Camping is a favorite outdoor activity for many, offering a chance to connect with nature while enjoying time with family and friends.
One of the most delightful aspects of camping is the opportunity to cook over a campfire. Campfire recipes provide a distinct and rustic culinary experience, elevating the overall adventure.
In this article, we’ve got 12 easy recipes for you to try on your next camping adventure. So get that campfire ready, it’s time to start cooking!
Essential Campfire Cooking Equipment
When planning a camping trip, it is important to have the right gear at hand to cook delicious meals over a campfire. Here is a list of essential campfire cooking equipment that will help make your outdoor cooking experience enjoyable and hassle-free.
- A durable cast iron skillet is a versatile tool that can be used for cooking a wide range of dishes over a campfire, such as burgers, fish fillets, and quesadillas. This heavy-duty skillet distributes heat evenly and can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor use.
- Portable camping grills and stoves are great for controlling cooking temperature and providing a stable surface for pots and pans. They often come in compact sizes, making them easy to transport and set up at your campsite.
- Cooking utensils are necessary for stirring, flipping, and serving food. Make sure to include a spatula, tongs, and a wooden spoon or silicone utensil that can withstand high heat. Opt for heat-resistant and easy-to-clean materials like stainless steel or silicone.
- Foil packets are a convenient way to cook food over a campfire. Simply place ingredients in foil, seal, and place directly on the grill or on hot coals. This method is perfect for fuss-free meals like shrimp boils and vegetable medleys.
- A set of long-handled tools, including skewers or roasting sticks, is excellent for cooking items like marshmallows or hot dogs directly over the fire. Extended handles ensure that your hands remain at a safe distance from the open flames.
- A Dutch oven allows for cooking larger meals and can be placed directly on the fire or hung over it on a tripod. This heavy-duty pot is perfect for slow-cooking stews, chili, or even baking bread.
- Pack all necessary food storage containers and coolers to keep your perishables fresh and safe to eat. Bring along large zip-top bags, collapsible containers, and airtight containers to store leftovers.
By including these essential campfire cooking tools in your camping gear, you can easily prepare and enjoy delicious meals in the great outdoors.
Classic Campfire Recipes
When it comes to outdoor cooking, there are a few classics that you shouldn’t miss. These recipes are perfect for a cozy night by the campfire, offering delicious flavors and a memorable experience. In this section, we’ll dive into three all-time favorites: S’mores, Campfire Banana Boats, and Foil-Wrapped Potatoes.
S’mores are a quintessential campfire treat, and they’re incredibly simple to make. All you need are graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars.
- First, roast a marshmallow over the campfire until it’s golden brown and gooey.
- Next, place a piece of chocolate on a graham cracker and top it with the roasted marshmallow.
- Finally, add another graham cracker on top, creating a sandwich.
The heat from the marshmallow will melt the chocolate slightly, resulting in a perfect, gooey combination. You can create different variations of S’mores by using strawberries or peanut butter for extra flavor.
2. Campfire Banana Boats
Campfire Banana Boats are a delicious and easy dessert option that combines the flavors of bananas, chocolate, and marshmallows.
- Start with a ripe banana and carefully slice it lengthwise, making sure not to cut all the way through.
- Fill the opening with chocolate chips, marshmallows, or other delicious toppings like peanut butter.
- Wrap the banana in foil, and cook it on the campfire grill or in the coals for about 10 minutes, until the banana is soft and the toppings are melted.
- Carefully unwrap the foil, and enjoy your warm, gooey treat with a spoon.
3. Foil-Wrapped Potatoes
A tasty yet straightforward side dish, foil-wrapped potatoes are ideal for adding a filling element to any campfire meal.
- Clean and slice potatoes (russet or red) into thin pieces and place them on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Season the potatoes with your choice of herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Optionally, you can also add chopped onions and other veggies.
- Fold the foil into a packet, sealing it tightly to keep the moisture inside while the potatoes cook.
- Cook the packets on a campfire grill or in the hot coals for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Skewer and Grill Recipes
Kebabs are a versatile and delicious option for campfire cooking. Marinate your choice of protein, like chicken or beef, beforehand to maximize flavor. Assemble the skewers by threading the marinated protein, vegetables, and other ingredients onto the skewers.
5. Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled corn on the cob is a campfire classic, and it’s easy to prepare. Begin by peeling back the husks (but don’t remove them entirely) and remove the silk from the cob. Soak the corn, still in its husks, in water for about 15 minutes to prevent the husks from burning. Drain the water, then slather the corn with butter, salt, and pepper, and fold the husks back into place. Wrap the cobs in foil, and place them on the grill or directly in the coals. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, rotating occasionally, until the corn is tender.
6. Grilled Fruit Skewers
For a sweet and simple dessert, try grilling fruit skewers. Pineapple, peaches, and strawberries are excellent options, as they hold up well on the grill. Simply cut the fruit into large chunks, thread them onto skewers, and brush them lightly with a mixture of melted butter and honey. Grill the skewers over low heat for a few minutes per side until the fruit is caramelized and tender. For added flavor, sprinkle with cinnamon or serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
One-pot meals are perfect for campfire cooking as they require minimal ingredients, easy preparation, and less cleanup. These recipes are not only simple but also delicious and satisfying, making any camping trip memorable.
Chili is a classic one-pot campfire recipe that combines various flavors and textures. Start with browning ground beef or turkey in a large pot over the campfire. Add vegetables like onions, bell peppers, and garlic for added flavor. Stir in canned tomatoes, kidney beans, and seasoning like cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer the chili for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Serve it with cornbread or over rice for a hearty and comforting meal.
Jambalaya is a popular one-pot campfire recipe that originates from Louisiana, combining elements of Spanish and French cuisine. The dish features a mixture of proteins like chicken, sausage, and shrimp cooked with various vegetables, rice, and spices. Start by sautéing onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic in a large pot. Add proteins and season with Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir in canned tomatoes, chicken broth, and rice, then let the mixture simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked. The resulting dish is a flavorful and slightly spicy combination perfect for a satisfying campfire meal.
9. Campfire Stew
Campfire stew is a versatile and comforting one-pot meal that can be adapted to include any preferred ingredients. Start with browning a protein such as beef, pork, or chicken in a large pot over the campfire. Add vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery, along with seasoning like salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Pour in a liquid like beef, chicken, or vegetable broth, and let the stew simmer for about 1-2 hours, depending on the type of protein used. This slow cooking time allows the flavors to meld together, creating a delicious and warming meal. Serve the stew with crusty bread or rolls for a hearty campfire dinner.
10. Campfire Pancakes
One great option for a delicious and easy-to-make breakfast during camping trips is pancakes. You can prepare a make-ahead whole-grain pancake mix at home and then just mix in the wet ingredients when you’re ready to cook. This can help save time and minimize the mess at the campsite. Pancakes can be enjoyed with various toppings, such as syrup, fruits, or even chocolate chips.
11. Breakfast Burritos
Breakfast burritos offer a versatile and filling option for campfire cooking. You can customize them by including ingredients like scrambled eggs, bacon, or sausage, as well as vegetables, cheese, and spices, according to your preferences. To make breakfast burritos over the campfire, simply wrap your desired ingredients in a tortilla, secure it with foil, and cook it over the fire or on a grill grate. Breakfast burritos are an excellent choice for providing energy and fuel for a busy day of outdoor activities.
12. Skillet Hash
A hearty and flavorful skillet hash can be the perfect meal to start a day of camping adventures. Cook your choice of protein, such as bacon, sausage, or even cubes of cooked chicken in a cast-iron skillet over the fire. Then, add diced potatoes and vegetables like bell peppers and onions. To make it even more nutritious, you can incorporate some leafy greens like spinach or kale. Season the dish with your favorite spices and herbs, and serve it hot from the skillet. A well-prepared skillet hash creates a filling and satisfying breakfast, sure to please campers of all ages.
Tips for Meal Planning and Preparation
When planning campfire meals, it’s important to focus on simplicity, portability, and nutrition. Planning and preparing easy-to-cook meals can enhance your camping experience, making it more enjoyable and satisfying. Here are some practical meal planning and preparation tips to keep in mind.
Consider choosing recipes with minimal ingredients. This will help reduce the amount of preparation required at the campsite and allow you to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. Opt for dishes that use ingredients with a longer shelf life, such as canned vegetables, dried fruits, and dehydrated meats. This will ensure your meals stay fresh throughout your trip, avoiding waste and unsafe consumption.
When packing for your camping trip, portion and pack your meals in resealable bags or containers. This makes it easier to transport ingredients and reduces the need for additional cookware at the campsite. Label each bag or container with its contents and the intended meal to stay organized and save time during meal preparation.
Research the cooking equipment required for your chosen campfire recipes. In many cases, you can simplify recipes by using versatile cooking equipment like a cast iron skillet, which can be used to prepare various dishes, from scrambled eggs to foil-wrapped vegetables. Bring along a portable grill or grate to expand your cooking options over an open fire. This way, you can prepare dishes like grilled swordfish with tomatoes and oregano.
Practice good hygiene by bringing eco-friendly, biodegradable soap, dishwashing tools, and a water container specifically for cleaning your cookware and utensils. Additionally, pack a small cutting board, a sharp knife, and other essential tools to facilitate meal preparation at the campsite.
Lastly, don’t forget to plan for snacks and quick bites that can be easily prepared or eaten straight from the packaging. Trail mixes, granola bars, and fresh fruit provide nutritious, portable options to curb hunger between meal times.
By following these meal planning and preparation tips, you can ensure a satisfying and memorable camping experience.
Experimenting with various campfire recipes brings out the joy of open-air cooking, enabling campers to taste different flavors while satisfying their hunger after a day of exploring. From skewers and foil packets to Dutch oven creations and cast iron wonders, campfire cuisine offers a range of possibilities that caters to everyone’s tastes and skills.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-timer, trying your hand at these delicious campfire recipes will surely enhance your outdoor experience, adding delectable dishes to your culinary repertoire and creating lasting memories around the crackling fire.
For more meal ideas and inspiration for your next camping trip, check out our camping food page!