Campfire cooking is a fun and exciting way to prepare meals while camping. It is also a great survival skill to have, especially in an emergency situation when electricity or modern equipment is unavailable. There are many ways to cook with a campfire, including using Dutch ovens, tin foil and grill grates. The key to campfire cooking is knowing what techniques and equipment are best for your situation, and ensuring that you are prepared before you start cooking.
Ensure you have the right gear: This includes not just the right utensils, but also the right clothes. Make sure you have close-toed shoes that can withstand the heat of the fire, and long pants to protect your skin from embers and coals. Also consider bringing a heavy-duty pair of gloves to help with the handling of hot food items. Also, keep a towel nearby to wipe your hands and arms if they get too hot.
Choose the right cooking surface: This can be as simple as aluminum foil (though be careful that the fire is not hotter than 1200°F, which is when aluminum starts to melt). Cast iron, such as skillets and dutch ovens, is a popular option for its even cooking ability. Grill grates are another cooking surface, as are grate-style tripods, which can lift skillets and pans above the flames for easier turning and less smoke. Other equipment, such as tongs, can also be helpful with campfire cooking. Finally, it is a good idea to have a probe thermometer to check the internal temperature of foods.
Know your fire: This means making sure you have enough wood to fuel the fire, and adjusting the heat as necessary. You can do this by adding additional logs to the fire, removing any that catch too quickly, or moving coals around to create different levels of heat.
Use the right utensils: While plastic utensils may be tempting, they can melt over an open flame. It is best to bring metal utensils, such as a set of camping utensils that include a spatula, fork and spoon. They are available from camping stores, and are a must for campfire cooking!
Plan ahead: It is much more difficult to prep ingredients at a campsite than in your kitchen at home. Preparing most of the meal at home, and then packing extras to add to your campfire, will make things run more smoothly.
Taking these simple tips into consideration will help you enjoy campfire cooking without having to worry about the hassle of finding the right tools, or a suitable cooking method. Plus, you can focus on enjoying the outdoors, spending time with friends and family, or simply relaxing by the campfire. Happy camping!