There’s nothing like sitting around a campfire and roasting marshmallows. However, you can’t live off of s’mores for your week in the woods.
Well, you could, but your stomach may have a few complaints. To avoid those nasty hunger pains, you’re going to need some quality cooking gear to prepare actual meals during your trip.
The campground should have some supplies that you can use, but you can’t count on it. It’s a good idea to go ahead and bring your own.
What will you need to make a tasty meal? We’ve got a full list of things that you should add to your shopping list. Keep reading to learn more.
A lot of campgrounds provide a grill that you can use to cook, but not all of them do. Prepare for the worst by bringing along a cast iron outdoor grill.
It comes with a grate for you to whip up delicious burgers. When you’re finished cooking, traditional to cast iron, you can clean it with a little bit of water.
You can get a pre-seasoned model, so you don’t have to bother with that frustrating process yourself. As far as packing the grill goes, it breaks down into smaller parts.
You may have a problem hiking up a mountain with it, but if you’re traveling to the campsite in your car, this grill will suit your needs.
Again, if you’re going to be heading up a mountain, lugging an entire grill around can be a struggle. It doesn’t matter if you break it down beforehand or not.
If you’re looking for something that’s a little lighter for your backpacking trip. You can get a Heavy-duty grill that’s foldable. It’s basically a grate that you place over your campfire.
You can then use it the same way you’d use your stove at home. Place your cast iron skillet and pans on top of the open fire and get to cooking. It will give all your food that unique smoky taste that most people associate with camping.
If you’re going to be bringing raw meats with you or hunt for your food when you’re camping, you’re going to need to keep it from going bad somehow. Not to mention, warm beer and soda don’t feel great Cooking going down.
To keep all your food and drinks chilled, you’re going to need a cooler. You can pick one up that will strap right to your back so you can carry it if you’re walking to your campsite. One with the right amount of insulation will even keep ice frozen for days.
When you’re roughing it in the woods, your utensils are going to take a beating. To this end, you don’t want to bring along the forks and spoons that you have at home.
You could buy plastic utensils, but that’s not exactly good for the environment. You should also bring along a nice multi-purpose knife. Not only will you have knives that you can use to cut your fishing line, but you’ll also have a bottle opener.
Eggs are a breakfast staple that you can’t make without having a good spatula. Long metal tongs will allow you to flip steaks and burgers without getting your arms too close to the fire.
You always need a good knife set for chopping and slicing your food. We recommend that you have one set for your at-home kitchen and one that you take camping with you.
Cast Iron Skillet
Cast iron skillets are one of the most versatile pieces of cookware that you can own. Of course, they’re also heavy, so we don’t recommend bringing one if you’re going to be backpacking to your campsite.
If you’re driving there, though, you shouldn’t leave home without your skillet. The material won’t conduct heat. This means you can place the cookware over a roaring fire without it damaging it.
For the most part, cast iron skillets are non-stick. You won’t have to worry about tearing your food apart trying to pry it out of the pan.
They’re also pretty simple to clean. As long as you get on it right away, all you’ll need to get the job done is a little bit of water and some elbow grease.
You need a way to store water and not only for drinking. Having it close on hand is also useful for washing dishes and getting your cooking done.
To keep your water chilled, make sure to pick a well-insulated cooler. You don’t want your water to leak all over the place either, so you’ll want to read reviews to check the quality of the cooler before you buy it.
As we said before, eggs are a morning staple. The problem is getting them to your campsite without crushing them. The cardboard container that they come in doesn’t hold up well in a wet cooler.
To keep your eggs protected and stop them from getting all over everything, do yourself a favor and pick up a sturdy egg holder. They’re made out of durable plastic that will keep your eggs secure no matter how bumpy the car ride gets.
When hiking, you want to go as lightweight as possible with your cookware.
There are pots that you can grab that fit this bill. Look for aluminum. Not only is aluminum lightweight, but it will conduct heat pretty well while you’re cooking.
Dutch ovens are about as versatile as a cast-iron skillet. If you can name it, you can cook it in a dutch oven. You can steam veggies, fry fish, or even bake bread.
The only problem with dutch ovens is that they can be pretty expensive. You can find some models out there that are reasonably priced, but you may have to do some digging.
Tinfoil isn’t a dutch oven or a grill, but it’s still a necessary part of your cooking gear arsenal. A lot of people don’t realize this until they don’t have it.
You can use tinfoil to whip up quick and delicious pocket dinners or heat up a baked potato. If you don’t have a lid to cover up your leftovers, tinfoil works in a pinch.
If you don’t have tongs, you need to at least have a thick pair of grill gloves on your side to protect you from the open flames. Most designs are fire resistant and stretch up the full length of your arm.
They don’t only protect you against the flames. You can also use them as oven mittens to move hot pots and pans around without burning your hands.
Canned foods make a great quick meal when you’re camping out under the stars. Well, they make a quick meal as long as you have a can opener.
If you don’t have one handy, you’ll have to hack away at the can for a few hours with a knife until it’s open enough for you to gain access to the delicious contents inside.
Hand Coffee Grinder
If you’re one of those people that can’t last through the morning without a cup of java, you’re going to need a coffee grinder to grind the beans. You can do it before you leave your home, but the taste won’t be the same.
On top of having a coffee grinder, you should also buy a camping french press. This way, you can prepare a delicious cup of coffee without needing electricity.
Just because you’re cooking in the woods, doesn’t mean that your food has to be bland. Shake things up by bringing along your own travel spice kit.
Most kits come with a stainless-steel set of containers that you can store all your pantry necessities in and a convenient travel bag.
Bottle Opener and Corkscrew
It’s almost nightfall. Time to settle in with that bottle of wine that you brought with you. Well, you would tear into that wine, but you forgot to bring a corkscrew. You can try to get the cork out some other way, but it’s going to be a struggle.
You’re also going to need a bottle opener unless all the drinks you brought with you are twist-offs.
Cooking Gear You Need for Your Next Camping Trip
You can’t survive off of roasted marshmallows and s’mores for your entire camping trip. You’re going to need cooking gear to prepare delicious meals that you and your family can eat.
Stock your outdoor kitchen by picking up some of the necessities on this list before you head out in the woods, and visit the Food section of our blog for even more cooking advice.