Outdoor cooking can be a lot of fun; however, without the right tools, it can be one of the most frustrating experiences in your life. Take a look at some must-have campfire cooking tools that you definitely need to pack along with your camping gear.
Always remember to carry along a roll of cling film and lots of Ziploc bags during your camping trip. These are very useful in a camp kitchen.
Camping trips are always fun. Sleeping in tents, taking long walks in the woods, sitting around the campfire, the sounds of the birds chirping, the aroma of the food cooking, the cool breeze brushing against your face―everything harmonizes so beautifully! Campfire cooking is exciting; however, it involves quite a bit of planning. Besides planning the menu and packing the necessary ingredients, you also need basic cooking equipment.
While it’s tempting to pack almost everything you can think of, camping is all about using the essentials to have a lovely time amidst nature. Our precious kitchen appliances and gadgets are undoubtedly convenient, but there’s a different charm about food cooked on an outdoor fire, with minimal technology. However, open fire cooking comes with its own challenges, which can be overcome with the right equipment. Let’s take a look at some basic campfire cooking tools that you need to take along this camping trip.
Basic Tools Required for Campfire Cooking
Knife and Chopping Board
A sharp knife is not only important for cutting vegetables, meat, etc., but it also can serve a variety of purposes. Camping without a sharp knife can be one of the biggest mistakes you ever make. However, make sure you store it carefully. Taking a pocket knife or Swiss army knife will also be a good idea.
There are some camping tools with interchangeable parts like spoon, knife, saw, spatula, etc. If you can get hold of one of them, there’s nothing like it. Moreover, don’t forget to take your chopping board along. A wooden chopping board gives better grip and provides a clean surface for you to work on.
A sturdy grill grate or cooking grate is a must-have campfire cooking equipment. It’s the surface on which you can place your pots and pans, or even cook the food without touching the fire directly. It’s important to purchase a grill grate with legs, because it helps you place it over the coals once the fire has died down. Ideally, it should be large enough to hold two pots. This helps increase its efficiency and save time. After each use, make sure you clean it and store it appropriately.
If you’ve just used foil to wrap food while on the run, you’re going to discover a whole new facet of aluminum foil. This sheet of foil is extremely useful during campfire cooking. Just wrap vegetables, meat, or hot dogs in these sheets and place them on the coals to prepare a delicious meal. Foil can also be used to prepare lovely desserts.
The best part about cooking food in aluminum foil is that there won’t be dishes to wash later on. However, make sure the foil you purchase is heavy-duty. Take nonstick cooking spray along so that the food doesn’t stick. Moreover, never put aluminum foil directly into the flames. Always put the packets of foil into the coal, once the fire has died down. And don’t forget to flip them once in a while during the cooking process.
Dutch Oven and Cast Iron Skillets
It’s important to get hold of cast iron pots/Dutch ovens, because the high heat emitted from the wood fire is sure to damage your precious nonstick pots. Cast iron distributes heat evenly, making it the perfect material to cook food over an open fire. If you’re interested in preparing casseroles, stews, soups, etc., during the camping trip, you should think of taking your Dutch oven along.
Cast iron skillets are useful to prepare pancakes, fry fish, etc. The size of the pot and pan will depend on the size of your family. Don’t unnecessarily carry a larger one.
Another very important tool which many folks tend to overlook is oven mitts. Since we’re cooking in cast iron cookware, the heat gets transferred evenly all the way to the handles and the lid. So, unless you’re planning to barbecue your hands this camping trip, it’s important you remember to take your oven mitts along. Moreover, oven mitts help in holding piping hot aluminum packets of food, or even help handle tongs to remove food from hot coals.
Roasting is another easy method of preparing food during camping. Long metal skewers are used to roast foods like kebabs, marshmallows, assorted veggies, tofu dogs, etc. Place the skewered veggies, meat, etc., onto the grill to cook food to perfection. Skewers make great cooking tools, simply because they’re not bulky, are easy to clean, and deliver deliciously roasted meals.
Cooking with them is an interesting cooking method everybody enjoys. Kids, teens, and adults together enjoy turning these skewers as their food gets prepared.
Tongs and Spade
Tongs are important to toss food on the grill grate or even pull out packets of foil from the hot coals. It’s always better to carry at least two tongs, just to be on the safer side. Since they are not bulky, you can easily take them along. However, you should also consider taking along a spade. The spade will not only help you shift hot coal in the fire pit, but it can also be used to take out foil packets from the red hot coal.
However, make sure you get a spade with a long handle, because you don’t want to stand too close to the heat source.
Fuel and Fire Starters
Since you can’t cook food without fuel, dry branches and wood become your best friend. Most camping sites provide firewood, so check with the camp authorities in advance. You may need a shovel/spade to work with hot coal. If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure you take enough bags of charcoal. Once you’ve collected the wood, you need something to kindle it. A box of matches and a lighting liquid are essential.
Make sure you have enough of this supply to last you through your camping trip. Moreover, make sure you store these flammables safely.
Besides these essential campfire cooking tools, make sure you carry along some mixing bowls, ladles, steel spatulas, plates, glasses, spoons, forks, can openers, buckets to hold water, cast iron kettle to boil water, etc. Then again, let’s not forget to take our cleaning solutions, scrubbers, dish cloths, etc. The list of essentials will vary depending on your style of camping, facilities available at the camping site, and most importantly, the duration of your trip. So, improvise accordingly.