Campfire Cooking Tips for Two

February 1, 2024

When you go camping, it’s not just about chilling with Mother Nature; it’s also about making your taste buds happy. Cooking with your camping buddy by the fire is so much fun. Imagine being in the mountains with your S.O. and cooking a meal together. It can’t get more romantic than that, right?

This article covers everything from dinner to lunch recipes, as well as the tools and precautions you need to take. Let’s dig in.

Is Campfire Cooking Different from Traditional Cooking?

Cooking over a campfire is like having a wild adventure that is totally different from cooking on a stovetop. It’s not just about roasting marshmallows – the regular campfire can be a super handy tool for making delicious meals that can be just as good as what you make in a kitchen.

The fun part about cooking over an open flame is that it gives a special flavor to your food, making the whole cooking experience really enjoyable. The sound of the fire crackling, the smell of the wood smoke, and you hanging out with your other half around the campfire all make it feel like a cozy outdoor cooking party.

The trick to making the perfect campfire meal is to crack the code on how to control the heat and use simple tools like skewers or Dutch ovens to get things right. Getting these steps down makes you feel more connected to the food in a hands-on, primal way. In this kind of simple setup, you’ve got limited stuff to work with, which makes you get creative and adds even more fun to your cooking adventure around the campfire.

A couple enjoys their KOA Tent Site with coffee.

Preparing Camping Meals for Two People

When you’re cooking for two while camping, it’s not just about filling up your belly. It’s about creating memories. Change up your recipes to make each bite extra nice and cozy, giving a romantic feel to your outdoor cooking.

Here are two easy tips for you:

1. Make Cooking Together Fun

Instead of assigning jobs, cook together! Pick recipes where both of you can help out. For example, if you’re making pasta, one can handle the pasta, and your significant other can work on the sauce.

This shared cooking time not only makes the work easier but also brings you closer. It’s a chance to talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company while whipping up something tasty.

2. Create a Beautiful Outdoor Eating Space

Make your outdoor meal special by setting it up nicely.

Find a pretty spot with a view – maybe by a lake, on a mountain, or in a quiet forest. This is the perfect time to digress from your normal routine and get to know each other further.

Bring a small tablecloth and some candles or fairy lights that run on batteries to add a bit of romance to your outdoor eating area. Arrange your camping chairs to face the nice view and have your meal together.

With yummy food and a beautiful backdrop, a simple outdoor meal can become a romantic memory that sticks with you long after your camping trip is over.

Frying egg while camping

What are Some Essential Camp Cooking Equipment and Tools You Need?

Here’s a list of essential camping equipment and tools you must pack to create amazing campfire meals:

1. Fire Pit, a.k.a. The Cooking Spot

To get the most out of your campfire cooking, it’s key to set up a good fire pit. It’s like the heart of all your cooking fun.

Choosing a safe spot for cooking does a lot of good things. It keeps you, as well as the woods around you, safe, makes sure the fire behaves and gives you a tidy area for everyone to cook together.

2. Cooking Grate or Three-Leg Stand

To make your camping cooking awesome, you need a strong cooking grate or a three-leg stand.

These tools are like solid tables for your pots and pans. They let you cook in all sorts of ways, from grilling to simmering. Not only are they stable, but they also add a bunch of cooking options to your outdoor fun, making your camping experience even better.

3. Iron Skillet and Pots

Using cast iron for your campfire cooking is a smart move, as this kitchenware is super versatile. You can cook everything from a hearty breakfast to a tasty dinner or sweet desserts.

These tough cookware pieces can handle the heat of an open flame. Plus, they spread the heat evenly, giving your campfire meals a rustic touch and a unique, flavorful twist.

4. Portable Utensils and Cutlery

Having the right tools for outdoor cooking is a game-changer. Even when you’re camping, you can’t skip on good, lightweight knives, spatulas, and tongs designed for the outdoors. You want ones that can handle the rough and tumble of campfire cooking.

With a solid set of utensils, you can prep, flip, and serve your meals with ease. It’s like bringing your kitchen to the wild, thus making your cooking adventure even more enjoyable.

Pro Tip Camp Cooking Tip

Become a pro at smart packing by investing in collapsible kitchenware and stackable cooking gear to make sure you’ve got all your stuff without worrying about taking up extra space.

Additionally, keep small, sealable containers with you to put your leftovers in to avoid littering and also to enjoy more of your delicious meal later! This not only makes it simpler to carry things when packing up, but also keeps things tidy at the campsite.

Camping Menu Selection for Two

These are our top picks for campfire-friendly recipes that you can easily make when you’re out there camping.


If you two start your day with a cooking activity that brings you together, you continue the streak throughout the day. How romantic is it?

Picture this – you wake up early in the morning, ready for an adventurous day outdoors. But first, you need a breakfast that will give you the energy to conquer the day.

How about a superfood egg sandwich? It’s got everything you need to start your day off right: protein-packed eggs, nutrient-rich chia seeds, creamy avocado, vibrant spinach, and velvety Greek yogurt.

You can also give campfire omelets a shot. They’re a breakfast you can make just the way you like. Beat some eggs at home, pack them up, and bring along different things like cheese, veggies, or precooked meats to add in.

And if you’re in the mood for something new, try skillet pancakes. They’re a tasty spin on the standard breakfast. Mix up the batter ahead of time, then cook up some fluffy pancakes on a hot cast iron skillet. Easy and delicious!

Craving some Mexican food in the morning? Don’t worry – you can roll out some delicious breakfast burritos at your campsite. Scramble up eggs with your choice of cooked sausage or bacon, and throw in some shredded cheese and diced bell peppers and onions. Spoon that delicious mix into tortillas, wrap ’em up in foil, and let them sizzle on the campfire grate.

To satisfy your sweet tooth – campfire french toast is a winner. Dip bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, cinnamon, and sugar, then cook on a griddle over the flames. Viola, the perfect breakfast for two is ready!

Couple taking a snack break during a hiking trip.


How about taking your romantic but adventurous midday meal up a notch with a healthier version of your all-time favorite dishes? Turn a pasta dish into an on-the-go version with a bit of a twist with the help of a pita pocket!

This pocket opens up doors for you to customize some of your favorite pasta dish flavors without the mess (and the dishes). You can add things like meatballs, tomato sauce, cheese, pesto, chicken, veggies – really anything your heart desires to make your own version of a lip-smacking pasta masterpiece.

Whether you’re craving something cheesy, tangy, or just plain delicious, this dish has got you covered.

Out of pita bread? Try your hand at making grilled sandwiches for a yummy lunch! Just use a pan or a grill over the fire to make them crispy on the outside.

But wait – there’s more!

When you’re out in the great outdoors, the last thing you want to deal with is a mountain of dishes. That’s where one-pot camping recipes swoop in as lifesavers. They’re easy to make, require minimal prep, and the cleanup is a breeze.

One of our favorite finger-licking and effortless camping meals is campfire chili mac. Put brown ground beef in a pot over the campfire, then add macaroni, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Season with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until macaroni is tender. Top with shredded cheese and green onions, and enjoy the deliciousness in every bite.

Stylish man with a beard and black glasses cuts fresh vegetables peppers and tomatoes to prepare a salad at a KOA campground.


As the day goes on and comes to a wrap, it is time to take your culinary skills up a notch by creating a tasty buffalo chicken wrap. The great thing about this dish is that you can make it in different ways – you can cook it on the grill or just have it cold on those nights when you’re exhausted and can’t bring yourself to light up the fire.

The top ingredient in this wrap is the tangy buffalo sauce, giving the dish a spicy kick that goes great with creamy ranch dressing and yummy cheese. It makes for a dinner that’ll be a highlight of your outdoor adventure.

You can also try your hand at making foil-packet meals as an easy way to cook different dinners over the campfire. Just wrap up your favorite meats and veggies, add some seasoning, and let the fire do the cooking.

Or, opt for a new way of eating with kebabs on skewers – a tasty and simple way to enjoy some great meats and veggies. Marinate your skewer meats and such ahead of time for a fast and yummy meal.

If you want to make a quick and tasty camping dinner, try campfire quesadillas. Heat a cast-iron skillet over the flames. Place tortillas on the hot surface, and layer with pre-cooked chicken, black beans, corn, and shredded cheese. Add another tortilla on top, press gently, and let it cook until the cheese melts and the tortillas crisp up. Flip once for an even finish, and serve with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream if you’ve got it.

It’s a simple, satisfying meal that’s ready in no time.

A woman eats a roasted marshmallow off a stick while her boyfriend looks on.


End your last meal of the day by indulging in some yummy campfire cones. This dessert is easy to make and will end your perfect camping day on a high note.

You can make delicious campfire cones for a sweet camping treat by filling ice cream cones with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, banana slices, or any other favorite toppings. Just wrap each cone tightly in aluminum foil and place them on hot coals or a grill grate for about 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally. Once the marshmallows and chocolate are melted, carefully unwrap the cones and indulge in a gooey, delightful dessert under the stars.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy these delicious flavors with the blend of nature. The warmth of the campfire will make this sweet dish even better, giving a satisfying end to your outdoor food adventure.

If you want a more simple dessert without any fuss, just toast some marshmallows and make classic S’mores.

Grab marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers. Roast the marshmallows over the campfire until golden and gooey. Place a piece of chocolate on a graham cracker and sandwich the toasted marshmallow between two pieces. Press gently, allowing the heat to melt the chocolate.

Enjoy the gooey goodness of the warm marshmallow and melted chocolate!

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for camping meals, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to check out our database of KOA Camping Recipes that has everything you could ever imagine. From a pineapple upside-down cake to stews, there are endless opportunities to make new and exciting dishes with that special someone.

Woman putting prepared meal in the refrigerator.

Meal Prepping at Home for Camp Cooking

If you get these basics covered, you’re setting yourself up for an awesome outdoor adventure with your partner that won’t have you spending tons of time cooking.

These are the things to do at home before your trip to make everything a breeze once you’re there.

Marinating Proteins

Want to impress your partner with a mouthwatering BBQ? It’s easy! Just add a bunch of tasty spices, herbs, and marinades to your meat, and voila! Every bite will be a flavor explosion.

Plus, cleanup is a breeze if you use sealed bags to lock in all the goodness. So, why not step up your outdoor cooking game and create your own flavor party right at home?

Pre-cutting Vegetables

Cut your veggies before you go camping to make cooking a lot easier. It’s easier with all your knives and tools at home, and you won’t have to waste your time chopping vegetables when you’re out in the wild having a blast.

Packaging Ingredients for Convenience

If you want to make your camp kitchen super easy, pack up your ingredients ahead of time.

You can use Ziploc bags or containers to keep everything fresh and organized. This way, you’ll be able to prepare your camping meals quickly without any hassle. All you have to do is take out the bag and cook or assemble. Easy enough!

This gives you more time to enjoy your partner and the great outdoors.

Young man and woman with cups of hot beverage relaxing near the campfire.

Tips on Campsite Selection

Picking the right spot for your campsite is super important to have a good time cooking in the great outdoors. Whether you’re a pro at camping or trying it out for the first time, here are some easy tips to help you find the perfect spot for your outdoor cooking adventure.

Follow Wind Management Tips

When finding your spot, watch out for the wind. Choose a place that blocks the breeze, like behind trees or rocks. This makes cooking smoother and lowers the chance of sparks causing problems.

Also, you want to try and set up your cooking equipment so the wind doesn’t blow smoke at you, making your camping time more enjoyable.

Pick a Spot Close to Water

Being close to water makes cooking and cleanup easier. Pick a spot near water for quick access when you need it for cooking, washing dishes, or putting out the fire.

Just remember to stay about 200 feet away from lakes and streams to keep things clean.

Know the Rules

Before you go, learn the local camping rules. Different places have different rules about fires and camping spots. Make sure your campsite follows these rules to avoid any problems. Keep up with permits and restrictions by talking to local authorities or park rangers.

Follow Leave No Trace Policies

Always follow Leave No Trace rules for responsible camping. Take all your waste, including food scraps, and be careful not to damage plants.

If you can, choose established campsites designed to leave the environment undisturbed while providing what you need.

Consider the Terrain and Stay Safe

Picking a flat cooking area is important for safety and to avoid spills. Also, for your safety, choose a campsite where you’re less likely to run into wildlife. Store food properly and cook away from where you sleep to prevent conflicts with animals, making your camping experience safer.

Close up of male hands making a fire with flint and steel in the wild.

How Do You Make a Fire for Campfire Cooking?

Now that you’ve got all these great ideas for meals in your head, it’s time to make sure that you can build and maintain the fire that will allow you to enjoy them!

When you’re getting a fire ready for cooking, grab some small twigs, thicker branches, and logs. Mix them up and arrange them so the air can flow through the fire. This will keep the fire burning nice and strong.

Cooking on a campfire is like being a chef in the wild. To do it right, you need to control the heat. Move your pots and pans around on the fire and change the size of the flame. It’s all about making sure things cook just the way you want them.

Camp Cooking Times and Temperature Control

Knowing how long to cook your food is super important. You don’t want it too raw or too crispy. Keep an eye on the time and follow the recipe, or just trust your gut feeling.

Just like in your kitchen at home, you want to control the heat when cooking outdoors. Get yourself a portable cooking thermometer – it’s magic for campfire chefs. Stick it in your meat to check the temperature, as it tells you exactly when your food is perfectly cooked.

Safe Handling of Hot Cookware and Utensils

Safety first! When you’re dealing with hot stuff like heavy skillets, put on some heat-resistant gloves. This way, you won’t accidentally burn your hands.

Keep things organized by having a special spot for all your hot cookware and utensils. This way, they’re away from where you’re cooking, and you won’t accidentally touch something that could burn you.

Add a Romantic Touch to Campfire Cooking

When you’re camping with your special someone, why not make it more than just an adventure?

Turn it into a super romantic experience, especially when it comes to cooking over the campfire.

Imagine this: a crackling fire, a sky full of stars, and the delicious smell of food in the air. It’s the perfect recipe for a camping date night with your other half.

So, here’s an easy guide to help you make your campfire cooking a romantic dinner.

Find a Good Spot

Pick a nice, quiet place for your campsite where you can see the stars and safely make a campfire. Follow the camping rules and clean up after yourself.

Pack Smart

Plan a menu with your significant other’s favorite foods. Pack your ingredients neatly and do some prep work at home to save time at the campsite. Don’t forget essential tools like a sturdy pan, grilling stuff, and fire-resistant gloves.

Create a Cozy Setting

Make the area around the campfire comfy with blankets and chairs. Add some string lights for a cozy vibe. Put a small tablecloth on the camping table to make it look nice. Use battery-operated candles or lanterns for soft lighting.

Make a Lovey-Dovey Playlist

Put together a playlist of your favorite love songs. Let the music mix with the sounds of the fire for a romantic atmosphere. Choose songs that mean something special to both of you.

Start with Yummy Snacks

Begin your romantic campfire dinner with simple and tasty snacks. Try things like skewers with tomatoes and cheese, a cheese and meat platter, or grilled bread with toppings. These are easy to make and leave more time for you two.

Cook Together

Make cooking a fun activity for both of you. Choose dishes that involve grilling or cooking over the fire, like skewers, foil packet meals, or grilled veggies. Doing it together adds a playful and romantic touch.

Bring a Special Drink

Bring a bottle of your favorite wine or a fizzy non-alcoholic drink to celebrate your camping date night. Use lightweight and unbreakable glasses to enjoy your drink under the stars.

End with Something Sweet

Finish your campfire dinner with a sweet treat. Roast marshmallows for s’mores, make a simple campfire banana dessert, or enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries. These desserts taste great and make the night even sweeter.

Gaze at the Stars Together

After your delicious meal, relax and stargaze. If you have a telescope, bring it along, or just enjoy the natural beauty above. Share stories, talk about your good memories, and enjoy the peacefulness of the night.

Dealing with Unexpected Weather Conditions When Camping

Cooking over a campfire can be fun, but it’s important to be ready for tricky weather so you can stay safe and have a good time.

Here are five easy tips to help you out when you’re cooking on a campfire with your partner:

1. Stay on Top of the Weather

Keep an eye on the weather forecast for your camping spot. Check if rain or heavy winds are in the cards so you can be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

2. Gear Up with Solid Cooking Equipment

Grab some rugged cooking gear that can handle the elements. A tough portable grill or a versatile camping stove can be a better bet than relying solely on an open fire. Toss in a windscreen to shield your flame from pesky gusts and keep your cooking game strong.

3. Bring Rain-Ready Gear

Since the weather likes to do its own thing, make sure you’re prepared for rain. Pack waterproof jackets, ponchos, and tarps to keep you and your cooking area dry in case the skies decide to open up. An extra tarp can also come in handy for creating a makeshift shelter.

4. Be Smart with Cooking Ingredients

Go for ingredients that play nice in tricky weather. Pre-cut veggies, marinated meats, and other prepped items can cut down on time spent marinating the food in the great outdoors. Keep everything dry by stashing ingredients in waterproof containers or sealed bags.

5. Keep It Simple with Quick Meals

When the weather’s acting up, keep your recipes on the easy side. Pick quick-cooking meals that don’t demand too much attention. One-pot wonders or foil packet delights are solid choices—they minimize the number of dishes and make it simpler to whip up grub when things aren’t exactly picnic weather.

Leslie K Hughes

Leslie is a travel writer, copywriter, and web designer who gets butterflies from telling stories through words and visuals.

Her voice comes from a place filled with passion, dreams, and lots of sugar. “Cake over steak” is her go-to motto.

With over 10 years of experience in crafting words, and years of embarking on travels that have taken this Montana girl to some incredible places, Leslie loves the adventures of both body and mind her writing takes her on.

To see what Leslie’s up to in the writing and design world, visit her website here.



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