3 Easy Ways to Cook over an Open Fire

Preparing a delicious campfire meal isn’t difficult if you have the right tools to do it right

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Cooking over an open flame is one of the greatest pleasures you can have outdoors. But there is more to it than simply building a fire and throwing some meat on a spit. Just about anything you can do in a fully equipped kitchen you can accomplish with a grate, grill, or tripod. Here are a few options to spark your imagination when planning your next campfire feast.

Free-Standing Grills

 Stromberg Carlson GR-1522 Stake and Grille
Basic freestanding camp grills are easy to use and fit around nearly any campfire. Stromberg Carlson

An adjustable, freestanding grill is great for portable outdoor cooking. They are adjustable, making tending the fire more forgiving, and can be picked up and moved to any place you can get a flame and a crowd together. If you plan to cook with cast-iron pots or other heavy cookware, you’ll need a rigid set-up, preferably made of welded steel. You can still throw a steak on the grate, but the folding steel legs will also hold up to the heaviest pot of gumbo or stew.

Make it Grate

 Sunnydaze X-Marks Fire Pit Cooking Grill Grate
If you don’t have a good spot to place a grate near a fire, try suspending one from an iron tripod. Sunnydaze

The simplest outdoor cooking accessory is a basic grate. These are perfect for temporary or semi-permanent arrangements. They can be propped on green logs or dry rocks, laid across the rim of a masonry pit, or used with any commercial fire pit of a similar diameter. They’ll cook everything from burgers to steaks and ribs. A layer of heavy-duty tin foil tented over a ham or venison hindquarter will also make a serviceable smoker.

Campfire Tripods

 Stansport 15997 Cast Iron Camp Fire Tripod
A tripod is likely the best way to suspend and use a Dutch oven. Stansport

Seasoned outdoor cooks know the value of a sturdy campfire tripod. You obviously can’t grill with them, but there is no better way to cook with a cast-iron Dutch oven than by suspending it from a rugged tripod over a fire pit. They add a touch of rustic chic to any campsite, and when not in use, they fold up and out of the way for easy storage.