How To Reheat Food While Camping (12 Quick And Easy Ideas)

Cooking is one of the most fun things to do when you are camping. Sometimes you make so much food that you cannot eat it all at once and must save some for later. Other times you prepare food ahead of time and need to reheat it once you arrive at your campsite.

Here are 12 quick and easy ideas for reheating food while camping:

  1. Spit Roast
  2. Flameless Ration Heater
  3. Aluminum Foil
  4. Pothook
  5. Fire Grate
  6. Pack Grill
  7. Camping Grill
  8. Charcoal Grill
  9. Camping Stove
  10. On A Stick
  11. Grilling Basket
  12. Camping Griddle

Different foods are better suited to be warmed up using different methods. There are more ways to reheat food while camping than you might originally think. Keep reading for more detailed information on each method.

By the way, If you are in the market for a new camping stove, then you should click here to see the one I recommend on Amazon.

Spit Roast

A spit roast is where you drape food (usually meat) over the fire with a stick that you rotate occasionally. This form of cooking is also known as the rotisserie style. You can also use this method to reheat items that you already have cooked. It works very well for reheating pre-cooked meats and shish kebabs. Of course, you will need a campfire going and something built around it to act as the spit roast stands. This can also be made on a smaller scale for the kebabs and such.

Flameless Ration Heater

Flameless Ration Heaters are unknown to many people outside of the military. They are bags designed to induce a chemical reaction that heats up when water is added. They were designed for the military in order to heat up bagged food in the field. They are also available today for recreational purposes and can be used by campers to reheat sealed food items. They are popular with backpackers since they are so lightweight and only require water to heat up.

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is one of the most versatile cooking items for campers. Aluminum foil is great for reheating or even cooking food because it can sit directly in the campfire or on top of the grill. Wrapping food in aluminum foil and tossing it into the fire is really easy and you can warm up food really quickly without burning it because you can get the food so close to the flame. I love using aluminum foil to reheat or cook beef, pork, chicken, potatoes, corn, peppers, and other vegetables/meats.


Using a pothook is a classic camping cooking/reheating style. The concept is really simple, all you do is build a structure around your campfire made of strong sticks and then use a pothook to hang a pot over your fire. The closer the pot hangs down to the fire, the faster it can reheat food and the higher it hangs away from the fire, the slower it reheats food.

Building a good pothook setup can be really tricky because it needs to be strong enough to support your pot full of food without tipping over. Do tread carefully if you are going to build your own pothook setup. Pothooks are a great method for boiling water while camping. Click here to learn about 13 other unique ways to boil water when you go camping!

Fire Grate

If you are lucky enough to get a campsite with a fire grate then you can easily use it to reheat your food when you are camping. You can simply put a pot or pan on top of the grate while you have a campfire going underneath. You could have your campfire with firewood and/or fire logs. Click here to read another article that I wrote discussing the pros and cons of having a campfire with firewood vs fire logs.

These are best used with cast iron cooking equipment because the fire grate could leave marks and essentially ruin normal kitchenware. It works best if you can start a fire first with the fire grate grill hanging over it so that the heated grill can be cleaned off with a grill brush.

Portable Grill

A portable grill is simply a portable collapsible steel grill that you can set up over your campfire. Very useful for when your campfire doesn’t have a grill plate of its own. Also, much cleaner since you are the only one using it. You can reheat your food in all sorts of ways using your own portable grill. You can place pots, pans, kettles, or food directly on the grill to reheat.

Camping Grill

Here when I say camping grill I am not referring to the grill that comes on a campfire ring or a portable steel grill that you place over a campfire. I am referring to a portable gas grill that you can easily take camping with you and use fuel such as propane. A good portable camping grill also needs to be able to secure tightly and it needs to be tough. These portable grills can reheat food very quickly since you can close the lids.

Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills can be used to reheat food fast. You can sometimes find individual charcoal grills at campgrounds or at day-use picnic areas on National Forests and National Parks. Of course, you could also bring your own charcoal grill from home to use. Charcoal introduces a unique flavor to food when you are cooking it because of the smoke it produces. However, just reheating food with charcoal might not have the same effect since the smoke is not in contact with the food long enough.

Camping Stove

A camping stove is a camping essential because you might not always have access to a campfire. You can easily reheat food using a camping stove because it is not much different from a gas stove you would find at home. You can use pots, pans, and kettles to reheat pretty much any foods you need to. If you are curious to see what kind of camping stove that I personally use then click here to check it out.

On A Stick

Lots of food can be cooked or heated up on a stick. The very first thing that comes to mind is hot dogs and marshmallows but I’m just a simple man. You can reheat all kinds of cooked food on a stick such as corn-on-the-cob, shish kabobs, fried potatoes, biscuits, and much more. 

Pretty much anything that you won’t fall apart when cooking can be reheated on a stick if that is all you have. I wouldn’t recommend using an actual stick, but instead using steel camping sticks. If you want to go old school then unbend a metal coat hanger instead.

Grilling Basket

Grilling baskets are one of the greatest cooking inventions for camping. They take the struggle out of using a grill while still allowing you to use a grill. Instead of having to flip individual food items on the grill, you can just flip the grill itself.

These work especially well for meats like beef and bacon, but can also equally be used to grill large pieces of grilled vegetables. I like using them over the fire grates that are built onto campfire rings.

Camping Griddle

Did you know that griddles that run off of propane exist? Well, it’s true and they can be used to heat up or cook any food that you may want, griddle style. You can make the best pancakes while camping with one of these. They are a little more expensive than camping stoves, but if you really like the way a griddle cooks your food then you can enjoy that luxury while camping too.

While reheating your food is important, so is knowing how to properly store your food while camping. If you want to learn some cool camping food storage tips then click here to read my article on that.

Related Questions:

How do you heat up rice for camping?

You can heat up rice for camping using a cast-iron skillet or pan over a campfire or on a camping stove. Simply add the rice with a small amount of water, reheat on low heat, and stir occasionally to ensure even warmth.

how to cook while camping without a fire

The best way to cook while camping without a fire is to get a camping stove that runs off of a gas such as propane. This way you can cook whenever you need to even without a campfire. Sometimes you cannot have a campfire due to restrictions or weather so you should always have a backup plan for cooking your food.

My Favorite Camping Gear

  • Air Mattress: click hereOpens in a new tab. to check out my favorite on Amazon.
  • Tent: click here Opens in a new see my favorite tent available on Amazon.
  • Sleeping Pad: click hereOpens in a new tab. to check out the one I love on Amazon.
  • Sleeping Bag: click here Opens in a new see the one I recommend on Amazon.
  • Camping Stove: click hereOpens in a new tab. to see the best camping stove on Amazon.

Zachary Smith

Zach is an avid outdoorsman that loves going camping with his Prius every chance he gets. He also regularly enjoys hiking and fishing. When he's not outside you can probably find him writing about it on this website. See his full bio here

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