Best campfire tripod of 2019 for camping or backyard cooking

best campfire tripods

As we mentioned in our earlier post on campfire grill grates, cooking over fire has withstood the test of time because of the aroma and flavor of a fire-cooked meal. While the emergence of fuel-based cooking mechanisms such as isobutane, propane, and other fuel sources have made them quite popular, many people still prefer fire pit cooking because of the aroma, minimal fuel costs, and reduced carbon footprint. Why else do you think most campgrounds have pre-built fire pits available for campers?

One of the primary challenges of cooking over a fire pit is to ensure even distribution of heat. We saw in our article on fire grills that how the grill grates can be used for fast, even cooking over a fire. Another way to cook over fire is to use a campfire tripod. A tripod provides an excellent way of efficient, even cooking, and is comparatively lightweight and compact when compared to a fire grill.

In this article, we will look at some of the best campfire tripods available in the market. We will also look at the major factors to consider while buying the tripod and also look at some of the safety considerations to keep in mind while using such cooking arrangement.

Best campfire tripod comparison list

Our pick of the best campfire tripods out in the market and how they stack against each other.
PictureProductFeatures 

Camp Chef Dutch Oven TripodLeg: 50"
Wt.: 9.7 lbs.
- An extra-long tripod which features high quality steel legs and chain with S-hook.
- Adjustable legs can create a height up to 45 inches.
- Can handle type 4 dutch Ovens, tea pots, jugs, lanterns etc.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.

Solo Stove TripodLeg: 43"
Wt.: 1.18 lbs.
- An ultralight tripod
with aluminium legs and chain.
- Adjustable design provided by removable leg pieces.
- Maximum height of 36 inches can be obtained.
- Can support dutch ovens, pots and lanterns.
- Comes with a carrying pouch.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Texsport Deluxe Campfire Cooking TripodLeg: 43"
Wt.: 9 lbs.
- A popular dutch oven tripod made with high grade steel.
- Features a 26 inch galvanized steel chain which can be used to hold vessels as well as lanterns, jugs and clothing.
- Adjustable legs can create a height up to 35 inches.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Lodge Camp Dutch Oven TripodLeg: 43"
Wt.: 8 lbs.
- A heavy duty steel tripod, featuring adjustable legs and galvanized chain.
- Adjustable legs can create a height of up to 36 inches.
- Can be used to safely hang dutch ovens, kettles etc.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Stansport Cast Iron Cooking TripodLeg: 45"
Wt.: 13 lbs.
- Cast iron tripod with a nickel plated steel chain with S-hook.
- Adjustable legs can create a height up to 39 inches.
- Can be used for dutch ovens, Coffee pots and even hanging lanterns.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Bayou Classic 7485 Cooking TripodLeg: 45"
Wt.: 10 lbs.
- A classic tripod with cast iron legs and steel chain.
- Adjustable legs can create a height up to 36 inches.
- Cast Iron legs mean that it can carry more weight than other tripods.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.

Wilcor Campfire Tripod GrillLeg: 48"
Wt.: 8 lbs.
- A grill grate tripod made with galvanized steel, with maximum height of 40 inches.
- Features a 20 inch diameter grate which can be adjusted to a height of 8 inches to 28 inches.
- Can be used for grill cooking or holding lightweight utensils or lanterns.
- Comes with a carry bag for easy storage and transportation.

Rome Industries Tripod GrillLeg: 42"
Wt.: 7.2 lbs.
- A high-quality campfire tripod with grill grate featuring a galvanized steel legs and chrome-plated grill.
- Has a 20.5-inch diameter grate which can be adjusted from 8 inch to 20 inch clearance.
- Can be used for grill cooking or holding lightweight utensils or lanterns. Grill grate is removable for use with dutch ovens.
- Original, patent-pending collapsible design allows tool-free setup and disassembly.
- Backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty.
Stansport Grill Tripod CookerLeg: 48"
Wt.: 5.6 lbs.
- A lightweight tripod made with high grade steel with an 18 inch diameter circular grate.
- Can be used for grilling or holding lightweight pots and pans.
- Can be shipped to selected countries outside US.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Coleman Tripod GrillLeg: 40"
Wt.: 5.5 lbs.
- A lightweight tripod featuring
shock-corded, durable galvanized steel legs
- It has a 17 inch diameter grill grate which can be used for grilling and holding night lanterns and some lightweight pots and pans.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Sunnydaze Tripod Grilling SetLeg: 44”
Wt.: 6.6 lbs.
- Heavy-duty tripod grill made with steel and coated with heat-resistant paint.
- Features a 19-inch adjustable cooking grill grate that can be setup at a height of 9-20 inches above ground.
- Can handle a weight of up to 20 lbs.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.

What is a campfire tripod and why do you need one?

As per Wikipedia, “Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of the food, commonly from above or below. Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly.” Grills come in different shapes and sizes. In addition to the table grates and swivel grills, the campfire tripod is a widely popular cooking mechanism. Tripods score over table grates because of their compactness and ability to provide long clearances up to 3.5 feet.

A campfire tripod comes in two basic designs – with the grill grate and without the grate. The grate grill tripods are primarily meant for grilling and supporting lightweight vessels and even lanterns. The without grate, chain tripods are primarily meant to support dutch ovens, jugs, pots etc. by hanging them to the chain. Both of these designs are shown in the image below:

There are four primary reasons on why an over-the-fire tripod is a good to have camping cookware:

  1. Even Cooking: Since the tripod provides a uniform surface over the fire, it can help in ensuring even cooking of your food.
  2. Easy Cooking: A tripod with a grate provides a blending surface on grill away from the burning fire. Also because of ability to change clearance by readjusting the legs, tripod cooking is easy to manage.
  3. Compact Carrying and Storage: Since the tripod primarily contains vertical legs with a chain and a grate in some cases, it is easier to carry and store during camping trips when compared to table grates.
  4. Safety: Since the grill provides a uniform cooking grate, it is easier to cook items in pots and pans safely without a lot of hassle while stirring.

In the next section, we would look at some of the factors to consider before picking the best campfire tripod. We will look at the buying factors for both the chain-only heavy duty tripod grills and adjustable grill grate tripods.

How to pick the best campfire tripod for yourself?

The first major decision that you have to make about picking the best campfire tripod is to decide which type of cooking you are interested in.

A campfire tripod can basically be used for two types of cooking:

  • Cooking vessels such as Dutch ovens, pots, kettles etc. can be held on the suspended grill or by the chain to cook directly over fire.
  • The grill grate on the tripod can be used for grilling food by adjusting the height of the tripod.

Once you have decided between a tripod with an adjustable grill grate or one without the grate, the task of selecting the most suitable tripod would basically be governed by a few additional factors as listed below:

  • Building Material of the tripod legs and chain.
  • Length of the legs and maximum supported height of the tripod.
  • Weight of the tripod.
  • Accessories and Miscellaneous considerations.

Building material of the tripod legs and chain

Considering that the tripod is exposed to direct heat from fire or charcoal, the building material of the campfire tripod is an important criteria to consider, as it governs the durability and weight that the tripod can support. Traditionally the legs of the tripods were made up of cast iron to provide sturdiness. Nowadays, the body of tripod such as Camp Chef Dutch Oven Tripod is made up of high grade galvanized steel with a coating of fire resistant paint to prevent rusting. Lightweight tripods such as Solo Stove Tripod are made up of for aluminium.

The chain of the tripod is also an important part of the tripod as it would hold the weight of grill or the vessel. Typical tripod chains are made up of galvanized or stainless steel with an S or U-shaped hook at the end.

Check that the building material is specified as galvanized steel or aluminum while picking a suitable choice.

Length of the legs and maximum supported height

The length of legs of the campfire tripod is an important factor as they govern how big a utensil or grill fit in the pyramid created by the legs. It also governs the maximum clearance from a fire that a tripod can provide. Typical chain only tripods have leg length ranging from 42 to 48 inches, which can provide a maximum clearance of around 3 feet. Extra-long tripods such as Camp Chef Dutch Oven Tripod have a leg length of 50 inches and can support higher clearance.

Many campfire tripods such as Texsport Deluxe Campfire Cooking Tripod also have bigger models available. So based on your requirement, you can go for standard tripods or bigger models.

Weight of the tripod

If you are backpacking or hiking and carrying your own supplies, the weight of the tripod becomes important criteria to consider. Most heavy duty campfire tripods are not always the most suitable cooking gear to carry as they weigh in excess of 8 pounds. Lightweight tripods such as Coghlan’s Tripod Grill and Stansport Grill Tripod Cooker have a decently sized grill grate and weigh around 5.5 pounds. Of course you can also consider ultralight camping tripods such as Solo Stove Tripod offer a decent cooking grate and weigh as little as 1.2 pounds.

Accessories and Miscellaneous considerations

Most of the campfire tripods offer minimal accessories. Lightweight tripods such as the Solo Stove Tripod come with a smart carry pouch to store the collapsed tripod. Other manufacturers such as Lodge and Camp Chef offer these tote bags as additional items to be purchased separately. Check out the accessories available with the grill and decide if they can help you in picking the best campfire tripod for your next outdoor or backyard cookout.

In addition to the major factors listed above, there are some miscellaneous considerations that can help you choose the right tripod. One such consideration is the paint used on legs of the tripod. If weight is not a consideration, go for heavy-duty, heat resistant-paint coated tripods as they have a longer life.

Another consideration is the diameter of the grill grate if you are opting for such as a tripod. Tripods such as Coghlan’s Tripod Grill have a grill diameter of 17 inches only, while the Rome Industries Tripod Grill has a removable grill grate with 20.5 inch diameter. Go for a bigger grill grate whenever possible.

Finally the warranty and after sales support on the tripod is also something that can make a purchase better than others. Most cast iron tripod manufacturers offer a one-year warranty on their products. The big winners here are the Solo Stove Tripod and Lodge Tripod which are backed by a long lifetime warranty on their products – a testament to the quality of the products.

Which are the best campfire tripods and what our picks are?

Camp Chef Dutch oven Tripod reviewCamp Chef TRIPOD-050 Dutch Oven Tripod

The Camp Chef Dutch Oven Tripod is a well-built, heavy-duty campfire tripod. The tripod legs feature 3/4″-1″ extra-long legs which are made of high grade galvanized steel. The tripod weighs a little under 10 lbs.

The legs are as much as 50 inches long and can create a maximum clearance of 45 inches. This is the major reason why the Camp Chef Dutch Oven Tripod scores over hugely popular Texsport Deluxe Campfire Cooking Tripod. Otherwise there is very little to choose between the two campfire tripods.

The chain of the Camp Chef Dutch Oven Tripod is made up of stainless steel and has an S-shaped hook that can easily handle Type-4 dutch ovens, pots, and pans. The tripod can also be used to carry camping lanterns and clothes for drying.

The Camp Chef Dutch Oven Tripod comes with limited one year manufacturer’s warranty. The latest models also include a high-quality storage bag for easy transportation.

For all these reasons, the Camp Chef Dutch Oven Tripod is our Editor’s choice for best heavy chain only tripod. If you are looking for a heavy duty tripod grill for some over-the-fire cooking, then you should definitely check out this durable, multi-purpose campfire tripod from Camp Chef.

Solo Stove Tripod review – Best lightweight campfire tripodSolo Stove Tripod: Compact Lightweight Aluminum Tripod w/ Adjustable Hang Chain. Works with Solo Stove Titan and Campfire. Perfect for Camping, Backpacking, Survival

The Solo Stove Tripod is an ultralight, dishwasher safe, decently sized tripod which is made of high-quality aluminum. It features a unique design with the legs divided into four equal length parts which can be removed to get different heights.

The total height of tripod legs is around 43 inches, but due to the unique design, the tripod can support a maximum height of 3-feet. The chain of the tripod is also made from high-grade aluminum and is quite sturdy. Moreover, aluminum construction means that the tripod is corrosion and rust-resistant and extremely lightweight – 1.18 lbs. only, making it one of the lightest campfire tripod in the market.

The Solo Stove Tripod can support Dutch ovens, kettles, jugs, and lanterns. However, one limitation of this tripod is that because of shorter legs, the maximum diameter of utensils that can be attached to the chain is to standard Type-3/4 Dutch ovens only.

The Solo Stove Tripod comes with a carrying pouch for easy storage and transportation during camping and backpacking. And like other Solo Stove products, the Solo Stove Tripod is backed by a limited lifetime warranty – a big testament of the quality it offers.

For all these reasons, Solo Stove Tripod is Editor’s choice for best lightweight campfire tripod. This ultralight campfire tripod is a perfect cooking tripod to carry with you on your next family camping trip.

Wilcor Campfire Tripod Grill – Best campfire tripod with grill grateWilcor Campfire Tri-Pod Grill (Adjustable Height & Quick Setup)

The Wilcor Campfire Tripod grill is a uniquely-design tripod grill grate tripod which features 48 inch long legs made with galvanized steel. The legs can be arranged to attain a maximum height of around 3 feet (40 inches to be exact). The legs are broken into sections and can easily be assembled and disassembled using the leg locks.

It has a well-designed tripod chain which supports a 20-inch diameter meshed grate, whose height can be adjusted from 8 inches to 28 inches. This grate is bigger than the grates provided by other tripods in the same category and hence one of the major factors of its selection as best pick. The grate is supported by three chains, which keep it stable when in use.

The Wilcor tripod is primarily meant for grill cooking, however, it can still hold lightweight utensils or lanterns placed on the surface. The Wilcor Campfire Tripod grill also comes with a carry bag for easy storage and transportation.

For all these reasons, Wilcor Campfire Tripod grill is Editor’s choice for best grill grate campfire tripod. If you are looking for a decent campfire tripod with an adjustable grill grate, then Wilcor Campfire Tripod grill is the best option for your needs.

Rome Industries EZ Tripod Grill – Best campfire tripod with grill grateRome Industries 117EZ Rome's Chrome Plated Steel Tri-Pod Camping Grill, 43 by 20.5-Inch, Chrome

The Rome Industries have been a pioneer in the field of campfire cookware and the EZ Tripod Grill is one of their popular products.

The Rome Industries EZ Tripod Grill is a uniquely design grill grate tripod features 42 inch long legs made of galvanized steel. The legs are coated with heat-resistant black paint. The legs can be arranged to attain a maximum height of around 2.5 feet, which may be less than many other options, but the unique leg-arrangement and design provides better heat distribution.

It has a well-designed tripod chain which supports a 20.5 -inch diameter chrome-plated steel grate, whose height can be adjusted from 8 inches to 20 inches through the chain. This grate is bigger than the grates provided by other tripods in the same category and hence one of the major factors of its selection as best pick. The chrome-plating on the grill grate provides excellent corrosion resistance and easy cleanup.

One of the most interesting feature of the Rome’s EZ Tripod Grill is its patent-pending, collapsible design. This unique design allows a tool-free setup in less than 2 minutes and a disassembly in only 30 seconds. The tripod collapses to a mere 24″ x 11″ x 3″ for easy transportation. The limitation of this design is that it provides only a limited leg-spread and you can only expand the tripod by about 6-8 inches.

The Rome Industries EZ Tripod is primarily meant for grill cooking, however, it can still hold lightweight utensils or lanterns placed on the surface. The grill grate is removable and you can also use the tripod for direct over-the-fire cooking using a dutch oven.

The Rome Industries EZ Tripod Grill is backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty. So, if you face any issues with the welding coming apart, you can always reach out to the manufacturer for a replacement.

For all these reasons, the Rome Industries EZ Tripod grill is Editor’s choice for best campfire tripod with grill grate. If you are looking for another decent campfire tripod with an adjustable grill grate, then the Rome Industries EZ Tripod grill is an option to consider.

Safety Considerations while using campfire tripod

Some basic safety considerations should be kept in mind while using a cooking tripod. These considerations are listed below:

  • Many towns and campgrounds limit the use of open air fire pits and wood burning. Always check the local legalities before using campfire tripods.
  • Never use the tripod in a closed area such as a tent or closed room. Ample air circulation is necessary to ensure dissipation of the generated fumes.
  • Always ensure that you place the tripod on stable ground surface by spreading out the legs and checking the stability of the cooking grate or vessel.
  • Always use recommended pots and pans of the correct size with the grate or the tripod hanger. Overloading the tripod can often lead to untimely folding of the tripod legs.
  • Do not touch the tripod grate or vessels with bare hands. Always use a heat-resistant gloves, mitten or cloth to operate.
  • You can consider the following options for heat resistant gloves:

  • Always ensure that you dispose of the ashes/residue after the cookout responsibly and safely. Use fire pits wherever possible. Any smoldering wood or charcoal can cause fires.

Campfire Tripod Cookware

Lodge 17L12CO3 Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven, 6 quart
In order to cook over the heavy duty classic tripods, you would need a dutch oven with a handle that can be attached to the chain of the tripod. Some of the popular dutch ovens available in the market are listed below:

For cooking tripods with grill grates, you can opt for standard camping cookware set by placing it on the top of the circular grill. Just be sure to check the stability of the cooking vessel and grill before cooking. Also be careful while stirring and try to use a glove to hold the grill to prevent swinging.

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Tripod Grill

If you, like us, love to try out do-it-yourself projects and like to improvise and make your own gear, then a campfire cooking tripod is perfect cooking gear to make (along with an ultralight alcohol stove).
While there are lot of instructional material available online on how you can make a tripod grill, we recommend checking out the Instructable’s article on making a campfire tripod, especially if you are a beginner.
And if you are looking for something more sturdy and challenging and do not mind machine-tooling a little, then there is no better option then the one depicted in the video below by Glen M:

Final thoughts on the best campfire tripods for camping or backyard cooking

In this post, we looked at some of the best over the fire cooking tripods. We looked at two types of tripods – ones with grill/grate and ones without a grate. The chain only tripods do not have a grate but have a sturdy build to support heavy vessels such as ovens, pots, lanterns, and jugs. The grate tripods are relatively lightweight and useful for direct grilling and holding lightweight vessels and lanterns. We also looked at some of the safety considerations to keep in mind while using campfire tripods.

Do let us know how you found this article and if you would want us to consider anything else. And do not forget to check out our article on campfire cookbooks for some popular books on Dutch oven and tripod cooking.

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