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Cooking at the campsite can be both fun and challenging. Some of our most memorable meals have been cooked while camping, both good and bad. To create a wide variety of meals, versatile cooking tools are required. We prepare the majority of our food outside using either a grill or a griddle while camping. We do not use our microwave, oven, or stovetop in the camper. Our microwave and oven are for storage. We carry a convection oven/air fryer, Instant Pot, butane stove, and an induction stovetop. With these cooking tools, we can cook any meal while camping.
Preparing meals with a grill is probably the most popular method of cooking at the campsite. There are numerous types of grills available. First, there is the decision of charcoal or gas. Several types of portable gas grills are available for purchase. Our favorite is the Weber Q2200 (Check it out on Amazon) because it is reliable and well-made. The grill has two built-in side shelves that provide a handy location to place your grilling tools. The Q2200 has 280 square inches of cooking space and produces 12,000 BTUs per hour. You can purchase a cart that holds the grill and makes it more portable for grilling while camping.
Another favorite of ours is the Coleman Roadtrip 225 Grill (Check it out on Amazon). This grill has 225 square inches of cooking space and produces 11,000 BTUs. The Roadtrip has a built-in foldable stand, which is handy for travel. It also comes with two burners, making it easier to control the temperature.
Most portable gas grills use one-pound propane canisters. Campers and Campfires recommends purchasing an adapter hose (Check it out on Amazon) so that you can connect to your camper’s propane tank instead. If your camper has a propane quick connect, you can usually buy a conversion kit for your grill as well. Be sure to find one that is made specifically for your grill. The adapter will save you money as you travel.
For those who like to cook with charcoal, we recommend the Weber Go-Anywhere Grill (Check it out on Amazon). This grill is portable and takes little space when camping. One of our favorite features of the Weber is the locking lid, which makes it easy to carry. The Go Everywhere Grill has 160 square inches of grilling space and twin dampers, providing ease when controlling the temperature.
Campers and Campfires also likes the Charbroil American Gourmet Tabletop Charcoal Grill (Check it out on Amazon). This grill has 225 square inches of cooking space. The slide-out charcoal drawer makes clean up very easy.
We cook a lot with our tabletop griddle. We find that the griddle is more flexible for cooking a variety of meals. We can cook bacon, sausage, and hash browns in the morning, grilled cheese for lunch, and then burgers, steak, or pork chops for dinner. All of these items taste delicious on the griddle.
The 22-inch Blackstone (Check it out on Amazon) is our favorite cooktop griddle. The griddle top is made of cold-rolled steel and has two adjustable heating elements. These cooking elements make it easy to create ideal cooking zones with varying temperatures. The 22-inch Blackstone has 330 square inches of cooking space and is easily transportable. We would recommend purchasing a hood (Check it out on Amazon) as well. The lid helps hold the heat in while you cook.
Camp Chef offers a grill/stove system (check it out) that is second to none. Instead of carrying a separate griddle and grill, you can use the Camp Chef P60x or P90X. Both are portable and offer the versatility of several different setups. The P60X has two burners and 448 square inches of cooking space. The P90X has three burners and 608 square inches of cooking space.
Both of these models come with a variety of accessories. You can use each one with a griddle top (check it out) or grill top (check it out) or one of each so you can grill and griddle at the same time. There is also an artisan oven top (check it out) that can be used to bake delicious pizza. The stand on each of these grills folds, making them easy to store and transport. Each leg has a screw leveler in the bottom, making it simple to level up your cooker before cooking. There are also numerous storage/carry bags (check them out) available for the grills and accessories that make it even easier to transport and store while camping.
Pellet grills utilize the latest technology in cooking and are great for grilling and smoking. Instead of using charcoal or wood, these grills use hardwood pellets that come in various wood flavors such as apple, hickory, pecan, and mesquite. The advantage of pellet grills is that they provide natural wood flavoring, and they allow the chef to set a specific temperature for cooking.
Controlling the temperature is especially handy if you want to cook brisket, pork butt, or ribs low and slow. You can smoke for hours at 225 to 250 degrees to get that perfect combination of flavor and tender meat when cooking bar-b-que. Most pellet grills will reach temperatures over 500 degrees, which is perfect for searing steaks. We use Green Mountain Grill’s Davy Crocket Model (Check it out on Amazon). It is ideal for camping. It is portable and weighs just under 70 pounds. The Davy Crockett has 219 square inches of cooking space and is simple to use.
Dutch ovens (Check them out) are a fun and unique way to cook while camping. The ovens are versatile and provide campers the opportunity to create a variety of delicious recipes. A dutch oven can be hung over your campfire or used on the grill grate that many campgrounds provide already have built into their firepits.
Using a Dutch oven is like having a portable oven on the road. Most campers we encounter using dutch ovens are creating some sort of stew or soup, and they are using their dutch oven as a large stockpot. While the dutch oven makes a great stockpot, it is also perfect for baking casseroles, bread, and pies. Camp Chef makes our favorite Dutch ovens. They come in various sizes. We prefer the standard 12-inch model, but the deep dish Dutch Oven helps provide more space for cooking and helps reduce splatters.
Although we do most of our cooking on the grill or the griddle, we use a few other tools to provide variety in our menu. One of our favorites is the Instant Pot (Check it out on Amazon). The Instant Pot is a versatile cooker that allows us to cook various meals while on the road. The Instant Pot can be used as a slow cooker or pressure cooker and is excellent for meals such as chili or a variety of soups. On those camping days when the weather is not optimal, the Instant Pot will most definitely be used.
We use a butane gas stove so that we have an outdoor cooking eye. It is our source for boiling water for coffee each morning. Gas-One makes our favorite portable gas stove (Check it out on Amazon). It heats up to 7,650 BTUs and comes with a carrying case, making it easy to transport. The stove also has a wind guard around the burner so that it stays hot while cooking. Butane cartridges (Check them out on Amazon) can be purchased in bulk to ensure that you never run out.
We carry an electric induction cooktop, which we use inside the camper when it is raining. Campers and Campfires recommends the Sandoo Cooktop (Check it out on Amazon). For versatility, it has 15 temperature levels. The Sandoo delivers 90% of its heat to the pan, so it heats quicker than gas or a traditional electric stove. The induction cooktop is only compatible with iron pans, cast iron, or stainless steel.
The final tool we use for cooking in the camper is a convection oven/air fryer. We use this both in and outside the camper. As long as the weather is nice, we plug it up outside. During the summer, we plug it into the shore power so that we can keep the air conditioner running without throwing a breaker.
The Breville Convection and Air Fry Toaster Oven (Check it out on Amazon) is our choice because of the many cooking options. Our Breville has 13 different cooking functions and can hold up to 9 slices of bread or a 14-pound turkey. We use the oven to reheat or cook items. We use the air fryer function to make fries or even chicken wings. Since we do not use the cooktop in our camper, this is where we set the oven inside.
With our cooking options always packed and ready, we are prepared to eat well while camping. Although there is an initial investment, these versatile cooking tools will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars instead of dining out on your journeys.
Do you have any tips for cooking while camping? We would love to hear from you. Please drop us a line in the comment section below.
Interested in learning more about campfire cooking? Check out our friends at Mama Bear Outdoors for delicious campfire recipes!
Interested in learning more about pellet grilling? Click HERE!