Cooking a Meal under the Open Sky
One of the many joys of camping in the woods is that you get to cook outside your kitchen and onto the open woods and skies. As little as it might seem, the experience of making a full meal or even heating the canned food you brought is incomparable to any five-star meal you will ever have. We believe that cooking in the camp is something very crucial and that is why we decided to write a whole article on how to cook while camping. Over this article, we will be going through all the things that you will need to know and keep in mind and also share a few easy camping cooking recipes as well. So make sure you read till the end.
Canned VS Gourmet
A common question that we often get from campers is that they want to know if they should take processed canned food or frozen meat and veggies to cook a completely proper meal. Well, the answer here lies in the hands of the camper themselves and how much they are willing to carry.
If processed food is not your way to go and you want to grill some beefsteak and heat some stew then keep in mind that you will need to carry a whole lot of stuff with you. This might be alright if you are taking your car to camp. However, if you do not fall into that category and want to keep your backpack as light as possible then go for canned foods.
What cookery should you take?
It won’t matter what type of meal you are looking to cook unless and until you have the right tools to do so. And by the tools, I mean the cookery and other instruments that you will need to cook that superb comfort meal of yours.
This might come out as a surprise, but the one thing that will help you to cook any sort of meal on camp is a high-sided cast-iron skillet pan. However, if you want that full grill experience and can also carry it along then a portable grate that can be placed over a fire pit will surely help.
When it comes to the utensils, avoid the metal ones because they will just add a lot of weight to your packs. Rather go with heatproof silicone cooking utensils like spoons, spatulas, and tongs. While using plastic plates and spoons can be quite tempting, we always encourage using reusable materials. Or else, there won’t be a good world to camp on.
Using melamine plates and cups will be the ideal option to go camping. They are lightweight and easy to clean as well.
Cooking With Stove Vs Fire Grill
When it comes to knowing how to cook while camping, the most basic form of campfire cooking we all know and are used to is by using direct heat. So how do you go on doing this?
It is very easy. All you need to wrap your food items like chicken, potatoes, or other vegetables in aluminum foil and place them in between the hot coals. You will need to be extra careful while using this method and also need high heat.
Another method that you can try out is simply placing a grate over an open fire and cook your meal on top of that. While this might seem like a much easier option, the problem with it is that the direct heat will not cook the food well as you won’t be able to control it accordingly. Besides, the open fire method becomes very hard to implement during the colder season.
So you are camping during the winter and because of the cold winds and damp soil you are not being able to light up that fire for cooking. So, what do you do now? Well, in cases like these you will need to take a portable stove. These little stoves are easy to carry and will be very convenient for your camping cooking. No matter how the weather might be, you can light one of these bad boys up and start cooking. Overall, carrying a portable stove will be much easier.
How to Cook while Camping
Things to Keep In Mind
Doing anything in a rush never ends well. The same goes for camping as well. This is why to keep you ready beforehand here are a few tips and tricks to assist you with how to cook while camping.
Make sure that you have made a list beforehand of everything that you will need or you are willing to carry with you on the trip.
- Get separate coolers. One for both your drinks and one for storing your food items.
- Try your best to minimize your equipment and carry as little as possible.
- Carry trail mix as snacks.
As fun and exciting as camping can be, there are sure challenges to cooking a good meal out in the woods. However, if you are a real foodie, camping, and devouring mouthwatering dishes for your meals can be a little challenging.
But, that’s only when you are camping with your camping gear only. On the other hand, it will not be much of a hassle for you if you have a recreational vehicle as it has proper storage- you can carry a gas stove and a cooler.
Now that we have talked about meals being challenging to make and also how some vehicles give us the opportunity to stock our favorite ingredients for our delicious meals, I’d like to move on to the rather better part of the article- recipes for easy but appealing meals.
The following part of this will contain two different meal recipes that can be cooked at both lunch and dinner times.
Recipe no.1: One-pot chicken with veggies
- Chicken 1 cup
- Chicken stock ½ cup (chicken cube + water)
- Carrots ¼ cup
- Bell pepper ¼ cup
- Italian seasoning ½ tsp.
- Paprika ½ tsp.
- Pepper ½ tsp.
- Salt to taste.
- Olive oil 5 tbsp.
Turn the stove and heat olive oil on a pan while you cut the chicken pieces in inch dices. Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, and a little paprika. Throw them in once the oil is heated and let it sauté for a minute or so after that add the veggies. Once they are nicely sautéed, add half of the chicken stock (dilute half of the chicken cube in ½ a cup of warm water). Add some Italian seasoning. Let the chicken and veggies build in some more flavors as it simmers in that stock for about 5 minutes. And done!
Serve this one-pot chicken with veggies alongside a cup of boiled rice. The mentioned recipe with the ingredient list should be enough for one person.
Recipe no.2: Grilled whole fish with tomato salad
- 1 medium-size Red Snapper
- Salt 2 tsp.
- Lemon 1 piece
- A handful dill
- Spring onion ½ cup
- Paprika ½ tsp.
- Olive oil 6-7tbsp
- Cherry tomatoes 6-7
- Lime 1
- Salt to taste
Clean the fish thoroughly and give it some gashes on both sides. Cut it in the center so that we can see the bones. Rub in a generous amount of salt on both sides. Put some 4 circular slices of lemon, a handful of dill, and the spring onions inside the fish. Finally, drizzle olive oil on each side and massage it in. Put the marinated fish on a grill tray and cook it for about 10 minutes on each side. After 20 minutes of total grill time and your desired charred marks on the fish, it is ready to eat.
Serve the grilled fish with tomato salad and some rice (optional). This medium size snapper will serve 2-3 persons.
The first recipe will take a maximum of fifteen minutes to be prepared while the latter takes about twenty-five minutes. These two recipes will be highly enjoyable meals for campers after their tiring day of camping.
Well, depending on fire to cook shouldn’t always be the case while camping. sometimes, you may find yourself without a fire. And therefore it is crucial that you learn how to cook while camping WITHOUT fire.
FAQs on How to Cook While Camping
Meat and other vegetables will likely be on your menu for cooking during camping. When you are carrying them on your pack, make sure to cut the onions, chilies, meat in little pieces so that you do not have to do it on the campsite.
How much you will pack will depend on if you are taking a car to camp or not. If you are taking a car then the sky is the limit. Pack as much as you can. However, no matter what you take, make sure you are carrying a good quality iron skillet because that is a must.
Scrambled eggs, hot dogs, chicken steak, and rice are one of the easiest meals to cook while camping. There are other simple recipes as well, some of which we will share in this article.
Also Read: How to Avoid Snakes While Hiking