We love campfire cooking, but the kit you need isn’t always easy to transport to a campsite or the beach. It gets mucky, and then everything else gets mucky too!
So, we like the look of the collapsible tripod sets (also called kotlich) that give you versatile campfire cooking and packability.
At their basic, tripod campfire sets are three metal legs with chains, from which you hang a pan, a grill and so on over the flames.
Possibly the snazziest of these is the Bon-Fire, which claims to be a fully equipped mobile kitchen with pots, pans and grills for all sorts of outdoor cooking.
These tripod-style campfire cooking sets are designed for meals with friends and family. They’re an occasion! Potatoes or vegetables can cook in the pot over the flames to begin with. When the flames turn to live coal you can barbecue the meat or veggie alternatives on the big grill grid, putting bread on the outer sides of the grid.
With a pan you can cook paella, and you can use a stone or cast-iron plate for pizza or griddling meat. The Bon-Fire has some novel accessories too, including a popcorn net and pancake pan, and, of course, you could use these with any tripod stand.
For inspiration, here are two delicious-sounding campfire tripod recipes to try
Pesto marinated lamb fillet
- Enough lamb fillet for four
- 2 tbsps chopped basil
- 1 clove garlic
- 25g grated parmesan
- 10g pine nuts
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Blend the basil, the pine nuts, the garlic, the parmesan cheese and the olive oil. Use a mortar and pestle or a small blender.
- Set the grill grid on the tripod at a moderate heat. Fry the lamb fillets on the grid till almost cooked. Spread the pesto over the fillets and cook for a couple of minutes longer. Serve with the ratatouille and some good bread.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 125g chopped onion
- 200g red and green pepper in small pieces
- 250g aubergine in small pieces
- 250g sliced tomatoes
- 250g courgettes in small pieces
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp mix of chopped rosemary and thyme
- Put the Bon-Fire pot over the fire, hanging on the Bon-Fire tripod. Fry the onions lightly in the oil and add the other vegetables.
- Simmer with the lid on until tender. Add the herbs and season to taste.
- Hang the pot up high to keep the ratatouille warm.
How to cook in a kotlich
A typical stew (often a paprikash) is started off by frying onions, garlics and spices in hot oil.
The meat’s added and then the kotlich boils fast without a lid. The stew is cooked in much more liquid than we would normally use in a casserole.
This is cooking by reduction. After an hour and a half, the contents will have reduced by nearly a third, to a thick tasty gravy. The rolling boil, in lots of liquid, means that the meat is kept moving and doesn’t sit on the bottom and burn. Potatoes are often added during cooking and these contribute to the thickening process by releasing starch.
It can be simple too. Set up your fire on the beach, pour some tinned tomatoes, precooked chick peas and smoked sausage or chorizo into the pan and heat. In half an hour you’ll have a delicious stew. You just need to remember to maintain enough stock so the meat and vegetables are kept moving in the kotlich.
Why not have a go at Trish’s recipes for nettle soup and fish soup?
And here are more great kotlich campfire recipes sent in by Campfire Magazine readers.
Here’s an affordable kotlich tripod.
Have a look at our article on wood-burning camping stoves recommendations too.