There’s something about cooking over a campfire that makes food taste so good. There’s really no comparison and no way to imitate that smokey, charred, flame-ridden goodness. But for some people, campfire cooking is intimidating, so that’s why we put together these seven tips to make you a campfire cooking master.
Use A Cast Iron Skillet
If you are cooking over an open flame, cast iron is a necessity because you’ll never ruin it and if you season it well, the flavor is amazing. You can cook anything on it and clean-up is a breeze. Just a damp cloth to wipe it out!
Make Foil Packet Meals
Foil packet meals are a godsend. Cooking over the campfire doesn’t get any easier than throwing a meal in tin foil, wrapping it up, and putting it in the hot coals until it is ready. From dessert to dinner, foil packet meals are extremely versatile. There are thousands of meals that can be made in tin foil. The art of the foil packet meal alone would make you a campfire cooking master.
Invest In Good Grilling Utensils
Trying to grab food from the campfire grill grate or from the coals with your hands is always a bad idea. Therefore, invest in a good pair of grilling tongs, flippers, and oven mitts. You can keep them in your camp box for when you need them.
Don’t Cook Over An Open Flame
A common misconception among people new to campfire cooking is that you have to do it over an open flame. The assumption is that the hottest part of the fire is the raging flames, but that’s not always the case. If you are truly trying to cook something, not just burn the outside, then you want consistent heat. To make the best fire for cooking, let it burn down to those white hot coals, pile them up under your grill grate and let it work its magic. I always like to have a dedicated cooking area, so moving the nice hot coals to one side as the fire is still going on the other side.
Invest In A Campfire Grill Grate
A grill grate will drastically change how well you can cook over a campfire. With it, you’ll be able to make full-course meals. A lot of campfire rings at campsites do offer a grill, but let’s face it, you don’t know what’s touched it. There are tons of portable grill grates available and most are inexpensive.
Turn Food Cooking Over The Campfire Often
While it can be difficult to tell if you’re burning food cooking over a campfire, I have a trick for that. As hard as we try, hot coals are not like an oven, sometimes the temperatures can fluctuate rapidly. One trick I have learned is to turn your food more often than you would in the oven or the grill. Every few minutes it is good to flip or move the food so that it can cook more evenly and has a lower chance of being charred to a crisp.
Use Olive Oil To Help Cook Camping Meals
Olive oil is your best friend when campfire cooking. Use it liberally. I rub it all over whatever I’m cooking — fish or meat — along with a good amount of salt. Those two ingredients alone can make a meal go from good to great. It also goes great in salads and dips!