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Gear Reviews

Campfire Cooking Gadgets

Amp up your frontcountry campground cooking with these five items.

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Car camping opens up culinary opportunities backpackers can only dream of. My family and I savored every morsel and minute preparing food over an open fire using a collection of cookware built pioneer tough.

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We baked homemade pizza in 30 minutes in an oiled, cast iron 6-quart Lodge Camp Dutch Oven. As we learned, it cooks best with hot coals (wood or charcoal) underneath and on the lid. Hint: read instructions.

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We also made “monkey bread” in foil with biscuits, sugar, butter and cinnamon. The oven is also good for stews, chili, barbecued chicken, omelets, veggies, potatoes, and even pineapple upside down cake.

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While waiting for pizza, we made an easy appetizer in five minutes shaking kernels and oil in the seasoned steel Camp Chef Popcorn Popper. Keep shaking it in direct heat, so no kernels burn. Forget Jiffy Pop!

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With the Rome S’more Maker, we stacked s’mores and snapped them into the chrome-plated steel cage. The result: three tasty s’mores at a time, no casualties.

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Who says marshmallows don’t grow on trees? The solid steel Rome Marshmallow Tree is curved like a branch with twigs for 10 marshmallows at once. It’s also 40 inches long to keep a safe distance from fire.

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The Single Square Cooking Iron from Camp Chef is great for grilled sandwiches or pies. We used store-bought crust and apple filling to make a perfect breakfast pie in 20 minutes.

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Bottom line: All the seasoned steel and cast iron products require proper cleaning and oiling before storage, but with proper care, I’d expect a lifetime of delicious meals from this cookware.

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Lodge Camp Dutch Oven: $90; 18 lbs.; lodgemfg.com
Camp Chef Popcorn Popper: $29; 2 lbs., 14 oz.; CC Single Square Cooking Iron: $20; 3 lbs.; campchef.com
Rome S’more Maker: $10; 13 oz.; Rome Marshmallow Tree; $10; 14 oz.; campmor.com

Photos and text by Dan Larson