Over 78.8 million American households regularly go camping, making it one of the most common recreational activities in the country.
Making campfire meals with your family is an underrated outdoor adventure. Roasting a marshmallow is nice, but cooking an entire meal over a flame is a delicious experience you’ll remember forever.
Campfire cooking is easy, economical, and customizable. As long as you plan ahead and bring the right tools, you can make something for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Start your trip armed with ideas so you don’t run out of things to cook. Read on for 10 campfire meals that will fill up you and your family.
A cast-iron skillet is a useful tool that will help you cook a range of meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll even be able to make a campfire pizza.
You can make your own makeshift pizza oven with a grate and a cast-iron skillet. Place the grate over the fire and spray the skillet with cooking spray or rub it with oil.
Bring a pre-made pizza crust instead of making it from scratch to save time. You’ll be too tired from all your outdoor activities to make your own dough.
Press the crust on the bottom of the skillet and cook it until the bottom is browned. Flip the crust over and spread the sauce on the cooked side.
You can add any toppings you want, but make sure you’ve prepared them in advance. Screaming children who want their pizza now won’t be willing to wait for you to cut the tomatoes or pepperonis.
Cover the skillet with aluminum foil to minimize mess and keep all the flavors in. Let the pizza cook for another 6-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Remove the skillet from the fire with an oven mitt and let it cool. Once it’s ready, serve up a slice to everyone in your family.
Kebobs are made to cook over an open flame and are a thrill to eat because they come on a stick. They require extra care when cooked over a campfire because they can easily burn.
Bag kebobs are a perfect alternative. You can use meats like beef or chicken and vegetables like potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onions, or squash.
Remember to bring along seasonings as well to ensure that every ingredient is as flavorful as possible. You can try pre-made mixes, herbs, or flavorful additions like lemon pepper or soy sauce.
Once you’ve chopped up all your vegetables, put them in a large foil bag with your seasonings. Put your meat and its seasonings into separate foil bags.
Cook the bags for 8-10 minutes and turn them over halfway through. Once they’re done, remove the ingredients from the bag and enjoy. If you’d like, you can even bring along sticks and pierce them through your meat and vegetables to get an authentic experience.
Mexican Street Corn (Elote)
Speaking of an authentic experience, cooking campfire meals is an easy way to experience different cultures. Try making a fire-friendly version of the popular Mexican Street Corn known as elote.
Start with 4 ears of husked corn. They’ll make up the base of the dish. You’ll also need to choose a type of cheese. Elote requires either sour cream or mayonnaise to give it that unique, fatty flavor.
The traditional choice is a crumbly cheese known as cotija. You can get it, along with authentic Mexican sour cream, in the international aisle of your local grocery store.
To make elote, brush olive oil onto the ears before placing them onto the grate. Make sure that they don’t come into direct contact with the flames so they don’t burn. Remember to rotate them every so often.
Once the corn kernels start to wrinkle, take the ears off the fire and place them on a baking sheet. Brush on mayonnaise or sour cream. Sprinkle cheese on top. Season them with cilantro or a chile-lime seasoning mix. Squeeze half a lime onto each ear for even more flavor.
Mountain pies are one of the most traditional, beloved campfire meals of all time. They’re like a s’more but fatter and gooier with more customization options.
You’ll need a pie iron to make a mountain pie. It’s a special tool that resembles a panini press and keeps all your ingredients sealed in tight.
Butter 2 slices of bread and place them butter-side down onto the pie iron. It’s a similar method to traditional oven dishes like the classic grilled cheese.
Mountain pies are a highly customizable dish. As long as you’ve prepared them in advance, you can add any toppings you want. You could make a pizza mountain pie, stuff it with cold cuts, use peanut butter and jelly, or anything else you like.
Whatever filling you choose, be careful not to overdo it. If you overstuff your bread, the insides will spill out over the edges and burn.
Once your mountain pies are filled, close the pie iron and place it over the fire. Flip it occasionally to make sure both sides get cooked.
You can cook a mountain pie on a flaming fire or hold it over hot coals. This means you won’t have to hear your children complain when you tell them that the fire isn’t hot enough to start cooking.
The pie iron will be flaming hot when the pies are done, so be sure to use tongs to get them out. Place each one on a plate and enjoy a treat that will make you feel like a real mountaineer.
Veggie dinners are the perfect option for vegetarian campers. Your kids may even have so much fun making them that they end up eating their greens.
This dinner is one of the most customizable campfire meals of all time because it can include almost anything. Options include potatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions, and beans.
Try to avoid adding too much to keep from spilling ingredients into the flames. A grate will help with this because it will catch anything that falls off while cooking.
Put the ingredients on one piece of foil and pour your preferred type of salad dressing on them. Anything from traditional ranch to a homemade variety will do. Once they’re dressed, wrap the dressed vegetables up and cover them with a second piece of foil.
Depending on the number of ingredients you use and the heat of your fire, your veggie dinner will take approximately 30 minutes to cook. Once it’s ready, unwrap it from the tinfoil and enjoy.
Cinnamon Sugar Biscuits
Campfire meals don’t always require a great deal of preparation on your part. If you bring a tin of biscuits and some cinnamon, you can make a delicious dessert.
Start by removing the biscuits from their tin. Look for a brand that offers an easy twist-off option so you can get started as soon as possible.
Layout a piece of foil and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on it. Next, add the biscuits and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top of them as well. This ensures that every bite is sweet and delicious.
Put another layer of foil on top of the biscuits. Place them on a rack over the fire or on hot coals. Once the biscuits are done, take them off and place them on a plate after they’ve cooled.
You can customize this recipe if cinnamon sugar isn’t your style or you want a bit of extra pizzaz. Try topping them with jelly, jam, or peanut butter instead.
Fish and Chips
Cooking on a campfire doesn’t mean you can’t have the delicious fried food you crave. Try making your own fish and chips.
Prepare the batter first by combining beer and 2 cups of pancake mix. Place that in a bag or Tupperware. Don’t worry if you make too much, because you can always use it again later.
Dip your favorite type of fish into the batter and fry it over the fire. You can use anything from flounder to salmon. Be sure to watch it to make sure that oil doesn’t get into the fire.
Using a pan is a viable option for the recipe, but a dutch oven is safer and more effective. It reduces the risk of oil spillage and provides more reliable heat.
Another way to keep yourself safe while frying a dish over a campfire is to use wood that won’t erupt into a messy, uncontrollable flame. Go to https://www.buyfirewooddirect.co.uk/product-tag/kiln-dried-mixed-hardwoods/ to get the best hardwood for your campsite.
Poor Man’s Roast
If you need to quickly feed a large family, try a poor man’s roast. It’s a tasty callback to the types of recipes made by our forefathers who relied on cooking on a fire.
This is another recipe where you can use almost anything, but some of the most popular ingredients include beef, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
Put your ingredients on top of aluminum foil and roast them over the campfire for about 45 minutes. You can place them over hot coals when the fire’s cooled down.
The aluminum foil allows you to wrap each serving of poor man’s roast separately, cook multiple meals at once, and save leftovers for later. This makes it one of the fastest and most affordable campfire meals of all time.
If you need a campfire dessert but don’t want to make s’mores again, try a banana boat. You’ll need bananas, your favorite candy bar, and marshmallows.
Cut the banana in half and add the candy and marshmallows. Put the other half of the banana on top of that to make a makeshift sandwich. Wrap it up and cook it over the fire.
Banana boats resemble s’mores because they use candy and allow you to cook them as long as you want to get your preferred level of char. The difference is in the taste and the fact that you can use almost any type of candy bar, from white chocolate to the traditional Hershey’s.
This dessert is easy to make, and a few simple variations can make it even more delicious and impressive. Try melting chocolate and drizzling it on as a sauce or topping it with a cherry stuck to a toothpick.
Many campfire meals can be eaten at any time of day by switching out a few ingredients. Despite their customizability, you’ll want at least one that’s perfect for eating right when you wake up to enjoy another day of camping. One of your best options is breakfast burritos.
First, melt butter in a large skillet. Add in any vegetables you’d like, such as mushrooms and peppers. Saute them for about 2 minutes.
Add your beaten eggs to the pan and season them with salt, pepper, and hot sauce if you want to make them spicier. Stir them so they don’t stick to the pan.
Once the eggs are cooked, you can add in your preferred type of cheese and let it melt.
Put the mixture onto a tortilla. Add salsa, sour cream, and any other fillings you like. Fold and roll the tortilla into a burrito.
Wrapping your ingredients in foil helps you avoid a mess, and it also lets you save any extras for another day. If you vary the burrito recipe a bit, you can use a campfire to make several other delicious tortilla-related dishes. Try making fajitas, tortillas, enchiladas, or tacos.
Where Can I Learn More About Cooking on a Campfire?
There are campfire meals for every time of day. You can start your day with a breakfast burrito, have a poor man’s roast to tide you over later, and end with a delicious dessert like a banana boat or cinnamon biscuit.
Most campfire foods are customizable. You can top a pizza or fill a mountain pie with whatever you like.
Don’t forget important tools like grates, foil, and skillets. They’ll keep you from making a dangerous mess.
Campfire cooking requires practice and preparation. Read the rest of our content for more tips on how to cook over a fire.