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Cooking Like A Pro While Camping

cast iron cookware

It’s a common myth that when you’re camping, you can only eat pre-made canned foods or bbq meats.
I’m here to tell you that this is so far from the truth that it’s not funny. When we go out bush, we eat better than we do at home, why? Simple, we have more time. It’s not uncommon for us to have fellow campers commenting on the delicious smells coming from our site and it’s super easy to do.
Our typical menu will include tuna mornay, foil wrapped fish and veggies, pizzas, roast legs of lamb and even apple crumble if we are feeling naughty.

Nothing better than sitting around the fire on a cold night with a large hot bowl of apple crumble with cream. My mouth is watering just at the thought of it.

Within this section of the site, I will not only give you stacks of easy and fantastic recipes, but I will also show you how to use your cook wear properly. I cannot recommend cast iron cookware enough!! There is nothing that can not be cooked in a decent dutch oven and skillet. The best thing with cast iron cookware is that as long as they care for properly, they will outlive you. To see all the different types of cast iron cookware available continue scrolling down this page.

Ok, who’s hungry? Well, what are you waiting for…..get into the recipes already?

Cast Iron Cookware For The Great Outdoors

As stated previously, in my opinion, cast iron is the only way to go with cookware. Yes, it is heavy and can take up a bit of space. However, the pros far outweigh the cons. Let’s have a closer look at these:

Cast Iron Cookware Pros

Robust and near unbreakable
Will last forever if looked after correctly
Super easy to clean
You use less oil with cast iron, so it’s better for your health
If seasoned correctly is stick free
Relatively inexpensive
You can use them in the oven at home, on a camping stove or over the campfire
Excellent even heat distribution

Cast Iron Cookware Cons

Heavy
Space consuming
They need to be seasoned regularly

When I first started camping, I purchased ordinary household cookware, and I can tell you from experience, they just don’t cut the mustard. One pan, in particular, cost me $30.00 and lasted just one-weekend trip!! I could have purchased a small cast iron skillet for the much, and it would still be going today. Save your money!!! Purchase cast iron from the get go, you will thank me in 20 years when you’re still using it.

With regards to the 3 cons, these can all be overcome or made easier to handle. Once you have used different cast iron items, e.g., skillet, dutch oven, pan, you will soon work out that you can make all of your weekend meals on just one piece of cookware. For example, your dutch oven will not only cook stews, but also pizzas, soups, curries, the list goes on and on. If you only take the piece of cookware that is relevant, you will save on space and it won’t be as heavy as a whole set.

Seasoning your cast iron could not be made any easier nowadays, the seasoning comes pre-made in a tube or bucket and you simply rub it into the cast iron. If you can’t be bothered doing that, you may need to go back to cooking canned spag bol.

What Types Of Cast Iron is Available

Cast iron cookware has been used for hundreds of years and was used in most kitchens on fireplaces before the kitchen stove top was introduced in the middle of the 19th century. Since this time, there has been multiple improvements and modifications, particularly for camping use. We have listed below the standard cookware that is readily available and, more importantly, commonly used outdoors. When you start looking around for cast iron cookware, particularly Dutch ovens, you will notice the QT; this is the size of the cookware and ranges from 2qt-22qt. Think about what you will be cooking and how many people you will be cooking for before rushing out and buying something that may end up being too small.

Dutch Ovens

Dutch ovens are one of the most popular types of cast iron cookware available and rightfully so considering how versatile they are. When using them over a campfire, you can put the lid on and place hot coals on top creating an ‘oven’ effect and this technique is perfect for making damper and other pieces of bread. Ranging in sizes from 2qt to 22qt there is a size for every occasion, whether travelling solo or with a family of 6 or more. There are also other accessories that can be used along with the Dutch oven including the tripod that is pictured. With the Dutch oven tripod, you can hang the Dutch oven over the flames rather than sitting it on hot coats. As you will see in the recipe section both methods are used to cook different things.

Griddle

The cast iron griddle is probably the next piece of cookware that would get a fair bit of use. Being flat and somewhat small they are easy to pack away for trips and come in handy for a variety cooking purposes. Simply lay the griddle over hot coals or on a camp stove and you are ready to make such things as sausages, steaks, hamburgers, toasted bread or even pancakes.

Skillet/Frying Pan

The skillet is one of those pieces of cookware that you take if you have the room as most of the food cooked in it can also be cooked in either the Dutch oven or the griddle. Skillets are perfect for cooking meat that needs to sit in a marinade, for shallow frying and large pies or bakes. There are many sizes to choose from, but don’t be overwhelmed, grab one that is suitable for what you will be cooking.

Jaffle Iron

Need I say more…… 2 pieces of bread, can of spaghetti, whack it on the campfire coals and you were done. Delicious toasted sandwich.

Accessories

Along with the Dutch oven tripod, there are a couple of other accessories that I have found very useful around the campfire. The first being a lid lifter which comes in very handy for removing the lid from a hot dutch oven. The second, pictured, is a trivet which is used to put under the Dutch oven to elevate it from the coals. However, if you wrap it in foil and place it inside the dutch oven, it can be used to lift food from the bottom, ideal for cooking pizzas.

Cooking Like A Pro While Camping
4 (80%) 1 vote

Mark Jonson
Mark Jonson
Outdoor enthusiast and rafting addict. From Cleveland Ohio born and raised (GO CAVS). Working for a professional kayaking company located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio. I am a huge NBA fan and spend the rest of my spare time djing as a hobby.

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