The Basics of Campfire Cooking

Campfire cooking

Campfire cooking is a great way to make some of your favourite meals whilst camping. It’s not as quick as whipping up a meal with the best camping stove, but this also allows you to truly savour your food as it simmers gently over the flames and embers, flavours slowly intermingling to create a truly memorable dining experience. Most people think of roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the campfire, however there is much more to fire cooked food than this!

Having the right equipment for campfire cooking is essential. You will need a suitable cooking pot to cook in, a fire pit and some kindling for the start of your campfire. Once you have the basics you can add a cooking grate and other accessories to expand your campfire cooking capabilities.

A cooking grate is a flat metal surface that can be placed over the fire for a range of campfire cooking techniques. They are generally foldable or disassembled for easy transport and storage. A cooking tripod is a similar device that hangs a pot over the fire, allowing you to grill, roast and even bake directly in the pot. These can be purchased but are fairly simple to make yourself.

You will need some utensils for campfire cooking, including a set of sturdy metal tongs and a spatula/spoon. A good quality campfire mitt can be a lifesaver too, keeping your hands warm and safe from any hot embers or coals.

When it comes to starting your campfire, it’s important to use dry seasoned wood, as this will burn cleanly and not send off too much smoke. It can take a while to build up enough of a fire to cook, so it’s best to start early and be patient. It is also recommended that you keep a bucket of water or sand nearby to extinguish your campfire when you are done.

Once your fire is ready, a good tip is to create different heat zones within the campfire pit. This will allow you to move coals around to suit your cooking needs, for example placing a few hot embers close by for searing and the remainder of your coals in the middle for general cooking and finally at the edges for warming.

You should also be able to tell when the coals are hot, some people recommend using the 4 x 4 rule where you place your hand above the coals and if it can’t be held there for four seconds, they aren’t hot enough for cooking. Others prefer to use a thermometer to check the temperature of the coals.

A useful tip is to coat the bottom of your camp pot with a bit of dish soap, as this will help remove any black soot from the bottom of your pot when you have finished cooking over the fire. This is a pretty simple trick that will save you lots of cleaning up later on!

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