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Campfire Tripod Cooking – The Best Three-Legged Cook Guide (3 Legs)

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.

Bon-Fire campfire cookingLast update: October 2020

Campfire tripod cooking setsBon-Fire campfire cooking

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.

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.

The simple Taotao tripod set costs around £60.

 

A lovely hand-forged, British-made iron campfire tripod from Arrowsmith Forge.  Under £30.

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Third option is a great value one from BBQ-Toro, with all the accessories you need, including a big pot. Around £100. Delivery is expensive, but still a good price overall.

Kotlich or goulash pots

Hanging pots with enamelled interiors. lovely to look at and fantastic for traditional stews and paprikash. From around £25.

Dutch ovens

These substantial pots are usually made of cast iron and have a handle to suspend them from the tripod.

The lid can often be used as a frying pan or pot too.

Lots of sizes to choose from. Around £50 for a family-sized pot that’ll last you a lifetime.

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
  1. Blend the basil, the pine nuts, the garlic, the parmesan cheese and the olive oil. Use a mortar and pestle or a small blender.
  2. 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.

Ratatouille

  • 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
  • Salt
  1. Put the kotlich pot over the fire, hanging on the tripod. Fry the onions lightly in the oil and add the other vegetables. 
  2. Simmer with the lid on until tender. Add the herbs and season to taste.
  3. Hang the pot up high to keep the ratatouille warm.

How to cook in a kotlich

kotlich cooking on the river side

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.

kotlich cooking

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.

 

kotlich campfire cooking

  • 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.

Off-ground campfires

Here’s an idea for avoiding ground scorch under your campfire. This portable mesh campfire keeps the burning logs off the floor and makes it easier to clear up the ash afterwards.

Folds to next-to-nothing and stores away in a neat bag. Around £20. Lots of brands make the same thing, by the way. We chose the cheapest and fastest delivery option (at the time of writing!)

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