The Tentgirl

Tips & Tricks for Cooking Rice When Camping

Can You Cook Rice When Camping: 9 Methods [Easy DIY]

Cooking rice while camping brought about a whole new set of challenges. After some research and a bit of trial and error, I discovered that it is indeed possible to cook rice while camping.

Yes, I can cook rice when camping, even without a gas-powered camping stove. I simply use a grill gate over a campfire and place my minute Instant Rice with water on it. I leave it to cook until the rice is ready.

I’ll share various methods, tips, and meal ideas to make your camping experience more enjoyable.

Can You Cook Rice When Camping: Various Ways

Various ways to cook rice when camping

I used to think cooking rice was daunting, but I’ve learned that it can be easy and tasty. Here are some ways to cook rice while camping, from traditional campfires to instant rice and portable stoves.

Instant Rice

Instant rice is a quick and easy option for camping meals, requiring minimal prep time and cooking effort. Add the desired amount of rice to boiling water, cover, and cook for 5-10 minutes. Here are some benefits of using instant rice while camping:

  • Quick and easy meal solution.
  • Lightweight and easy to pack.
  • It can supplement other ingredients for a more filling meal.
  • Does not require any additional pots or pans for cooking.

Pre-cooked Rice

If you prefer pre-cooked rice, you can make it at home and simply reheat it at the campsite using a portable stove or campfire. You can benefit from pre-cooked rice while camping:

  • Saves on-site time and effort.
  • It can be prepared and stored in a sealed container or ziplock bag.
  • Provides a tasty base for other camping meals such as stir-fry or rice bowls.

Portable Camp Stove or Grill

A portable stove or grill is an excellent option for cooking camping rice. Some benefits of using a portable stove or grill while camping:

  • Provides a stable cooking surface for easy cooking.
  • Multiple heat settings allow for precise temperature control.
  • Lightweight and easy to pack.
  • It can be used for various meals other than just rice.

Campfire (Directly Over the Coals)

Campfire cooking may seem challenging, but it is a traditional and satisfying way of preparing camping meals. Here are some benefits of cooking rice directly over campfire coals:

  • It provides a smoky flavor that can enhance the taste of the rice.
  • The rustic cooking method exudes the camping experience.
  • It can be done without any additional cookware.

Campfire (Hanging Pot Method)

Hanging a pot over a campfire is another traditional way of cooking rice while camping. There are some benefits to the hanging pot method:

  • It provides a consistent heat source for even cooking.
  • It takes up minimal space and requires minimal setup.
  • You can use it for more than just rice.

Campfire (Grill Method)

Using a grill over a campfire is a versatile option for cooking rice and other camping meals. A few advantages of the grill method:

  • Allows direct and indirect heat for precise temperature control.
  • There is more to it than just rice.
  • Rice can be enhanced with its smoky flavor.

Rice Cooker or Pressure Cooker

If you have electricity or a generator, a rice cooker or instant pot is convenient for cooking rice while camping. The following are the benefits of rice cookers and pressure cookers:

  • Provides precise temperature and pressure control for perfectly cooked rice.
  • Saves time and effort.
  • Rice is not the only meal it can be used for.

Kettle Method

The kettle method is a quick and easy way to cook rice using boiling water, similar to the instant rice method. You can benefit from the kettle method:

  • Fast and easy meal solution.
  • Lightweight and easy to pack.
  • It can also boil water for other meals or beverages.

Stir-Fry Method

Using a pan or skillet to make a rice stir-fry is a delicious and quick option for campsite meals. A few benefits of the stir-fry method:

  • Provides a flavorful and satisfying meal.
  • It can be made with a variety of ingredients.
  • This can be customized to meet your tastes and preferences.

Cooking Rice While Camping: Choosing the Best

The Best Rice to Cook While Camping

I must consider a few things when choosing the best type of rice for my trip. Let’s explore the available options and weigh the pros and cons of each.

White Rice

Camping is popular with white rice because it’s versatile and easy to prepare. It cooks quickly and can be used in various dishes, from stir-fries to casseroles. White rice is not as nutritious as other options and has a high glycemic index, which increases blood sugar levels.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a more nutritious option for camping as it contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than white rice. A lower glycemic index means it can help regulate blood sugar levels. It takes longer to cook than white rice and may not be suitable for all camping cooking methods.

Instant (Quick-cook) Rice

Instant or quick-cooked rice is another convenient option for camping. It cooks quickly and requires minimal preparation, making it ideal for those who want to spend more time enjoying the outdoors and cooking less. Instant rice may contain additives and preservatives and may not be as nutritious as other types of rice.

Pre-cooked Packaged Rice

Pre-cooked packaged rice is another easy option for camping as it requires no preparation and can be eaten immediately. This type of rice is more convenient but may have a different texture or flavor than freshly cooked rice. It is also more expensive than other types of rice.

Pros and Cons of Each Type

  • White rice is versatile and easy to cook but lacks nutrition.
  • Brown rice is more nutritious but takes longer to cook.
  • Instant rice cooks quickly but may contain additives and preservatives.
  • Pre-cooked packaged rice is convenient but may be more expensive and needs fresh flavor.

Cooking Rice on A Camping Trip: Food Safety Tips

Food Safety Tips for Cooking Rice on a Camping Trip

I should remember some important food safety tips while preparing pre-cooked rice during my camping trip.

Preparing Pre-Cooked Rice:

Before camping, you can pre-cook rice in bulk and store it in containers. This will reduce the amount of cooking time needed while on the campsite. Some tips for pre-cooking rice are:

  • Cook rice thoroughly before eating it.
  • You should use 1:1.5 for rice and water to ensure the rice does not dry after reheating.
  • Depending on the quantity, cook rice in a large pot or slow cooker.

Storing Rice

One of the most critical aspects of food safety is properly storing pre-cooked rice to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Here are some tips for keeping rice:

  • Label containers with dates to track how long the rice has been in storage.
  • Keep rice dry and cool to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Avoid stacking containers on each other to avoid heat buildup, leading to spoilage.

Reheating Rice

Reheating pre-cooked rice is essential to ensure it is safe to eat. Here are some tips for reheating rice:

  • Reheat rice to 165°F or until it reaches a hot temperature.
  • Make sure the rice is hot enough.
  • Reheat rice in small batches to ensure that it heats evenly.

The Risks of Food Poisoning

When I consume pre-cooked rice, I need to be cautious about the risk of food poisoning. Rice contains spores of Bacillus cereus, a bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. Here are some risks associated with consuming pre-cooked rice:

  • Bacteria can increase in rice left at room temperature for over two hours.
  • Eating contaminated rice can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Elderly, pregnant women, and young children are at greater risk of getting sick from dirty rice.

Tips for Ensuring Safe Consumption

To ensure safe consumption of pre-cooked rice during your camping trip, here are some tips:

  • Wash your hands before preparing and cooking rice.
  • Separate your cutting boards and utensils to prevent raw and cooked food cross-contamination.
  • Avoid leaving pre-cooked rice out for more than 2 hours.
  • Dispose of any rice that has been left out for longer than two hours.

Rice Can Be Cooked at Camp: Meal Ideas

Meal Ideas for Cooking Rice at Camp

I may find cooking rice daunting when camping. But proper preparation and some creative ideas can make it straightforward, delicious, and satisfying. Here are some rice meal ideas for camping.


Simple yet flavorful, this dish requires just a few ingredients. It is a perfect camping meal as minimal preparation is needed. Here are some ideas for stir-fry while camping:

  • Pre-cut vegetables can be stored in a Ziploc bag for easy transportation.
  • Use a non-stick pan to prevent the food from sticking.
  • Pre-cook the rice and add it to the pan towards the end of the cooking process.
  • Season with soy sauce if desired.

Sushi Rolls

Make sushi rolls to incorporate rice into your camping meals. While traditionally served with raw fish, they can also be made with cooked shrimp, crab, or vegetables. Here are some tips for making sushi rolls while camping:

  • Pre-cook the rice beforehand and season it with vinegar, sugar, and salt to make sushi.
  • Pack nori sheets, sushi rice, and fillings separately to prevent the nori from becoming soggy.
  • Use a sharp knife or scissors.

Veggie Fried Rice

Fried rice is a delicious dish made from leftover rice. It is a perfect way to use up any vegetables you have on hand. Here are some ideas for making veggie fried rice while camping:

  • Cook the rice beforehand and store it in an airtight container.
  • Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces and store them in separate Ziploc bags.
  • Make use of a non-stick pan to minimize clean-up.

Burrito Bowls

Burrito bowls are a great way to mix rice, beans, and vegetables for a hearty meal. These are some ideas for making burrito bowls while camping:

  • Pre-cook the rice and beans in advance and store them separately.
  • Add canned or pre-cooked corn, tomatoes, and peppers to the bowl.
  • Add extra flavor to the bowl with salsa, guacamole, and cheese.


Skewers are an easy way to incorporate rice into a camping meal. They are available in a variety of meats and vegetables. Tips for making skewers while camping:

  • Season the rice beforehand with your favorite spices.
  • Make bite-sized pieces of meat and vegetables and skewer them alternatingly.
  • Grill or roast the skewers over an open flame for a smoky flavor.

Rice Bowls

You can enjoy rice while camping with rice bowls. They come in various toppings and seasonings. You can make the following rice bowls while camping:

  • Pre-cook the rice before storing it.
  • Bring toppings such as canned or pre-cooked chicken or shrimp, sliced avocado, chopped tomatoes, and green onions.
  • Sprinkle soy sauce and other seasonings into the bowl for flavor.

Handheld Food Ideas

Handheld foods are a perfect camping option because they are easy to carry and convenient to eat on the go. Here are some ideas for handheld foods while camping:

  • Make rice balls with cooked rice and fill them with your favorite ingredients, such as tuna, chicken, or vegetables.
  • Create rice wraps using nori sheets or tortillas and fill them with rice and vegetables.
  • Make rice muffins by mixing cooked rice with eggs, cheese, and seasonings and baking them in muffin tins.

BBQ Meals

BBQ meals are a classic camping option and can easily incorporate rice as a side dish. Here are some ideas for camping BBQ meals:

  • Make foil packets with rice, vegetables, and your favorite protein, such as chicken or shrimp.
  • Grill stuffed tomatoes or peppers filled with seasoned rice and vegetables.
  • Make BBQ chicken or ribs and serve them with rice.

Simple Camping Snacks

Camping snacks are essential to keep you fueled on your outdoor adventures. With rice, you can create nutritious, portable snacks that are easy to munch during hikes or breaks. Here are some simple camping snack ideas:

  • Roasted seasoned rice crackers.
  • Sweet rice pudding with fruit or nuts.
  • Rice balls with fillings of your choice.

Camping and Cooking Rice: Heat it Up

The best way to cook rice when you're camping

I can use several methods to heat my rice. I can use a gas-powered camping stove, an overhead grill gate, or a kettle.

Using a Gas-Powered Camping Stove

A gas-powered camping stove is one option for heating rice during a camping trip. This method is relatively simple, making it an excellent choice for beginner campers. To heat your rice using a gas stove, follow these steps:

  • Prep the rice: Rinse it thoroughly and boil it in water until it is fully cooked.
  • Transfer the rice to a pan: Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a pan and add your desired seasonings and spices.
  • Heat the rice: Place the pan on the camping stove over medium heat until the rice is hot, stirring occasionally.
Pros Cons
Simple and easy to use. Requires a propane or gas connection.
Requires minimal prep time. It can be large and heavy to transport.
Allows for precise temperature control.  

Using a Grill Gate Over a Fire Pit

Another method for heating your rice while camping is to grill over a fire pit. This method requires more finesse than a gas stove, but it can add a fun outdoor cooking element to your trip. Follow these steps for using a grill gate:

  • Prep the fire pit: Build a fire in your fire pit and let a hot coal bed form.
  • Prep the rice: Clean it thoroughly and place it in a pan or pot with enough water to cover it.
  • Place the pan on the grill gate: Place the rice pan over the hot coals using a grill gate.
  • Stir the rice: Stir it occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom and evenly heat it.
  • Check the rice: After 15-20 minutes, check the rice to see if it is fully cooked and heated. If not, continue cooking until it has reached the desired consistency.
Pros Cons
It adds a fun outdoor element to cooking. Requires some finesse to ensure even heating.
It doesn’t require an extra heat source. It can be unpleasant and difficult to clean.
Provides a smoky, wood-fired flavor to the rice.

Using a Kettle

A third option is to heat your rice. It is quick and easy but messier than the other two options. Here’s how to heat rice using a kettle:

  • Prep the rice: Wash it thoroughly and add it to a pot or pan covered with water.
  • Boil the rice: Bring the rice to a boil over a campfire or camping stove, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat: Once the rice is boiled for 1-2 minutes, pour it into a kettle.
  • Heat the kettle: Place the kettle on a camping stove or over a fire pit, and cook the rice until it is thoroughly heated.
Pros Cons
Quick and easy to use. Rice may need frequent attention to avoid overcooking or sticking to the kettle.
Doesn’t require an additional pan or pot. Rice may not be as flavorful as it would be with other methods.
It provides a simple and mess-free way to heat rice.  


I find it easy to cook rice when I’m camping. I can have a delicious meal quickly with some preparation, the right tools, and the proper price. As a traveling mother, I understand the importance of quick, healthy, and easy meals.

The methods and meal ideas outlined in this guide have helped my family enjoy delicious rice meals on our adventures. So, if you’re ready to embark on your camping journey, remember to grab your camping stove, pack your rice, and prepare to cook up a storm.


Place a pot filled with rice and water inside the solar oven to cook rice using a solar cooker without electricity. Position the solar cooker in direct sunlight, adjusting the reflectors to maximize heat absorption. Leave the rice to cook for several hours until it is fully cooked and tender.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *