The Common Kitchen Item You Don't Want To Bring On Your Camping Trip

One of the joys of camping is cooking a tasty meal over the hot coals of a fire — just like our ancestors did. Whether your meal is made from the food you brought with you or food you caught and cleaned yourself, there is something grounding about being out in nature and cooking over a woodfire flame. However, to ensure you are able to enjoy our old-fashioned meal, it is important to bring the correct cooking equipment and leave your plastic kitchen spatulas behind.

The reason for this is that plastic spatulas (although they can withstand the heat of an average stove top burner) can melt if used over or near a campfire. This is because campfires are extremely hot and can burn anywhere between 900 and 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit. While you likely won't be cooking over direct flames, you will still be exposing your cookware to indirect heat of around 600 degrees Fahrenheit — and plastic spatulas melt at 400 degrees. 

A melted spatula, at best, means it will be difficult to finish cooking your food with no way to flip it. At worst, it means there will be melted plastic in the dish, rendering your food inedible. So, what should you use instead?

Choosing a spatula for camping

As it turns out, the best spatula material to use while cooking over an open fire at your campsite is the same as for a grill: metal. This is because, like campfires, grills also burn at a higher temperature than your average stovetop and metal can withstand these temperatures much better than plastic. Because of this, many cookware and spatula sets made specifically for camping include stainless steel spoons, spatulas, and other utensils.

If you don't want to bring a metal spatula, another option is to use a wooden one. The good thing about wooden spatulas is that they won't melt, and they won't scratch your pots and pans. However, the issue with wooden spatulas is that you can accidentally burn them if you set them on a hot stone too close to the campfire. The good news is that seared wooden spoons, although not aesthetically pleasing, are still usable.

While better than plastic, you will probably want to avoid silicon spatulas on your camping trip. Silicon spatulas will survive higher temperatures than plastic but will still start to melt at around 600 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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