tool you should include for your outdoor meals is a pocket torch so that you can get your fire started in seconds and get back to meal prep.
These torches are more powerful than a stick lighter, a Zippo, or a traditional lighter.
And if you find one that comes with a refillable butane container, you’ll cut down on having to buy an entire new stick lighter every time you run out of fuel!
As you can probably tell from my intro, I’m a big fan of hand health. It’s not that I’m averse to touching logs that aren’t on fire, but if I can prepare to keep my hands safe and healthy (so I can keep using them for another 50+ years), I’m always going to take that option.
So that’s why I would get a great pair of fireside prep gloves before you really set about cooking meals over a roaring campfire.
These kinds of gloves will keep you from burning your hands and they’ll also reduce the likelihood of you ruining all of your efforts by dropping a pan or grill when trying to remove it from the fire.
Next, you’ll need some utensils to help you flip burgers, rotate potatoes, and otherwise handle food in, around, and over a campfire without your hands.
At the bare minimum, I’d recommend picking yourself up a long spatula and a set of tongs. And, if you can, try to avoid anything with rubber handles or guards for campfire cooking.
Sticking to metal and wood will reduce the likelihood of getting melted rubber in your food.
In addition to a spatula and tongs, you might also consider adding a long metal spoon and fork to help you handle larger or awkward food items over the campfire.
Whether you use it to prep veggies or pull meat off the grill to check if it’s ready to eat, a quality wooden cutting board is a campfire cooking essential.
While you could go cheaper and get one of those flimsy plastic cutting boards, you and I both know that those models simply don’t hold their weight (yes, pun intended!).
Save yourself the headache of trying to balance a plastic cutting board and go for a wooden model that folds in half so that it takes up less space in your camping bin.
And, you’ll get an added bonus if you choose a design (like the one we linked to above!) that comes with its own compact cutting knife to further help you prep campfire meals.
Every quality collection of campfire cooking tools must contain some sort of grill so that you can grill over an open fire.
Don’t rely on your campsites to always have one of those pull-over metal grates on the campfire ring. If you do, you run the risk of having to cook your burgers or steaks on a hot rock in the center of the fire (which, actually, isn’t the worst option!).
Just take note, it doesn’t come with a stick included!
There’s almost no better smell to wake up to when you’re camping than bacon cooking over the already-started campfire.
Not only does it signal that someone already got the fire started for warmth on a cold camping morning, but it also means that your breakfast is that much closer to being thoroughly enjoyed before a full day of outdoor recreation.
But the problem with using a regular griddle for campfire cooking is that it’s not always easy to keep greases, fats, and other cooking oils inside the pan when you’re moving the griddle around.
And when they’re super hot from sitting right in the fire, these boiling liquids are the last thing you want to spill on yourself.
So, go for a deeper griddle for bacon, eggs, and any other messier meals you want to cook over your campfire.
The Dutch Oven is one of the most fun and reliable campfire cooking tools ever invented.
The nice part about cooking in the oven at home is that you can do food prep early and then you don’t have to worry about watching your food cook throughout the entire process. The same concept is true for the Dutch Oven.
Get your coals roasting, add your ingredients to the oven, and then set an alarm to check it in your desired amount of time.
While it might take a few experiments to perfect your Dutch Oven cooking methods, it’ll ultimately make campfire cooking much easier.
When I was a kid, we used to call these pie irons ‘pudgie pie makers’ because we would generally fill them with marshmallows, peanut butter, Fluff (remember that condiment?!), chocolate, Reese’s, and all sorts of other delicious but less-than-healthy ingredients.
But you can use these pie irons to make a huge variety of foods over the campfire.
They are great for toasted grilled cheese or grilled tuna sandwiches.
They can be used to roast sliced veggies or the kinds of burgers that are made of meat substitutes and, therefore, are more likely to fall apart when grilled over a traditional campfire grill.
Honestly, there’s no limit to the creations you can make with a set of these pie irons!
Sure, you could get an electric waffle maker to plug into an outlet in your RV or van.
But what if you’re tent camping out of the back of your truck? Or what if you’re camping off-grid and want to make waffles without running down the battery in your RV or van?
Well, luckily someone has already thought through such things and designed waffle makers in a similar fashion to those pie irons.
You’ll be able to make delicious, fluffy waffles over the heat of your campfire with only a single challenge.
Can you hold them level long enough for the mix to solidify and stay perfectly contained inside?
Popcorn is a great snack for so many occasions.
It doesn’t have to be limited to movies in a theater and, in fact, telling stories around the campfire is a great time to also be snacking on a handful of delicious popcorn.
But you won’t be able to do so if you don’t have an RV, travel trailer, 5th wheel, or van with a microwave inside.
Sticking with the same theme of the last two campfire cooking tools, you can also get your own popcorn poppers on extensions so that you can use them safely over a hot campfire.
And they’ll also give you a great way to teach your kids how heat makes corn kernels turn into popcorn instead of having them remain fascinated by microwave-magic for the rest of their lives!
Whether you use them for roasting marshmallows for dessert or you slide veggies onto them for dinner, a solid set of skewers is a clutch tool when cooking over the campfire.
But you shouldn’t just settle for any old skewers for campfire cooking.
Keep in mind that you probably want to keep as much hair on your knuckles as possible every time you need to place your skewers over the fire, rotate them, or remove them to check if they’re done.
So, keep your fingers healthy and hairy (ahem!) by investing in a set of extendable campfire skewers!
When it comes time to clean up after your adventures cooking over the campfire, you’ll need a host of camp cleaning accessories, such as a collapsible dish basin, sponges, and a collapsible water storage container.
But it’s also super handy to have a microfiber dish cloth for wiping dishes clean before they get more dirt or debris stuck to them.
A dish cloth like this can also be super handy to keep in your pocket while you’re still cooking.
Camp cooking is generally much dirtier than cooking in your kitchen, and you don’t have running water to rinse your hands every time they get soiled.
So, a dishcloth can be a great substitute to wipe excess dirt, debris, and food contaminants off your hands while you’re cooking.
What happens if you geared up for campfire cooking and the campground you reserve a site at doesn’t have fire pits?
Instead of being let down and having to adapt to cook over another heat source, just bring your own portable fire pit so that you can be sure you always have an open fire to cook on when you go camping.
The challenge of these pits is that many of them use propane instead of real wood. But not this one! It actually allows you to build a sizable fire inside and then place your veggies, steaks, and burgers on the included grill on top.
And if you’re someone who’s into off-the-grid camping, this is the perfect solution to bring your own safe fire pit wherever you go!
Tips For Picking Campfire Cooking Tools
To be honest, the campfire cooking tools that you’ll find most useful will largely depend on the kinds of healthy camping meals you like to cook when you’re away from your home kitchen.
But these tips will help you pick tools that are less likely to just end up down inside your camping bin underneath a bunch of other (dare I say more useful) camping supplies
Love this list of campfire cooking tools for your RV? Check out 39 Must have RV gadgets and gizmos!
Know Your Menu
There are many schools of thought when it comes to campfire cooking.
Some folks treat all of their camping trips as vacations and they want to make cooking as easy as possible. Others love the challenge of cooking delicious meals when they don’t have the traditional tools you’ll find in modern residential kitchens.
So, before you go about buying all sorts of new campfire cooking tools, make sure you know what kinds of meals you want to make when you’re camping.
For example, the Dutch Oven can be great if you want to get the kids involved in chopping and preparing foods, but you don’t necessarily want to have to monitor the temperature of your burgers while the kids are running around.
On the other hand, cooking over the campfire sometimes comes with a whole new set of challenges than cooking at home.
So, if you have a better idea of the short list of food items on your menu, it will help you identify the cooking tools that are most relevant to your cooking style and food preferences.
Think About Storage
There can be many definitions of ‘camping’. Some folks might prefer to camp in an uber-minimal fashion with only what they can carry on their backs.
Others might choose to invest in an F-250 that can tow a 40-foot 5th wheel camper.
There’s no one-way to camp correctly, but certain campfire cooking tools definitely make more sense for certain campers, depending on their preference.
You’ll always need to make sure that you have the space to transport your new camp cooking tools wherever you want to explore before you buy them.
So, just consider whether you have the space for a bunch of new campfire cooking tools of various sizes before you make any purchase selections.
Need some help organizing your RV? Check this out: 16 Space-Saving RV Kitchen Storage Ideas You Can’t Miss
Conclusion On Awesome Campfire Cooking Tools
I must admit that there are some trips during which I can barely muster the energy to boil water and add it into a packet of dehydrated food at the end of the day. For those trips, I probably wouldn’t carry many of the heavier campfire cooking tools on this list.
But, in all honesty, I probably wouldn’t be starting a campfire on those trips anyway!
And when I am able to start a campfire when I’m camping (responsibly, of course!), I’m always going to have my collection of useful cooking tools on hand.
These campfire cooking tools will not only help you cook tastier meals when you’re camping, but they will also help you nail the presentation and avoid burning yourself in the process.
So we hope you’ve found this list useful and, as always, we wish you all the best with any and all of your upcoming camp cooking experiments!
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