Cast Iron Cooking: Two Great Meals For Your Next Kayak Camping Adventure


One of the joys of sea kayak camping is you can bring cast iron skillets, boxed wine, and fresh veggies. Here are two of my favorite dinners that can be cooked right on a fire in your favorite Dutch Oven or cast iron pan. (They can also be made in tinfoil or in a pot over a stove.)

#1. CHICKEN SAUSAGE AND BABY POTATOES with onion, bell pepper, and a side salad.

1 whole yellow onion, chopped into chunks
1  bag of fingerling baby potatoes (use your judgment on how many)
1 package pre-cooked chicken sausage (these can keep for a day or two in our cold waters before needing to be used if you keep them on the bottom of your boat and package-sealed. Pre-cooked is key!)
1 orange or red bell pepper, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil or butter to grease the pan.  You can carry a small plastic bottle with olive oil, or butter packs (if it doesn’t get too warm)

Salad: I have found Trader Joe’s carries a nice variety of hearty salads. A Trader Joe’s kale and cabbage salad that comes chopped and packaged with salad dressing on the side is the perfect accompaniment to this hearty meat and potato dish, and will last a few days in its bag without refrigeration in cool weather.


Making the Fire
Build a fire with dead wood; in our region Madrona is very good for making coals. Do not cut down trees nor disrupt the environment by gathering wood.  Often you can find dead wood at the bottom of trees, or collect drift wood; just don’t take all of the wood. If you are going to build a fire outside of a fire ring, do it below the high tide mark so it will not mark up the campsite for the next visitors. Always make sure your fire is completely out when you are finished cooking and enjoying the fire, and do not build it close to overhanging trees that could catch on fire.

While the fire is burning down to make coals, you can begin prepping dinner.


With a stick, pull coals from the fire and make a nice bed of them a little away from the fire on a non flammable surface. A pebble beach is good for that. Set your cast iron pot on top of the coals, then add more coals to the top of your pot. You can do this by using sticks again, sometimes wide flat pieces of bark driftwood work well for this.


Let it cook. Try not to bother it too much. Wait until you hear the pot simmering and sizzling for awhile before stirring and checking. It will probably take 45 minutes or longer to cook.

Drink some wine while you wait.

Yum! You are ready to eat! You can add some sriracha for added flavor.



#2  CARNE ASADA BURRITOS with corn and black beans.

1 or 2 packets of Trader Joe’s pre-cooked Carne Asada meat (or similar, this is just easy and tasty!)
1 can corn
1 can black beans (not refried, whole black beans are best)
1 ripe avocado

1 english cucumber
Sriracha or salsa
Cheese of choice (I like extra sharp white cheddar)


Oil or butter for pan

Again in the cast iron pot, put a little oil in the bottom. Shred the carne asada, open the corn and beans, and add to the pot. Cook the same as the potatoes and sausage on the coals, but this dish cooks a little quicker since all the ingredients are pre-cooked.
When all the ingredients are warm, throw tortillas on top of the meat/corn/bean mixture and put the lid back on. Give them a few seconds to warm up.
You are all ready to add your sliced cheese, avocado and cucumber ( which lasts very well for a few days without refrigeration as compared to other veggies.)


Sit back and enjoy the beautiful night, maybe finish with some dark chocolate.

Have some favorite kayak camping recipes you’d like to share? E-mail them to us at along with any photos!







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