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Campfire Cooking 101

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The art of campfire cooking takes time to master. When you pack for a camping trip, the goal is to pack as lightly and efficiently as possible. So when it comes to kitchenware and food, you should aim to pack tools and ingredients that you can use across multiple meals. Think minimalist. Over the years, we’ve had our fair share of campfire meals and have come up with what we think is the perfect shopping list and meal plan for an “average” three-day camping trip (two nights, three days). Most of these meals you can prepare at home, wrap in foil and heat over your campfire when it’s time to eat!

Shopping List:

  • Two russet potatoes
  • One pound of bacon (about 16 slices)
  • Three red onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • Two bell peppers
  • Zucchini squash
  • Maple syrup
  • Butter
  • Box of linguine
  • Italian dressing
  • Tomato, basil, garlic
  • Bag of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Half dozen large eggs
  • Instant pancake mix
  • Three large chicken breasts
  • Two slices of bread
  • Tortillas
  • Can of tomato soup

Kitchenware:

  • Cast iron skillet
  • Cooking pot and pan
  • Tongs
  • Spatula
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plates, bowls, knives, spoons, forks
  • Skewers
  • Pot holder/oven mitt

Day One

Lunch: Campfire Quesadillas

The name says it all, and this giant protein-packed quesadilla will do you wonders after a morning of setting up camp.

From Your Shopping List:

  • Large tortilla
  • One large chicken breast
  • Four slices of bacon
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Red onion

To prepare your bacon, start with a cold cast-iron skillet and cook the bacon slowly, over low heat. When the bacon starts to curl, turn them to cook the other side. Bacon crispiness is all about personal preference, so you will have to be the one who decides when the bacon is done. Drain the fat and pat down the bacon with a paper towel.

Lay out a large foil square and place your tortilla in the center. Sprinkle on cheddar cheese. Chop the bacon, onion and chicken (we recommend cooking your chicken at home), and layer it down the center of the tortilla. Fold the two sides of the tortilla towards the center and wrap in foil. When you’re ready to eat, place the packets on the grate over your fire and cook until the cheese is bubbly and melty.

Dinner: Chicken Kabobs

Kabobs are a fun meal that can be cooked several different ways where you’re camping. The less interactive method involves assembling the skewers on-site and letting them grill on the grate over your campfire. If the family feels like pitching in, though, each person can skewer their own kabob and cook them over the campfire flame!

From Your Shopping List:

  • Red onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • Italian dressing
  • Two bell peppers
  • Zucchini squash
  • Two large chicken breast
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil

Most of the prep for this meal starts at home. Chop the red onion, bell peppers and zucchini squash. Make sure each piece is large enough to fit onto a skewer. Cut the chicken breasts into cubes and throw them into a ziplock bag. Add the Italian dressing as a marinade. When it’s time to get your kabob on, mince the garlic and toss all the veggies in a bag with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay out the veggies and the chicken and create your perfect skewer. And don’t forget to use gloves when handling raw chicken! Rotate the kabob over the fire until the chicken is cooked through.

Day Two

Breakfast: Hearty Breakfast Burrito

These tasty burritos can be prepared at home, wrapped in foil and stored in your cooler until it’s breakfast time. With only a few ingredients and minimal prep time, they will be the perfect start to your fun-filled day of outdoor adventures.

From Your Shopping List:

  • One large russet potato
  • Large tortilla
  • Three large eggs
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Four pieces of bacon
  • Red or white onion
  • Salt and pepper

Boil your russet potato in a pot of water for five minutes. Let it dry completely, then chop. Dice half of your red onion. Scramble three eggs in a large skillet, adding salt and pepper to taste. Heat another skillet with a little olive oil and add the chopped potatoes. After a minute, add the diced red onion and saute until the potatoes are golden brown. Let the potatoes cool.

Cook your bacon on the stovetop, or bake it in the oven, if you prefer! Drain the fat, pat dry with a paper towel and dice.

To assemble your burrito, warm your tortilla in the microwave for 15 seconds to make it more pliable. Pile the eggs in the center of the tortilla followed by the potatoes and diced bacon. Cover the whole thing in shredded cheese and tightly roll the burrito. Wrap it in two pieces of aluminum foil. When it’s time to eat, heat the burritos for 10-15 minutes on a grate over your campfire, or next to the fire over hot coals.

Lunch: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

A classic! And if you happen to have leftover proteins from any of your other meals, throw ‘em on this delicious sandwich.

From Your Shopping List:

  • Two slices of bread
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Butter
  • Can of tomato soup
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil (optional)
  • Garlic (optional)

Before you get your sandwich grilling, make sure to heat your cast iron over either hot coals or your campfire flame. Butter the outsides of your bread and sprinkle on the cheddar cheese. Because the cast iron is hot, your sandwich will cook quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on it. Is there anything more terrible than a burnt grilled cheese!? While you are waiting for your grilled cheese to finish, heat the tomato soup in a pot over the campfire. If garlic and basil sound good in the soup, mince and add to taste. Salt, pepper, perfection!

Dinner: Grilled Pasta Pouch

At the end of a full day, the last thing you want is to have to prepare and cook a huge meal. These grilled pasta pouches are so low maintenance, all it will take to complete this delicious dinner is a little mincing and tossing!

From Your Shopping List:

  • Box of linguine
  • Tomato
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

This is another meal that requires mostly at-home prep. First you will want to UNDERcook the box of linguine. This is extremely important because you will be cooking the linguine, further, over your campfire and you don’t want to end up with a mushy mess! After you strain the linguine, let it dry fully and store it in a plastic bag.

When dinner time rolls around, mince the garlic, and chop up the tomato and basil. Open the bag of linguine, throw all of the ingredients into the bag, add a little olive oil and shake! After it’s been tossed, open the bag and distribute the linguine onto double-lined foil squares. Add a slice of lemon to each square and fold the foil to around the linguine. Place the pasta pouches on the grill, over your campfire, and let them cook for 15 minutes. Open carefully and enjoy!

Day Three

Breakfast: Pancakes, Eggs and Bacon

If it’s hard for you to function fully in the morning, then this recipe is perfect for you. This filling breakfast only takes three steps to make and requires very little at-home prep.

From Your Shopping List:

  • Three large eggs
  • Instant pancake mix
  • Four pieces of bacon
  • Maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter

Follow the instructions on the instant pancake mix box to prepare enough batter for your desired quantity of pancakes. (Also feel free to make the batter from scratch, we’re just keeping it quick and easy to minimize your prep time and maximize your camp time!) After you’ve prepared the batter, store it in a large ziplock bag. If you love a good sunny side up egg in the morning, store your eggs in a carrier to keep them safe during transport. If you’re more flexible with your style of egg, crack and beat three large eggs at home. Store the uncooked eggs in a ziplock bag. To prepare the pancakes, cut a hole in the bottom corner of the ziplock bag. Squeeze the batter into a cast iron, over your campfire, and flip the cakes when they start to bubble on top. Top with a dollop of butter and drench the stack in maple syrup! For the eggs, shake the uncooked yolks vigorously, cut a hole in the ziplock bag and scramble your eggs in a skillet over the fire.

Lunch: Loaded Baked Potato

This recipe is perfect for a hearty lunchtime treat and is unbelievably easy to make, especially if you have leftover bacon from breakfast!

From Your Shopping List:

  • One large russet potato
  • Four strips of bacon
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Butter
  • Chives
  • Salt and pepper

Pierce your potato all over and cover it in one tablespoon of butter. Wrap the potato very well in aluminum foil and bury it under the hot coals in your campfire. Let the potato bake for 30-60 minutes, depending on how tender you want it to be. Dice up your cooked bacon. Chop the chives. Carefully unwrap the potato and cut it lengthwise, down the middle. Now it’s time to load it up! Stuff the center with butter, lots and lots of cheddar cheese, bacon bits and top with chives.

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