How To Cook Rice When Camping? [12 Easy Ways]

Camping trips can be a thrill because you see beautiful sceneries, explore nature, and even encounter some friendly and cute animals. There is no shortage of things to do while camping, but camping and hiking can also drain your energy. Knowing how to get your energy levels up is essential!

One of the things you can do to feel great during your camping trips is to have nutrition-packed meals that are easy and quick to prepare. Rice might not be what some people think of when they prepare for camping trips, but cooking rice on campsites is an excellent idea!

Today’s guide will be dedicated to exploring how to cook rice and use it to get the best camping meals. So, if you want to know how to cook rice while camping without any problems, stick around for the rest of this guide!


Easy Ways to Cook Rice When Camping

12 Easy Ways to Cook Rice When Camping

Experienced campers will know that planning your diet is one of the essential parts of preparing for a camping trip. You need to think about the number of meals you will have to prepare, how many mouths you will have to feed, how much food you need to take, and what kind of food is suitable for camping. It takes meticulous planning, but it is worth it in the end.

I have heard many campers talk about rice being one of the greatest foods for camping trips. Why is this so, you might wonder? Rice is delicious and easy to prepare but also quite nutritious and versatile. It goes well with all kinds of vegetables and meats, but you can also eat it by itself!

Also, rice is the food you can keep stored for years and years without going bad. Keep in mind that this is the case only with rice that is not cooked. If you cook rice, you must eat it within a couple of days, or it will turn bad.

You can pack some raw rice and bring it on your next camping trip. You will find that it is an excellent ingredient for outdoor cooking. Here are only some cooking methods you can use to prepare rice when camping. Let’s get right into the list:

camp stoves

Camp stove

Camping stoves are one of the most convenient appliances for camping trips. Most campers decide to invest in a camp stove after they start camping regularly. Even though some campsites offer stoves to their visitors, that only happens on some campsites. You might have to take your own stove on some trips.

If you decide to invest in a camp stove, you need to know that you can choose between electric and gas stoves. The latter are more convenient because they do not need a power source to work. You will need to take a gas canister to be able to run them, but such gas canisters do not cost that much.

The Coleman propane stoves are quite affordable and durable. You can cook any food on them, including rice. All you need is a pot, some water, and rice. Within minutes, you will get a great meal that will keep you energized for hours.

Still, you must remember that some stoves are not easy to transport and might be suitable only for car camping. If you plan on hiking to your campsite, you might not be able to take a stove. So, you will need to rely on other appliances and options to help you cook your rice.

Campfire + Cast iron pots

If you do not have the option of using an electric device to cook food on your campsite, you can always cook on a campfire. If you want to cook rice on a campfire, you will need special pots. Cast iron pots work well with campfires since you can put them into the flames and cook the food like that.

You will need the cast iron pot, a decent campfire, water, and rice to use this method. You can put the water and rice in the pot and the pot into the campfire. For one cup of rice, put double the water. Try occasionally stirring, so the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Also, remember that you will need consistent heat to cook rice. So, keep the flames steady and do not let the fire go out while the rice is still cooking.

Campfire + Hanging pots

Another easy way to cook rice using a campfire is to hang a pot of rice over the campfire instead of putting it into the fire. For this method, you will need something to keep the pot over the fire. You can use long sturdy sticks or metal construction, depending on what is available to you at that moment.

With this method, you will need to be more careful as the pot will likely get hot. This means it will be easy to burn your hands if you touch it while it is over the flames. You will need a towel or cooking gloves to handle the hot pot.

If that is clear, let’s discuss how to cook rice with this method. You will need to boil water over the campfire, add the rice, and stir it for about 10 minutes. This is the case if you are cooking regular rice, but you can also go with instant rice if you want a quicker meal.

Campfire grill

Campfire grill

When you think about campfire grills, the first thing that comes to mind must be cooking meat on the grill. With rice being one of the most versatile foods, you can also cook it on the grill. You do not put the actual rice on the grill but instead, use the grill to boil the water and cook the rice.

Considering the actual grill at your disposal, consider lighting a fire and placing the grill on the flames. Then, add a cast iron pot with one part rice and two parts water on the grill. The grill should be boiling if you want the rice to cook faster.

Again, depending on your preference, you can choose regular or instant rice. I recommend taking uncooked rice and preparing it on your trip. It will taste much better than the instant rice - I can promise you that much!

Charcoal grill

Same as the method mentioned before, you can try cooking rice on a grill that you put over hot charcoals. The nice hot coals will help boil the water and cook the rice for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the heat level.

The bad thing about this method is that you cannot control low heat or boiling hot temperatures at the turn of a switch like you would with a camp stove. You will have to be extra careful not to overcook or undercook the rice.

Rice cookers

Rice cookers are very convenient – they are the perfect appliance to use if you want to get the perfect rice for your meal. You are not likely to find rice cookers on most campsites, so you will have to go through the trouble of taking your own to the campgrounds. That might not be easy, especially when hiking to the campsite.

Still, if you have the option to take the rice cooker and use it, I recommend that you do. The cooker will prepare the rice independently without you needing to be involved in the process. It can keep the temperature at a perfect level and automatically turn off once the rice is ready.

You will have a plate of delicious camping rice in a few minutes. Spray some soy sauce or prepare a piece of grilled meat and enjoy!

cooking rice in your camping trip

Electric pot

Electric pots are similar to rice cookers as they can cook rice perfectly with little to no help from you. The bad thing about them is that you need a power source to power them. If there are no power sources on your campgrounds, you will not be able to use the electric pot.

Make sure you ask the camp management office about power availability before packing for your trip. If there is no power source you can use, it is better to avoid taking the pot. You can find some other easy way to prepare rice that does not require electricity.

Camp cooking system

You can invest in a camp cooking system if you want to prepare fun meals while in the great outdoors. Take Jetboil as an example. It looks like a little container you would use to prepare tea or coffee, but it is powerful enough to prepare an actual meal.

Jetboil is a good option as it is durable, affordable, versatile, and packs small. You can use it to make rice and other meals, like powdered eggs or boiled veggies. There will be no dirty dishes to worry about besides the actual Jetboil container.

As for the rice, you can use such cooking systems to prepare regular or instant rice. I recommend instant rice if you want a meal in minutes, whereas regular rice can take longer to prepare.

Travel rice cooker

When traveling to a campsite, you can also use the power outlet in your vehicle to power a cooker. The “cigarette lighter” is the outlet I am referring to. In contrast, the cooker can be any electric cooker you can use to prepare rice.

Remember that this car outlet is 12V in most cases, so that you will need a compatible cooker. Otherwise, you might encounter problems when trying to power the cooker and cook the rice.

kettle in campfire

Kettle + campfire

You can cook rice over a campfire in several ways, some of which I mentioned above. I did not mention that you can use an actual kettle to prepare regular or instant rice. All you need to do is add a cup of rice and two cups of water, then put the kettle over the fire.

Depending on your campsite, you can use an electric or cast iron kettle. The former is better for campsites with power outlets, whereas the latter is best for campgrounds where you can light a fire. In both cases, your rice should be ready in about 10 minutes.

Kettle + stove

You can also use a cast iron or regular kettle over a camp stove. It would be better if you use an electric stove that allows you to regulate the temperature. Rice can quickly turn into mush if cooked at the wrong temperature.

You can use this method to cook any type of rice you like – long grain rice, jasmine rice, Arborio rice, regular white rice, brown rice, and so on. It is up to what your taste buds like best!

Precooked rice

If you do not want to bother with cooking rice on a camp trip, I can respect that! I will give you the alternative of preparing the rice at home. You can put the pre-cooked rice in a container, freeze it, and keep it like that until you want to eat it.

The thing about pre-cooked rice is that it only lasts for a short time. If not kept in a cool area, it will likely go bad and grow bacteria on it. Eating such rice will lead to food poisoning, so you have to be careful.

If you want to bring pre-cooked rice on a camping trip, you must remember to eat it within the first couple of days. Rehear cooked rice on a stove or campfire, mix it with some meat, or do a nice little stir dry!


You must bring some rice on your camping trips to have nutritious and delicious meals. Use the methods given above to cook the rice to perfection.

Do not forget to tell me how the rice turns out after you use the methods I included on the list. I cannot wait to read your comments!

Andrew Mullen

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