How Hot does a Campfire get?

Last Updated on June 22, 2022 by Ecorf

When you are camping, campfire is always a good thing to have since you can use it to keep yourself warm. The temperature can be biting at times such that your sleeping gear can serve little purpose. You can also use a campfire for cooking but it is essential to know that fire can be dangerous.  

For instance, you might want to know how hot does a campfire get so that you can use it safely. This post presents some basic information that you should know about campfires. With regard to the temperature of a campfire, there are certain factors that can determine it. 

What is the Maximum Temperature of a Campfire? 

The simple answer to this question is that the maximum temperature of a campfire should not exceed 1200 degrees Celsius if it is a bonfire. The melting temperature of aluminum is 1220°F (660°C) so the highest temperature of a campfire should not exceed the melting temperature of this alloy.   

The maximum temperature of a campfire is based on the assumption that it cannot cause aluminum to melt. Therefore, the maximum temperature of a campfire is assumed to be somewhere below the melting point of aluminum.

Other people believe that the color of the flames of your campfire can determine the temperature of the fire but there is no scientific truth to this assertion. The color of the flame can be a result of the amount and type of fuel you use for your campfire. 

If you are using charcoal, then the color of flames from the fire can give you a rough guide about the level of its temperature. A deep red color usually indicates a temperature of about 1100°F while orange-yellow indicates a temperature of about 2000°F. Blue color is usually hotter while white color of flames indicates hottest temperature. 

However, an ordinary campfire is not likely to reach such high temperatures. There are also other different factors that determine the temperature of your campfire. 

Factors that Determine the Temperature Level of Your Campfire

The following factors can determine the temperature level of your campfire: type of wood, oxygen flow as well as the size of the fire. 

Type of Wood

There are three types of wood that you can use for your campfire namely: Tinder, Kindling, and Fuelwood. 

  • Tinder consists of the smallest types of twigs that you can collect from the bush when you are building your fire. The type of wood is vital when you are starting your fire and it burns at a lower temperature. You can get this type of wood from the surrounding areas within your campsite. 
  • Kindling burns at a higher temperature compared to tinder and it is also a bit thicker. This type of wood can burn steadily once you build your campfire. 
  • Fuelwood produces the highest temperature once you have successfully built your campfire. 



A campfire burning in an open space with free flow of oxygen is likely to produce high temperature compared to the one in a restricted area like metal container. Your campfire can have a lower temperature if it is in a controlled environment with a limited flow of air. 

Size of the Fire

The size of the campfire can also determine its temperature. A smaller campfire is likely to produce lower temperatures while a bonfire can produce higher temperatures. A large fire has sufficient fuel and oxygen to produce higher temperatures compared to smaller fires. A campfire with larger flames produces more heat unlike the one with slow-burning embers. 

Using Campfire for Cooking

Now that you know how hot a campfire can get, it is also vital to know how can cook using it. Likewise, you would require fire that burns steadily if you are cooking food to avoid burning it. An intense fire can affect the quality of food you cook and you can quickly run out of your supply for wood. 

You should aim to create a perfect base for your fire with steady burning coals which also help to produce the desired temperature that is ideal for cooking. You must consider the type of wood to use especially for cooking. For example, dry hardwood burns hotter and longer than softwood. 

How Hot Does a Campfire Get

Essentially, hardwood logs can give you longer burning time and can warm you up late into the night. To increase the temperature when you are cooking, you just need to lift the cooking pot a bit higher so that the campfire gets more oxygen which increases the flames. You can also add a bit of some fuel in smaller quantities to increase the temperature of the campfire.   

Safety Tips About Using Your Campfire

A campfire can be extremely dangerous if you fail to take into account some safety precautions to make sure that you all enjoy the warmth of the fire in safety. The following tips can help you to prevent some dangers that can be caused by a campfire.

  • Make sure that your campfire is free of any flammable items that can cause veld fire.
  • Make sure that the kids are safe
  • Avoid sleeping too close to the campfire since it can maintain high temperatures over a long period
  • If you have one, make sure you use a fire ring
  • Build a campfire that you need and can control at the same time. 



While there are different factors that should determine how hot a campfire should get, you should know that its temperature should not exceed 1,200 degrees Celsius. A campfire can be dangerous so there are certain precautions that you should take in order to get the best out of it.

When put to good use, a campfire can give you an awesome adventure since you can use it to warm yourself in biting weather. You can also use the campfire for cooking and we hope this post has helped you to gain knowledge about how hot a campfire can get. You can leave a comment here or a question if you want more details about the topic.