Campfire Cooking 101

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Campfire Cooking

One of the best parts of a camping trip is gathering around a fire with family and friends to enjoy a campfire-cooked meal. Campfire cooking makes every camping trip special. Best of all, it is easy too. If you’ve never cooked over a fire before or are looking for some hints, keep reading.

Some cooking tools make campfire cooking a cinch. It all comes down to the time and effort you want to put into meal creation, and how long you plan to camp. Preparation and organization are key.

The first piece of open-fire cookware you will need is the right cooking surface. A grill grate is a simple and useful tool for cooking over an open fire. A grill grate creates a safe, stable surface for cooking food directly or placing a pan or Dutch oven on top of it. An over-the-fire camping grill looks like a small metal table with a grid that sits over a fire.

Next, you will need your pots and pans. Cast-iron cooking equipment is a must-have for a camping trip. Titanium, steel, and aluminum are also common materials in camping cookware.

Plan your meals ahead of time, so you do not pack too much or too little and can figure out exactly what you need.

Cast iron grill and griddle - A cast iron grill and griddle is perfect for whipping up pancakes and eggs in the morning or grilling up some steaks for a hearty meal later.

Cast-iron Dutch oven - A Dutch oven comes in handy for all kinds of recipes. You can cook satisfying stews, belly-warming soups, classic baked beans, boil water for pasta, and even bake bread over your campfire with a Dutch oven.

Skillet - Choose a cast-iron or aluminum skillet to cook up a variety of scrumptious meals. Just consider the depth and size of skillet you will need to match your recipe and feed your group.

Aluminum foil – This is a must-have for any camping trip. Aluminum foil hardly takes up any room, is inexpensive, and you can toss vegetables or fish in foil packets and place them on hot coals for cooking. Best of all, aluminum foil is easy to clean up.

Pie Iron – 2 pieces of bread and filling of your choice (sweet or savory) makes a wonderful “hobo pie.”

Once you have your basic cookware, you will need campfire utensils to keep your food on the path to success and your hands safe. Here are recommended utensils for flipping, turning, stirring, and serving your campfire delicacies:

Steel tongs - Every campground chef needs a sturdy pair of stainless-steel tongs to get a good grip when it is time to turn or remove grill items and to protect their hands from getting burned.

Grill utensil set - Choose a grill set that comes with the essentials, such as a spatula, tongs, basting brush, and skewers.

Long-handled spoon - You will need a long spoon to stir your soups, stews, or oatmeal, and there are plenty of safe options to use. You can use a wooden, stainless steel, or aluminum spoons to stir your meals.

Lastly, you will want to bring a few campfire cooking accessories.

Grill gloves - Cooking over an open fire can be tough on the hands, no matter what equipment you have. That is why you want to use a pair of heat-resistant grill gloves so you can happily cook away while protecting your skin from the flames. Wear gloves that are flexible and allow you to get a good grip on utensils and cookware.

Digital meat thermometer - Take guessing out of the process and use a digital thermometer to determine if you have properly cooked your meat. A safe cooking temperature for poultry is 165 degrees F, 160 degrees F for ground meat, and 145 degrees F for other whole cuts of meat.

Keep things simple and prepare as many ingredients as you can at home. It is much easier to slice and dice peppers and onions in your kitchen than it is at the campsite. If you are excited to make campfire scrambled eggs, crack and scramble the eggs at home and store them in bottles for the trip. When you plan your meals and come prepared, campfire cooking will be a stress-free experience.

The convenience of Bellisari’s sauces and spreads is perfect for the campground when you want to add a dash of gourmet to your campfire meals. Many of the recipes on our website could be adapted to make over the campfire. I’m going to try a Jalapeno-Fig stuffed hobo pie!!

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