Looking for outdoor cooking equipment essentials?
Look no further. I’ve compiled detailed reviews and personal recommendations for the essential equipment you need to to create memorable and delicious food outdoors. Whether you’re cooking over a campfire, a portable stove or a smoker, you’ll find all the best gear right here to make you look like a real pro!
What outdoor cooking equipment do I need to take camping?
This is such a common question for beginner campers and there is no "one size fits all" answer. Find out as much information as you can about your camping trip before you go, such as:
- Location. Are you allowed an open fire, where you're planning on camping? Some areas have restrictions on open firepits or may enforce fire bans at certain times of years where the risk of wildfire is high. If you are cooking on an open fire, you will need to consider weather conditions - strong winds or rain can pose a problem if it means you have wet wood to deal with. Cooking over a campfire gives you so many options for cooking and you can really go nuts with tripods, rotisserie spits and the whole hog, so to speak! For starters, I'd recommend a good cast iron camp oven (sometimes referred to as a dutch oven), a hot plate (that can be laid above hot coals on a couple of bricks at either end) and a small billy or pot for boiling water and heating small quanitites of food. Don't forget some heat proof gloves for taking things off the fire!
Are you using a portable charcoal or gas stove? This is an easy, lightweight option for beginners and a hot plate or frypan along with a saucepan will see you through pretty much anything you need to cook. Tip: Make sure you bring your fuel with you!
Maybe you're staying home (we've all become pretty good at that since the global pandemic hit) and getting creative with outdoor cooking on a firepit in your backyard or a smoker... the good news here is you can buy as much outdoor cooking equipment as you like, because you don't need to pack it up and take it anywhere!
- Portability. There's a big difference in what I cook when I'm able to drive my car up to my campsite and I'm settling in for a few days compared to an overnight hike that means I'm carrying everything on foot. Consider how much room you have in your vehicle or backpack and what sort of size or weight limits you need to work to.
- Budget. I have a friend who works in a camping store and he loves first time campers because he gets paid on commission! It's easy to sell people stuff they don't really need, if they don't know that they don't need it! There's is some really high quality outdoor cooking equipment out there that I honestly see as an investment, because if looked after properly, it will last you decades. There is also ALOT of choices when it comes to camping equipment, so it's easy to buy stuff that you barely use and then don't even end up taking with you because space is limited. Buy items that can be used for more than one purpose or do make more than one thing. My advice is to only buy the essentials for your first camping trip...the more you camp and cook outdoors, the more you will realise what you use and what you don't use.