Campfire cooking is one of the simplest, yet most satisfying ways to make a meal during your camping trip. From roasted hot dogs on a stick to s’mores made with marshmallows and peanut butter cups, it’s easy to get creative, try new foods and enjoy a mouth-watering dinner.
The best way to cook on a campfire is to build your fire properly and then use it to heat the food you’ll be serving. It takes longer to cook over a campfire than it does in an ordinary kitchen, but the unique flavors that result from the heat of the flames are worth the extra time and effort.
To keep your fire regulated, create heat zones by moving coals around in your fire pit. This allows you to control the temperature of each zone, enabling you to roast, broil or sauté different items. This also gives you an escape route if part of your fire flares up.
When you’re ready to cook, start by burning small logs and kindling until a fire has built up to about a foot tall. Then, continue adding more small pieces of wood until the fire has created a bed of hot coals on top of the ground.
If you’re planning to eat food that requires high, even heat, such as steaks or sausages, then it’s best to bring along cast iron cookware and a grill. You’ll also want a long-handled ladle or spoon, metal tongs and a lid lifter.
Another essential tool is a set of steel skewers, which can be used for preparing foods that don’t take well to a grill or a pan (such as fish and vegetables) or for making s’mores. They can be twisted into the shape of anything you want, from a peanut butter cup to a peppermint patty.
Using a grill basket is another popular way to prepare food over a campfire, and it works especially well for fresh fish or shellfish. A grill basket enables you to place a variety of foods, such as burgers, tacos, kebabs or steamed vegetables, inside the basket and then grill them over your fire.
A good quality cast iron skillet, griddle and Dutch oven are also popular for campfire cooking. Whether you’re looking for a simple breakfast or a hearty dinner, cast iron is a great choice because it heats evenly and retains its heat well.
Other cooking supplies to consider include aluminum foil, which can be folded into various shapes for frying or baking. You can also cook in a foil pouch or Dutch oven, which can be used to roast or boil fish or meat or to create a variety of other meals.
Tongs are essential for flipping and turning steaks and sausages. A long-handled spoon is also handy for stirring and serving.
Stainless steel tongs are perfect for turning sausages, steaks and other types of meat. They are also helpful for turning mashed potatoes and other dishes with thicker ingredients.