A tripod stand is a convenient open fire cooking accessory that is easy to set up, light to carry with you and can be used anywhere for as long as you can get a wood fire going.
Tripod cooking stands are relatively inexpensive and can be bought at a local hardware or in a supermarket with a well-stocked hardware section. Alternatively, you can build your own for under 50 dollars with locally available brand-new materials from the hardware.
For savvy DIY enthusiasts, a tripod be can made at almost no cost if you can secure scrap metal in your neighborhood. With a simple guide, you can build your own with relative ease.
How Does a Cooking Tripod Work Over Fire?
Tripods will typically comprise three rods that serve as stands.
These rods come with round almost closed hooked at the very top of each. These hooks can snap into each other so that the 3 rods are fastened together at the top and the rest of their lengths spread out downwards and in three directions to form a stable base.
At the center top where the three rods converge and are fastened together, a chain is secured into one or two of the hooks and drops down to the center of the unit, and can be terminated at the desired height from the fire. The chain should be height adjustable to ensure that a pot or grill is at a desired height above the fire.
At the end of the chain, an ‘S’ hook is attached and the top side is closed off with pliers to ensure a proper hold to the chain. The lower end of the ‘S’ chain can be used to hang and suspend large pots with an overhead handle above the open fire below.
So if you are cooking pot dishes such as broth, the hanging singular chain with an ‘S’ hook at the bottom will work just fine for hanging a dutch oven.
Using a Cooking Grate With a Cooking Tripod
Alternatively, if you want to use pans to fry or grill, then you will need to add a circular grate to your tripod. This is fairly easy to do once you have figured out how to make the grate balance perfectly.
The ideal height of a cooking tripod once set up is 4-6 feet depending on your preferred height. To add a grate onto the tripod, you can work with a chain that drops from the top center for about one foot or so.
- Attach an ‘S’ hook at the end and close the top side with pliers.
- Take three additional chains of equal height that drop to the desired height on top of the fire, attach all of them securely to the lower side of the ‘S’ hook.
- Then attach another three ‘S’ hooks to the bottom of the three equal chains. Again fasten the top of the ‘S’ hook to the chain using pliers.
- Take the grate and secure the three ‘S’ hook bottoms to it in a way that makes the grate steady, level, and balanced. What you should have almost looks like a tripod within a tripod.
After all, this is done, you can always opt to add an ‘S’ hook or two on the upper part of the chain where fire can’t get to. The addition of such hooks can help you hang frequently used utensils such as cooking or serving spoon or spatula for easy reach.
With the grate well fastened and a good distance from the fire, you can place a small pot or pan on the grate for frying eggs or brewing tea.
You can also use a pan to grill and sear meat. If you prefer to roast the meat, you can place the meat directly onto the grate and let it roast over its fats as the heat from glowing wood embers works their magic on the meat.
The beauty of a tripod is that it can be made from light metals that form the stands and chain. ‘S’ hooks and eyebolts do a good job of joining and fastening the chain and rods where needed.
Adding a grate into the mix is a fairly simple affair.
Why a Tripod Cooking Stand is Great for Camping
What makes a tripod such an excellent cooking set for camping trips;
1. Is the fact that it’s so easy to set up and start cooking over an open fire.
If you are new to cooking with a tripod over an open fire, you can first get some practice by learning how to safely start an open fire in your backyard.
Creating an open fire is quite easy. Choose a dry patch of ground, define the fire area with a ring of stones. You can gather stones from your surroundings. Also, gather kindling material such as dry leaves or grass, add some flimsy twigs to the pile and strike a match. As the fire smokes and eventually ignites, adding bigger twigs, sticks and eventually logs should result in a sizeable fire that burns for long periods.
Practice assembling the tripod and even cooking a simple meal over the open fire.
2. Lightweight, Easy to dis-assemble and carry
Collapse the unit when done and practice how to carry it. A good number of tripod units come accompanied by a carry case for ease of transportation in the car or when on foot as is the case when you are on a hiking or camping trip.
3. The height of the hanging chain at the center is adjustable to the flames.
4. Can be used with a number of outdoor cooking appliances such as pans, tea and coffee pots, grates, dutch ovens, coffee pots and kettles.
A cooking tripod is a perfect companion for make-believe camping episodes with your family in the comfort of your backyard.
It is also an inexpensive outdoor cooking equipment, lightweight, easy to set up, and collapsible option that can be carried along on a hike or expedition that calls for cooking meals over an open fire in the wild.