Six Fresh Campfire Meal Ideas

6-fresh-campfire-ideas-featuredWhile in the­o­ry it may seem eas­i­er to bring a bag of pre­pared food for a quick camp­site din­ner, in real­i­ty it’s just as easy to bring a bag of fresh ingre­di­ents and a few sim­ple cook­ing tools. Do the lat­ter and you’ll end up with some deli­cious fresh meals to eat around the camp­fire. Below are six ideas for cook­ing up a fresh camp­fire feast, all of which can be done with foil, a pot or a pan, and a small amount of oil, salt, or sugar.

Corn on the Cob
Head to the store and buy a cob of corn, husk intact. In doing so, you’re buy­ing the food you’ll be eat­ing as well as the ves­sel in which you’ll be cook­ing it in. To make this side-dish over the fire, start by soak­ing the corn in a buck­et of clean water for twen­ty min­utes. This will sat­u­rate the husk with water, there­by cre­at­ing a good source of hot steam dur­ing the cook­ing process itself. Once soaked, unwrap the husk around the corn about halfway, just enough to pull some of the silk out from under the husk. Fold the leaves back over the corn and tie the tops togeth­er if they won’t hold on their own. Final­ly, wrap your corn in foil and nes­tle it under a pile of embers from the fire. Let it cook for about 25 min­utes. Use tongs to unwrap and use olive oil and salt to sea­son the corn.

You can cook whole pota­toes using your camp­fire and foil. To do so, sim­ply spear a pota­to sev­er­al times with a fork, then wrap it in two lay­ers of foil and place under­neath a bed of fire embers or coals. This method of cook­ing varies depend­ing on the heat so you’ll want to check your pota­to after 30 min­utes. If it’s soft, it’s ready! If not, you’ll want to check it again after 45 min­utes and final­ly at about 60. It should take no longer than one hour to ful­ly your pota­to. (If it’s not ready by then, you have a weak fire.)

Many grains (such as rice and oat­meal, in addi­tion to cous­cous) can be cooked eas­i­ly over a camp­fire. The ben­e­fit of cous­cous is its quick cook­ing time, as it’s able to read­i­ly absorb water and soft­en. To make savory camp­fire cous­cous, you’ll need a medi­um pot (some peo­ple call this a saucepan). Put the pot over the fire (use the camp­fire grate if you’re at a camp­site), add veg­etable oil, fresh gar­lic if desired, and salt and pep­per. Next, add three cups of dry cous­cous and let it toast while stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly. Final­ly, add four-and-a-half cups of water, cov­er, then move the pot to a low­er heat area of the fire. Let the cous­cous absorb the water ful­ly (this takes about eight min­utes), stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly, and enjoy plain or with some sim­ple roast­ed veg­gies or meat on top.

Soft Tacos
Easy to cook over the fire and easy to please both veg­e­tar­i­ans and meat-eaters like, soft tacos com­prise a whole meal (veg­eta­bles, grains and pro­tein) if done right. Take a stack of small flour tor­tillas, set them in the skil­let for a minute or two to heat, and then add your choice of top­pings. Try whole beans, cheese, and onions to make for a great veg­gie delight, or pre­vi­ous­ly cooked taco meat, cheese, and let­tuce for a more car­niv­o­rous option.

Easy and sat­is­fy­ing, roast­ing meat or veg­gies on a stick over the camp­fire is a clas­sic, sim­ple camp­fire cook­ing expe­ri­ence that can’t be left off this list. Hot dogs, while not nutri­tion­al­ly opti­mal, are processed so heav­i­ly that they stay safe to eat with min­i­mal refrig­er­a­tion for quite some time. Fresh, whole veg­eta­bles such as zuc­chi­ni, mush­rooms, and cher­ry toma­toes can be eas­i­ly roast­ed over the fire. Either way you cut it, cook­ing pro­tein or veg­gies on a stick is one great way to eat fresh food while at the campsite.

Grilled Fruit
If you’re yearn­ing for some dessert that strays from the stan­dard s’mores recipe, grilled fruit is a great bet. To make this camp­side treat, sim­ply bring your favorite stone fruit (plums, peach­es, nec­tarines, etc.), cut in half, remove the pit. Once prepped, you can roast on a grill or cook in a pan, cut-side down. Once it soft­ens after just a few min­utes, turn over and soft­en the oth­er side. Final­ly, sprin­kle a lit­tle bit of sug­ar atop your grilled fruit and delight in a healthy, updat­ed camp­ing delicacy.