How to Cook Food Over a Campfire? Basics For Beginners

So you’re out in the wild, and it’s time to eat. Lit the fire and cook up some grub! The smell of food blending with the natural air are an experience like no other. If you had never gone out for cooking on campfire, then you need to learn some techniques that will help you. As cooking on natural fire is very different from that of cooking in the comfort of our homes.

Once, I was out camping at Sequoia Mountain Farms. Such a nice place it is. Everything was going well as planned. But, I got stuck at night when I had to cook some food for myself. I realized that I was not prepared to cook as I didn’t have any appropriate cooking ware at the campground. 

Putting everything on a single page, in this article, I’ll walk you through how to get a decent fire rolling, and how to cook on camping fire for yourself. You will get to know how to choose a perfect campsite, basic essentials to cook food and cooking techniques to have a wonderful memorable night cooking on a campfire.

Also Read: Camping Tips for Beginners & Pet Owners (Do’s & Don’ts)

Choose the Right Location for Your Campfire

You must start with the perfect location to cook food over an open fire. Look for a spot sheltered from the wind, with no overhanging branches. Clear the area of any debris and make sure there’s no fire ban in effect.

Once you’ve found the ideal spot, construct a fire pit by digging a shallow hole and circling it with rocks if available. Or bring a portable fire pit with you – they’re easy to pack and set up.

With the perfect location, proper wood and necessary tools, you’ll be cooking amazing campfire feasts in no time! S’mores, here we come!

Prepare the place for a Safe Campfire

Building a safe and effective campfire requires some preparation and care.

Look for a spot to lit fire: Choose a fire pit that’s cleared of any overhanging branches. A good site will be clear for 10 feet in all directions. Ensure no fire bans are in effect, and check if you need a permit for your location. You’ll also want a metal fire ring or circle of rocks to contain the fire.

Collect small twigs & fuel wood: You’ll need tinder, kindling, and fuel wood. Tinder refers to dry material like leaves, pine needles, newspaper, or bark that ignites easily and helps start the fire. For kindling, gather small sticks and twigs. Fuel wood consists of larger logs and branches to keep the fire going. Collect wood from dead trees or branches already on the ground. Make sure any wood you gather is dry. Wet wood will smoulder and smoke instead of burning well.

Plan to supply air to fire: Remove any flammable debris from the area within the fire ring. Clear the ground to soil or rock to prevent the fire from spreading. Arrange your tinder, kindling, and a few pieces of fuel wood in a pyramid shape with space in the centre. This allows for airflow so the fire can breathe. Light the tinder in several places.

As the fire grows, you can add larger branches and logs. Leave some space between pieces so oxygen can continue feeding the flames. Never leave a campfire unattended.

Bring out your Cooking Equipment for Campfire

Preparing for cooking over a campfire requires gathering essential supplies such as firewood, a reliable fire starter, cooking utensils, ingredients, and safety gear to avoid any mishappening. Some of the items you’ll need while cooking over open campfire are listed here.


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A multifunctional camping stove is a must-have cooking equipment for camping. The LAC BUTANE GAS STOVE & STAINLESS STEEL FRYPAN Set is ideal for frying eggs, grilling veggies or simmering a chilli. The detachable pan in the set also doubles as a lid. As it is very portable, you can fold it to save space in your backpack when unused. It is well crafted from durable stainless steel, it offers versatile cooking options and portability for cooking at a campsite and outdoors. With a compact design and reliable performance, it’s perfect for on-the-go cooking adventures.

What i Liked:

  • Energy Efficient
  • Built-in ignition
  • Portable Compact Design
  • protection against gas leakage

Antarcti Stainless Steel Coffee Kettle:- 

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The Antarcti Steel Coffee Kettle is perfect for boiling water or making tea etc. The wide spout makes pouring easy and sturdy enough to last for years. It is a must-have for coffee enthusiasts seeking a robust brewing experience. Crafted with high-quality stainless steel, it boasts durability that can withstand the harshest of conditions, making it ideal for camping, hiking, or home use. With a generous capacity and a specially designed spout, this kettle ensures precise pouring, preventing spills and mess. Its heat-resistant handle provides a comfortable grip even when the kettle is hot, ensuring safety during use. Whether you’re brewing coffee on a campfire or stovetop, the Antarcti Stainless Steel Coffee Kettle is a reliable and stylish addition to your coffee-making arsenal.

What i Liked:

  • Durable 
  • Fast Boiling
  • No Plastic Parts


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If you prefer an old-school approach, the MAVERICK WOOD STOVE burns small logs or charcoal and is suitable for cooking a group meal. The Maverick Wood Stove is a versatile outdoor cooking equipment for camping and heating solution crafted from durable stainless steel. This compact stove is designed for campers and outdoor enthusiasts, providing efficient wood-burning capabilities. Its lightweight and portable design make it easy to transport and set up in various outdoor settings. The Maverick Wood Stove is an eco-friendly option, utilizing natural fuel sources like twigs and leaves. It’s an excellent choice for those who seek a reliable and environmentally conscious way to cook meals and stay warm during outdoor adventures, all while minimizing their environmental footprint.

What i liked:

  • Easy Assembly
  • Soil Protection plate


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The STAR X2 COOKING SYSTEM includes two stainless steel pots with lids, a skillet, plates and cutlery for two – everything you need for a gourmet meal in the wild. The pots and skillet nest for easy packing. The  STAR X2 COOKING SYSTEM, is a compact and efficient outdoor cooking equipment for outdoors designed for adventurers. Its portable design is perfect for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Equipped with a high-efficiency burner, it quickly and evenly cooks meals, while the integrated pot with lid simplifies cooking tasks. This cooking system is fuel-efficient, making the most of your fuel source. With a sturdy construction and reliable performance, it’s an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a convenient and dependable way to prepare meals during their adventures, ensuring a satisfying and hassle-free culinary experience in the wilderness.

What i liked:

  • Highly Efficient
  • Locking Handle design
  • space-saving


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Don’t forget lighting! The ORANGE GAS LANTERN & Z1 PROPANE CYLINDER ADAPTER SET provides bright light and can start a fire or stove. The adapters allow the lantern to run on a propane cylinder or disposable bottle. The Z1 LPG Propane Canister Adapter is a versatile outdoor cooking equipment designed for campers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts. This adapter allows you to connect standard threaded camping stoves to LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) propane canisters, offering greater fuel flexibility in the outdoors. Crafted with precision, it ensures a secure and leak-proof connection, enhancing safety during outdoor cooking adventures. The Z1 adapter is lightweight and easy to carry, making it a practical addition to any outdoor gear kit. It simplifies the process of switching between fuel sources, ensuring you can cook food over campfire with convenience and efficiency in various outdoor settings.

What i Liked:

  •  simple to use

With the right gear, cooking over a crackling fire under a starry sky can be one of the highlights of any camping trip. So pack your essentials, build yourself a fire and get cooking – your camp kitchen awaits!

First, gather some firewood. You’ll want dry wood that is wrist-thick, like pine, cedar, or oak logs. Avoid wet or treated wood, which can release toxic chemicals when burned. Stack the logs in a pyramid shape with fuel, like dry leaves, pine needles, or newspaper, in the centre.

Next, you’ll need a way to start the fire. Waterproof matches, a lighter, or a Ferro rod and striker spark will do the work for fire lighting while camping. Have extras on hand in case the fire goes out.

Essentials for the meal itself include knives, a cutting board, utensils, plates or bowls, and a cooler with ice for perishable foods. Don’t forget basics like salt, pepper, cooking oil, and aluminum foil.

Finally, bring a fire extinguisher, bucket of water or dirt, and never leave the fire unattended. Ensure it is fully out before turning in for the night.

With the right gear and safety precautions, cooking over an open campfire can be a fun, memorable experience. Gather your supplies, build a strong fire, and get cooking! The delicious aromas and crackling sounds of an open fire will make your time in nature even more enjoyable.

Best Food to Cook on a Campfire

Cooking on a campfire can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some classic and delicious campfire-friendly foods you can prepare:

Campfire Tacos:

Ingredients: Tortillas, pre-cooked and seasoned ground meat (beef, chicken, or turkey), shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, lettuce, salsa.

Method: Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them on the grate over the fire. Cook the meat in a pan over the fire and assemble the tacos with your favorite toppings.

Foil Packet Meals:

Ingredients: Your choice of protein (chicken, fish, shrimp), vegetables (potatoes, carrots, bell peppers), seasonings, and a bit of oil.

Method: Place the ingredients in a foil packet and seal it tightly. Cook the packet on the campfire grate until the contents are cooked through.

Campfire Grilled Cheese Sandwiches:

Ingredients: Bread, butter, cheese slices & other stuffing you like.

Method: Butter the outside of each bread slice, add cheese between slices, wrap in foil, and grill on a grate over the fire until the bread is toasted, and the cheese is melted.

Sausages on a Stick:

Ingredients: Sausages, skewers/sticks.

Method: Skewer sausages onto sticks and cook over the fire, rotating until they are browned and cooked through. Serve with your favorite condiments.

Campfire Quesadillas:

Ingredients: Tortillas, shredded cheese, diced vegetables, cooked chicken (optional).

Method: Place the ingredients on half of a tortilla, fold it in half, wrap in foil, and cook on the grate until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.

Campfire Popcorn:

Ingredients: Popcorn kernels, oil, salt.

Method: Place popcorn kernels and oil in a foil packet. Seal it and shake it a bit. Hold the packet over the fire with tongs, shaking occasionally until the popping stops. Season with salt.

Campfire Roasted Marshmallows and S’mores:

Ingredients: Marshmallows, chocolate bars, graham crackers.

Method: Roast marshmallows on skewers over the fire and use them to make classic s’mores with chocolate and graham crackers.

Campfire Noodle Stir-Fry:

Ingredients: Pre-cooked noodles, vegetables, protein, soy sauce

Method: Cook the noodles before heading to the campsite. In a foil packet or cast-iron skillet, combine noodles, vegetables, and protein. Drizzle with soy sauce and sprinkle with garlic powder and ginger. Seal and cook on the campfire grate until vegetables are tender.

Note: When you’re ready to leave the fire spot, douse all parts with water or cover completely with dirt or sand, stirring with a stick to ensure all hot embers are smothered before leaving the site. A fire that’s not properly extinguished can rekindle and start a wildfire.


So now you have learned the basics of cooking over an open fire while camping. You’ll be cooking like a pro in no time with some practice. Remember, start with simple recipes and keep things low-key. Focus on enjoying nature and the company around you. Before you know it, people will come to your campsite just to get a taste of your campfire cuisine. The key is using fresh ingredients, keeping things simple, and having fun while you’re at it. Get out there, start a fire, and cook up something delicious. You’ve got this! Now, go impress your fellow campers with your newfound skills.

Logan Smith

I'm a wanderer rooted in California, USA. My love for traversing the globe fuels my mission: crafting travel guides and tips that empower fellow explorers. Drawing from my personal escapades, I aim to equip readers with practical advice for seamless journeys. Let's embark on transformative adventures together.

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