Car Camping – Cooking

Car Camping - Cooking

Easy and tasty are the goals of car camping cooking.  The foods we bring, and their preparation, dictate our equipment needs.  Whether cooking with electricity, alternative fuels, or both, make sure you have what you need with you.

Chris & Mac of Grey Otter Outventures

Chris & Mac
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Easy and tasty are the goals of cooking in camp.  The foods we bring, and their preparation, dictate our equipment needs.  Whether cooking with electricity, alternative fuels, or both, make sure you have what you need with you.


Cooking With Electricity

Our choices for cooking when car camping are greatest when we have on site electric hookup.  This allows the use of drip coffee pots, hot plates, or electric skillets.  Depending on how often you camp it can make sense to purchase and dedicate some or all of these items specifically for your camping adventures.  This way they will always be ready to go when you are.  Alternatively, a “grab from home” list works great if you do not car camp often.  In all cases, however, don’t forget the extension cords!

Propane Options

With no electric access, we often turn to propane fuel for camp cooking.  Camp stoves and single burner base units are both excellent options.  Both budget and space friendly, single burner bases work well for percolation type coffee pots and small saucepans.  However, with multiple burner surfaces, protection from wind, and a lower center of gravity for greater stability, camp stoves are both a more popular and versatile option than single burner bases.

Cooking With Wood & Charcoal in Camp

Campground supplied campfire rings, raised grills, or charcoal grills brought from home are the primary open flame options for cooking while camping.  If relying on campground supplied amenities, however, have a backup plan.  Campers often find that grill grates are often missing, broken, or just plain nasty.  A folding campfire grate with its own supports, or a portable or disposable grate are excellent equipment additions for these instances.


No matter what manner of open flame you employ, we recommend dedicated skillets and pans if cooking with open flame.  They will get beat up, and their bottoms will get blackened.  Other non skillet and non direct flame options for open flame include tin foil, pie irons, and sticks (hotdogs and marshmallows always rule in camp!).

A word of caution on the use of open flame.  Some areas can and often do ban the use open flame at certain times of the year.  During wildfire season, for instance, open flame may be banned but propane is permissible.  Know before you go in case you are planning to utilize open flame cooking on your camping trip.

© 2019 Grey Otter Outventures, Inc.
© 2019 Grey Otter Outventures, Inc.
Camp Cooking

SAFETY DISCLAIMER:  The activities discussed in this website are outdoor activities and, as such, have inherent risks to which participants are exposed.  It is not the intent of this website, nor is it possible due to the variability of weather, terrain, equipment, and experience, to detail all of those risks.  The information contained in this site is informational, but not instructive nor exhaustive.  It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure he/she is in good health, fully prepared, and fully informed as to dangers before undertaking any of the activities discussed in this website and the user does so at his/her own risk.  The user understands that by using this website he/she acknowledges and accepts all risks associated with use of information from this website and participation in any particular activity addressed herein.  Please see “Terms of Use” for additional information.

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