Cooking while camping is a lot different than cooking in the comfort of your own home. A lot of the equipment you’ll use while camping is the same as what you use at home, but you won’t want to bring the pots and pans from your kitchen out camping with you in case they get dinged up. If you’re new to cooking in the great outdoors, you’ll need the right tools for the job. Here are some of the most important different pots and pans you can use to cook and how to get the most out of them.
The Cast Iron Pot
The first, and arguably the most useful, thing you should have in your camping kitchen is a cast iron pot. A good cast iron pot is big enough to cook food for your entire camping party, and often, you can make an entire meal without having to dirty any other pots or pans. You can use a pot to brown meat for stew, simmer soups, caramelize onions, boil eggs, and even more. Cast iron pots are extremely versatile, and even though they can be pretty heavy, they’ve definitely earned their place in the camping kitchen. No camping trip is complete without a cast iron pot for feeding your friends or family.
Just make sure you have a Dutch oven lid lifter if you plan on using the lid.
The Cast Iron Skillet
The cast iron skillet is popular both while camping and at home, so it’s an invaluable addition to your camping kitchen. Because it’s made from cast iron, it is going to be heavier than other skillets, but being made from cast iron also means it’s extremely durable. It can be tricky to use a cast iron skillet at first, but it’s easy to get used to it with a little practice. These skillets are extremely versatile, and they can do a lot of what a cast iron pot can do—minus making soups and stews. Skillets are great for making eggs and bacon, shakshuka, hashbrowns, steaks, and anything else you’d cook in a carbon steel skillet or an electric skillet.
The Cast Iron Griddle
If you love breakfast, you may already own a cast iron griddle. Griddles are most commonly associated with breakfast foods, but they can be used to cook a lot of different types of food. Some griddles even have two different sides so you can flip it over and use the one that is best for a particular job. One side will be flat, making it great for pancakes or sautéing veggies, and the other side will have raised ridges that will help you get perfect grill marks on steaks and pork chops. The ridges also help keep your food from sitting in its fat, so you get healthier food on top of everything.
Caring For Cast Iron
When buying any sort of cast iron cookware, you’ll need to know how to take care of it or it will rust and be unusable until you clean it up. Cast iron dishware will sometimes come pre-seasoned, but sometimes it won’t. Seasoning is an important process for cast iron because it makes the surface non-stick and protects it from rusting. While seasoning is time-consuming, it isn’t very difficult to do. Just make sure you do all your seasoning at home before you go camping, because you won’t be able to season it correctly without an oven.
Use the Right Equipment
Cooking while camping is a different experience from cooking at home, but it’s a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. And with the proper equipment at your side, you’ll be armed for a great experience on your next camping trip.