It’s that time of year again. School is out, the sun is shining, and everyone in the family is excited about this summer’s camping trip.
As a veteran or a newbie to the great outdoors, there are essentials to keep in mind. Think, backpacks, bathing suits, tents, and hiking boots.
You can’t forget to plan for the most important part of survival – food (and water).
This year, skip the simple hot dog and hamburger. Upgrade your traditional campfire cooking and treat the family to delicious meals over an open fire, with no pantry necessary.
Here Are 15 Hacks and Recipes for Simple, Delicious Campfire Cooking
1. Pre-Made Coffee “Bags”
First things, first. If you are about to embark on the great outdoors, you probably need a cup (or two) of coffee in the morning.
For simple brewing, take the extra couple minutes at home to prepare.
Pour one scoop of ground coffee into a regular coffee filter. Tie the bag tightly with dental floss or some string. Repeat as desired.
At the campsite, just wake up and get some water boiling. Pour the water over your “coffee bag” like tea and let the bag hang out in your mug.
Note, cream and sugar not included. Those fit pretty well in the cooler, though.
2. Paper Bag Bacon
Once the coffee is going, you need breakfast to really fuel up.
Items needed: paper bags, bacon, eggs, a stick, and a big appetite. Napkins and seasoning as desired.
Open a paper bag and line the bottom with a generous amount of bacon. The more the better, this will be protecting your eggs. Next, crack some eggs on top of your “bacon bed”.
Add salt or pepper as needed. Fold the bag over and attach it to your stick. Holdover your open fire for about 10 minutes.
Open the bag and enjoy! No plates necessary, making clean up a breeze.
3. Omelets in a Bag
If you brought along a cooking pan for your campfire cooking, this breakfast is perfect.
Start by bringing water to a boil over your fire. In the meantime, pass out freezer bags to everyone in the group. Note, grab the bags that are safe for heating when doing your pre-departure grocery shopping.
Each person will then crack an egg or two into the bag, add their toppings of choice, and seal the bag. Make sure all the air is squeezed out to prevent any bags from popping while cooking.
Place the bags in boiling water for 10 minutes, then eat up.
4. Crescent Rolls on a Stick
Who else loves waking up to the smell of crescent rolls in the oven?
Take that cozy at-home sensation with you to the campsite with this campfire cooking hack. Just toss a pack of crescent rolls in the cooler until the morning (or lunch, or dinner…) you want them.
Pop open the container and wrap each piece of dough on a stick. Let the dough bake to a golden brown and munch away.
5. Muffins in Orange Shells
This one sounds a little complicated, but it is actually super fun and easy to do.
Just don’t forget the oranges at home. You will need a bag of just-add-water muffin mix, too.
Slice oranges in half and scrape out the fruit, being careful to leave the rind intact. Combine the water and muffin mix and let the kids have fun pouring about 2/3 of the way in the orange rinds. Cover each rind with its other half – the rind that is empty.
Wrap your muffin-to-be in aluminum foil and place right on hot coals, carefully. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and enjoy.
6. Tic Tac Spice Box
The breakfast suggestions above are quick, delicious, and easy to clean so you can fuel up fast to enjoy your day. However, the day is long and the outdoors are tiring, so the good eats don’t stop there.
To ensure maximum flavor at minimum effort during your campfire cooking adventures, bring your favorite spices along. No need for the whole spice rack or pantry. Instead, empty out some Tic Tac boxes and pour what you need in those.
A small, compact, savory solution. What could be better?
7. Campfire Quesadilla
This one is perfect for a yummy and fast lunch back at home-base.
All you need is a pack of small or large tortillas, your favorite types of shredded cheese, and some vegetables. Feel free to add chicken, shrimp, or bacon bits if you are feeling fancy. The bacon bits are the easiest ones to toss in the cooler.
Place one tortilla on top of aluminum foil and begin to stuff with the ingredients mentioned above. Top it with another tortilla and wrap in the aluminum foil, or let stay as-is.
To turn your tortilla sandwich into cheesy goodness you will need an open fire with a small grill on top. Most campsites provide this, but you can call ahead to make sure or pick one up at the grocery store for cheap.
Place the aluminum foil on the grill and let the fire heat everything up for a few minutes. Grab and enjoy.
8. Mexican Street Corn
Your campfire cooking is not the only thing getting an upgrade. Take traditional corn on the cob up a notch with this recipe.
Start by covering the corn in mayo and lime. Then roll it into a mixture of cheese, chopped cilantro, and chili powder.
Place over the handy-dandy grill mentioned above and let cook for a fun, tasty punch of flavor.
This step does take a little more preparation either at home or on-site but is well worth it. To reward your efforts, remember the cobs are biodegradable so clean-up is a breeze and no plates or utensils are needed.
Sounds like a win-win-win.
9. Southwest Chicken
Corn on the cob makes a great snack, but it will also pair very well with this southwest chicken.
Start with a big piece of aluminum foil. Place the chicken in the center and start piling on black beans, corn, and lime juice. By the way, the beans and corn can easily be brought in ready to go cans from the store.
Add some salsa and top everything off with cheese as desired.
Wrap everything nice and snug in the foil and let cook for at least 20 minutes over the fire. Open up and dig in.
10. Shrimp Boil
If you are camping by the water, you will probably crave some fish at some point in your campfire cooking.
This recipe packs all the flavor into a simple foil packet.
Start by placing shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob, and baby red potatoes on a big piece of aluminum foil. Add seasoning as desired, but don’t forget to throw some cajun seasoning in. This is where your tic tac packs from number 6 come in handy!
Wrap everything up and let it cook. Tastes so good, you might forget it was a result of campfire cooking for a second.
11. Mac and Cheese
This is an at-home favorite you will definitely miss, and a big hit with the kids, too. In fact, this campfire cooking recipe places most of the work at home.
Prepare your favorite mac and cheese as desired night or two before the trip begins. Pack it in foil tins in the cooler and let it wait for the perfect lunch or dinner opportunity on-site.
Place over the fire with some fresh cheese to heat up. How much simpler can it get? You will appreciate the time to prepare at home and everyone will love how filling and delicious of a meal it is.
12. Banana Boats
There is nothing like a little sugar rush after the main course to finish things off.
Banana boats are both a yummy recipe and campfire cooking hack in one. Slice the banana from top to bottom by cutting through the peel. Open your cut without completely peeling the banana and stuff with your favorite toppings.
Popular choices include chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, Reese’s pieces bites, and graham cracker crumbs.
Wrap the foil, with caution to not be too tight, and place on hot coals for a little over 5 minutes. Gently unwrap and eat with a spoon.
13. French Toast
French toast campfire cooking style is arguably easier than the one made at home.
Just take a conventional loaf of bread and wrap it first in parchment paper, then in foil. Hint, this works better if you cut off the bottom crust. Let the loaf heat up and then undo your wrapping.
Pour over maple syrup, some fresh fruit, and dig in.
14. Campfire S’mores Granola
This is a must. Well, the traditional S’mores are a must. This is a neat twist on the #1 thing that comes to mind when talking about campfire cooking.
Just layout foil, fill with your favorite granola or make your own, add mini marshmallows and chocolate chips, and wait a little while for the perfect temperature to start munching.
15. Mason Jar Sangria
Dinner, dessert, and clean up? Check.
What better way to end a day of family memories and adventures than a cheer around the fire? After the kids are asleep, of course.
Use your favorite sangria recipe or try a new version. The trick is to mix everything at home and pour your concoction in mason jars for safe-keeping to the camp.
The perfect hack to wrap up a day of campfire cooking.
Have a favorite on the list or something to add? Tell us in the comments below or contact us directly!