When you can’t decide on a holiday spot, go camping. Follow our campfire cooking pro tips so you can cook like a pro over a campfire with little more than a fire and a dutch oven.
Ditch technology and the city’s bustle, soak up nature’s medicine and clean air, and go camping. The only limitation to life in the outdoors is cooking outdoors if you have never cooked while camping before.
How do you cook over a campfire?
Cooking over a fire requires a few handy items that will have you making gourmet meals on the campfire in no time:
- Camping fire grid – These are a foolproof way to cook with ease on a campfire. You can balance a pot or a skillet on top. These are also excellent for campfire coffee making while breakfast is cooking!
- Aluminum foil – Foil is not just plain ole’ ordinary aluminum foil in the camping world. You can use any heavy foil to make foil packets for cooking or lining your Dutch Oven. Handy when it comes to clean up and fewer dishes. It doesn’t take up space in your pack either.
- Grilling tools – Tongs, knives, and steel skewers are all great tools to have on hand to make your campfire cooking more comfortable and much more exciting. Remember cooking on a campfire is easy with the right tools and the proper prep.
- Camping Dutch Oven – One of the excellent camping investments is a camping Dutch Oven. Made with legs to stand on and an easy to use lid that doubles up as a skillet, these were invented to make cooking your favorite meals easy over a campfire!
- Grill gloves – As important as a skillet, these help you move hot pots and grills without having to find a towel in a hurry when you need to move your campfire cooking out of a sudden rainfall!
- Portable gas camping stove – When the campsite faces rain and fire is not quite possible; gas stoves are also used in conjunction with fire when you need a stable, steady heat that you can control.
- Cast Iron Skillet – If a Dutch Oven is intimidating, a skillet is a must! Cast iron skillets are versatile and durable; they can be used for just about any meal.
- Firewood – if you have ever watched any shows on The Food Network, you will have picked up on chefs talking about applewood or hickory-smoked food. The type of wood used will provide a distinct flavor in the food as the smoke permeates it. Different kinds produce different smoked flavors in campfire cooking. Try to support local businesses around your campsite by purchasing wood from them directly.
Prepare like a pro in the outdoors.
Cooking while camping requires a little bit of prep beforehand. Try to meal plan your trip, and prepare a lot of ingredients at home. Pie and pizza doughs can be made at home along with fillings.
Here are a few packing tips to get the best out of your food:
- Meal prep – plan out your meals for each day with a little menu.
- Pack according to each day – set aside ingredients for each meal and pack them accordingly into smaller bags inside the cooler. An organized cooler makes your life easier, so you do not need to unpack two cooler boxes to get one meal cooked.
- Meal-prep – if you know the weather will be dreary on your last day, try to pack tinned items that only need heating for the last day of camp. Soups and quick hot dog meals are a good idea. Cut and prep your ingredients, make any doughs or batters beforehand—prep meat by cleaning, cutting, and portioning accordingly.
- Freshness – pack according to freshness, plan to use the food items that are most likely to spoil first, and cook those at the start of the trip. Save meals that are likely to last the longest for the end of the atrip.
Easy tips for excellent meals over the campfire
To make a foil bag, take an extra-long length of foil and fold it in half. Fold the edges in twice on each side to seal them up; this will create a pocket for your food to slide into. These are great for grilled banana split smores or even potatoes.
To cook potatoes, pop them into a foil packet with a pat of butter and seasoning. Close the package and place it into the coals. Cook the potatoes until crisp and browned while soft on the inside. Try this steak and bacon hash foil pack recipe next time you camp!
Dutch Oven cooking
Remember to season your Dutch Oven before packing away. Use foil to line your Dutch Oven if you need to cook simple things like pot roast potatoes or meat. Place your food on top of the foil with seasoning, oil, cover the Dutch Oven with a lid, and place coals on top of the lid to create an oven-like atmosphere.
Cook on coals and not an open flame as the heat is easier to manage and maintain. Flames disperse uneven heat and can burn your food.
Steaks and bakes
When it comes to campsite cooking, camping Dutch Ovens are the best as they double up as a skillet and a pot, this is great for boiling potatoes while you cook your steaks. Opt for dishes that are easy to make and easy to clean up with minimal dishes.
Preparation makes life easier.
Think of your preparation as making a little foolproof camping kit. Make sure everything you need for each meal is ready and prepped. If you have spare time, leave a little recipe card in each meal-prep bag, so if you want to take a night off cooking and leave it to someone else on the trip, all they need to do is follow the instructions, making life a little easier.