My husband Justin loves camping, I prefer glamping. However, through the years we’ve learned how to compromise. One thing, we both love about camping is cooking meals for our family around the campfire. So I thought I would share with you 6 Essentials for Campfire Cooking.
Is there anything more ideal during the summer than cooking over a campfire? With nothing but the wilderness as your backdrop, making dinner (or dessert!) over an open flame feels like an adventure. Although it may seem intimidating, campfire cooking is actually relatively easy – and a whole lot of fun. So if you’re gearing up for your next camping trip, check out these essential tips for whipping up delicious meals in the great outdoors.
It’s Not Like Cooking on Your Grill
Cooking over a campfire is usually trial and error. The most important thing to remember when cooking over a campfire is that the temperature can vary greatly, so you need to prepare yourself for both extremes. Make sure you have a way to regulate the heat, whether it’s using a tripod or adjustable grill grate.
Another essential thing to remember is that food cooks differently over a campfire than it does in an oven or on a stovetop. So you’ll need to adjust your recipes accordingly. For example, you’ll want to cook meat and vegetables slowly over low heat, rather than searing them over high heat.
The Right Cooking Utensils
Some essential cooking tools that you will want for your campsite kitchen include a good set of tongs or spatula with a long handle to flip food, a wire mesh grill grate to keep food from falling through the fire, heavy-duty aluminum foil for wrapping foods (this is also great for holding leftovers), and a Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet for baking and frying
Another key factor is choosing the right food. Some things work better than others over a campfire. Try these suggestions for a weekend of campfire cooking:
First, cook up some sausage in a skillet. When it’s finished, put it aside. Don’t pour out the grease from the skillet. Instead, add some cubed potatoes and cook them until golden brown. Move the potatoes to the side of the skillet and crack some eggs on the other side. Scramble them up. Add the sausage back in and combine all three ingredients for a breakfast bowl. Then, cook some old fashioned oats in a dutch oven (frequently stir so the bottom doesn’t burn). Scoop some in a bowl and sprinkle granola on top.
Foil packets make delicious campfire meals that are easy to clean up. Slice up half a potato and arrange it in the center of a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place a raw hamburger patty on top of the potatoes. Top the patty with a quarter cup of condensed mushroom soup. Place it on top of the cooking area and frequently turn it with tongs. Check it for doneness after 15 minutes and cook longer, as needed.
Campfire pizza is another surprisingly easy meal to make over the fire. Put the pizza dough in a well-greased skillet. Cook the dough until the bottom is brown. Flip the dough over, and then add your toppings. Place foil over the skillet and cook the pizza until the cheese is melted and the bottom is brown.
S’mores are the go-to campfire treat. But there is no need to limit yourself to the standard graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate bar combo. Replace your chocolate bar with a peanut butter cup, cookies and cream candy bar, or a snack-size Milky Way bar. Use saltine or Ritz crackers instead of graham crackers for a sweet and salty flavor.
Get the aluminum foil back out because you can also make multiple desserts with foil packets. Slice up fresh peaches and apples and have a couple of bowls of fresh cherries and blueberries. Have another container with pre-made oatmeal streusel. Put a small pat of butter on the foil and top with the fruit and oatmeal. Place on the cooking grate for about 15-20 minutes and enjoy a delicious fruit crisp.
No matter what type of food you’re cooking, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Make sure that the food doesn’t come into contact with the flames, and always use a long-handled fork or tongs to flip food. Keep an eye on the food while it’s cooking, and never leave it unattended.
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start cooking over your campfire! Just be patient and experiment until you find what works best for you. Happy camping!
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