Cooking over an fire is probably the thing I like most about camping. Over the years I’ve tried a number of tools and techniques – here’s some of my current favorites –
You can send a wishlist from this post too! You’ll find it after the descriptions below.
Winco Pot Gripper
I’ve used many different kinds of pliers to mange hot cooking pots and pans on a fire, but I think these may be the best I’ve found. Made for handling pizza pans they are designed for constant use in a commercial environment, so they ought to last a lifetime. The most important feature, though, is that there’s a spring that keeps the pliers open allowing you to use them one handed – something no other pot pliers I have used have. (look for a more complete review of the grippers soon!)
Winco PPG-8A Cast Aluminum Gripper at Amazon
Granite Ware Coffee Boiler
Simple, inexpensive, classic – the coffee boiler heats and dispenses water better than a regular pot (I never make coffee in them, but there;s alaways a need for hot water when you are cooking and cleaning up.
Granite Ware 3-Quart Coffee Boiler at Amazon
Vacuum Insulated Coffee Press
Probably the best way to make the best camp coffee for a group of Scouters, stays warm for a good long time too!
Thermos 34 oz Vacuum Insulated Coffee Press at Amazon
Light My Fire 8-Piece Meal Kit 2.0
Great design and utility in the same product, compact, 8 piece set includes; 1 lid/plate, 1 plate/bowl, 1 SnapBox original, 1 SnapBox oval, 1 Pack-up-Cup, 1 strainer/cutting board, 1 Spork original, and 1 Harness. BPA-free; Polypropylene will not soften at higher temperatures.
Light My Fire 8-Piece Meal Kit 2.0 at Amazon
EcoZoom Dura Wood Stove
High efficiency wood burning technologies significantly reduce both health and environmental impacts. One of the leading innovators in this work, Dr. Larry Winiarski, developed the Winiarski Rocket Stove. The rocket stove is designed to burn the gases released from a wood fire as completely as possible so less fuel is required.
The EcoZoom Dura weighs 11 pounds and packs very neatly into a standard five gallon plastic bucket. I’ve had people ask me if it would be possible to build a similar stove. There are a number of tutorials and plans out there and I considered doing this myself but decided that by the time I did we’d have spent nearly the cost of a manufactured stove on the materials required and still wouldn’t duplicate the durability or features of the EcoZoom stoves.
EcoZoom Stove at Amazon
Solo Wood Stove
The double-walled Solo Stove is a “natural convection inverted down gas gasifer”. Air intake holes channel air to the bottom of the fire and direct warm air up between the walls creating a burst of preheated oxygen causing a secondary combustion of the gases (smoke) given off by the burning wood.
What it means is the stove turns the wood and gasses given off by the wood into a strong, concentrated, efficient flame that burns like a blowtorch! A generous handful of smallish sticks will boil 32 ounces of water in less than fifteen minutes
Constructed of stainless steel and Nichrome wire the Solo Stove measures a compact 5.7 x 4.25 inches weighs only 9 ounces. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to light and use. A few small (pencil lead sized) twigs and small sticks will fire up a pot of boiling water in minutes Very few embers and ashes are left and the stove cools off quickly.
Solo Stove on Amazon
Having the right gear for cleaning up after cooking is important. If you are wondering how I wash dishes while camping, here’s my method.
|Sanitizing Tablets||Campsuds||Dish Brush|
|Steramine tablets are used in the sanitizing step of washing dishes. They work in hot or cold water and are ideal for washing up on a campout.||Lots of cleaning power in cold water, super concentrated, I have lots left in an eight ounce bottle shared by a group of 7 over a week of canoeing.||My Oxo Dish brush is compact, durable and get;s into all the nooks and crannies of camp cookware.|
|Steramine Tablets at Amazon||Campsuds at Amazon||Oxo Brush at Amazon|
When you first see the cast iron scrubber you’ll probably say the same thing I did; “it’s too expensive!” But the next time you have a crusty dutch oven to clean you’ll agree that it’s worth every penny.
Put some water in the oven while it’s still warm, and scrub away. The chain mail design won’t scratch, and is very effective at lifting tough baked-on residue. No soap needed, cooked-on crud will clean up easily and you’l have a clean dutch oven pretty fast without worrying about damaging the seasoning.
Inspired Basics Cast Iron Cleaner at Amazon
Collapsible Bucket at Amazon
Dutch Oven Cooking
If you aren’t cooking in a dutch oven you are missing a lot of fun and some great food! Now nobody is going to carry a dutch oven backpacking; this is a ‘car camping’ option for sure.
If you need to get outfitted here’s what you’ll need and a few things that you may want (note the difference!)
Lodge 8 quart pre-seasoned dutch oven
Lodge Camp Dutch Oven Lid Lifter
|Lodge dutch ovens are the industry standard, it’s hard to beat Lodge for fit and finish.||Do you absolutely need a fancy lid lifter? I use one and would not be without it; it makes things a lot easier.|
|Lodge dutch oven
Dutch Oven Lid Stand
Weber Chimney Starter
|You can park your lid on another pot or a couple of empty cans but having stand assures you wont soil the inside of the lid or loose the coals on the top.||A couple of crumpled sheets of newspaper on the bottom, charcoal on top, light the paper through the draft holes and you’ll have hot charcoal in a few minutes.|
Lodge Pan Scrapers
|Two polycarbonate Pan Scrapers for cleaning the stuck on food from dutch ovens without scratching. Each corner of the scraper is a different shape to easily clean every crevice or corner.||These Gloves cover your forearms and make handling stuff around the fire much easier. A couple of extra dollars for purpose built gloves is worth it.|
Camp Cooking Wishlist
Check the items you’d like to include on your wishlist and send it to yourself and someone who can take a hint!