Easy Ways to Cook Rice While Camping

9 Easy Ways to Cook Rice While Camping: A Comprehensive Guide

We at our camping authority have curated a comprehensive guide to help you cook rice effortlessly during your outdoor adventures. With these nine easy methods, you’ll be able to enjoy a warm and satisfying bowl of rice, perfectly cooked to complement your camping meals. Let’s dive in!

Traditional Stovetop Cooking

Using a traditional stovetop is the most straightforward method to cook rice while camping. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Stove or campfire grill
  • Cooking pot with a lid
  • Water
  • Rice
  • Salt (optional)
  1. Start by filling your cooking pot with the desired amount of rice. As a simple rule, use a 1:2 ratio of rice to water.
  2. Rinse the rice thoroughly to remove excess starch and improve its texture.
  3. Add water to the pot, ensuring it covers the rice by at least an inch.
  4. Place the pot on the stove or campfire grill, and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with the lid, and allow the rice to simmer for the recommended cooking time. This is typically around 15-20 minutes but refer to the rice package instructions for precise cooking times.
  6. After cooking the rice, remove it from the heat and let it steam for a few minutes in the covered pot.
  7. Before serving, gently fluff the rice with a fork. If salt is preferred, add a small amount.

Portable Rice Cooker

If you prefer a hassle-free approach, investing in a portable rice cooker can be a game-changer for your camping adventures. These compact appliances are designed to cook rice perfectly with minimal effort. Here’s how to use one:

portable rice cooker to cook rice
  1. Fill the interior pot of the rice cooker with the desired quantity of rinsed rice.
  2. Add water according to the ratio recommended by the rice cooker manufacturer.
  3. Place the internal pot inside the rice cooker and securely seal the lid.
  4. If available, connect the rice cooker to a power source, such as a portable generator or vehicle adapter.
  5. Typically labelled “Cook” or “Start,” the appropriate cooking option on a rice cooker is “Cook” or “Start.”
  6. Once the rice is boiled, the rice cooker will automatically transition to “Keep Warm” mode.
  7. Before serving, let the rice rest in the “Keep Warm” mode for a few minutes to enhance its texture.

Foil Packet Method

The foil packet method is ideal for a convenient and mess-free option when you have limited cooking equipment. Follow these steps:

  1. Tear off a large piece of heavy-duty aluminium foil.
  2. Place the desired amount of rinsed rice in the centre of the foil.
  3. Add water to the foil packet using the 1:2 rice-to-water ratio.
  4. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the rice if desired.
  5. Fold the foil over the rice, creating a tightly sealed packet.
  6. Place the foil pack on a preheated grill or directly on hot campfire coals.
  7. Cook the packet for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  8. Carefully remove the packet from the heat, open it cautiously to avoid steam burns, and fluff the rice before serving.

Campfire Dutch Oven

If you have a cast-iron Dutch oven, cooking rice over a campfire becomes an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Here’s how to do it:

cook rice while camping using campfire Dutch oven
  1. Prepare your campfire and let it burn down, leaving a bed of hot coals.
  2. Place the Dutch oven on a heat-resistant surface, such as a sturdy cooking grate or fireproof rocks surrounding the campfire.
  3. Add the desired amount of rinsed rice to the Dutch oven.
  4. Pour water into the Dutch oven using the 1:2 rice-to-water ratio.
  5. Season with salt if desired.
  6. Cover the Dutch oven with its lid, ensuring a tight seal to retain heat.
  7. Arrange hot coals on top of the lid, creating an even distribution of heat.
  8. Cook the rice for approximately 20-30 minutes, occasionally checking to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  9. Once cooked, release the Dutch oven from the heat, carefully open the lid, and fluff the rice with a fork.

Jetboil or Portable Backpacking Stove

When you’re backpacking or aiming for a lightweight camping setup, a Jetboil or a portable backpacking stove is an efficient way to cook rice. Here’s the process:

portable backpacking stove to cook rice while camping
  1. Set up your Jetboil or portable backpacking stove according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Fill the pot with the wished amount of rinsed rice.
  3. Add water to the pot using the recommended ratio of 1:2 rice to water.
  4. Place the pot onto the stove and ignite the burner.
  5. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  6. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with its lid.
  7. Allow the rice to cook for the specified cooking time, usually around 15-20 minutes.
  8. Please turn off the stove, remove the pot from the heat origin, and let it sit for a few minutes to steam.
  9. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Pre-cooked Rice Options

Consider using pre-cooked rice products in stores for a quick and convenient option. These typically come in microwavable pouches or cups. Follow the instructions on the packaging for heating or cooking methods suitable for your camping situation.

Rice Pilaf in a Skillet

Add delicious flavours to your camping rice by preparing a rice pilaf in a skillet. Here’s how to do it:

rice cooking in pilaf skillet
  1. Heat a skillet or frying pan over your camp stove or campfire grill.
  2. Add a little oil or butter to the skillet and let it melt.
  3. Add diced onions, minced garlic, and any other desired vegetables or seasonings to the skillet, and sauté until the onions become translucent.
  4. Pour the desired amount of rinsed rice into the skillet, stirring it with the sautéed vegetables and seasonings.
  5. Add water to the skillet using the 1:2 rice-to-water ratio.
  6. Cover the skillet with a cover or aluminium foil, and let it simmer for the recommended cooking time, typically 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove the skillet from the heat, rest for a few minutes, and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Rice Cooked in a Thermos

If you’re looking for a hands-off method with minimal cleanup, cook rice in a thermos while camping is an excellent option. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Preheat your thermos by pouring boiling water into it, then closing the lid and allowing it to sit for a few minutes. This step ensures the thermos is warm and ready to cook the rice.
  2. While the thermos is preheating, rinse the desired amount of rice.
  3. Empty the preheating water from the thermos, then add the rinsed rice.
  4. Pour hot water into the thermos, following the 1:2 rice-to-water ratio.
  5. Close the thermos tightly with its lid and gently shake it to ensure the rice and water are evenly distributed.
  6. Let the thermos sit undisturbed for the recommended cooking time, typically 1-2 hours.
  7. Carefully open the thermos once the rice is prepared, as it will be hot and steamy.
  8. Fluff the rice gently with a fork before serving.

Rice in a Solar Cooker

For environmentally-conscious campers, harnessing the sun’s power with a solar cooker is a sustainable way to prepare rice. Follow these steps:

  1. Set up your solar cooker in an area with ample sunlight.
  2. Rinse the desired amount of rice.
  3. Add the rinsed rice to a heatproof container or pot suitable for the solar cooker.
  4. Pour water into the container using the recommended 1:2 rice-to-water ratio.
  5. Cover the container with aluminium foil or lid, ensuring a tight seal.
  6. Place the container inside the solar cooker, aligning it with the sun’s direction.
  7. Allow the rice to cook in the solar cooker for the recommended time, which can vary depending on the solar cooker’s efficiency and weather conditions.
  8. Once cooked, carefully remove the container from the solar cooker and fluff the rice with a fork.


By incorporating these nine easy methods into your camping routine, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to cook rice effortlessly during your outdoor adventures. Enjoy the versatility of rice as a delicious and nutritious addition to your camping meals. Happy camping and bon appétit!

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