By: Brooke Chaplan
When prepared correctly, few meals are as tasty as those prepared around a campfire with your friends and family. There is just something about this old-fashioned style of cooking that makes the entire experience unique. From preparing the meal to enjoying the very last morsel, outdoor cooking is a one-of-a-kind experience. Despite the joys of camp cooking, it also presents a few drawbacks and challenges. Not only does camp cooking require more time and patience than kitchen cooking, but also takes a bit more creativity. Here are some tips to help you turn the great outdoors into your own gourmet kitchen.
Bring the Right Supplies
No matter what type of meal you plan to prepare, there are a few supplies you should never leave home without. First among these supplies are matches and lighter fluid. When cooking over an open fire, matches and lighter fluid are your best bet for a quick and easy fire. Other necessities include medium-sized, lightweight pots and pans to cook in, a portable grate to place over the fire pit, and aluminum foil to cover food while cooking. Don’t forget important durable utensils like sharp knives and spoons. With just these few supplies, a camper can make everything from pasta to scrambled eggs.
Get Creative with Cooking Methods
For decades, outdoor enthusiasts have been discovering creative ways to cook using a campfire. As with anything, some of these methods are more complicated than others. For the basic outdoor cook, using direct heat is one of the simplest. This can be accomplished by placing individually foil-wrapped meals directly on hot coals. Though it requires frequent observation, this is a safe and effective way to prepare foods that require high heat. Another direct-heat method is to place a metal grate over a campfire which minimizes the amount of heat, allowing the food to cook more slowly. Alternatively, a camping stove allows campers bring with them all the joy of cooking in a traditional kitchen to the outdoors. Handy devices like these and portable fryers are available through most Garland stove parts suppliers like K & D Factory Service Inc. Use a small stove top like these to cook up pancakes for all your campers in the morning if you don’t have time to make up a fire.
Preparation is Key
Preparation can be a huge time-saver when it comes to cooking in the woods. Using quart and gallon-sized storage bags, cut and organize all your ingredients in advance. Use a non-toxic marker to label each bag accordingly. Ingredients can either be grouped by type of food, or by the meal for which they will be used. Foods like stews, chili, and soups can be entirely pre-made, frozen, and stored in a cooler. When lunch or dinner rolls around, simply reheat for a quick and easy meal.
Camp cooking does not have to be boring or difficult. With a little creativity and a lot of patience, campers can whip up gourmet, delicious meals that are sure to please. Follow these simple tips and even your pickiest eater will be satisfied.