Campfire cooking is a great way to make meals outside, whether you’re backpacking or car camping. And it’s a lot easier than using a stove or an outdoor grill.
Getting Started with Campfire Cooking
The first step in campfire cooking is building the fire. The goal is to get a bed of coals, so that you can cook over them without burning your hands or your food. It’s a bit tricky at first, but you can learn to do it as you go along.
Build a Fire in the Right Place
The most important thing is to have a fire pit that’s large enough and sturdy enough to hold your cooking apparatus and fuel. Ideally, the fire pit should be made of rocks or a sand-filled base. Be careful not to leave the fire pit open in high winds, or your tent could be caught on fire.
Next, add wood to your fire. You can use kindling, a few short logs, or even a few branches. If possible, try to use wood that’s all the same size. This will give you an even bed of coals.
Once the logs have ignited, add more wood and keep feeding it until it’s burning well. Once you’ve got the fire going, it should take about an hour to get a nice bed of coals. Once you have that, put the food directly over the coals and let it roast away until it’s done to your liking.
If you want to sear meat over the coals, it’s best to get the coals up to a “white hot” temperature. This takes a little practice and a trained eye, but you’ll find that the coals are really hot when they hit this sweet spot.
When the coals are white hot, you can start grilling and frying. A good rule of thumb is that if you can hold your hand about four inches above the coals for two to three seconds, they’re hot enough to sear.
Another simple and effective method of cooking over a campfire is to wrap food in aluminum foil. This is a great option for s’mores, grilled potatoes, and even fish and vegetables.
This method works best for foods that don’t need to be soaked in liquid or sprayed with oil, like vegetables and some fruits. However, if you are trying to cook something more delicate, such as fish or meat, you may have to do some soaking before the meal is ready to eat.
To make this method easier, you can wrap your food in aluminum foil before you set it on the coals. This will keep the food from falling out and it will also help keep the foil in place so that it doesn’t burn when you put it on the coals.
Once your food is cooked, you can remove it from the coals and enjoy it! This is a simple but effective method of cooking over the campfire that’s perfect for meals like steak, hot dogs and sausages.