Top 6 Easy Campfire Cooking Methods (#3 Saved me in Alaska)
Are you interested in learning how to connect to a more traditional way of cooking outdoors? Do you want to find a few new easy recipes that will make your next cooking experience more enjoyable? I have listed the Top 6 easy campfire cooking methods that will help you get there.
I am going to show you the top super easy campfire cooking techniques, the tools for cooking over a campfire and some resources to get a little more out of the camping experience.
Keep reading and I will describe how method #3 saved me on an Alaskan trip. But first, let’s start with the key piece to it all.
The Easy Campfire Cooking Key Piece
The big item for all of the techniques I am going to list below involve building a good fire and a good bed of coals. Without a good fire technique, many of these techniques will fall short of the optimal temperature and affect the final product.
The first thing you need to do is start the fire early to give it a chance to build a nice be of coals.
After you have a nice bed of coals built up, you can set up your cooking equipment. As you cook you can feed the burning coals wood to keep it stoked but don’t add any more large pieces as you dont want to cover the glowing heat from the coals.
#1: Cooking with a Stick
Do you remember camping as a kid, grabbing a stick from the neaby tree and cooking a hotdog or marshmellow over the flame? Trying to cook it just right so you don’t have to put a charcoal looking dog on your bun. There are numerous types of cooking ideas with a stick from hotdogs to kabobs to cooking an egg in an orange peal. If you are interested in getting a meal out quickly then the stick method may be most effective.
Although the most common tool for this method is the “stick”, there are other non wood stick products on the market that you can purchase. Take a look at this link for a few examples of common metal roasting sticks. The next step is to decide what foods you will be making. Here is a good link to a site that I enjoy reading and a few recipes that stand out from the pack.
#2: Dutch Oven Cooking
If you are looking to bake or cook more like you would at home, then the dutch oven is probably your method of choice. There are so many dutch of ideas and recipes out there and so many different things you can make.
From Soups, to casseroles, to cooking meats, there seems to be no end to the different recipes out there. I love the egg bake recipes for breakfast.
The main tool for dutch oven cooking is a good cast iron oven. This link has a couple of good examples and a few of the accessories to go along with it. It depends on what you are cooking, but you can either put the dutch oven directly on the fire or use the tripod tool to keep it above the fire at the best height. Take a look at this camp cooking gear list to see other items that you can bring along.
#3: Tinfoil Cooking
The foil technique works great if you don’t have a dutch oven but still want to bake your meal in a similar fashion. The main items required are high quality and thick tinfoil along with a nice oven glove or a shovel to rotate the meal of choice.
For me potatoes and fish come to my mind when I think of this technique, but there are so many different recipes that you will be blown away. Just about anything you would bake in the oven, you could use tinfoil for. I love making buritoes before hand, wrapping them in tinfoil so we can just quickly put them on the fire for a quick meal. Here is a link to a bunch of foil recipes to get you started.
A Quick Story Break
Long Story Short: We were camping in a remote part of Alaska along a river with 1000’s of salmon, a densely populated grizzly bear area, in a small boat with no food. Our base camp was miles upriver. Dave (Tyler says), The motor won’t start. Well, I guess we are stuck here for the night until our research partners come looking for us. Did we have the ability to do a little Campfire Cooking?
Yes! We did have our fishing rods, some tinfoil and fire starting supplies. So we headed down to the first good spot caught a beautiful coho salmon and brought it back to camp for dinner. I can honestly tell you that that salmon wrapped in tinfoil and placed on the fire is still to this day the best salmon I have had.
So, the tinfoil method saved our but and produced one of the best meals I have ever had. Here are a few details.
#4: Rotisserie cooking
Rotisserie cooking is like an upscaled stick cooking method. The rotisserie really allows you to cook a large piece of food than typical of the hotdog type stick. Cooking a whole chicken over the fire is one common rotisserie food that many think of, but you can cook just about any type of meat on one.
Here is a great link with a little background on the process and examples of what you can cook with a rotisserie.
There are a number of different rotisserie tools on the market. In essence a rotisserie is just two Y sticks on each side of a fire, holding the main stick with the food in the middle.
I recoomend finding a rotisserie that has a grate attached so you diversify your cooking options and cook additional items. If you want additional examples of good rotisseries and accessories take a look here.
#5: cooking grates
This is where you get into the flame broiled action on those amazing hamburgers. There’s something a little bit juicier about the campfire grill vs. the propane type barbecue. There are many different recipes and foods you can cook on a grate as well. Just about everything we have talked about up to this point can be cooked on a grate along with additional items. Even a quesadilla can be cooked in a frying pan if needed.
There are many different grate models out there as well and a few that are grate/rotisserie combo’s. The important things is getting a model that is durable and is the right height and size for your cooking needs.
#6: Cooking Iron
This is a little less well known these days, but you may remember it from when you were a kid. I remember putting cherry filling between two pieces of bread within the cooking iron. There are a lot of other things you can cook with these that are great including hot sandwiches.
The cooking iron tools are still out on the market and are easy to find. The iron gets you back into holding something while you cook, but will produce many different meals over the stick method we initially talked about.
Whether it’s your first time trying these methods or getting back to something you did along time ago the results are the same. Good food and a more enjoyable and memorable experience cooking around the campfire. You will reduce expenses in the long run and make better tasting meals.
Just as I learned on our Alaskan exerience, nothing tastes better than a meal you cook over an open fire. Try out a few of the campfire cooking techniques and recipes next time you are out.
Have you ever cooked over an open campfire? Do you prefer to cook over an open fire vs. camping stove? Leave a comment below and let us know how easy campfire cooking has been a part of your camping history.
Good piece of info-sounds easy but I know it takes time to perfect these methods. It took me a number of years, but it was by trial and error-not the best way. D.Stew