How to Cook Over a Campfire

by | Sep 30, 2022 | campfire | 0 comments

How to Cook Over a Wood Fire

Cooking over a wood fire is a skill that takes practice to perfect. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to cook up a feast fit for all your friends and family while enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some tips on how to cook over a wood fire:

  • Start with a good bed of embers. You’ll need plenty of hot embers to cook over, so make sure you have enough wood to keep the fire going.
  • You can cook over the flames but you must keep moving the food regularly, if you have a thick cut of meat like a whole chicken or a lamb leg you are going to want to cut it and split it to cook it evenly.
  • Control the heat by moving the food around on the grill. The closer the food is to the flames, the hotter it will get. So if you want to cook something slowly, move it away from the flames.
  • Be patient and keep an eye on the food! Part of the job of cooking outdoors is relaxing and focusing on one simple task.
tripod cooking over fire

How to cook over a camp fire: Lighting your fire

The first step is to build your fire. You will need some tinder, kindling, and wood. I love to use the wax sawdust balls with a cotton ball and flint spark to get it going. It never fails.

1. Gather your fire starter, kindling, and wood.

2. Place the fire starter in the center of your fire pit.

3. Arrange the kindling around the  fire starter . I like to arrange it in the jenga method, that’s what we call it.

campfire cooking

4. Use a flint striker or a lighter to ignite the tinder.

light a campfire

5. Feed the fire with some splitt wood, keep it growing to desired size.

6. Enjoy your fire!

cooking over campfire

Where Should I Build a Campfire?

There are a few things to think about when choosing a spot for your campfire. First, make sure the area is clear of any low hanging branches or other potential hazards. Second, you’ll want to find a spot that’s relatively flat and level so you can easily keep the fire contained.

It’s best to keep your campfire at least 10 feet away from temps or anything else that is flammable.

And finally, it’s always best to build your fire upwind of your campsite so smoke doesn’t blow into your face while you’re trying to enjoy the flames.

Top Campfire Cooking Methods

There are many ways to cook food over a campfire, and the best method depends on what type of food you’re cooking. For hot dogs or other meats, grilling over an open flame is the best option. If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, you can use a cast iron pot or Dutch oven to cook stew or other dishes. Aluminum foil can also be used to create packets that can be cooked over the fire. Using skewers is another option for campfire cooking, and food can be cooked directly on the grate if necessary.

We love using a tripod and grill for cooking outdoors because it is stable and portable. The tripod is also great for hanging a Dutch oven over the fire, which is one of the most versatile pieces of outdoor cooking equipment.

We also love using a grill with simple but effective results. This can be propped up on rocks or you can get a grill made specifically for camping.

A super easy method is coal roasting. You wrap the food in aluminum foil and place in in the embers. We use this method with potatoes, vegetables and fish.

Coal roasting is a quick and easy method for cooking food. You simply wrap your desired food in aluminum foil and place it among the embers. This cooking method is primarily used for potatoes and vegetables.

What do you need to cook over a campfire?

When you’re cooking over a campfire, you’ll need a few things to ensure you have on hand. First, you’ll need some BBQ tools—tongs to turn the food, and maybe some forks or skewers to help with smaller items. You’ll also need some fireproof gloves to protect your hands from the heat, and a bucket of water nearby for any fire risks. It’s also a good idea to get a meat thermometer so you can ensure that everything is cooked safely. With these things, you should be all set to cook up a feast over the campfire!

A tripod for cooking over a campfire

A tripod grill is easy to set up and use. Simply place it over the campfire and place your food on the grill. The three legs of the tripod will keep the grill in place while you cook. Once you are finished cooking, simply remove the food from the grill and enjoy!

We use this cast iron tripod that we purchased from Etsy. There are a lot of tripods available on Etsy, Amazon, or eBay, the design is simple but make sure you get a strong one. We have also started using a very simple tripod setup that uses hazel branches and a chain. This works just as well as the cast iron tripod and adds a little authenticity to cooking outdoors. As long as you have a chain and a hook, you can make a tripod anywhere.

Grill rack for cooking over campfire

A grill rack is a great, simple way to cook over a campfire. It can be a simple rack from an old oven or barbecue, or you can purchase a campfire-specific grill grate.

grill over campfire

When grilling over a firepit, the grill grate creates a sturdy, solid surface for cooking food directly or placing a pan or Dutch oven on top of it.

We use an old grill that we repurposed from an old oven. I welded a frame for it to sit in to give it some strength but any grill will do. It can be a simple setup or you can get something a little bit more specific like this.

Using a Dutch oven over a campfire

A Dutch oven is a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid that can be used for cooking Stew over a campfire. The pot is placed on top of the hot coals to cook the food inside.

Dutch ovens come in different sizes, so choose one that will fit the number of people you are cooking for.

dutch oven campfire

Dutch ovens are great for cooking over a campfire. You can place the Dutch oven directly on the fire using a tripod or on a grate over the fire. If you’re cooking a stew, you can leave the lid open so that heat can come in from all sides. Or, you can put the lid on and use the Dutch oven like an oven over a fire.

To check if the pot is hot enough, place your hand about 6 inches above the bottom of the pot. If you can’t keep it there for more than 3 seconds, it’s ready to start cooking.

Campfire cooking with friends and family is a wonderful experience?

What could be more fun than cooking over a campfire with friends and family? There’s something about the open flame that just makes food taste better. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with the people you love most.

It’s not just for camping, it’s out favorite thing to do when we have guests over, we have a specific campfire area in our garden just for cooking food and spending quality time with our family and friends.

kids campfire cooking

Tips and Tricks for Being a Great Campfire Cook

If you’re a fan of cooking over a campfire, there are a few things you can do to make sure your food comes out great every time.

  • Build a good fire. Make sure you have enough coal and pieces of wood to keep the fire going for a while – you don’t want it dying down in the middle of cooking.
  • Invest in a good pot, dutch oven or grill. Something that’s made for campfire cooking will make your life a lot easier.
  • Find the perfect campsite. A good campsite will have a well-made fire pit that’s big enough to accommodate your pot or grill. It should also be located away from any trees or other potential hazards.
  • Enjoy the experience! Camping is all about enjoying the great outdoors, so make sure you take the time to savor the moment.

In conclusion

Cooking on a campfire is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while still getting a delicious meal. There are many different options for what you can cook, including meats, vegetables, stews, chili, pizza, and bread. While some of these may require a bit more preparation than others, all are possible to cook on a campfire with the right tools and techniques.

One of the great things about cooking on a campfire is that you can really tailor the meal to your own tastes. If you like your food with a little bit of a char, then cooking over an open flame is perfect. Alternatively, if you prefer your food to be more cooked through, then using indirect heat can help to achieve this. either way, there are endless possibilities for what kinds of meals you can make while camping.

There’s something about cooking over an open flame that just can’t be beat. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors while still enjoying a delicious, hot meal.

Campfire cooking is a great way to bond with friends and family. Gather around the fire and enjoy each other’s company while you cook up a feast. We love spending time outside near our firepit cooking simple things like burgers, or even making stews using vegetables from our garden.

campfire food

It’s the perfect way to cook while you’re camping or even just hanging out in your garden.

It’s fun! Cooking over a campfire is a great way to add some excitement to your mealtime routine.




Colin has been grilling, smoking, and barbecuing in his yard for as long as he remembers.  His favorite dish is pork belly smoked on his favorite offset smoker. Read more about Colin here.


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