The 10 Best Cooking Tripods
Why Tripods Are The Best Way To Cook While Camping
A cooking tripod is compact and lightweight, so it won't weigh down your already over-stuffed pack.
Every avid camper knows about this painful irony: you're never as hungry as you are after a long day of hiking to the spot where you'll set up tents, and yet, that location is incredibly difficult to cook in. When you want a genuine, off the grid experience — perhaps because you've heard that leaving an urban environment for a green one is good for mental health — you'll quickly realize that means you're away from electricity, ovens, and the other modern luxuries that usually make it rather simple to whip up a meal. But that shouldn't turn you against camping altogether. A cooking tripod can solve the issue.
If you're thinking you can get around using a tripod by simply holding skewers over an open fire, you may be mistaken. For starters, holding a skewer for the duration of the time it takes to bring chicken kabobs from raw to cooked is exhausting on your arms. And when your arms become tired, you may start to let them drop just a little, and put yourself at risk of a burn. Manually keeping your food over the fire also takes you away from the more enjoyable parts of camping, like relaxing in a chair listening to nature sounds or sharing stories with friends. A cooking tripod positions your food safely over the flame, and it can hold more items than your two hands can, moving the meal along quicker.
Some may think that if they're going to use a tripod, they may as well just lug their grill out to the woods. But this is easier said than done. Even the most compact grills are no fun to carry in a hiking backpack. And don't forget that they can require add-on items like propane or charcoal. Bringing a grill along may be okay for RV camping, but when your intention is to trek deep out into the wilderness without the comfort of a vehicle, bringing along a grill just isn't practical. A cooking tripod is compact and lightweight, so it won't weigh down your already over-stuffed pack.
The Top Foods To Make On Each Style Of Tripod
Whether you're far away from home, making a meal on a mountaintop, or you're just consuming more of your food outdoors because you've learned to do so can enhance healthy mindful eating, there are some recipes that just lend themselves best to a cooking tripod. If you have the type that can support a grill pan, try making hangar steaks and flatbreads. These are also ideal for making grilled zucchini, eggplant, and other vegetables that taste good a little charred. And, of course, there's nothing like waking up to yummy eggs after a night of camping. If you don't have the means to bring the fresh stuff, try powdered eggs. Both varieties are great on a grill pan over an open flame.
Cooking on a tripod doesn't have to limit the types of recipes you can make, so you can enjoy all of your favorites in the great outdoors.
If your tripod is designed to hold a giant stew pot, then you can make some truly hearty meals. Jambalaya is the perfect slow-cooking recipe to make in one of these. If you are camping, just make the rice at home before your trip, and add in the other ingredients at the site. This way you don't need to lug along extra water. Naturally, this style is also ideal to make your favorite chili recipe. Another popular kind of tripod holds a hanging dutch oven, and if that's your style, there are some great things you can make in that, as well. These are perfect for the protein and fiber-heavy baked beans that can get you through a big hike, and they can even turn a mound of dough into a loaf of bread to dip in your chili.
Some tripods hold large cast iron griddles. These are obviously ideal for stacks of pancakes and strips of bacon, the smell of which will draw everyone out of their tents. You can also toss burgers or chicken breast on them for dinner. When you're in need of comfort food, these make a flawless grilled cheese sandwich. Cooking on a tripod doesn't have to limit the types of recipes you can make, so you can enjoy all of your favorites in the great outdoors.
Important Rules For Cooking Over An Open Fire
Considering that humans are to blame for 84 percent of wildfires, anyone who cooks outdoors has a responsibility to educate themselves on making food over open flames. The novice nature chef should use coals rather than wood. It's too easy to become frustrated with wood fires, and in your impatience, use the wrong amount of wood or a dangerous amount of lighter fluid.
Make sure you have all the tools and ingredients you'll need by the fire before you begin cooking.
If you know you're a pro at building wood fires, it's always good to refresh yourself on some rules. Add wood slowly. It's always easy to pile more on, but it's nearly impossible to take some off once a flame has sparked. And lighting too much wood at once can leave you with a flame larger than you anticipated — one that can rapidly reach the tree branches above it and start a fire. Whether you go with coals or wood, don't wait to start your fire until the moment you're hungry. That will probably drive you to make other risky maneuvers. To be safe, and give yourself the time to work in a conscious manner, start your fire at least 15 minutes before you'd like to begin cooking, if not longer.
Make sure you have all the tools and ingredients you'll need by the fire before you begin cooking. If you have to go back and forth between the flame and a cooler or prep area, you won't do as thorough a job of monitoring the food and preventing accidents. And on the topic of focusing on the food, it's best to ask your dining mates to steer clear of you while you're cooking, so you can pay attention to what you are doing. Unless of course, they want to help. In which case, let them chat away as they do.