Best Open Fire Cooking Equipment – From Gear to Kits

Better Grills is supported by our readers. I sometimes earn a small fee when you click on the affiliate links.
open fire cooking equipment

When I started with campfire cooking I had no idea what the best open-fire cooking equipment was.

I knew that I needed some pots and pans and things to set them on.

I made the mistake of buying cheap and flimsy instead of the best quality I could afford.

So, now it was time to start doing a lot of reading and online searching for all these, for me new, cooking equipment.

Here you can find the list that I use and up to now it helped me cook about anything on an open fire in my backyard.

By the way, if you like to see how I build my fire pit, you can see that here.

Campfire Cooking Essentials

Let’s talk about the ins and outs of campfire cooking essentials! Now, when it comes to cookin’ up a storm on that basic campfire grill, you gotta make sure you have some basic supplies.

For starters, bring along a good set of tongs or a spatula to flip the patties and hot dogs. And don’t forget the pot or pan to boil up water or cook up some vittles!

Now, maybe you’re looking for something a little more preferred.

A cast iron skillet is a solid go-to for all those juicy steaks and hearty veggies you’re gonna be cookin’ up.

And let’s not forget about the almighty Dutch oven. This baby can cook it all, from biscuits and gravy to lasagna.

But for those of you who wanna go all out, prepare for fancy campfire cooking galore!

Get yourself a portable smoker or a rotisserie grill and impress your campin’ buddies with some slow-cooked, smoked-to-perfection brisket or a succulent, roasted chicken.

  • Dutch Oven
  • Skillet
  • Griddle

Fire Cooking Equipment Materials

Fire cooking equipment is an essential part of camping gear. Camping cookware is specifically designed for outdoor cooking, where the availability of resources like electricity and gas is limited.

The most commonly used metals in fire cooking equipment are aluminum, steel, and cast iron.

Here are the pros and cons of each of these materials.

Aluminum is lightweight, durable, and rust-resistant, making it a popular choice for camping cookware.

Steel is strong and can withstand high temperatures, making it perfect as backpacking cooking gear. But less usable for cooking over an open flame.

Cast iron is a favorite among campers, and mine also, because it retains heat well and makes delicious, evenly cooked meals. However, it is heavy.

When it comes to fire cooking equipment, choosing the right material is crucial.

Each metal has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so campers must choose a material that suits their cooking style and needs.

When cooking over a fire, it’s essential to choose cookware that can withstand high temperatures and won’t get damaged or warped.

For instance, aluminum is not suitable for cooking over a  fire.

Cast Iron Cookware For Open Fire

Cast iron cookware has been a staple in kitchens, campgrounds, and over-the-fire cooking around the world for centuries, and for a good reason.

The benefits of cast iron camping cookware are many, including its durability, versatility, and the fact that it can be used on any heat source, including induction cooktops.

Cast iron also retains heat well and distributes it evenly throughout the cookware, resulting in consistent cooking.

This makes it, in my opinion, the best open fire cooking equipment.

However, cast iron cookware does have its cons.

One major downside is its weight.

Cast iron cookware can be quite heavy, which can make it difficult to handle for some people.

Cast iron cookware requires some basic maintenance, such as seasoning and hand washing, which some people may find to be a hassle.

Despite its cons, many chefs and home cooks swear by cast iron cookware for its ability to create perfectly seared steaks, crispy fried chicken, and flawlessly baked cornbread. 

Dutch Oven

A Dutch oven is a versatile and durable cooking pot made of cast iron or enameled cast iron with a tight-fitting lid.

It has been used for centuries to cook stews, roasts, soups, and bread.

The benefits of owning a Dutch oven include even heat distribution, great heat retention, the ability to go from stovetop to oven, and the capacity to cook large meals.

It is also easy to clean and can last for a lifetime if well-maintained.

Dutch ovens come in different sizes and colors, making them aesthetically pleasing for serving straight from the stove or oven to the table.

However, Dutch ovens can be heavy, which makes them difficult to handle for some people. They also require seasoning, which means adding oil or fat to the surface of the pot to prevent rusting.

Dutch ovens are not ideal for quick cooking because they take longer to heat up and cool down. 

Despite the cons, the benefits of owning a Dutch oven outweigh the negatives.

It is a versatile cooking tool that can be used for everyday meals or special occasions and will provide a lifetime of delicious and comforting meals.

My favorite!

dutch ovens

This is my favorite because you can use the lid as a skillet and is available in 1,2,5 or 7 quarts.

For now, I have an 8-inch and a 10-inch Dutch oven.

Cast Iron Skillet

A cast iron skillet is a type of frying pan that is known for its durability and versatile cooking abilities.

One of the main benefits of using a cast iron skillet is its even distribution of heat, which makes it perfect for searing and cooking meats to perfection. Additionally, cast iron skillets can be used on various cooking surfaces, such as stovetops, ovens, and open fires. Furthermore, they can be seasoned to become virtually non-stick, making them an ideal choice for cooking dishes with a tendency to stick.

Cast iron skillets are also easy to clean and maintain, with many advocates claiming that the seasoning process enhances the flavor of the food being cooked.

There are also some cons to using a cast iron skillet. One con of a cast iron skillet is that it can be quite heavy, making it difficult to handle and maneuver for some people.

It is also not recommended to use metal utensils when cooking with a cast iron skillet, as they can scratch the seasoning and damage the pan.

The seasoning process can be time-consuming and laborious, requiring the pan to be manually coated with oil and baked in the oven for several hours.

Cast iron skillets also require special attention when cleaning, as soap can break down the seasoning and ruin the pan.

Overall, the benefits of using a cast iron skillet outweigh the potential drawbacks. Its durability, cooking versatility, and flavor-enhancing properties make it a favorite among both professional chefs and home cooks alike.

cast iron skillet

With proper seasoning, care, and maintenance, a cast iron skillet can last for generations and become a cherished family heirloom.


If you’re a fan of breakfast foods, then a cast iron griddle is a kitchen essential. Not only is it versatile, but it’s also low maintenance and durable.

A cast iron griddle can be used to cook pancakes, eggs, and bacon, and even grill up some sandwiches. Because it’s made of cast iron, it distributes heat evenly and retains heat well, which allows for even cooking.

It also allows you to cook multiple items at once, making it great for the family’s morning meal.

Another benefit of a cast iron griddle is that it can be used on the stovetop or even on the grill, making it perfect for camping trips or outdoor cooking.

And to top it off, it’s easy to clean – simply scrape off any remaining bits of food and wipe it down with a damp cloth.

This is my favorite since it is reversible and that will give you a 2-for-one price product.

cast iron griddle

With a cast iron griddle, you’ll have the perfect tool to whip up a delicious and hearty breakfast for your loved ones.

Campfire Grill Grate

A campfire grill grate is a versatile piece of outdoor cooking equipment that is perfect for about anything. Whether you’re cooking bacon and eggs, pancakes, or just toasting bread, a campfire grill grate makes it easy to prepare a delicious morning meal and is great for supporting all your equipment.

The key to using a campfire grill grate effectively is to make sure that the fire is hot enough to cook the food evenly, and that the grate is positioned at the right height above the flames.

With a little bit of practice, anyone can become an expert at cooking with a campfire grill grate, and it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors while still enjoying delicious meals.

So whether you’re camping with friends and family, or just enjoying a backyard barbecue, make sure to bring along a campfire grill grate to ensure that every meal is a success.

campfire grill grate

Campfire Tripod

This is the next item on my wishlist.

The tripod is designed to hold cooking vessels securely above the flames, allowing for even heating without the risk of tipping or spilling.

To use the tripod, simply set it up over the fire and adjust the height as needed to ensure your food is cooking at the right temperature.

Once you have your tripod in place, it’s time to gather your firewood and start cooking! Whether you’re making a hearty stew or simply frying up some bacon and eggs, the tripod will help you achieve delicious results every time.

Not only does it offer a practical solution for outdoor cooking, but it also adds to the camping experience, allowing you and your fellow campers to gather around the fire and enjoy a meal together.

There are so many to choose from and I have not made up my mind yet about which one I am buying

Campfire Cooking Kits

Campfire cooking kits are easy to find for any outdoor enthusiast.

These kits typically include several items that make cooking over an open flame much easier and more convenient.

Some of the essentials found in these kits include a Dutch oven, grill grate, skillets, skewers, a fire starter, and utensils such as tongs and spatulas.

Many kits also include a pot or pan for boiling water or making soup. Having these items on hand can make preparing meals a breeze while camping or hiking.

Additionally, using a campfire cooking kit allows campers to avoid the hassle of packing and transporting a full kitchen’s worth of equipment.

Whether you prefer to rough it in the wilderness or simply enjoy the occasional camping trip with friends and family, a campfire cooking kit is a must-have item.

They are durable, easy to use, and allow you to enjoy delicious meals cooked over an open flame.

So, next time you’re planning a camping trip, don’t forget to pack a campfire cooking kit!

Next To The Campfire

Next to the campfire, there is a sense of warmth and comfort that is hard to replicate in any other setting.

It’s the perfect place to gather with friends, tell stories, and roast marshmallows.

To make it even better, having a few extra items for campfire cooking can add to the convenience and enjoyment of the experience.

Things like cast iron pie irons, popcorn poppers, fire poker, and tongs.

You can try out new recipes, experiment with different ingredients, and impress your fellow campers with your culinary skills. 

So, gather up your supplies, get your fire blazing, and settle in for a cozy night under the stars.

Here are a few of my recommended items to add to your basic campfire cooking equipment.

Cutting Board

A cutting board is an essential tool for any home cook. It is a flat surface used for slicing, chopping, and preparing ingredients for cooking.

They come in a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, and bamboo, and are available in different sizes to fit your needs.

Cutting boards are a great extra item for campfire cooking. They provide a clean surface for food preparation, making it easier to cook outdoors.

Fire Starters

Fire starters are something you don’t want to forget for cooking outdoors.

Starting a fire can be a challenging task, especially in windy or wet conditions, which is why having a reliable fire starter is crucial.

They are convenient and make creating a fire so much easier. In addition to being useful for cooking, fire starters are also great for warmth, and light and to keep insects and animals at bay.

Tip: I read that using a propane torch is a great alternative to regular fire starters.

Make sure to pack extra fire starters to ensure your outdoor experience is enjoyable and stress-free.

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is a convenient and versatile kitchen essential.

It can be used for wrapping food, covering dishes, and even cooking on the grill or oven. In addition, it’s also great for storing leftovers.

When camping, aluminum foil is perfect for packing extra items for campfire cooking, such as potatoes, corn on the cob, or even fish.

It’s lightweight and easy to pack, making it an essential item for any camping trip. Plus, it is easily recyclable, making it a more eco-friendly option.

Fire Cooking Equipment – My Opinion

I am just getting started with my over-the-fire cooking adventure and, just like anyone else, I have no unlimited budget and have to make choices on what to buy.

For now, I started with a grill grate for over my firepit and I found some Dutch ovens in yard sales.

I had a Cast iron skillet so I am using that one also.

Come back to read more about what I will slowly add to my open-fire cooking arsenal!

I will also share my recipes here.

Edie van Aken

Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he can find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews and the outdoor cooking tips he is writing about. You can read more on the About page for Eddie van Aken

Scroll to Top