Camping Cooking: Best Recipies, Tips and More

Camp Cooking

There’s something genuinely thrilling about preparing your meals surrounded by nature’s majestic beauty; it’s like a dance where you’re both the performer and the audience. The simple crackling of the campfire, the tantalizing aroma of your meal slowly roasting on the open flame, and of course, the unmatched flavor that only outdoor cooking can boast of – it’s an experience that can hardly be replicated in a four-walled kitchen. Before we dive deep into the wonderful world of campfire cuisine, let’s get comfortable with the basics of outdoor cooking and what it really entails.

Essential Gear for Camp Cooking

Gear for Camp Cooking

➣ Picking the Perfect Outdoor Cooking Apparatus

Like a knight without a sword would be incomplete, the outdoor cooking experience would be lost without the proper gear. But take heed, brave culinary adventurers, for the world of outdoor cooking equipment offers more choices than stars in the night sky.

Depending on your preferences and the kind of meal you plan to whip up, these choices can range from a lightweight backpacking stove to a nifty portable grill. Want to keep things light? Opt for a canister stove that’s perfect for boiling and simmering. If you’re a traditionalist at heart looking to grill your meals to smoky perfection, then a cast-iron hibachi or a handy portable grill could be your partner in crime.

➣ Must-have Utensils for your Open-Air Kitchen

Equally important as your cooking equipment are the supporting cast members – the utensils. No, we aren’t talking about bringing your entire kitchen drawer. The key to effective campsite cooking lies in simplicity and versatility. Stick to the essentials such as a versatile cooking pot, a pair of tongs, a frisbee (yes, indeed, a frisbee! which doubles as a plate), and perhaps a French press for that sunrise coffee. Leading the adage ‘less is more’ will be your guiding principle here.

Planning the Perfect Campsite Menu

And now comes the fun (and equally important) part: planning your campsite menu! But wait, does the idea of planning send a shiver down your spine, with nightmares of Excel sheets and graphs flashing before your eyes? Fear not, because planning your outdoor eats doesn’t have to be a herculean task. Here’s how you can map out your food plan in the wild and smartly pack your wilderness pantry.

➣ Tips for Mapping Out Your Food Plan in the Wild

First things first – break it down into meals and think about versatility. Start with some robust granola or oatmeal bars for breakfast, a high-protein sandwich for lunch, and a delicious hot stew or grilled fish for dinner. Feel free to let your culinary imagination run wild as long as you remember this golden rule of camping cooking: whatever you cook should be easy, nutritious, not overly messy, and above all, flavorful!

In terms of snacks, stick to energy-dense options that require no refrigeration, like nuts, dried fruit, or some ready-to-eat canned food. Also, try munching on some uncured hard cheeses or jerky – they can last for several days without refrigeration.

➣ Smart Packing for Your Wilderness Pantry

Now that your menu’s sorted out, it’s time to smart pack! You want your food to be compact, lightweight, and as non-perishable as possible. Prioritize using fresh ingredients during the initial days and rely more on dry goods as days pass. Being organized can save you time; separate your food items into meal-specific categories using different containers or ziplock bags. And remember, plastic wrap is your best friend when it comes to usables like herbs, seasonings, or even butter!

13 Mouthwatering Campfire Recipes

1. Fluffy Campfire Pancakes

Fluffy Campfire Pancakes

Step 1. Pour your favorite pancake mix into a ziplock baggie at home and seal tightly.

Step 2. Once at the campsite, add the appropriate amount of water into the bag. Shake it rigorously until well-mixed.

Step 3. Heat a skillet over your campfire or stove. Once hot, cut a small corner off your pancake batter bag and slowly squeeze the mix onto the skillet.

Step 4. Flip the pancakes when you see bubbles forming on top. Once both sides are golden brown, they’re ready to eat!

Step 5. Top the pancakes with wild blueberries, strawberries, or any fruit you have on hand. Drizzle maple syrup or honey on top for added sweetness.

2. Hearty Breakfast Burritos

Quick Granola with Dried Fruits & Nuts

Step 1. Scramble eggs on a skillet over the campfire or your stove. Be sure to cook the eggs thoroughly to avoid any food-borne illnesses.

Step 2. Cook the bacon in another skillet until crispy or to your liking.

Step 3. Warm the tortillas on the fire slightly just until they’re warm and pliable.

Step 4. Lay out the tortillas and fill them with scrambled eggs, bacon bits, and shredded cheese.

Step 5. Roll up the burrito by folding in the sides and rolling from one end to the other. Serve warm!

3. Classic Campfire Coffee

Campfire Coffee

Step 1. Begin by filling your camping coffee pot with fresh, cold water up to the line mark or fill it just until it’s enough for your morning coffee ritual.

Step 2. Add your favorite ground coffee to the filter basket. A general guide is one tablespoon for every cup of water, but feel free to adjust as per your preference.

Step 3. Place your pot on the campfire and allow it to brew. Once the brewing process is completed, carefully remove from the fire (remember, it will be hot!).

Step 4. Let the ground coffee settle for a moment then serve up a steaming cup of joe to kick-start your day.

4. Smoky Beans on Toast

Smoky Beans on Toast

Step 1. Heat up the canned beans over a campfire or your stove. Stir occasionally to stop them from sticking.

Step 2. Whilst your beans are heating, toast slices of bread over the open flames until they are crisp and golden. If you have a camping toaster, that’s even better.

Step 3. Lather your crispy toast with a bit of butter for taste.

Step 4. Once your beans are warm, pour them over the crispy toast and serve right away. For some extra flavor, sprinkle with shredded cheese.

5. Crispy Campfire Bacon

 Crispy Campfire Bacon

Step 1. Skewer the bacon slices at one end, sort of like a ribbon running on the skewer.

Step 2. Hold the skewer over the campfire, turning it occasionally, until the bacon is as crispy as you like it.

Step 3. Once it’s done, remove it from the skewer and let it rest on a paper towel to absorb some of the excess fat before serving.

6. Quick Granola with Dried Fruits & Nuts

Quick Granola with Dried Fruits & Nuts

Step 1. Mix your favorite granola with an assortment of dried fruits, seeds, and nuts at home. Store in an airtight container or bag.

Step 2. Once at the campsite, add powdered milk to the mixture (Use the ratio as commanded on the powdered milk packet).

Step 3. When you’re ready to eat, just add water to your granola mixture and mix well. Enjoy a nutritious breakfast without any cooking!

7. Delectable Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Delectable Grilled Cheese Sandwich

There’s something comforting about the traditional grilled cheese sandwich. Here’s how you can make a campfire variant.

Step 1. Butter one side of each bread slice. Place your choice of cheese between the non-buttered sides.

Step 2. Place your sandwich in a pie iron or directly on a clean skillet.

Step 3. Cook on the campfire grate, turning the pie iron or the sandwich itself often to prevent burning and ensure an even golden-brown finish.

Step 4. Once the cheese has melted and the bread toasty, remove from the heat, allow it to cool a bit, and enjoy.

8. Savory Campfire Stew

Savory Campfire Stew

Campfire stew is a wholesome, hearty dish perfect for a camping afternoon or night.

Step 1. Brown cubes of your chosen meat (beef, chicken, pork) on a hot skillet.

Step 2. Add chopped onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Stir the mixture well.

Step 3. Now, add enough broth (you can use stock cubes) to barely cover the ingredients. Stir in your favorite herbs and seasonings (dried herbs work as well).

Step 4. Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and let it simmer until the meat and veggies are tender (it could take 1-2 hours depending on the meat and the size of the chunks).

Step 5. Once done, serve it piping hot straight from the pan!

9. Foil Packet Salmon

Foil Packet Salmon

Tasty, healthy and practically no clean-up, this dish is a camper’s delight.

Step 1. Lay a piece of salmon on a square of aluminum foil. Make sure your foil is big enough to fold over and seal the salmon.

Step 2. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salmon, top it with thin slices of butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss some dill and slices of lemon on top for extra flavor.

Step 3. Fold the aluminum foil over the salmon and pinch the ends together to seal the packet.

Step 4. Place the packet on the grate over your campfire or on hot coals. Let it cook for about 10 minutes.

Step 5. Carefully remove the packet (it will be hot!) and check the salmon. If it flakes easily with a fork, it’s ready!

10. Dutch Oven Pizza

Dutch Oven Pizza

Who says you can’t enjoy pizza while camping?

Step 1. Prepare or buy pre-made pizza dough. Roll it out so it fits inside your Dutch oven.

Step 2. Layer the bottom of the Dutch oven with a circle of parchment paper and place your rolled dough on top.

Step 3. Spread your favorite pizza sauce on the rolled dough, followed by a generous layer of cheese, and top it with your favorite toppings.

Step 4. Put the lid on the Dutch oven, then place it on the campfire with some hot coals on the lid for even heating.

Step 5. Let it cook for around 10-20 mins and voila, campfire pizza is served!

11. Skewered Shrimp Boil

Skewered Shrimp Boil

No grill? No problem! Shrimp skewers are insanely easy to make over a campfire.

Step 1. Thread peeled shrimp, slices of smoked sausage, small corn cobs, and baby red potatoes onto skewers.

Step 2. Brush the skewers with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and some Cajun seasoning.

Step 3. Grill them over the campfire, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are pink and the veggies are tender.

Step 4. Serve straight from the grill with some fresh lemon wedges and dipping sauce.

12. Baked Campfire Apples

Baked Campfire Apples

Fruity and healthy, these baked apples will satiate your sweet tooth without any guilt.

Step 1. Core an apple, making sure not to cut all the way through—leave about 1/2 inch at the bottom.

Step 2. Fill the hollow with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and a small pat of butter.

Step 3. Wrap the stuffed apple in a double layer of aluminum foil.

Step 4. Place the wrapped apple in the embers of your campfire, not directly on the flame. Let it cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Step 5. Carefully remove the foil packet (it will be hot!), let it cool slightly before unwrapping and indulging.

13. Classic S’mores

Classic S'mores

No camping adventure is complete without making s’mores.

Step 1. Skewer a marshmallow and roast it over the campfire until it’s golden brown and gooey within.

Step 2. Place a piece of chocolate (a couple of squares from a chocolate bar work great) on a graham cracker.

Step 3. Slide the hot marshmallow onto the chocolate and top it with another graham cracker, making a sandwich.

Step 4. Press gently to melt the chocolate a bit and hold everything together. There, you have your s’more ready to be devoured!

Essential Tips for Outdoor Cooking

Cooking in the wild can be an unparalleled joy if you’re armed with a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are some tips that can help:

1. Pre-Prep is Key: Prepare as much as you can at home – chop veggies, marinate proteins, and mix dry ingredients for pancakes or biscuits. This will save time, reduce the need for clean-up, and make cooking more relaxed and enjoyable.

2. Embrace Foil Pack Dinners: Foil pack dinners are a camper’s best friend. They’re simple to prepare, customizable, involve minimal clean-up, and taste delicious with that unique smoky campfire flavor.

3. Cast Iron Rules the Outdoors: Cast iron cookware is virtually indestructible, retains heat well, and cooks food evenly. It’s perfect for campfire cooking.

4. Respect Fire Safety: Always obey fire regulations, and take care to put out your fires before leaving your site. Never leave a fire unattended.

5. Keep it Simple: You don’t need to make a five-course meal on your camping trip. Stick to one-pot meals and easy recipes that require minimal ingredients. Enjoy the experience!

Outdoor Cooking