When you go camping you may not always have access to a Camp stove, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot eat well. In fact, over the years, there have been many ideas and concepts on how to cook meals while camping. My personal favorite is the campfire meal. Not only is it super easy to put together, but the possibilities are endless. Potentially you could have a three-course campfire meal while camping, and feel like you just ate at a decent restaurant. So follow the below steps on your next campout to have the best campfire meals. Trust us it will make your camping experience easier and more enjoyable
Prep-Work for the best campfire meal
Just a quick tip here after years of making these at a campsite. Don’t do your prep at the campground. For everything that is shared below go ahead and cut up your protein and veggies at home. Having them all prepared and ready to go at the campsite will make dinner come that much sooner after a long day of hiking. In fact, you can even go ahead and wrap them in the foil. We like to wrap ours at home and then place them into a zip-top plastic bag so that they can sit on the ice of the cooler. Preparing at home like this also allows you to add some marinade to the mix instead of just using dry spices imparting an even deeper flavor.
Start that fire!
This truly is the easiest process ever and the whole family can help out. The first thing that you will need to do is get your fire going and build up some coals to the side. The coals will serve as your oven. Next, lay out your foil. The size of foil that you need really depends on how much food you are eating. If you are cooking one meal for the whole family, then you should lay out about 24 inches of foil. If you are doing individual meals, this is better because each person in your group can season to taste, so twelve inches may do the trick. In any case, you may need to make this larger or smaller depending on your appetite! Also, keep in mind that the smaller the packet is the quicker the items inside will cook. If you go crazy and make a really huge packet the food on the outside may burn while the food in the center is still raw or undercooked.
Get Your Fixin’s
Next, you will want to take your protein and place it onto the foil. I have done this with ground meats of all kinds, chunks of chicken, and steak. I have not really found a protein that I have not liked, or that hasn’t worked. You may want to avoid tofu and then just adjust your cooking time appropriately. If you have used tofu in this kind of meal in the past then share in the comments below! If you are looking to go more of a vegetarian route then I would suggest using some nice portabella mushrooms. Portion this out based on how much your family normally eats at home. For us, when we do ground meat we generally do about a pound divided evenly among four people. For chicken, I would recommend about one breast per person, and with steak, I would shoot for about 6-8 Oz per person. We are carnivores here though we err on the side of extra protein. This meal is all yours so add as much or as little as you would like!
Once you have your protein in place, add your veggies. I like to go with harder vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onion, and celery, but you could easily add any vegetable you like. If you do choose softer vegetables like corn, peas, or tomatoes, then you should reduce the amount of cooking time in the fire. Also, think about adding some fresh sliced garlic or peppers to the mix. Now it is time to add your butter. Place pads of butter throughout the mixture of meat and vegetables. I have even added some minute rice to the mix. If you decide to do this pre-cook the rice and place it as the last thing in the foil package. This will allow it to heat back up without turning to mush. Are you ready, you are almost set to eat the best campfire meal!
Time to Season that best campfire meal
Next, add your seasonings. I like to do something a little different each time, but you can never go wrong with some Worcestershire Sauce, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic. The possibilities of seasoning combinations are endless here. Go wild and try something new or stick with the easy way and just add BBQ sauce or ketchup to the mix.
Once everything has been added fold the sides of the foil up and crimp it together well. Once done place the foil package right onto the coals. Depending on how hot your coals are, and the size of your package, you should cook this for anywhere between 20 – 30 minutes. When it comes off the fire make sure to be careful because the contents will be very hot and may burn you if you do not open it carefully. Always use tongs or fire gloves to remove from the fire.
The benefits of a campfire meal
The best part of this type of campfire meal is that it can be made in advance and stored in your cooler. Think about it, you could be out on a hike and be eating in about thirty minutes with only minimal setup. In addition, if you eat right out of your foil package, the cleanup is literally just balling some foil up into a ball and seeing if you can score some points by throwing it into the trash bag. As I said before, this doesn’t have to be limited to main courses. We have made banana desserts by placing a split banana into the foil with brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter chips. Talk about a delicious dessert!
We hope that you have the best campfire meals using these tips. Let us know in the comments what combinations of food you have tried or want to try. Be creative, because an easy meal like a campfire meal is only limited by your imagination. Send in your pictures too, and we will add them to the posting! We can’t wait to hear from you.