Campfire Cooking Equipment: The Only Gear You Need to Get Started

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If you’re new to camping, this list of campfire cooking equipment will get you started on the right path! After years of camping and many camp meals cooked over the campfire, I’ve narrowed down this list to include only the things that you actually need.

campfire cooking essentials

I don’t want to overwhelm you with a bunch of unnecessary gear. This post is specifically about campfire cooking.

That means you’re going to cook on an open flame. This is a lot of fun and you can make some really delicious meals cooking in this way!

To get you started, I’ll also share some of my top recipes at the bottom of this post.

Here’s what we’re going to cover:

  • Gear and Tools Needed to Start Your Campfire
  • Basic Campfire Cooking Gear
  • Other Cooking Gear (for when you’re ready to level up!)
  • Camping Recipes for Cooking Over the Fire
campfire cooking equipment to start a fire

Gear and Tools for Starting a Fire

Since you’re going to cook over a fire, you want to make sure you have the right tools and supplies for starting and maintaining your campfire.

firewood for camping

1) Firewood

Depending on what you’re cooking, you might need to maintain a fire for a couple of hours. Make sure you have enough wood for that.

Softwoods like pine burn much faster than hardwoods like oak, maple, and walnut. Most bundles of firewood from the grocery store or gas station are pine.

This is totally fine, it just means that you’re going to burn through that wood much faster and therefore might need more of it.


blue lighter

2) Lighter

Of course, you’re going to need a way to start the fire, so don’t forget to pack a lighter.


diy fire starters by a campfire

3) Tinder or Fire Starters

You’ll need tinder, newspaper, or fire starters to get the fire started easily.

If you love DIYs like me, give these homemade fire starters a try!


estwing hatchet

4) Hatchet

Lastly, we have a hatchet. A hatchet is great for splitting firewood into smaller pieces.

campfire cooking equipment for grilling veggie kabobs

Campfire Cooking Equipment (the basics)

Now that you have a fire going, it’s time to talk about the core campfire cooking gear that you’ll need. This is the equipment that I use the most often.

You won’t need all of these things every time you cook.

It will depend on what you’re cooking.

grill grate for camping

5) Grill Grate

The grill grate is where you’re going to place your pots and pans or grill your food.

If you’re at a campground, a lot of the fire pits have grill grates.

These are fine to use but be warned that they’re usually really gross and you probably won’t want to put your food directly on them.

If you want a smaller grill grate, I like this one.


camp chef cast iron skillet

6) Cast Iron Pan

A well-seasoned cast-iron pan is the camp cooking item I use the most! I think it’s one of the first things you should buy because it’s so durable and versatile.

You can cook over a flame and on your camp stove with this one pan.

Related >> How to Clean Your Cast-Iron Pan at Camp


metal tongs for campfire cooking

7) Metal Tongs

Metal tongs are great for moving the fire or your food.

Make sure you get steel tongs. Plastic and silicone are no good for cooking around the campfire.

I use metal tongs all the time, but they’re especially handy when making foil packet meals.


black open fire gloves

8) Heat-Resistant Gloves

These gloves are great to have to further protect your hands and arms when cooking around the campfire.


camping pot with a lid

9) Pot with a Lid

You can use a pot with your grill grate to boil water or cook something like a soup or stew!

I prefer to have a pot with a lid that’s at least 2 Qt for cooking, and then a smaller kettle with a pouring spout for boiling water to make my coffee.


spatula for grilling

10) Spatula and Mixing Spoon

For most meals, I only use my spatula.

A spatula is great for flipping and mixing, but it’s not a bad idea to have a large mixing spoon on hand as well.

Again, just make sure they’re not plastic!


blue water container

11) Water Container

Lastly, I always have a large water container.

It’s important to have this nearby in case you need to put out the fire quickly.

When you’re done cooking, it’s great for putting out the fire too.

campfire cooking with a pie iron

Other Campfire Cooking Equipment (not essential, but fun!)

The campfire cooking gear items below are not what I would consider essentials, but they are a lot of fun to cook with!

Once you have the core items above, consider these items:

12) Dutch Oven

A dutch oven is my favorite way to cook when camping. It’s so much fun!!

The meals you can make in a dutch oven are incredible – from brownies to nachos to cinnamon rolls to enchiladas, the dutch oven can do it ALL!

I’m so passionate about dutch oven cooking that I even created a course that will take you from beginner to pro in no time!

If you want to level up your camp cooking skills and speed up the learning curve so that you can spend more time enjoying campfire meals with your friends and family, then this course is for you!

Click the button below for more details:

Learn to cook with a dutch oven!

Join my Dutch Oven Cooking Course!

Get exclusive training videos and delicious recipes that’ll have you cooking with your dutch oven like a pro in no time!

When it comes to dutch oven cooking, there are some additional pieces of gear that you’ll need.

These are things like a lid lifter, a cooking tripod, and a chimney starter – all things we go over how to use in my course!


camp chef cooking iron on a grill grate over the campfire

13) Cooking Iron

Next, we have the good old cooking iron (sometimes called a pie iron). This is another really fun way to cook over the campfire!

A pie iron is made of cast iron and you can make pressed sandwiches, pies, pizza pockets, and more all over the campfire.


kabob skewers for grilling

14) Skewers

If you want to easily grill veggies and meat for some kabobs, you’ll need skewers for that. I have stainless steel reusable ones, but bamboo skewers also work, you just need to remember to soak them before use so they don’t burn.

A large water bottle can be used to soak them at camp if needed.


marshmallow roasting sticks

15) S’mores Sticks

Lastly, we have s’mores sticks! S’mores are as classic as it gets when it comes to camping desserts.

Of course, you can use nearby sticks to roast your marshmallow, but sometimes it’s nice to have reusable ones that also extend so you can stay a safe distance from the fire.

That’s it!

Don’t be fooled by long lists of campfire cooking equipment and gear.

Keep it simple so that you can actually enjoy cooking outdoors and not be weighed down by packing so much gear. Again, you won’t need all this gear every time you want to cook over the campfire.

Planning your meals ahead of time at home will help you stay organized and pack exactly what you need.

Download my free camp cooking starter kit to get a camping meal planner and a packing checklist to streamline the process:

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Camp Cooking Starter Kit

Printable camping recipes, a gear checklist, and a camping meal planner so you can go camping with confidence and good food!

    Campfire cooking is one of the things I enjoy most in life.

    I hope you get out there, start cooking, and enjoy the campfire recipes below!

    cooking with a dutch oven over an open flame outdoors

    Campfire Cooking Recipes

    Now that you have all the campfire cooking equipment you need, it’s time to get out there and start cooking!

    Below you’ll find reader-favorite recipes to get you started:

    grilling while camping

    Grilling Recipes:

    foil packet recipes for camping

    Foil Packet Recipes:

    dutch oven nachos while camping

    Dutch Oven Recipes:

    peanut butter pretzel smores

    S’mores Recipes:

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