Cooking on a campfire is a longtime tradition that began as the first true cooking method, and has since been perfected by technology and time. Here are three different cooking methods using the campfire that will create a complete (and completely delicious) meal for whole family!
The real secret to campfire cooking are the embers – those glowing hot coals that radiate heat, yet can be controlled to create different temperature or utilized in different ways for different cooking methods.
How to create your outdoor stove:
- Fill the fire pit with crumpled paper or tinder.
- Lay kindling over the paper in layers, alternating direction with each layer.
- Light the paper to start your fire.
- After the kindling is ablaze, add the firewood – hardwood is best. The wood should be similar in size and should be distributed evenly over the fire bed.
- When the last flames die down leaving mostly white coals, use a stick to distribute the coals as you see fit. A popular method is to push most of the coals to one side of the fire pit and gradually distribute the rest of the coals at an angle downward, giving you the equivalent of high, medium and low settings for cooking.
Grate A Meat
Use a grill rack – we recommend one that includes legs – so that your meat does not end up in the soot created by hot embers. Let the grate get really hot so you get a good sear and keep the meat nice and juicy. One tip to remember is to allow one side to finish cooking before you flip.
- Your choice of meat (steak, chicken, pork, etc.)
- Seasonings (salt and pepper, onion or garlic powder, lemon pepper)
Cooking in the Coals
Cooking directly on the embers of your fire in aluminum foil is an excellent way to cook veggies, fruits and starches.
- Wash potatoes in cold water.
- Poke the potatoes on all sides with a fork.
- Spread a thin layer of butter on the skin of the potatoes and sprinkle with salt for extra flavor.
- Use heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap potatoes tightly (use a double layer if you’re using regular aluminum foil).
- Bury the wrapped potatoes in the hot coals of the fire for about 30 to 35 minutes and remove them from the coals with oven mitts.
Foil Packet Veggies
- Use heavy duty aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray (use a double layer if you’re using regular aluminum foil).
- Select your desired veggies (seasoned as you desire) and place them in the middle of the aluminum foil. Some popular favorites are squash, carrots, corn on the cob, asparagus and onion. Please note that hard, raw vegetables like carrots will take longer to cook.
- Place a few butter pats on top of the veggies.
- Bring the long sides together and tightly fold them toward the food – leave an inch or so of space between the end of the foil and the food to create a tent pack, which is ideal for steaming.
- Tightly roll up the shorter sides, again leaving an inch or so of space between the end of the fold and the food.
- Place the packets in the coals of the fire and flip occasionally. Check the packets for the desired doneness and remove with oven mitts.
Dutch Oven Delights
- 1 large can of sliced peaches
- 1 package of white or yellow cake mix
- 1 stick of butter
- Ground cinnamon for dusting
Rub the inside of the Dutch oven with cooking oil. Place the oiled Dutch oven directly on the coals and use a shovel to scoop embers on top of the Dutch oven lid. Once the oven is hot, pour peaches and juice into the oven. Add the dry cake mix on top of the peaches. Cut the butter into pats and place on top of the cake mix. Dust lightly with cinnamon. Put the lid back on the Dutch oven (the embers should still be on the lid) and bake for 40 minutes. When a knife comes cleanly out of the cake, the cobbler is done!
This sample menu is a great way to explore different cooking methods that can be used with your campfire. Mix and match these methods to see which techniques you like best and play with ingredients to create your own favorites!