Outdoor Cooking Tripod: Ultimate Selection Tips

Outdoor cooking goes beyond just changing the location of your kitchen, but is a unique way to engage with nature, it encourages us to slow down, savor the moment, and enjoy food. An outdoor cooking tripod is one of the tools we can use when cooking outside. It consists of three legs, often made of metal or wood, connected at the top and spread out to form a stable base. From this, you can hang pots, pans, or grills over a fire, adjusting the height as needed to control the heat. It’s a versatile, portable, and efficient way to cook anything from stews and soups to grilled meats and vegetables.

Why Use an Outdoor Cooking Tripod?

With a tripod, you’re not limited to one style of cooking. You can boil, fry, grill, or smoke your food, all with the same setup. Adjusting the height of the pot or pan over the flame gives you control over the temperature and allows you to cook a wide variety of dishes. 

Factors to Consider Before Buying

When picking a tripod, you should find one that caters to what you need and the demands of the great outdoors. Here’s what you should consider:

Durability and Material

The durability of your outdoor cooking tripod is very important. You want something that can withstand the heat of the fire, the weight of your cookware, and the elements of nature. Most tripods are made from materials like steel, aluminum, or cast iron.

Steel: Heavy-duty and ideal for holding larger, heavier pots. It’s incredibly durable but can be heavier to transport.

Aluminum: Lightweight and rust-resistant which is great for hiking and backpacking. However, it may not hold up as well under heavy use or with larger cookware.

Cast Iron: Extremely durable and retains heat well, but it’s also the heaviest option and can be cumbersome to carry.

Consider the type of cooking you’ll be doing and the conditions you’ll face. For rugged, long-term use, you might lean towards steel or cast iron. For lighter, more casual use, aluminum could be sufficient.

Portability and Setup

What sets outdoor cooking apart is its ability to let you enjoy a meal anywhere. Your tripod should complement this spirit of adventure, not hinder it. Look for tripods that are easy to carry and quick to set up.

Weight: Consider how far you’ll be carrying your tripod. Lighter tripods are available for backpackers, while heavier ones might be more suited for car camping.

Design: Some tripods fold or collapse, making them more compact for transport. Others might be a bit bulkier but offer more stability.

Ease of Setup: You don’t want to spend hours fiddling with parts. Look for a design that’s straightforward to assemble and disassemble.

Height and Stability

The height of your tripod and its stability are important factors for cooking convenience and safety.

Adjustable Height: Being able to adjust the height of your tripod gives you control over cooking temperature. Lower it for searing and grilling, raise it for slower cooking and smoking.

Stability: Your tripod should stand firm on various terrains. Check for models with adjustable or wide-spread legs that provide a stable base, even on uneven ground.

Recommended Outdoor Cooking Tripod on Amazon

Here are most reasonably-priced and top rated outdoor cooking tripods on Amazon:

Stansport Heavy-Duty Steel Cooking Tripod


Material: Durable heavy-duty steel

Weight: Approximately 9 pounds

Height: Adjustable chain for varying cooking heights

Special Features: Easy setup, comes with a 36-inch chain, and designed for large pots.

Why It’s a Top Pick

The Stansport Tripod is popular for its robust steel construction that offers exceptional durability for all outdoor conditions. The adjustable chain and sturdy build provide versatile cooking options which makes it ideal for campers who appreciate reliability and ease of use.

Lodge Tall Boy Tripod


Material: High-quality steel with a black finish

Weight: Approximately 13 pounds

Height: 60 inches tall

Special Features: Designed for use with Dutch ovens, easy setup with a 36-inch chain included.

Why It’s a Top Pick

The Lodge Tall Boy Tripod is favored for its height which provides ample space for Dutch oven cooking. Its sturdy steel construction and easy assembly make it a reliable choice for cooks seeking a blend of traditional cooking style and modern convenience.

Lineslife Campfire Tripod Grill for Cooking with Grill Grate and Carrying Bag


Material: Durable stainless steel

Weight: Lightweight design, specifics not provided

Height: Adjustable legs and chain for versatile cooking heights

Special Features: Includes a stainless steel grill grate and a convenient carrying bag for easy transport.

Why It’s a Top Pick

The Lineslife Campfire Tripod Grill stands out for its comprehensive cooking solution, featuring a durable stainless steel grill grate perfect for BBQs and outdoor grilling. Its adjustable design and lightweight nature, paired with the convenience of a carrying bag, make it a favorite for campers and hikers seeking a portable yet functional outdoor cooking tool.

Setting Up Your Outdoor Cooking Tripod

Setting up your outdoor cooking tripod is the first step in a journey of culinary exploration. Here’s how to ensure a smooth start:

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Choose the Right Spot: Find level ground and clear away any debris. Ensure it’s a safe distance from tents and flammable materials.

2. Assemble the Tripod: Lay out the legs and connect them at the top. Some tripods might have a locking mechanism, while others might require you to tie them.

3. Secure the Chain: Attach the chain or hook that will hold your cookware. Ensure it’s well-secured and check for any wear or damage.

4. Adjust the Height: Depending on your cooking needs, adjust the chain to raise or lower the cookware. Closer for more heat, further away for less.

5. Stabilize the Tripod: Make sure the legs are firmly planted. If necessary, adjust the legs’ spread for more stability.

6. Test It Out: Before you start cooking, give your setup a gentle shake to ensure everything is secure.

Tips for First-Timers

Read the Instructions: Each tripod might have specific setup requirements. Familiarize yourself with these before you head out.

Practice at Home: Try setting up your tripod in your backyard to get a feel for it before you’re in the wilderness.

Start with Simple Recipes: Don’t dive into complex dishes straight away. Begin with straightforward meals as you get used to cooking on a tripod.

Have a Backup Plan: Always have an alternative cooking method available, like a portable stove, in case you run into issues.

Safety Tips and Maintenance

Here’s how to maintain your tripod and keep your cooking experience safe:

Ensuring a Safe Cooking Environment

Check for Bans and Regulations: Some areas have restrictions on open fires. Always check the local guidelines before you start.

Keep Water or a Fire Extinguisher Nearby: In case the fire gets out of control, you should have a way to douse it quickly.

Monitor the Fire: Never leave your cooking fire unattended. Keep an eye on it, especially if there are children or pets around.

Be Mindful of Smoke: Position yourself upwind to avoid smoke inhalation, and never use toxic materials for fuel.

Cleaning and Storing Your Tripod

Let It Cool: Never attempt to disassemble or clean your tripod while it’s still hot.

Clean After Every Use: Wipe down the legs and chain to remove soot and food residue. For cast iron components, ensure they’re properly seasoned.

Check for Damage: Before storing, inspect your tripod for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any parts as necessary.

Store in a Dry Place: Keep your tripod in a dry, cool place to prevent rust and corrosion. If it came with a bag or case, use it to protect against dust and moisture.

Accessory Recommendations

Cast Iron Cookware: Durable and perfect for even heat distribution. A cast iron skillet or Dutch oven can open up a world of culinary possibilities.

Grill Grate: Ideal for grilling vegetables, meats, and fish. Look for one that’s easy to set over the tripod.

Heat Resistant Gloves: Protect your hands when adjusting the tripod or handling hot cookware.

Utensil Set: A good spatula, tongs, and a long-handled spoon are essential for managing your meals over the open flame.

Cutting Board and Knife: For preparing ingredients on-site. Opt for compact and portable options.


Outdoor cooking with a tripod opens up a world of culinary adventure. By considering factors like durability, portability, and stability, you can select the perfect tripod that’ll be your companion on many journeys. Enhance your experience with the right accessories and remember, the best part of outdoor cooking is the joy and satisfaction it brings, so keep it fun, safe, and delicious!


1. How do I choose the right size tripod for my cooking needs?

Consider the size and weight of the cookware you’ll use, as well as the number of people you’ll be cooking for. Taller tripods are better for larger groups and pots, while shorter ones are more portable and suitable for solo trips.

2. Can I use my cooking tripod on any type of fire?

Most tripods are versatile enough to use over wood, charcoal, or even portable campfire units. Ensure the fire source is stable and fits the tripod’s size.

3. How do I adjust the cooking temperature when using a tripod?

Raise or lower the chain to move your cookware closer or further from the flames. You can also regulate the fire size or use coals for a more controlled heat.

4. What’s the best way to clean my tripod after use?

Allow it to cool, then wipe down the legs and chain with a damp cloth. If it’s made of cast iron, ensure it’s dry to prevent rust and apply a light coat of oil.

5. Are there any foods I should avoid cooking on a tripod?

It’s best to avoid foods that require extremely precise temperature control or those that are too delicate and might stick or fall apart over an open flame. Stick to dishes that benefit from the smoky flavor and gentle, radiant heat.

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Sam Rivers

My goal is to build a community tailored to outdoor enthusiasts who share the love for cooking outdoors. If this speaks to you, then you came to an amazing place. I will share and guide you through the best tools and advice for your outdoor cooking equipment, tips, trick's and embark on the culinary adventure together.

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