Camping

Father’s Day Gifts for the Camp Chef

The camp chef may be the most important camper of them all, and Dad is often the one most called upon to man the grill and produce the vittles.
So what are you waiting for?
Make Dad’s day special with these tools for his outrageously creative camping cuisine.

Little Griddle SQ 180 Universal Griddle for BBQ Grills — $54.99

Little Griddle SQ 180

This amazing stainless steel griddle is perfect for campers slinging hash and eggs, pancakes, hamburgers, Philly cheese steak sandwiches, stir fry and even make pizza at the campsite.

The Little Griddle sits atop your chef’s propane gas grill, capturing the heat from your burners, and it’s easy to clean. Just scrape the oil and cooking debris into the recessed tray just like pros do.

Measure the interior of your fire box or grill surface to ensure it fits before ordering. The Little Griddle SQ 180 is 18 inches wide x 13 inches deep x 3 inches high. It fits perfectly on my tabletop NexGrill (19 in. by 15 in.), although I can’t close the top on my grill all the way. This was not a problem for me because I like a little space for heat to escape when the grill is partially closed.

In the photo at right, you can see my well-used Little Griddle frying up a lobster tail and crab cake on a recent camping trip through the Florida Keys. The results were outstanding, although I have to give most of the credit to the meaty home-made crab cake that we picked up at Fanci Seafood on Cudjoe Key.

Little Griddle SQ 180: $54.99 on Amazon.

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Must-Have Accessories for your Little Griddle

Little Griddle GK540 Grill Cleaning Kit — $12.99

Little Griddle Cleaning Kit

The Little Griddle Cleaning Kit includes a stainless steel scraper and high-heat scrubber.

I also use the scrubber to scrub the grates on my grill. Works great.
I use the scraper as both a scraper and a supplemental spatula for tossing goodies around the grill. It’s particularly handy for stirring up those home fries and onions.
Little Griddle GK540 Grill Cleaning Kit: $12.99 on Amazon
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Blackstone 5-piece Professional Grade Grill Griddle & BBQ Tool Kit — $27.99

This is the No. 1 Best Seller on Amazon for barbecue tool sets. It includes two spatulas, a chopper/scraper, two squeeze bottles for cooking oil or condiments and a cookbook on “The Art of Griddle Cooking.”
The squeeze bottles are essential gear for sauces and oils. My camp kitchen kit also includes two Japanese squeeze bottles (see below).  In addition, I keep a can of canola oil spray handy, a squeeze bottle of barbecue sauce and a squeeze bottle of Sriracha Chili and Garlic Sauce, all available at your local supermarket.
The long face on the spatulas let you flip the food with finesse, just like restaurant chefs, and the scraper is great for cutting on the cutting board or directly on the griddle.
Blackstone 5-piece Griddle and BBQ Tool Kit: $27.99 on Amazon
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I purchased these Japanese squeeze bottles for cooking oils, which I use every day while camping. I keep one full of healthy Avocado Oil for high-heat cooking and the other contains less-expensive canola oil, which also can withstand high heat. These bottles have caps attached so they don’t get lost. This is the standard bottle the Japanese use for teppanyaki griddle cooking. I’ll probably be adding another bottle soon for extra virgin olive oil to use on salads. $4.99 each on Amazon
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Cuisinart CMD-108 Melting Dome — $9.11Cuisinart CMD-108 Melting Dome

This handy 9-inch dome is ideal for melting cheese on hamburgers or segregating your corned beef hash and hash brown potatoes (with onions) on the other side of the griddle while you cook the bacon and eggs.
The dome focuses more heat onto your burger and melts cheese quickly.
It’s also a great way to fast-cook that “well-done” burger while you cook the medium-rare patty the way you like it. You get the picture.
Cuisinart Melting Dome: $9.11 on Amazon
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Cuisinart Cast Iron Grill Press — $11.81

Cuisinart Grill Press

Cuisinart Grill Press

Press burgers, add cool grill marks and make paninis on your grill or griddle. It’s also an excellent press for bacon, bacon and more bacon! The best bacon I’ve ever eaten came out from under this press.

Aside from paninis, this grill press works great to speed up the toasting of hamburger buns and garlic bread. Yum.
Wooden handle makes it easy to remove from the hot griddle. I also recommend bringing a brick to set it on when it’s hot..
Cuisinart Cast Iron Grill Press: $11.81 on Amazon
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Perhaps Dad “needs” a portable propane fire pit!

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Camco “Little Red Campfire” Portable Propane Campfire — $118

Camco Little Red Campfire

Somehow, a propane fire pit just doesn’t seem right when you could have a smoky wood fire, just like the old days. Of course, there are also a lot of high-risk fire days in Florida when wood-burning campfires are illegal, but a propane fire pit is not.

And then there’s the inconvenience of having to scramble through the woods for dead limbs and tinder, or you give up the space and weight of firewood that you bring from home.

Exactly.

This smart, compact fire pit is designed specifically for campers — easy to use, lightweight and easy to store. It has a carrying case that snaps over the fire pit for storage and travel. It is approved for campground use, even when ground fires are prohibited.

The fire tray is only 11.25 inches in diameter, compared to 19 inches for my own Elite Flame fire pit, so it’s definitely got a size advantage.  If I had given my purchase a little more thought, I would have bought this one for easier storage in my RV. The Camco Little Red Campfire ranks 4.5 out of 5 stars in Amazon reviews, so Camco must be doing something right.

Camco Little Red Campfire: $118 on Amazon

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Best Books for the Camp Chef

Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling. $19.81 — For succulent results every time, nothing is more crucial than understanding the science behind the interaction of food, fire, heat, and smoke. This is the definitive guide to the concepts, methods, equipment, and accessories of barbecue and grilling. The founder and editor of the world’s most popular BBQ and grilling website, AmazingRibs.com, Meathead applies the latest research to backyard cooking more than 100 thoroughly tested recipes. Hardcover: $19.81 on Amazon.

The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen. $13.19 — More than 500 of the very best barbecue recipes, inventive, delicious, unexpected, easy-to-make, and guaranteed to capture great grill flavors from around the world. $13.19 on Amazon. “The most extensive collection of recipes and techniques … ever published.” –Esquire Magazine. The author, Steve Raichlen, is the popular TV host BBQ University on PBS and is a widely regarded expert on outdoor barbecue. Softcover: $13.19 on Amazon.

Editors Note: FloridaRambler.com receives a modest commission when readers purchase items from Amazon through the links on this page. Your purchase helps us produce more content and take more camping trips.  The camp-kitchen gear on this page, with the exception of the Camco Little Red Campfire, has all been purchased and tested in a camping environment by co-publisher Bob Rountree. The items would not be on this list if they did not perform to — or exceed — expectations. If you have any questions, please contact Bob at [email protected] In addition, your comments are welcome below.

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