Tips for Campfire Cooking

Photo by Вадим Маркин

Ah, the great outdoors. The smell of pine trees, the raging river and bugs aplenty. If your idea of fun is pitching a tent and spending a few nights in the woods, you’re in good company. To outdoor lovers like Tyler Grasham, camping is more than a hobby, it’s a way of life. When it comes time to eat, tap into your inner pioneer and use your campfire as your stove.

Tips for Campfire Cooking

Remember in the fourth Harry Potter book when they’re camping and have to wait until the fire is ready to cook? That’s no magic, that’s a reality! The truth is that it takes a little while before food is ready to be cooked over an open flame, usually between 30 to 45 minutes. Start your fire and wait for it to burn down before attempting to cook food over it. Take cues from pros like Tyler Grasham.

  • Know how to build the right kind of fire for cooking. There is a difference between lighting a bonfire and making one that you plan to use for meals.
  • It goes without saying that plastic will melt. Do not attempt to cook using anything that is made of plastic or other easily-burned materials. Before going out to the wilderness, invest in a good set of metal skewers and a cast-iron frying pan.
  • Be careful: have a bucket of water nearby and follow all safety precautions. You don’t need to build a blazing inferno in order to cook your food. After all, only you can prevent forest fires.

Campfire Meals 101

Cooking over the fire is made much, much easier by preparing ahead of time as much as you can. Pre-plan your meals and cut up ingredients before you leave. Don’t forget essentials like salt and pepper, cooking oil and silverware.

  • Foil meals are a great, easy solution for campers. They can be as simple or complex as you want, and they get a wonderful smoky flavor when cooked over the campfire.
  • Bringing a Dutch oven with you makes it easy to make camping essentials like stew, chili and soup.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of a sharp stick for roasting! Foods like potatoes, hot dogs/sausages and corn on the cob are perfect for cooking over an open flame.

Whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned camper, there is nothing quite like cooking over an open fire. Know the basics of building and maintaining a campfire suitable for cooking over, and know what recipes to make before leaving.

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