Cooking over a campfire is one of the biggest joys of the camping season. There’s something different about a meal cooked over an open flame, eaten in the fresh air.
But the problem with campfire cooking is that it requires some special equipment. You can’t just use any old pot and pan!
So, how do you choose between the best campfire cooking kits? We’ve gathered a list of our favorites right here!
Our Top Picks
Wealers Camping Cookware Set
ZivPlay Campfire Grill Set
Best Premium Option
Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Pots and Pans
Best Budget Option
It’s not easy to track down a set with everything you need that doesn’t take up a lot of space. That’s why the Wealers campfire cooking kit soars to the top of our list with no problem!
Within the Wealers campfire cooking kit, you’ll find three pots—one large, medium, and small pot—along with a strainer and a saucepan. Each pot comes with a matching lid.
All cookware in this campfire cooking kit is made from stainless steel, including the handles. The saucepan is coated in nonstick material, though the pots are not.
More good news: all the pots, the strainer, and the pan stack together. It’s a bit like a Russian nesting doll arrangement with cookware!
The ability to stack the entire set together is a huge plus when it comes to campfire cooking kits. When you’re camping, one of the biggest problems people run into is struggling with space limits. You can only fit so much equipment into a camper or tent!
Another great inclusion in this campfire cookware set is the travel case. Once all the pieces of the campfire cookware set are stacked together, they can be placed inside the travel case for easy transport from the tent to the fire, from the campsite to the water pump for efficient cleaning, or from the car to your campsite if you’re backpacking.
Another thing to consider: this set doesn’t have a grate or hooks to keep your pans over the fire. You will need to purchase something for your pans to sit on separately.
- Stainless steel
- Eight-piece set
- Easy transport
- Pan is nonstick; pots are not
- Does not include support or hooks
Next on the list of best campfire cooking kits is the ZivPlay Campfire Grill Set!
This one is a bit different than our first pick. In fact, it’s nearly the complete opposite. It comes with a griddle to place pans and pots on and a hook for hanging kettles or pots over the flames, but no pots or pans.
However, thanks to the powder-coated steel the set is made from, you can cook directly on top of the griddle without any pan. If you’re hoping to grill over the fire or already have some pots and pans in your arsenal, this is the set for you.
This set has a “fixing pole” that keeps the griddle and hook from falling into the fire and holds the whole arrangement steady. You want to be sure firewood is the only thing fueling your campfire, not the food meant to be your dinner!
The griddle and hook can be swapped around, and you can adjust their position on the pole as well. You can arrange them to sit higher up or lower down, further from or closer to the fire as needed.
The ZivPlay set is also perfect for campers who double as coffee aficionados. After all, you can’t brew coffee without hot water, and it’s difficult to heat water quickly over a fire without a hook or grate to set the kettle on.
If you don’t have pots and pans already, one good way to round out your collection could be to purchase both the Wealers set and the ZivPlay set and use them in tandem!
- Hook and griddle for suspending pots, pans, and other campfire cookware over the fire
- Steady pole for support
- Adjustable positions and heights
- Good for coffee lovers
- Doesn’t include pots or pans
Best Premium Option
Cast iron is the reigning champion when picking premium cookware for campfire cooking!
Cast iron is a classic choice for cooking over a campfire because it’s heavy-duty; it’s hard to damage. And though it takes a while to heat up, once it reaches that heat, it stays hot without too much fuss.
Cast iron is also a smart choice because it’s well-suited to cook many different dishes, from soups and stews to meat and eggs to desserts. (Yes, you can cook desserts over the fire—not just s’mores, either!)
This particular seven-piece set comes with a Dutch oven, a frying pan, a saucepan, a griddle pan, and a bracket to hold the oven and pans over the fire. These pieces of cast iron cookware cover all your campfire cooking bases!
Not only that, but this campfire cookware set comes with something you will definitely need: a wooden storage box. While not as light and convenient as the travel bag in the Wealers kit, it’s still helpful. This way, you don’t have to find a place to hang your pots and pans or leave them in the open.
This will also help preserve your cookware and prevent lingering smells from leaking into the air, potentially attracting unwanted critters.
One downside: while the set does come with a lid lifter, it doesn’t come with a hook to hang any of the cookware on.
Cast iron cookware is also extremely heavy, meaning it’s not a good pick if you’re going to be hiking long distances to your campsite. Cast iron is a better choice for traditional campgrounds or RV camping.
- Good quality
- Seven-piece set
- Comes with a storage box
- Hard to transport
- Doesn’t include a hook
Best Budget Option
If you’re looking for campfire cookware on a budget, the G4Free set is the best campfire cooking kit for you!
This is also the best campfire cooking kit for backpackers. Despite being made from stainless steel, it’s extremely light—the entire set only weighs about two pounds!
This set includes a pot with a lid, a pan, a kettle, two cups, foldable utensils, a carabiner, and a sponge to clean the cookware with.
At 15 pieces, this is the largest set on our list as well as the lightest. That’s hard to beat for backpackers who carry their entire camping setup with them—or for shrewd campers looking for the best deal!
However, keep in mind you get what you pay for. These cookware pieces are considerably lighter than others and may not hold up as well, especially compared to cast iron. It also may be a struggle to get them to hold heat.
Still, the convenience of their lightweight design is hard to ignore. Like the Wealers set, this campfire cooking kit also stacks together into a single unit. This makes it easy to fit it into your bag alongside the rest of your supplies.
Unfortunately, this set doesn’t include a storage container. But as they do fit together, they create a sort of “case” all on their own.
- 15 pieces
- Includes utensils and cleaning equipment
- Lower cost
- Not as durable
- No storage container
Looking to simplify your campfire cooking without sacrificing the variety of your meals? The CanCooker is a great way to do that!
The CanCooker is the best choice for one-pot meals. One-pot meals can be chili, soup, or meals with multiple dishes cooked in one pot—usually meat and vegetables.
The CanCooker is a single piece of cookware, and it’s fairly small so that it won’t take up much room with the rest of your camping supplies.
The CanCooker doesn’t come with anything to suspend it over the fire, which is unfortunate. However, you don’t need extra cookware because you can cook multiple layers of food at once!
- Easy to store and transport
- Simple to use
- No storage container
- Only one piece of cookware
- No way to suspend it over the flames
Campfire Cooking Kit Frequently Asked Questions
What challenges are involved in campfire cooking?
One challenge in campfire cooking is the struggle to get your cookware to heat evenly and/or adequately. Some materials are more consistent in this area, such as cast iron; however, cast iron can also take a long time to heat up.
Regardless of which material your cookware is made out of, it can be very difficult to cook your food quickly with uneven heat or slow-building heat.
Patience runs out fast when you have to constantly shift your cookware around or try to stoke the fire to get the heat up. Your campfire meal can end up becoming a Sisyphean task instead of an enjoyable one.
If you’re struggling to even out the heat in your cast iron cookware, try settling it in a bed of charcoal. If you can’t seem to get your stainless steel cookware hot enough, your best option is to get it as close to the fire as possible.
Because of this heat issue, it’s also difficult to ensure your food is cooked to a safe temperature. You should bring a food thermometer to test your dishes before eating.
What are the benefits of campfire cooking?
The main benefit of campfire cooking is that you get to eat delicious, home-cooked food while away from home!
Nothing canned, dried, or cooked to lukewarm over a Bunsen burner. No cheap, half-burned, half-raw hot dogs. You can cook all your favorite foods right at your campsite with no hassle!
What kind of recipes can be made over a campfire?
All kinds! You can grill or sear meat, boil some pasta, cook eggs, bacon, and pancakes for a full breakfast, and even make desserts like peach cobbler!
The only thing you can’t do is cook with oil over a fire. The risk of spillage is too great. Oil splashing on the fire can cause injury or get out of control quickly.
How do I take care of my campfire cookware?
With stainless steel, the main thing you need to worry about is scratching the surface. Use rubber or silicone cookware if possible.
With cast iron, it’s important to keep the metal well-seasoned. When dealing with cast iron, “seasoning” refers to putting a very light layer of oil over the inside of the pan.
This should only be a very small amount of oil; if it pools, you’ve put in too much. You don’t want to take that risk when campfire cooking!
Test Out Your Campfire Cooking Kit!
On your next camping trip, get some good groceries and a list of recipes to try with your new campfire cooking kit! Once you get to cook over the fire, you’ll never go back.
For some amazing camping recipes, visit our camping food section now!