Camping is not a luxury for nature lovers; rather a necessity. It’s a great way to get away from our busy lives and be lost in the lap of nature. Sleeping under the open sky, walking around, cooking – what more could you want?
The biggest excitement and challenge of camping is cooking camping food over an open fire. Any traditional cookware won’t work to cook over an open fire. You need to bring along the best camping cookware for open fire.
The severe conditions and extreme heat of open fire claims special cookware. If you are here to explore the possible options, you are in the safe hand. Instead of worrying about the camping cookware, you better prepare for the rest of the packing.
There is a lot of specialized cookware available in different sizes designed for the campfire. Backpackers usually prefer the most compact and portable ones. In this article, we’ll review the best campfire cookware off the shelf. Keep reading.
What to Expect from the Best Camping Cookware for Open Fire?
Camping cookware comes in many shapes and sizes to serve different camping situations. But, what suits your camping trip? It’s all depends on your situation. A backpacker might need the smallest one, while a car camper may look for the larger one.
The best camping pot must withstand harsh camping conditions and the extreme heat of an open fire. Open fire cookware should have solid build-quality and make from heavy-duty materials. Also, it should be solid enough to ensure a stable cooking experience.
Before you move one further, break off and check our brief comparison table of best camping cookware for open fire.
The Best Pan for Camping Reviews: Our Top Picks
As you know, camping requires special outdoor cooking pan and pot. This makes choosing the right campfire cooking sets difficult. The good news is we’ve assembled a list after checking tons of options.
Below are the reviews of our selected campfire pots and pans. Explore the options to create a satisfying meal for your friends and family at the campsite.
1. Solo Stove Campfire 2 Pot Set Combo – Wood Burning Camping Stove
Our first entry is from Solo Stove stores and the best campfire cooking sets you can get. It’s a camping mess kit that includes a set of 2 pots and one camping stove. Many backpackers and severe survivalists recommend this mess kit.
The stove uses wood as a source of fuel. You can also use dry leaves, pinecones, etc., to start the fire. It means you can start the fire even without carrying wood from home. Also, you don’t need to take heavy and expensive canister fuel.
Moreover, the double wall of the stove creates ultra-clean. It allows fuel to burn more efficiently. Then, the stove has air intake holes at the bottom. These holes ensure secondary combustion denoting that there is minimum smoke.
This compact kit comes with two compact pots that take less space in your backpack. It weighs only 5.75lbs which you can easily carry along. Each piece in the kit is made with durable stainless steel.
What We Liked:
- Made with durable stainless steel
- Compact and lightweight design
- Energy-efficient stove
- Easy to clean
- Pots include double fold-out handles.
What We Didn’t Like:
- Not a complete camping set as other camping essentials are missing.
The Solo Stove campfire kit is the most efficient option for its size. The set is perfect for cooking most camping recipes. The best part is the stove is energy-efficient and environment-friendly.
2. Terra Hiker 10-Piece Camping Cookware
Terra Hiker brings a 10-piece camping cookware set that can satisfy your outdoor cooking needs. It’s a great cooking solution for both amateur backpackers and professional hikers. Besides, the set can meet the outdoor cooking needs of 2-3 people.
The cookware set includes a frying pan, pot with lid, teapot, plastic bowl, bamboo spoon, serving ladle, and sponge. Moreover, the pots and pans are made with hard-anodized aluminum. It is non-toxic, safe, and wear-resistant.
The nonstick surface heats evenly even in the open fire. It is also easy to clean each piece in the set. What’s more, pots and pans include thermally-insulated handles made of plastic. The anti-slip design of the handle offers a secure grip.
However, the entire set is compactable, and you can pack it all in a mesh bag. The weight of the set is only 1.56lbs. It means you can easily roam around with this entire camping cooking set.
What We Liked:
- Made of safe, durable hard-anodized aluminum
- Heat-resistant handles with anti-slip grip.
- Compact and portable design
- It offers an excellent cooking performance.
What We Didn’t Like:
- The nonstick surface claimed to be less durable.
The Terra Hiker cookware set is perfect for any camping, hiking, and backpacking trip. It comes in handy whether you are making breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All in all, it’s a multi-purpose camping solution.
3. MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit Gear
If you are looking for an ultra-small camping mess kit, this is what you should consider. The MalloMe mess kit is a 10-piece survival gear that is built to last for many trips. However, the size is perfect for a single hiker or backpacker.
Though it looks small, the mess kit comes with everything you need outdoor. There is a pot with a pot cover, pan, two bowls, foldable spork, two spoons, and a cleaning sponge.
The pot and pan are made of hard-anodized aluminum. It is easy to clean at the campsite. Also, the entire set is collapsible into a small bundle for better control and storage. You can pack it into a mesh bag that comes with the set.
What We Liked:
- Most compact and mobile design
- Made from anodized aluminum
- Easy to clean
- Takes minimum space in the backpack
What We Didn’t Like:
- It is only meant for a single hiker or backpacker.
The MalloMe camping mess kit is the most compact and mobile camping cooking solution available. You can buy it for you as well as your outdoor enthusiast loved ones.
4. Bulin 27/13/11/8/3 PCS Camping Cookware Mess Kit
Our next entry can be a complete camping cooking solution for your entire family. Indeed, Bulin brings the largest camping mess kit on the market. From a 2.6L pot to a 1L kettle, what more can you ask for?
The mess kit includes 2-pots of different sizes, 1-frying pan, 1-kettle, 4-bowls, 2-plates, a ladle, soup spoon, and a sponge. It’s a vast set you can get. However, the pots, pan, and the kettle is made of hard-anodized aluminum.
The aluminum is high temperature resistant, corrosion-resistant as well as non-toxic. You can easily clean each piece, and it also dries quickly. Again, they all come with heat-resistant handles so that your fingers remain safe.
Furthermore, you can fold each piece into a compact size for easy carry. It also saves huge space in your backpack. The plastic pieces are made from BPA-free plastic.
What We Liked:
- Large mess kit perfect for 4-5 people
- Foldable and space-saving design
- Safe to use on gas tank and firewood
- Easy to clean
What We Didn’t Like:
- The frying pan seems small for four people.
- The handles tend to get hot.
The Bulin mess kit can satisfy the outdoor cooking needs of your family camping trips. You can enjoy any delicious camping meals. Finally, the set is perfect to use on both firewood and gas tanks.
5. Odoland 22pcs Camping Cookware Mess Kit
Odoland camping mess kit is one of the best open fire cookware sets. It’s a 22-piece set perfect for four people. Also, the set is super-portable and great for camping, picnic, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
The kit includes a large-sized pot, pan, kettle, 4-dishes, 4-cups, 4-spoons, 4-forks, and 3-bags. Each pot and pan is built with aluminum along with a nonstick Teflon coating. Don’t worry; the Teflon coating is durable and conducts heat well.
There is a lid which you can use with both pot and frying pan. Also, each piece includes a foldable handle with an anti-slip design for a comfortable grip. The nonstick coating makes cleaning each piece a breeze.
Lastly, the best part of the set is its stainless steel open fire cooking utensils. The plates, cups, and spoons are large yet lightweight. There comes a silicone protector with the cups for holding with ease.
What We Liked:
- A large 22-piece set for four people
- Heavy-duty and great heat conductor cookware
- Portable and foldable design
- Super easy to clean
What We Didn’t Like:
- Somewhat heavy for backpacking.
- Some utensils are claimed to be unusable.
The Odoland mess kit is a high-quality, versatile, and most durable set in the market. It cooks food faster, which is a great plus. You must try this.
Buying Guide for the Best Camping Cookware for Wildfire
Buying the right campfire cooking sets is tricky as there are many important things to consider. However, going through our detailed guide can make your job easier. Here are a few things you should keep in mind.
What is the Best Material for campfire pots and pans?
For many years, manufacturers have been using different materials for open fire cooking pots and pans. The most used among them are; cast iron, aluminum, stainless steel, and nonstick.
Cast iron is the most popular and the best material for outside cooking pots and pans. Cast iron campfire cookware offers the stability needed to cook over an open fire. It is thick and heavy in nature as well as a perfect heat conductor.
Moreover, cast iron is naturally nonstick, making it a healthier option to cook over an open flame. The only downside of cast iron cookware is that it requires frequent re-seasoning. Also, it is not an ideal option for someone looking for portable campfire cookware.
Aluminum campfire cookware is an excellent option for backpacking trips. Aluminum tends to heat up quickly and evenly. So, you can make a meal quickly and enjoy the trip. Besides, it is easy to clean and best for simmering foods without scorching.
But, pure aluminum cookware is prone to dents and scratches. So, it is wise to cook on hard-anodized aluminum cookware at the campsite. Hard-anodized cookware resists scratches and lasts for longer.
Stainless steel cookware is considered affordable and durable. Also, they are lighter and hence popular among backpackers. But is it ok to put stainless steel over an open fire? Well, you shouldn’t put stainless steel directly over an open fire.
It gets hot quickly and can get scorched or even burn. Instead, it is better to set stainless steel cookware over the grill or grate.
One of the reasons people use nonstick cookware is its nonstick cooking surface. The nonstick coating makes it easier to clean. However, if it has a Teflon coating, this could not be the best option for an open fire.
Teflon coating tends to break down faster when it gets scratched. Ceramic coating, on the other hand, is durable and somewhat expensive.
Individual Pieces or Complete Cook set?
Sometimes you may plan a camping trip for one or two days. Or you may want to go alone on a camping trip. In that case, it is baseless to take along the entire kitchen. Instead, you can take a few cooking pieces to make your backpack lighter.
You can purchase either certain pieces or a complete set as you need. Cook sets include campfire pan, pot, campfire skillets, campfire frying pan, lids, etc. Again, some sets even come with extra plates, mugs, or cups for camping.
So which one is better? If you are planning for solo camping, a pot, and a pan is enough. For camping with many people, think of a complete set.
Pot Size and Number
Open fire camping pots are the most essential of any camping trip. It is necessary to consider the size of the pot beforehand. The largest pot can be a better choice as you can cook maximum camping food into it.
How many pots do you need? It depends on the number of your camping partner. Camping with one or two-person requires one pot. For more members, you definitely need more.
Lids are essential for campfire cooking sets. It minimizes cooking time as well as splatter. Some cookware set comes with a single lid for each pot included. It is better to choose those. Also, some lids can be used as a plate. You can also opt for those lids.
For a camping trip, it is worth considering that you pick your pots and pans safely. Here a pot gripper or lifter comes to the rescue. Some cookware set comes with a gripper for all the cookware. Make sure you carry it with you.
Things to Remember While Cooking Over an Open Fire
Having the best Camping Cookware for open fire won’t work if lack in a few things. There are a few things you need to keep in mind at the campsite.
Do not cook every meal directly over the open flame.
There are some specific items you can cook directly over the campfire. But also, a few items might burn if you cook at on high temperature. There is a solution. You can prepare two different heat zones for medium and high heat.
Make sure to keep hot coals in one zone for medium heat. And then, keep the other area for direct flames. You can cook vegetables and potatoes in aluminum cookware on medium heat. Then, you can boil water, grill vegetable, or roast meals directly over the flame.
Wait a while before cooking on the fire.
It is not wise to cook on the newly set fire. Make sure to wait at least 30 to 45 minutes before start cooking. It makes sure there are enough hot coals and some burning logs. This ensures steady heat, which is essential to prevent inconsistent heat.
Be prepared before start cooking.
Always try to keep the food ingredients ready before cooking. Try some tasks beforehand like cutting and seasoning, mixing or dressing, etc. When you are all set, start cooking.
A Few Helpful Tips to Do Cooking While Camping Easier
Knowing a few useful things can make your camping trip pleasing. Cooking while camping can be hassle-free if you want. Here we’ve added some tips so that you can be prepared to enjoy the trip.
The food ideas to cook over an open fire
Surprisingly, you can cook almost everything you cook in your home kitchen. In fact, a few dishes come out as more delicious than cooking in the kitchen. You can cook the following dishes at the campsite;
- Campfire pizza cone
- Campfire stew
- Roasted potatoes
- Steak, hot dogs
- Bacon, kebab
- Grilled cheese
- Baked beans
- Zucchini Chili
- Foil packet chicken
- Grilled shrimp
- And much more, of course.
Take along camping mess kit.
The camping mess kit is a camping set that includes backpacking fire pan, pot, kettle, utensils, etc. It’s a portable kitchen, we can say. Often pro-campers, military individuals use camping mess kits. The camping mess kit comes in a bag, a backpack. Sometimes it comes into a large container that looks like a pot.
Cleaning with cold water
There is a myth that cold water is not suitable for cleaning pots and pans. Indeed, hot water is better to clean detergent in the cookware. But, hot water is not readily available at the campsite. You can wash with cold water but with a little extra effort. However, make sure you don’t put so much pressure as it can scratch.
Question: What kind of pan do you use on a campfire?
Answer: Undoubtedly, cast iron campfire cookware is the best option for cooking on a campfire. The reason is cast iron is most durable and tough enough to handle extreme heat.
However, you can use aluminum cooking pot over fire. Stainless steel is also great in regards to not damaging your cookware. But, it is not safe to use it directly over an open fire.
Question: Can you use a regular pan over a fire?
Answer: Yes, you can, but not directly over an open fire. Direct contact with an open flame can ruin the surface of your pan. Besides, it tends to release unpleasant chemicals into your food. Thus, it can be unhealthy. Seasoned cast iron cookware can be a better choice instead.
Question: Can stainless steel go over the fire?
Answer: It is not sensible to use stainless steel cookware directly over an open fire. Stainless has a low heating point compared to open fire. If it gets too hot, it’ll begin to melt. Also, stainless steel tends to change the color overtime use. This is why some people season their stainless steel pots and pans before using an open fire.
We’ve come to the end of our best campfire cookware reviews. Cooking is no doubt a huge part as well as a fun task of any camping trip. Without the best camping cookware for open fire, your entire camping trip may be a mess up.
Thankfully now you’ve got a solution for your camping cookware issue. Our reviewed cookwares are perfect for cooking over an open fire. It’s time to prepare for cooking delicious camping recipes and pave the way for cooking in the wild.
Hi, I’m Julia Mitchell and through this blog I want to put forward all my experiences and expertise to help you find the best kitchen items possible. I have been working in research and development of kitchen tools for the last three decades. Throughout my professional career I have come across various kitchen products and I use that experience to assist people in getting ideal kitchen items for their requirements. If you have any further doubt, you can email us and we will get in touch with you immediately.