No camping trip would be complete without a great campfire and food cooked out over the campfire. It’s as time honored a tradition as apple pie itself! We’re going to take a look at our top ten campfire cuisine choices.
First though a couple of helpful tips when camping out and food is present. When cooking and preparing food you want to make sure that you clean up after cooking. That before you hit the sack you dispose of all food and clean all dishes thoroughly.
Let me share with you why. For novice campers, food can be an invitation to unwelcome guests. Coyote’s, Raccoon’s and other opportunistic hunters can smell food from great distances. Shy by nature these and other wild animals will come scavenging for food at night. If camping on the beach in areas where dunes are present you would want to find out from park rangers what wildlife is present.
Be sure to stow food away from your camp, and never eat food inside your tent in areas where wildlife visitors are a real possibility. Use air tight containers to secure food away from nosey visitors. No it’s not cute or fun to feed wildlife. Hot Dogs are not part of the natural habitat around you, so it’s never a good idea to feed wild animals.
However, it is a good idea to feed the humans around you! So let’s have some fun finding out what fun food ideas are available for campers.
- S’mores! No campout is ever complete without yummy S’mores. Graham crackers, Hershey Chocolate bars and marshmallows. You take a two graham crackers, a couple of hot fire roasted marshmallows stacked on top of your Hershey bar, between two graham crackers and squeeze them together until the marshmallow oozes out the sides. Then prepare your mouth for the camper’s decadent treat of a lifetime! It’s simply not camping without S’mores…
- Another super traditional east coast delight. Clams, cooked right over the campfire. First you will need to find some fresh clams(you can also go locally and buy them). Wading in shallow water you will need a clam rack. When you find clam shells on the beach you can simply start digging in the shallow water around you. Once you have collected enough clams, it’s time to get cooking. Rinse off your clams with fresh water, Have a sauté pan that you can use olive oil, fresh garlic and sauté until the garlic is cooked into the oil, add clams and a quarter cup of fresh water and white wine. Cover and let steam, they will be done when the clams open. Wonderful with white wine and a good bread.
- Summer Flounder is another great fish you can catch and wonderful eating. Flounder is best fileted. When cooking on a campfire you can take aluminum foil, with olive oil, lemon, and herb seasoning of your choice. Wrap it up and place above the fire or in the coals. Keep in mind it won’t take long to cook, so check frequently.
- Striped Bass are amazing fish to eat. You can cook like the flounder or you can deep fry. When cleaning a striped bass, in the filet you will notice what looks like a black stripe. Be sure to remove this from the filet before cooking for better flavor. Deep fried bass, tartar sauce, corn on the cob and a good cold beer. Not a bad combination!
- This one is of course simple, but good old fashioned Hot Dogs have to be in the top 5. Take a good old hot dog, a metal coat hanger that you undo and stretch out nice and long. Put a hot dog on the end and hold above the fire till good and done. Toast your buns over the fire, garnish with your favorite, hot dog accompaniments. It’s tradition.
- Corn on the Cob. Here is a fun favorite that’s super easy to do with a campfire. Take corn on the cob and peel back the green leaves, cover the corn with butter, your favorite seasoning, pull back the green leaves and wrap in aluminum foil. You can do this at home keep them in a cooler until ready to cook. Then simply put on the coals of the fire, turning frequently to avoid burning. When done peel back the leaves and you will have some of the finest corn you have ever eaten.
- Breakfast food, nothing better than Sheepherders breakfast. In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion over fire until bacon is crisp. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup drippings in pan. Stir in hash browns. Cook, uncovered, over fire 10 minutes or until bottom is golden brown; turn potatoes. With the back of a spoon, make eight evenly spaced wells in potato mixture. Break one egg into each well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, on the fire away from direct flame 10 minutes or until eggs are set and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with cheese; let stand until cheese is melted.
- Good old fashioned ranch style beans. Take soaked ranch beans, put in a cast iron pot with lid. Season to taste, with onions, bacon strips or salt pork. Cook over an open flame with a cast iron pot, stirring frequently. Take a cast iron skillet and make corn bread, and serve ranch beans with cornbread.
- Banana Boats, this is heaven in a banana peel. Cut banana peel lengthwise about 1/2 in. deep, leaving 1/2 in. at both ends. Open peel wider to form a pocket. Fill each with 1 teaspoon chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon marshmallows. Crimp and shape four pieces of heavy-duty foil (about 12 in. square) around bananas, forming boats. Grill, covered, over campfire for 5-10 minutes or until marshmallows melt and are golden brown. Check frequently when cooking on campfire.
- Campfire bundles. These are the easiest campfire meals to make. Take aluminum foil and create a hodgepodge of ingredients. For example, you could cover with olive oil, fill with fresh vegetables, and season to taste and fold up to throw on the grill over the fire. You can fill with veggies, meat, sausage, you think of it mix it and go. It’s amazingly simple and easy to do. Prepare at home and leave in cooler until ready to prepare.
A few things to remember to pack. Cooking utensils, lots of heavy duty aluminum foil, seasonings. A good grill top that goes over a campfire. Heat pads or gloves to protect your hands from heat and fire. Eco friendly soap to wash up.
When cooking with aluminum foil, make sure you are using a thick heavy duty foil. Cheap thin is a disaster.
Camping with family will create memories that will last generations. We hope you find this article helpful in preparing meals that your family and friends will love.
Remember as responsible campers to always remove more from the campsite than you came with. Please leave your comments below and let’s add to this list of campfire cuisine.