Campfire cooking

I love being outdoors. I love hiking. I love swimming in fresh water. I love experiencing nature. But, after a long day of those activities, I also love heading back inside for my dinner.

That just wasn’t an option when we went camping last week. With the addition of Tracker and the fact that the nearest town was 30 minutes away, it just wasn’t feasible to go out to restaurants, which we did last time. Instead, Dan and I faced the task of preparing all of our meals at the campsite.

I was weary of how successful we’d be, but a little planning went a long way and we made it work.

Night No. 1: Grilled Personal Pizzas

Because this recipe required cheese, we made it on the first night when we knew our cooler would still be cold. Other than that, all the pizzas took were two simple ingredients: individual pizza sauce packages and whole-wheat pita pockets.

While I worked on prepping the pizzas, Dan got the campfire ready.

Then we flipped the grill down, placed the pizzas on a baking rack and let ’em heat until the cheese was slightly melted, about 3-5 minutes.

They worked out perfectly — and even passed the Tracker-approval test. (Although that doesn’t actually say much.)

Night No. 2: Vegetable Fajitas

We knew we’d have to get more creative on the second night, because it wasn’t a sure thing that food in the cooler would be ok anymore. To me, it was just a good excuse to make a vegetable-rich dish of fajitas with corn tortillas, sweet bell peppers, an onion, salsa and succotash.

Note: It turned out that we were able to pick up extra ice on the first night, so the cheese was still good to eat.

This recipe was a little more involved, in that I had to bring along a cutting board and a sharp knife, which I used to dice the onion and slice the peppers. Unlike last time, we also remembered to bring a can opener.

After building the fire again, I got one pot of the succotash and one non-stick pan of the diced onions going. We also made a large pan of vegetarian baked beans for extra protein.

Once the onions were browned and fragrant, I added in the sliced peppers.

I let the veggies cook for a while, mixing occasionally, until the peppers were also tender. Meanwhile, I just brought the pots of succotash and beans up to a simmer.

With all the food finished, Dan and I got to build our own fajitas. I went with a little corn, the pepper mixture, succotash and salsa on corn tortillas.

Simple and satisfying!

Question: Do you know of any good campfire meals?

3 responses to “Campfire cooking

  • Mandy Stone

    They’re expensive, but if you spend a lot of time camping/doing outdoor stuff, I highly recommend getting a YETI cooler – you wouldn’t have had to worry about stuff staying cold and they are indestructable. Also, Backpacker Magazine has a lot of good recipes – I’m sure The Merc sells it or you can check out their online stuff:

  • Caroline Webster

    First of all I just wanna say that I love your blog, thanks for posting 😉

    I went camping in the Ozarks in Arkansas last fall and we ate GREAT meals while we were there (and a lot of them were kind of accidental!) The best meal we had by far was baked sweet potato (a food with which I have an absolute love affair). And it was so easy! All we did was wash the potatoes, wrap them in tin foil (arguably the most useful piece of cooking equipment you can bring with you when camping, besides matches). Then we cooked them on a grate over a hot fire for about 20-30 mins (until they were tender) turning them once or twice, slit them down the middle and sprinkled a little spices in there (some of that Ms. Dash chipotle salt spice is really good). Hot and delicious!

    We also brought some bell peppers and onions with us and steamed them in the same way, cut up into bite sized pieces and double wrapped in tin foil. It was amazingly delicious! Although everything tastes amazing when you’re out in the wilderness 😉 Happy camping!

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