Tips For Campfire Cooking

Campfire cooking

Whether you are cooking up an elaborate feast for a group of campers or simply a few grilled marshmallows to go with your evening drinks, campfire cooking can be a fun and rewarding activity. Unlike whipping up a meal in your kitchen at home, there is a lot of patience involved with campfire cooking – but when it is done right, the results can be quite delicious.

Getting the fire right is the key to successful campfire cooking. Find a safe area for your fire, clear of overhanging branches, sticks and debris that could catch alight, and at least 10 feet away from tents or buildings. Make sure the site is dry and has a water source nearby for extinguishing the flames if necessary. It is also a good idea to have some sand or earth on hand to control the size of your fire if you need to.

Start with a small pile of tinder, such as crumpled up newspaper, dry grass or thin twigs, and then layer thicker, dry branches in a conical shape over it. Once the tinder is alight, add larger logs and keep feeding it until you have a bed of coals ready to cook over. Avoid cooking directly over the flames as the intense heat can char food or burn it, and can be very dangerous.

When you are ready to begin campfire cooking, remove a few large coals and set them aside for later use. Ideally you will have a heavy frying pan or skillet that can be placed over the coals, which is the ideal way to cook foods such as fried eggs, pancakes and corn on the cob. It is also a good idea to bring along a pair of gloves or mitts for handling hot metal cookware as it can get extremely hot.

Other foods to consider preparing for a campfire include fish, such as salmon or trout fillets, which can be grilled by tackling or nailing a fillet skin-side down onto a flat board that is propped up over a bed of glowing embers. The addition of a few woodchips (hickory, oak or applewood chunks work well) and some lemon juice helps to provide a delicious smoky flavour. The fish is cooked when the flesh flakes easily.

Other foods to consider preparing on a stick over the campfire include skewered sausages, pepperoni or ground meat and thawed veggies such as zucchini or green beans. Fruit is another great item to cook on a stick, and we love toasted banana boats wrapped in foil with a scoop of simple yogurt fruit dip.

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