Best Campfire Cooking Kits For Serious Outdoor Chefs

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We all love a good hotdog, but why limit yourself to roasting weenies? The best campfire cooking kits deliver gourmet meals in the middle of nowhere.
Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Introduction
The Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro: Our top choice overall

This is The Wise Adventurer’s guide to the best campfire cooking kits on the market. A good cooking kit is an absolute game changer if you’re looking to get serious about your backcountry cuisine: With the right pots and pans (and a few good recipes), you can cook anything from pizza to pastries around the fire. 

After testing and analyzing dozens of cooking kits currently on the market, we found the Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro to be the best campfire cooking kit overall. The Even-Heat is made from durable stainless steel, is tough enough for use over direct flames, and comes with two pots and a pan, which is ideal for cooking larger and more complex meals. 

The Even-Heat won’t be everyone’s first choice though, and that’s to be expected. Some campers need larger cookware for larger groups, some want something a bit more budget-friendly, and some people simply refuse to cook on anything other than cast iron.

The good news is that we’ve included our top picks for all of the above in the list below, so there’s something to suit campfire cooks of every description. We’ve also included a handy buyer’s guide down at the bottom where we break down what makes a kit worth buying and how to choose the right one for your camp kitchen. 

Alright, let’s get cooking!

Cooking KitOverview
Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro: Best Campfire Cooking Kit OverallRugged three-piece stainless kit with extra accessories to boot. Triple-layer bottoms are extra tough and eliminate hotspots. See Review
Primus Stainless Steel Cookset: Best Overall QualityProfessional-quality cookware built for the outdoors. Three-liter pot includes a hanging handle for use over open fires. See Review
Stanley Adventure Base Camp: Best Cooking Kit On A BudgetAn all-in-one kit with high-quality stainless cookware. Budget-friendly and includes plates, bowls, and utensils. See Review
Lodge Cast Iron Cook-It-AllVersatile two-piece cast iron kit that’s perfect for campfire cooking. Five different configurations cook everything from steaks to pizza. See Review
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper CooksetThree-piece aluminum set with an insane amount of accessories. Color-coded plates, cups, and bowls for four people. See Review
GSI Outdoors Glacier CooksetAn extra large, extra tough three-piece kit for big groups. Plus-sized pots and pans will feed up to ten people. See Review

Best Campfire Cooking Kits

Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro Cookset: Best Campfire Cooking Kit Overall 

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro Cookset

Specs:
– Included in the kit: 1 Stock pot, 1 saucepan, 1 frying pan, utensils, cutting board
– Materials: Stainless steel
– Storage bag: No
– Price: $$$

The Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro checks all the most important boxes for a good campfire cooking kit: Everything feels high quality, the cookware is made from stainless steel, and the kit includes two pots and a pan, so it can handle more complicated meals with ease.

What really sets this kit apart for us is that although it’s made from stainless steel, it doesn’t have the usual downfalls of steel pots and pans. That’s because Stanley uses a triple layer of material on the bottom of the cookware, which evenly distributes heat to eliminate the “hot spots” stainless is known for. 

Stanley also gets high marks for their lids here: We love that the lids double as strainers, which is a nice touch, but by no means unique to the Even-Heat cooking kit. What sets this kit apart is that the lid for the large cookpot doubles as a lid for the frying pan. That may sound like a trivial detail, but it’s a detail most brands leave out, and one we greatly appreciate. 

Downsides here are minor, but the main one for us is price. There are definitely less expensive three-piece kits out there that will get the job done, and many of those kits also include extras like plates, cups, and cutlery. While we appreciate the folding cutting board and trivets, we’d love to see some stacking plates and/or bowls at this price. Ultimately, we feel that the outright quality of the pots, pans, and lids set this kit apart, and the fact that Stanley backs that quality with a lifetime warranty really seals the deal for us. 

Pros:Cons:
– 3 ply construction for even heating
– Lifetime warranty
– Expensive
– Plates/cutlery not included



Primus Stainless Steel Campfire Cookset: Best Overall Quality

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Primus Stainless Steel Campfire Cookset

Specs:
– Included in the kit: 1 stock pot, 1 cook pot, 1 frying pan
– Materials: Stainless Steel
– Storage bag: Yes
– Price: $$

Take one look at the Primus Stainless Steel Campfire Cookset and you’ll understand why this was an easy pick for highest overall quality. These pots and pans look (and feel) nicer than the cookware we keep in our kitchens at home. So nice, in fact, that it almost feels wrong to drag them into the outdoors… 

You’ll get over that feeling once you see how well they perform around camp though. Primus designed this kit specifically for use over a campfire, and even went so far as to include a dutch-oven style handle over the top of the larger cookpot, allowing it to be suspended over flames. 

Primus also gets the nod for finding their own way around the uneven heating issue we typically associate with stainless: Each pot and pan features a second layer of aluminum along the bottom to better distribute heat throughout. This approach also keeps the total weight of the Primus kit at just 3.6 pounds, making it the lightest cookset in our roundup.

Our main complaint with this kit is that (a) it isn’t cheap and (b) only includes pots and pans. No cups, no plates, no utensils, and definitely no color-coded bowls. There’s no doubt you’re buying quality cookware, and Primus even puts leather hangtags on every lid/handle to remind you of that fact, but you’re still on your own for utensils and accessories. 

Pros:Cons:
– Built to handle campfire cooking
– High quality materials throughout
– Compact nestling design
– Pots and pans only
– No lid for the frying pan



Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cookset: Best On A Budget

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cookset

Specs:
– Included in the kit: 1 Cook pot, 1 frying pan, 4 plates, 4 bowls, utensils, cutlery
– Materials: Stainless steel
– Storage bag: No
– Price: $

If you’re shopping for a cooking kit on a budget, the Stanley Adventure Base Camp is the one to beat. Pots and pans? Check. Cooking utensils? Check. Plates, bowls, and sporks to eat with? Check. This kit is beyond affordable, includes everything you need to cook for and feed four people, and even includes a drying rack and a cutting board to boot. 

Both the pot and pan are made from stainless steel, which makes this set particularly easy to live with. There’s no need to worry about scratching any non-stick coating, which means the entire set is safe to toss in the dishwasher when you get back home. We also love that the frying pan shares the same premium three-ply steel construction as the Stanley Even-Heat set above, so you don’t have to worry about hotspots when frying or searing. 

All things considered, this set is an incredible value. For under $100 you’re getting both a pot and a pan, cooking utensils, plates, bowls, and sporks for four people. With that being said, we have two main complaints with this cooking kit. First, this kit is one extra cookpot away from being the best deal on the market. Most folks can “make do” with a single pot and pan, but a second pot is always welcome. Second, while the eating utensils are a nice touch, they’re all sporks. Any backpacker can appreciate the versatility of a good spork, but if you’ve ever tried to eat pasta, steak, or soup with one, you know they have their limits. 

Pros:Cons:
– Incredible value for the money
– Cooking and eating utensils included
– Compact nestling design
– Would prefer a second pot
– Traditional cutlery would be better



Lodge Cast Iron Cook-It-All

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Lodge Cast Iron Cook-It-All

Specs:
– Included in the kit: 1 skillet, 1 lid/griddle combo, 2 carry handles
– Materials: Cast iron
– Storage bag: No
– Price: $$

There’s a reason cast iron pots and pans are king when it comes to cooking over a campfire: They’re virtually indestructible and they hold heat longer than anything else around camp. A large cast iron pan or dutch oven are common sights in the campground, but the Lodge Cast Iron Cook-It-All is the campfire cooking kit to beat. 

This versatile set is made up of just three pieces (a deep skillet, a flat lid, and a set of grab handles), yet functions as five different pieces of cookware. Obviously there’s the skillet part, but the skillet’s lid is also reversible, so it works as a standalone grill or griddle as well. 

When the two pieces are used together, you’ve got a nice big dutch oven, which you can also grill on top of if you’re into multitasking. Flip the whole assembly over and you’ve got a big iron oven that bakes anything from morning cinnamon rolls to late-night pizzas. 

The Cook-It-All is genius in its simplicity and is easily the most versatile cast-iron system we’ve seen. The main drawback here is the same as any cast-iron cookware, namely that it’s incredibly heavy at just shy of 30 pounds. We’ll also point out that even the most well-seasoned cast iron has a tendency to stick to certain foods, so cleaning can be a little more involved than your typical cookware. 

Pros:Cons:
– Excellent for cooking over wood fire
– Bulletproof cast iron construction
– Incredibly versatile for a two-piece kit
– Heavy
– Can be a pain to clean outdoors



GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset 

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset_

Specs:
– Included in the kit: 1 stock pot, 1 cook pot, 1 pan, 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 mugs
– Materials: Anodized aluminum
– Storage bag: Yes
– Price: $$$

Nestling cooksets are great. They save space, they’re easy to transport, and they help you keep track of all your camp kitchen goodies. We’ve seen our fair share of nestling pots and pans, but GSI Outdoor’s Pinnacle Cookset takes the cake when it comes to compactness. 

From the outside in, this kit looks like a three-liter cookpot and a lid. Open that lid, and inside you’ll find: Four plates, four bowls, four cups, a second two-liter pot, a frying pan, a pot grabber, and another lid with an integrated strainer. Oh, and that handy storage bag it’s all wrapped up in? That’s completely water-tight and doubles as a wash bin. 

Fitting all these goodies so neatly inside a pot is impressive, but the closer you look, the more impressive the whole kit becomes. For instance, every plate, cup, and bowl is uniquely color-coded so there’s no question about who’s using what. The cups even have insulated grips and sip-it lids, so they’re ideal for coffee, cocoa, or your other hot beverage of choice. 

The Pinnacle is an impressive kit, but it’s not without its flaws. The biggest drawback for us is that all three pieces of cookware are made from aluminum, which limits the set’s high-heat applications. It’s also kind of a bummer that there are no cooking or eating utensils included at this price, but all things considered it’s a fair tradeoff for a cooking kit with this many high-quality pieces. 

Pros:Cons:
– Includes two non-stick pots and a pan
– Plates, bowls, and mugs for 4 people
– Nestling design is impressively compact
– All aluminum = Limited high-heat application
– No cooking/eating utensils included



GSI Outdoors Glacier Cooking Set

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - GSI Outdoors Glacier Cooking Set

Specs:
– Included in the kit: 1 stock pot, 1 cook pot, 1 frying pan
– Materials: Stainless steel
– Storage bag: Yes
– Price: $$$

You might be surprised by how many people you can feed out of a three-liter pot, but if you run with a larger crowd, three liters just isn’t enough. That’s why we love the GSI Outdoors Glacier, which sports plus-sized dimensions for plus-sized groups and families. 

This kit includes a massive 8.5-liter cookpot, a secondary 5-liter pot, and a large 10-inch frying pan. For reference, GSI Outdoors claims this kit packs enough capacity to feed 8-10 people. If we’re being honest, we’re pretty sure you could feed 10 people out of the larger pot alone, but hey, more is always better when it comes to food. 

Extra size is nice, but we love that GSI went all in on quality as well. GSI says the Glacier series is the most rugged cookware they make, and designed both the pots and pan to be used directly over open campfires or on top of coals. They also include dutch oven-style hanging handles over both cookpots, which adds to the set’s versatility. 

Our main complaint here is that this set costs a decent chunk of change, although truth be told it’s only a few dollars more than smaller premium kits from brands like Primus. It’s also worth pointing out that the outright size of the pots will be overkill for your typical group of 4-6 people, but if you’ve got extra mouths to feed, the GSI Glacier is your ticket. 

Pros:Cons:
– Extra large pots and pans for big groups/families
– High-quality stainless construction
– Nesting design for portability
– Expensive
– Overkill for smaller groups



Buyer’s Guide To The Best Campfire Cooking Kits

A good campfire cooking kit is the kind of investment that should bring you years of enjoyment. Whether you’re considering one of the kits on the list above or have another model in mind that we left out, here are the factors we look for when evaluating any kit worth buying. 

Does It Have The Right Components?

Consider the types of meals you’d like to cook and what kinds of cookware you need to make it happen: Want to make a big pot of hearty stew? Chances are the only cookware you’ll need is a dutch oven. 

Now, let’s say you wanted to make spaghetti and meat sauce for four people instead: You’ll need a large pot for boiling your pasta and a large pan for simmering your sauce, but if you’re planning on adding any vegetables or sides, chances are a third piece is needed as well. 

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Primus Stainless Steel Cookset 1
The more complex your meals get, the more you’ll need multi-piece kits like the Primus Stainless seen here.

Some meals need a single pot, others need two or three different ones. For this reason, we prefer cooking kits with at least two pots and a pan, as these setups minimize the extra pieces you’ll need to add later to round out your kit.

We’ll also note that some campfire cooking kits include bonus components like cooking utensils, eating utensils, plates, bowls, cups, etc. This definitely isn’t a necessity, but for the money, having everything you need to cook and eat in one kit is definitely a value-added perk. 

Materials

The best campfire cooking kits are typically made from either anodized aluminum, cast iron, or stainless steel. Each material has its own pros and cons, so let’s take a moment to break down each. 

Anodized aluminum is arguably the most common material you’ll see, and it’s almost always treated with a non-stick coating like Teflon. Non-stick aluminum cookware has the benefit of being lightweight and extremely easy to live with, but it’s also the least durable option. Aluminum pans (and their thin coatings) don’t do well under high heat, so they’re not ideal for things like searing steaks over open flames. 

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Materials
Cast iron is the toughest material out there for campfire cooking, but it’s also the heaviest.

Cast iron, on the other hand, is the tried and true material for campfire cooking. Cast iron is virtually indestructible, handles (and holds) high heat with aplomb, and does everything well from slow-cooking soups to baking bread. Cast iron is heavy and can be tough to clean though, so one or two key pieces should be all you need for the perfect kit.

Finally we arrive at stainless steel, which we consider a smart compromise between the two materials above. Stainless is much tougher than aluminum and handles high heat better while also weighing a fraction of its cast iron counterparts. Your main issue with stainless cookware is that it’s a bit heavier than aluminum and transfers heat very quickly, so it’s prone to developing “hot spots” in the pan where the heat is the strongest. 

Ease Of Cleaning

As you might have guessed reading the section above, coated aluminum cookware is the king of easy cleaning. Teflon and other non-stick coatings require little to no oil to keep food from sticking, which makes aluminum pans easy to cook with and just as easy to clean. You’ll have to clean them all by hand though (dishwashers are hard on non-stick coatings), and make sure you only use soft scrubbers or sponges for the same reason. 

Well-seasoned cast iron cookware has a nearly non-stick surface, but it’ll never be quite as slick as coated aluminum. Cast iron is arguably the most “high maintenance” cookware for two reasons. First, you have to take care to keep cast iron pieces oiled/seasoned to prevent rust, which also means letting a cast iron pan “soak” is out of the question. It’s also recommended that you reheat cast iron after washing it (to ensure all the moisture is out of the pan), which adds an extra step to the cleaning process. 

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Ease of Cleaning
Stainless steel cookware is a smart compromise between durability and ease of cleaning.

Stainless steel splits the difference between the two, being easier to clean than cast iron but not quite as convenient as non-stick aluminum. While a healthy dose of cooking oil will help minimize any food sticking to stainless cookware, we find these pots and pans typically require a bit more scrubbing than their aluminum counterparts. Stainless cooking kits do have the advantage of being dishwasher-safe though, so you can always save the extra dirty ones for when you get back home. 

Durability

As we mentioned above, there’s really nothing quite like cast iron when it comes to durability. Cast iron is safe to use for high heat/open flames, is virtually impossible to crack or dent, and has been known to last for generations rather than years. Unfortunately, cast iron also weighs a ton, so we can’t recommend building your entire campfire cooking kit out of cast iron alone. 

Next in line durability-wise is stainless steel, which offers comparable toughness to cast iron at a fraction of the weight. Stainless can handle considerably higher heat than aluminum without being warped or damaged, but when it comes to cooking over open flames or grilling, iron still wins out by a healthy margin. 

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Durability
Cast iron is the undisputed king of durability, and holds up to a lifetime of abuse when properly maintained.

Aluminum is tough for its weight but isn’t intended for intense heat. For that reason, we don’t recommend using aluminum cookware directly over your campfire. Aluminum still gets the job done over a good pit of cooking coals or when kept at a distance from flames with a grill grate, but if you want to preserve its shape and non-stick properties, we recommend sticking with gas-powered burners for peace of mind. 

Conclusion

Best Campfire Cooking Kits - Conclusion
Stanley’s Even-Heat Pro takes the cake as our top choice overall.

For all the reasons listed above, we found the Stanley Even-Heat Pro to be the best campfire cooking kit overall. The Even-Heat’s tough stainless construction is built to last, and the clever three-layer steel bottoms ensure food cooks evenly and predictably. 

If outright quality is what you’re after, we can’t recommend the Primus Stainless Steel Cookset enthusiastically enough. Each of the three pieces looks and feels as premium as they come, and the aluminum bottoms of the pots and pans heat even more predictably than the Even-Heat pieces. 

Finally, if you’re just looking for a rock-solid kit on a rock-bottom budget, check out the Stanley Adventure Base Camp. The Base Camp includes everything you need to cook for and feed four people, and does it all for under $100. 

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