Instant Pot Campfire Stew

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Instant Pot Campfire Stew. How to make delicious homemade campfire stew in the instant pot, pressure king pro, or any other electric pressure cooker. Syn Free on Slimming World this campfire stew is perfect to make ahead and cook while camping.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Campfire Stew
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Campfire Stew

Instant Pot Campfire Stew

If you missed all the stories of our instant pot camping trip, here is the short version.

In the summer of 2018 I decided for fun, to see how far our summer travel money could be stretched and embark on a summer camping trip in our tent.

We did it on a super cheap budget and went camping in 8 different countries over 8 weeks.

We visited Portugal, France, Spain, Luxemburg, England, Holland, Germany and Belgium. We had an amazing time and created a lot of amazing memories.

We ate everything in the rain in Lyon, we walked through the Black Forest, we met Donald Duck, we went to Peppa Pigs house as well as many other adventures.

But what is most interesting is that we did 98% of all our cooking in the instant pot pressure cooker.

This model of instant pot came with us and did an amazing job of cooking our meals for us.

How To Travel With Your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

We heated up milk in it for coffee, we cooked stews, casseroles, breakfasts and so much more.

In fact, it was one of the main reasons why we managed to keep our costs as low as possible.

Over those 8 weeks I learnt to be more and more organised with instant pot camping and what meals worked and which ones didn’t.

Meals that worked best were just like this instant pot campfire stew that I am sharing with you today.

But because I have been camping in a tent and cooked from an instant pot more than most, I wanted to share with you today my true tips.

Also note that not only is this campfire stew easy to make, but it can be made ahead and is also super healthy.

What Is Campfire Stew?

But first let’s start at the beginning and talk about exactly what is campfire stew.

Campfire stew is a one pot dish often cooked when you go camping. It is a mixture of meat, veggies, beans and spices.

There are many variations of it but what always remains is the balance between delicious tender meat, wholesome vegetables, white beans and a kick of spice.

There are also many different names given to what is essentially the same recipe. Not only is it often referred to as campfire stew, but you might also know it as cowboy beans or campfire beans.

What Goes In Campfire Stew?

In my version of campfire stew that I will be showing you how to make in the instant pot, uses the following:

  • Meat – We are using cubed pork because it gives you the best tasting campfire stew. But you can also use gammon or ham instead. Though note if you use gammon it can be too salty.
  • Veggies – Butternut squash, leeks, carrots, onion and parsnip go into this hearty stew. You can mix and match with what is in season but do note it comes together better with root vegetables.
  • Beans – We used a couple of cans of cheap white beans. I don’t recommend baked beans unless they are homemade because they carry a lot of salt and sugar.
  • Spices – I recommend paprika, coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper. Or if you want it to have less of a kick to it avoid the cayenne.

Campfire Stew With Pork

I have a great tip for you if you plan to make ahead your campfire stew and are travelling to a campsite on that day.

Instead of using thawed pork, take a frozen batch with you.

Instant Pot Campfire Stew Ingredients

Have a pack of frozen pork cubes in your freezer, grab two cans of white beans from your pantry and make ahead your seasoned vegetables.

The frozen pork will then keep better for longer while travelling in the heat and keep other food you are storing cool.

When we were travelling, we would buy frozen meat and then use it like this and it worked as a cooler for us and helped keep our dairy foods such as cheese and milk cold.

Slimming World Campfire Stew

You will be pleased to know that if you follow Slimming World that our instant pot campfire stew is SYN FREE.

This is because the SW campfire stew uses no oil and is a mix of white beans, lean pork and lots of fresh vegetables.

It is also a good choice for a SP Slimming World day too. Or just consider it as a high speed food recipe thanks to the amount of vegetables that we used.

How Do You Make Campfire Stew?

Instant Pot Campfire Stew step by step

The way I make campfire stew is based around a) travelling with it before cooking b) cooking it in the instant pot c) marinating the vegetables in the stew spices.

If you are having campfire stew at home instead of on the road then you can use thawed meat and don’t need to bag it up.

Campfire Stew Instructions:

  1. Peel and dice vegetables and load into a large zip loc bag. Add in spices and seasonings and shake well to fully coat your vegetables.
  2. When its time to cook your campfire stew load everything into the instant pot and cook on the meat/stew setting.
  3. When it beeps load into camping dishes and serve.

Campfire Stew Cooking Time

The cooking time for instant pot campfire stew is 45 minutes using the meat and stew pressure cooker function.

Though do note, because the instant pot pressure cooker is rather full it does take some time to go to pressure.

Campfire Stew FAQ

Campfire Stew Too Watery? This is because either too much liquid has been added or your vegetables have been too watery and added too much liquid to the pot.

I recommend using a ladle and removing about 4 ladles of liquid from the instant pot and this will reduce the amount of liquid and make it less watery.

Can I Freeze Campfire Stew? Yes you can. In fact, when we last made instant pot campfire stew, we put in the freezer two portions that we had leftover.

Just make sure before you place a lid on your freezer container that your stew is cold otherwise you will have condensation.

How To Reheat Campfire Stew? Use the instant pot to reheat your campfire stew. You can either use the saute and warm it up like you would with a stovetop meal or use the pressure cooker button.

I prefer to use the pressure cooker button and will cook it at 0 minutes and by the time it goes to pressure it will be done.

How To Thicken Up Campfire Stew? If it is too watery, I will remove about 4 ladles of liquid first.

Then I will use my hand blender and find a few big vegetable lumps and blend them. Then mix the stew and you will find that these big lumps will thicken the stew.

What Does Campfire Stew Taste Like? Campfire stew tastes like a slightly spicy version of a pork stew.

Think of your favourite hearty pork stews and this campfire stew will be similar.

What Do You Serve Campfire Stew With?

When I am thinking about what to serve with my campfire stew I am back in a field in France and dunking a French stick into the stew.

Or if I mention this to Dominic he will be saying don’t forget about the butter on the bread!

But beyond freshly cooked French bread here are a few other ideas:

Air Fryer Bread – If you are at home, then make some of our air fryer homemade bread as it is delicious!

Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes – Load them on top of your stew and they are wonderfully crispy and add a great texture to your stew.

Air Fryer Croutons – Or try out croutons in the air fryer and add them to your campfire stew as a topping.

Instant Pot Campfire Stew
Instant Pot Campfire Stew
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Campfire Stew

Instant Pot Campfire Stew. How to make delicious homemade campfire stew in the instant pot, pressure king pro, or any other electric pressure cooker. Syn Free on Slimming World this campfire stew is perfect to make ahead and cook while camping.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Instant Pot
Servings: 4
Calories: 699kcal


Kitchen Gadgets:

Campfire Stew Recipe Ingredients:


  • Peel and dice your vegetables and load them into a zip loc bag. Add the seasonings and give it a good shake.
  • Travel with your canned beans, frozen pork and zip loc vegetable bag.
  • When at destination and ready to cook throw it all into the instant pot along with 400ml of either pork stock or water.
  • Stir and place the lid on your instant pot. Set the vale to sealing and cook for 45 minutes on the meat/stew button.
  • Use quick pressure release, stir and serve.


If there is too much liquid you can remove 3 ladles of water, stir and then serve if you prefer.
You can swap the pork cubes (we used diced pork shoulder) for ham or gammon. Though do note gammon can be a lot more salty.


Calories: 699kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 3012mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 30351IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 384mg | Iron: 14mg
Nutrition InfoPlease Note: Nutrition values are our best estimate based on the software we use at Recipe This and are meant as a guide. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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Instant Pot Campfire Stew recipe

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I’m Samantha and along with my chef husband Dominic and our three kids, we teach you how to cook smart with kitchen gadgets. You can learn more about us and how we can help you by CLICKING HERE →

4 thoughts on “Instant Pot Campfire Stew”

  1. 5 stars
    Looking gorgeous, rich and flavoursome! (I cook a very similar campfire stew with addition of mushrooms). You’re right Samantha, simple campfire stews are what comfort food is made of and is what home tastes like:) Take care my love x

  2. 5 stars
    Last time I made campfire stew I coated the meat in flour and browned it up in the dutch oven before adding everything else. Turned out delicious!


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