How to Cook Rice Camping: Quick and Easy Tips

Camping in the great outdoors is one of life’s great pleasures. After a long day full of hiking, fishing, or other adventures, few things are more satisfying than a warm, delicious meal. For many campers, rice is a camping staple that’s versatile, lightweight, and easy to transport. However, cooking rice while camping does require some special considerations. This complete guide will walk you through everything you need to know to cook fluffy, perfect rice at your campsite.

Equipment You’ll Need

Cooking rice while camping requires just a few key pieces of equipment:

  • A pot with a lid
  • A portable camp stove or grill
  • Fuel for your camp stove
  • A spoon for stirring and serving
  • Bowls, plates, and utensils

According to a 2016 survey by Kampgrounds of America, the most popular camp cooking equipment includes portable grills or stoves (74% of campers), pots and pans (73%), plates and utensils (71%), and cutting boards and knives (62%). Having the right gear makes camp cooking much simpler.

Choosing the Right Type of Rice

With so many varieties available, which type of rice is best for cooking at your campsite? Here are some top options:

  • Long grain white rice: The most common choice since it cooks up light and fluffy. Varieties like jasmine and basmati work well.
  • Pre-cooked or instant rice: Saves prep time since it’s already fully cooked. Just heat it up on your camp stove.
  • Brown rice: Takes longer to cook but provides more nutrients. Make sure to allow extra simmering time.
  • Rice mixes: Flavored rice or rice pilafs come pre-seasoned for easy camp meals.

The 2022 Outdoor Participation Trends Report found rice to be the most popular camp cooking grain, used by 61% of campers surveyed. Staying powered up with a hearty serving of rice is a camping tradition.

How Much Rice to Cook

Figuring out portions is an important part of planning any camping menu. As a general rule, here’s how much uncooked rice yields the following cooked portion sizes:

  • 1⁄4 cup uncooked = 1⁄2 cup cooked
  • 1⁄2 cup uncooked = 1 cup cooked
  • 1 cup uncooked = 2 cups cooked
  • 1⁄4 lb (about 1⁄2 cup) uncooked = 2 servings

The average adult portion size is about 1⁄2-1 cup cooked rice per person. Just adjust amounts based on the appetites in your group. Having a bit of extra rice on hand can also be useful for leftovers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Rice

Once you’ve selected your rice and gathered your cooking gear, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these steps for perfect campsite rice every time:

1. Boil Water

Bring clean water to a boil in your pot on the camp stove. The standard rice-to-water ratio is 1:2, meaning 1 cup rice : 2 cups liquid. Feel free to add a bit more water if needed.

2. Add Rice and Stir

Once the water is boiling rapidly, add the dry rice. For white rice, stir gently until the water returns to a boil.

3. Cover and Simmer

As soon as it boils again, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer. Avoid lifting the lid to check Rice frequently as this lets heat and moisture escape.

4. Cook Time

Average cook times are about 15-20 minutes but can vary by rice variety. Refer to package directions for exact timing.

5. Fluff with Fork

When rice is done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Replace the lid and let sit 5 minutes to steam perfectly. Enjoy your fresh, hot rice!

Cooking Rice in a Rice Cooker

Another option is using a portable electric rice cooker. These convenient devices allow you to simply add rice and water, press a button, and walk away. Here are some benefits of using a rice cooker while camping:

  • Consistent results every time. Rice cookers automatically switch to “warm” when done.
  • Makes cooking multiple meals easy since rice can be kept warm in the cooker.
  • Frees up your camp stove for cooking other dishes.
  • Can cook rice unattended while you do other tasks.
  • Compact size takes up less room than a pot.

If going this route, be sure to bring along a power bank to provide electricity if camping without hookups. Rice cookers make rice foolproof.

Try One-Pot Rice Recipes

Besides cooking plain rice, give one of these simple one-pot rice creations a try at your next campout:

  • Coconut rice: Add coconut milk and spices for a tropical twist.
  • Fried rice: Cook rice, eggs, veggies, and soy sauce together in one pan.
  • Jambalaya: Saute meat, rice, tomatoes, and Cajun spices in one pot.
  • Rice pilaf: Cook rice in broth with onions, carrots, peas, and herbs.
  • Spanish rice: Saute rice with tomato sauce, salsa, and taco seasoning.

Whipping up these one-pot rice camping recipes is budget-friendly and satisfying after an active day outdoors.

Ensuring Food Safety

Proper food handling practices are important when cooking while camping. Here are some key tips:

  • Transport and store rice in an insulated cooler at temperatures under 40°F.
  • Wash hands and cooking tools with soap before prep.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure rice reaches safe internal temperature (160°F).
  • Refrigerate all leftovers promptly and dispose if not eaten within 3 days.
  • Keep campsite clean and store all food securely away from wildlife.

Taking these precautions will keep your camping meals safe to enjoy. Always stay vigilant when handling any raw ingredients outdoors.

Troubleshooting Common Rice Issues

If your campsite rice turns out too mushy, burnt, or undercooked, here are some likely causes and solutions:

Problem: Soggy, mushy rice
Solution: Use less water and cook uncovered after boiling to evaporate excess moisture

Problem: Burnt, crispy rice
Solution: Use lower heat setting on camp stove and stir more frequently

Problem: Undercooked, crunchy rice Solution: Simmer 20-30 minutes longer and keep pot covered for fluffier results

Problem: Rice sticks to bottom of pot
Solution: Grease pot first and stir gently while cooking to prevent sticking

With a bit of trial and error, you’ll get the rice cooking method dialed in for your particular camp stove and pots. Perfecting your technique takes a little practice.

Enjoy the Simplicity of Camp Cooking

After an active day of fun in the outdoors, sitting down to a hot meal of perfectly cooked rice is one of life’s great rewards. With the proper gear and techniques, you can easily whip up fluffy rice that rivals your stovetop results. From plain white rice to flavored rice dishes, the options are unlimited. So embrace the simplicity of cooking while camping. The aroma of rice simmering on your camp stove will whet your appetite for adventure.


What is the best camp stove for cooking rice?

Portable propane stoves are ideal for cooking rice while camping. They provide consistent heat that makes it easy to achieve perfect rice. Look for camp stoves with adjustable flame control.

Which pot is best to use for cooking rice outdoors?

A heavy-bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid works best to cook rice evenly while camping. Choose a pot with heat-resistant handles that can rest directly on a camp stove grate.

Can you cook rice in a pan instead of a pot?

Yes, a frying pan can work for cooking small batches of rice if you don’t have a pot. Just make sure the pan is large enough to allow the rice to boil properly. Stir frequently while simmering.

Is instant rice a good option for camping meals?

Instant rice is very convenient for camping since it can be made with just boiled water. It won’t have quite the same fluffy texture as rice cooked from scratch but still makes a quick, tasty meal.

How should leftover rice be stored while camping?

Cooked rice should be stored promptly in a cooler on ice if no refrigerator is available. Discard any leftovers after 3 days. Do not leave rice sitting out once cooked.

So get out and enjoy nature without sacrificing hearty, hot meals. With the guidance above, you’ll be a rice cooking pro on your next camping trip. Savor the food, fun, and memories cooking over your camp stove will provide.


My name is Evelyn and I started Camping The Camp to combine my love of the outdoors with my background in environmental science. I hope you’ll find helpful as you discover the joys of camping. It’s more than a weekend trip - it’s a chance to disconnect from devices, reconnect with loved ones, and make memories to last a lifetime

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button