For those of you that enjoy camping like I do, one of the best things to do outdoor is cook. On just about every one of my experiences outdoors I use a cast iron griddle over a fire and the flavor is like nothing else. Maybe it’s the smoke from the wood that gets into the food, maybe it’s the peaceful atmosphere, but there’s definitely something I like about cooking on a griddle when I go camping.
Some of the questions I’ve received from friends and family is what type of griddle to bring on a camping trip? There are a few things you need to consider before taking a griddle with you camping. Such as how many people do you plan to cook for and how close you will be to your car. You don’t exactly want to lug around a 200 lb outdoor griddle and propane tank. That’s why we’ll be looking at portable griddles that you can probably fit into a hiking backpack and toss on the fire for your evening meal.
Here is the way I enjoy cooking with a griddle when I’m using an open fire. If you haven’t tried it yet then you’re missing out because the flavor that you get is like nothing else on earth. Simply take a larger cast iron or steel griddle and place it several inches about the fire. Then, I place a smaller griddle pan on the griddle and usually throw in my eggs and vegetables.
I like to switch between the stainless steel griddle and the cast iron depending on where I’m going. If you intend to do some hiking or take your cooking supplies with you on a trip, then you should know that cast iron can break pretty easily if you drop it. The stainless steel is nearly indestructible and you could throw it off of a cliff and still use it.
Let’s take a look at some portable griddles that make an ideal camping griddle.
#1 Lodge Cast Iron Reversible Griddle
Coming in at the top of the list is the reversible griddle by Lodge. I have been an enthusiast of Lodge for many years and this was my 3rd griddle by lodge. My list has grown quite a bit since I purchased this one several years back.
When I think of what a camp griddle should look like this is what I picture. It has a simple rectangular design and it’s one of the best cast iron griddles ever made for an open fire. This one performs just as well for me as most of the other expensive ones that I own and the cooking surface (16.75 inch x 9.5 inch) is large enough for a few people.
I have taken this one with me on a few trips and it fits in my hiking backpack. After getting tired of lugging around a BBQ set everywhere I decided to use griddles and I’ve never looked back.
One side is ridged and the other is flat. Personally, I use this one indoor a lot on the stove top and it’s amazing. Nothing sticks and the food is always ready in a few minutes.
In order to clean this one you need to know a couple of tricks. Get the water as hot as you can, possibly by boiling some in a griddle when you’re cooking (if your camping), then pour on the griddle and use a brush. This should kill just about all the bacteria and remove the oil from the griddle. After you’re done with that rub a little fresh oil on it and this will help is from rusting. The more times you do this, the better the food will taste.
#2 Chef King 7 Gauge Steel Griddle
This is a heavy-duty griddle and makes a perfect camp griddle! One of the best things about stainless steel is that it’s healthy to cook on and you don’t have to worry about it breaking. Chef King makes a wide variety of different size griddles and I own one of the smaller ones. People always ask me where I got this one because they have never seen anything like it before.
The Chef King give you more of the restaurant style flavor because it’s stainless steel. It’s perfect for throwing on a fire and gets very hot, very quickly. The handles on this one are nice and
The downside about this one is that it doesn’t have the ridges like the lodge griddle. Perfect for non meat eaters. To be honest I don’t really use the ridged side too often anyways.
Overall, if you’ve never cooked on an open fire with a large stainless steel griddle like that one, you need to do it. The food is seriously restaurant quality and the Chef King has a great appearance.
#3 Lodge Combo Cooker
If you want a pan set that will last for a 100 years then this is the one. Before I knew about cast iron I used to use the non stick teflon coated pans. After I found out how bad those are for my health I switched over the cast iron and never looked back.
Many people don’t know how unhealthy the nonstick coating is on pans. The chemicals get into your food and can lead to a ton of different ailments. If that’s not enough, the flavor of cooking on cast iron and stainless steel is just far superior.
The Lodge Combo Cooker was gifted to me quite a while ago and there’s nothing else really like it. The smaller pan fits on the larger one if your cooking a soup or steaming vegetables. Which is why I think this one makes a perfect camping griddle.
You can place this one on top of a flat top griddle on the fire, or just toss it on the fire and make a nice stew. You can also use the smaller pan to cook a couple of eggs. If you like making soups, then you definitely need to give this one a try.
#4 Lodge 6.5 inch Mini Griddle
For those of you who have to have an egg or two in the morning, this is the only way to go. The lodge mini griddle will get hot enough to cook in an egg in a matter of minutes. The flavor is amazing and the lid is a very nice touch. Most griddle pans don’t come with a lid, so this is a must have for me.
Why does this one make a good camping griddle you might be wondering? All you need to do is simply place this on your main flat top griddle and it will get hot in seconds. This one comes in a variety of different sizes but the mini griddle is all you really need.
After you’re done cooking a couple of eggs, if you have a few people, just add a few more. It takes about one minute if the lid is on, so you don’t really need a larger griddle.
If I were to go out in the wilderness with only two cooking supplies, it would be this one and the Lodge flat top griddle. You can do just about everything and it will be the best food you’ve ever had in your life!
Tips For Using Your Camping Griddle
If you plan on cooking on an open fire, you should make sure to build a small fire. Usually what I like to do is chop the wood into small pieces and when the fire get’s going, toss the griddle a few inches about the flame. Not too different from cooking on a range stove top.
Always keep a close eye on your food when you’re cooking over a fire that you made because it will always cook differently, since the heat is not the same as a stove top. Sometimes your food might be done in a few minutes and other times I’ve sat there for quite a while.
As I mentioned earlier, cleaning can be a bit tricky when you’re out in the wildness, especially if you’re using stainless steel. When I use cast Iron, often times I don’t ever clean when I’m finished. Simply use a paper towel or a rage to wipe off your griddle and your good to go. Maybe add a little bit of oil as well to help prevent rust.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun! Every time I go out camping with friends, family or by myself I love cooking. I stayed at a cabin one time for a couple of weeks that didn’t have electricity and I used my good old Lodge griddle pans and a fire pit to cook the food. That is honestly what I remember most about the trip because the food tasted sooooo good!