One of the best things about a camping trip is the time and tastes that come from campfire cooking. Nothing seems to taste as good as those recipes cooked on a big campfire.
Even though the summer is ending, there is still time to get out there and enjoy the good old outdoors with some camping fun. It’s not too late to shake out the tent, get out the camping gear, and lace up your hiking shoes! Fall is a great time for camping, when the leaves are changing and everything is so gorgeous outside.
Tips for getting the most out of campfire cooking
Food cooked over an open campfire has something about it that just can’t be duplicated in other ways of cooking. To get the most out of your attempts at cooking on an open fire, follow these tips.
Use a cast iron skillet
There are all kinds of cooking utensils that are made for camping, but for the best tasting meals, you can’t beat a cast iron skillet. If you season them well, they will last indefinitely and the flavor of food cooked in them is amazing.
Cast iron skillets can be used to prepare everything from eggs for breakfast to dessert in a frying pan.
To make cast iron S’mores, just add some chocolate chip morsels to a cast iron skillet, top it with some campfire toasted marshmallows and dig in with graham crackers. So easy and fun!
Be careful of the heat when cooking
Many people think that placing the food right in the open flame is the best way to cook on a campfire, but this is not the case. If you do, it will burn the outside and the middle of the food won’t be cooked.
Instead, go for an even heat by letting the fire burn down to coals. This will give you an even heat that will cook perfectly.
Make foil packets
Aluminum foil packets are a must when you are trying to go for easy campfire cooking. What could be easier than tossing veggies and meat with some seasoning on a piece of foil, wrapping it up and sticking it in the campfire to cook while you take part in other fun camping activities?
There are so many things that can be cooked this way. One idea is to wrap heads of garlic and roast them in the campfire and then using it in dips on some toasted bread.
From baked potatoes, to corn on the cob and whole meals, foil packets are the answer.
Use Vegetables as Egg Boats for Breakfast
Items like peppers and potatoes are great vessels for cooking breakfasts. Just hollow them out and fill with cheese, bacon and eggs and wrap in foil and then cook in the coals of a campfire for about 20 minutes.
This makes an easy and complete breakfast without any clean up!
Do your food prep at home
Be sure to spend the time BEFORE you leave for the camping trip doing as much of the food preparation ahead of time as you can.
Once you hit the great outdoors, chopping vegetables is the LAST thing you will want to be doing.
Don’t build your fire too quickly
A common mistake that many beginning campers make is to try and add all your wood at once. When this burns down, the the coals are too hot in the beginning and then will go out mid cooking time.
Instead, build your fire slowly. Start with kindling and smaller pieces of wood to get it going and then add some pieces of wood as you need them when the coals burn down.
This gives you a nice base of coals with some direct heat for cooking those hot dogs.
Use a campfire grate
Cooking right on top of the coals of a fire is great for somethings but if you want to really get the most out of your food, invest in a campfire grate.
Using one raises the cooking utensils higher over the fire and allows you to cook all sorts of recipes that can’t be cooked right on the coals without burning them. Think stews, casseroles and beans!
Stay safe with meats
Be careful about how you store your meat that will get cooked. Make sure that the food is well packed with ice before you start cooking.
Bacteria easily grows on food which can make the whole camping party sick if you are not careful. Make sure you have a good quality cooler and don’t let any food sit out for more than an hour if your temperatures are high.
Turn the meat often
Campfires are very hot and the food is often close to the heat source. Be sure to turn your food often so that it won’t burn.
The temperatures can fluctuate quickly so food can’t be cooked the way you might cook it in a gas BBQ. Stay nearby and turn often.
Use long handled tools
The meat isn’t the only thing that can easily burn on a campfire. So can you! Invest in some good quality, long handled tools to keep both the food and your hands farther from the heat.
Get creative with fire starters
There are all sorts of creative ways to get a fire going quickly if you can’t come up with some kindling in your surroundings. Pine cones are just one idea in this fun post.
Snuggle in near the campfire with these delicious recipes.
Some of my best childhood memories are of eating around the campfire. Food is somehow extra special and extra tasty when it’s cooked outside after a long day of running around in the woods.
Foods for camping have to be considered carefully, depending on the type of camping that you do. Some need to be light, and others make use of normal kitchen utensils.
Is it too rainy for a camping trip? Check out my post for steps to have an indoor camping party. The kids will love it!
Here are some of camping foods that will make your next camping trip a huge success.
This recipe features an Amazing Campfire Roasted Caramel Apple for a fun fall taste that is quick and easy to do.
It’s time for dessert with these pineapple upside down packets. Made on the campfire in just minutes.
This campfire ham and cheese bread is a pull apart recipe that can be cooked on the barbecue or a campfire. Get the recipe here.
What would camping be without some S’mores? This fun recipe for Campfire Crack Smorsel gives the flavor of S’mores in a candy like treat.
Grab a orange and fill it with a sweet fudge like combination made from a brownie mix. Get the recipe for the Fudgy Campfire Cakes here.
These Corned Beef and Cheesy Hash browns are made in a cast iron skillet over an open fire. What a great breakfast idea for your camping trip.
Make a whole meal in one pot with this Dublin Coddle recipe from Saving Room for Dessert.
Grab some sausages and your favorite veggies and grill up these packets of food for a complete meal in one tidy parcel. Get the recipe here.
Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in October of 2014. I have updated it with new campfire cooking recipes, more tips and a video for you to enjoy.
If you love to grill foods but don’t have time for camping, you can still get some great results at home. See my top 25 Grilling tips for an amazing BBQ experience.
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