Last month I picked up one of my favorite new campfire staples and had the opportunity to test it out with Triple B Adventures on one of their campouts in the desert. Now let me preface with the fact that I have been on a cast iron binge this year and picked up my second Dutch oven. I don’t want to sound like a trendsetter but I am haha, and we have seen an increase in cast iron around the campsite. That being said, I had to step up my game and with that came the Bayou Classic 17-inch campfire griddle.
Let me start off with the fact that this is neither compact nor ultralight, but rather an awesome addition to car camping trips. At 17 inches with its three detachable legs, it does breakdown, making sticking it in the back of your car a lot easier than most cast iron cook pieces. With the legs off it can be placed on a gas grill and used as a skillet or griddle, but that is not as much fun as attaching the legs and sticking it in the fire! The concave design works like a wok and allows you to put the liquids in the middle and use the sides for staging and cooking foods at different temperatures.
In use it is a great addition to the camp kitchen. The large size provided ample cooking space while keeping the actual flame and embers under it, so there was less “campfire seasoning” in our food. I was able to rock out some awesome steaks the first night, with potatoes and onions. The important part is to keep the food moving, especially when your buddies are drinking beer and adding log after log. The next day we did eggs, steak, and leftover potatoes in a breakfast skillet. The smaller morning fire made it much more controllable, and we dined well that morning. Clean up is straight forward and easy with a little water while it is still on the fire. The leftovers came up easy with little effort. Keep in mind I’m saying cast iron easy, not nonstick easy.
So, my only real gripe (not a deal breaker) is what to do once you are fat, dumb and happy. In my case, I might have had a beer or two. So how does one remove the super-heated cast iron without a trip to the emergency room? Answer very carefully. The griddle does have two handles, but there are no holes to hook it, so carefully removing it from the fire became a two-man operation. What we did is grab a couple long pieces of wood and place them under the handles using a coordinated two-man lift. We were able to lift it up and over to a safe space to cool off. I cannot stress enough the importance of a safe space free of kids, pets, and drinkers.
That one drawback, which is not that big of a deal (you are cooking on an open fire after all), I really enjoyed cooking on this bad boy and am happy to add it to my kit. One of the best parts is this will not break the bank. I picked mine up for around $35.00 on Amazon. So, I hope you check them out and if you pick one up let us know how it worked out for you. As always thank you for taking the time to check us out and we look forward to running into you at camp or on the trail “Getting The Fox Out There”!