When it comes to cooking (either at home or outdoors), there are two groups of people: those who enjoy cooking and those who don’t. The thing is, however, that you have to eat when you hike or camp. And you have to eat well. Therefore, basic cooking skills are a must if you want to have a quality time camping.
In this post I will give some basic tips on how to cook while camping. I will not go into gourmet cooking here (maybe later I will share a few secrets of mine which will let you make fantastic meals outdoors). Today I am giving you the basic stuff.
I am vegan. If you are not, don’t worry. You will enjoy vegan food outdoors. It gives you the feeling of lightness and boosts you with energy.
Take Care of Cooking Supplies
There is a basic set of cooking supplies you have to have when going camping:
- Matches or a lighter
- Lighter fluid
- Medium or large pot
- A pan
- Aluminum foil
- Portable grate
- Cooking utensils (spatula, tongs)
These is the basic set of cooking supplies for camping. If you want are going camping with your RV or car, you also may consider these items: a grater, measuring cups, a ladle for the soup.
How to Cook
There are plenty of ways to cook outdoors. Some require more knowledge, some are more intuitive.
The most basic way of preparing meals when camping is using direct heat. You can employ this method in two ways:
- Use aluminum foil. Simply wrap your foods in the foil, add some seasoning and put the food into the hot ember. DO NOT place the food directly into burning fire. You will burn it instantly. If you prepare food this way, you have to keep an eye on it. Check it frequently by puncturing the food with a fork. The softer it becomes, the more ready it is.
- Use grate. Simply place it over the fire and place your food (might be also wrapped in the foil to keep the juices from escaping). This way of preparation gives you the ability of watching the food with less risk of burning it. You can turn it around easily when needed.
- Use pots and pans. This way of preparing food requires more preparation and is OK if you are preparing liquid foods like soup or stew.
- Prepare and measure the ingredients before leaving home. By doing so, you will be sure you have enough of everything in the right amounts.
- Cover the pot and the pan when cooking. This way the food will be ready quicker because of the trapped heat.
- Put liquid soap on the outer part of your pan / pot. When you are done cooking, the marks left by smoke and fire will come off easily.
- If you are going to use ice, choose block ice instead of ice cubes. Block ice will last longer.
- Put some vegetable oil on camp grill to prevent food sticking.
- Use cookware which is fire resistant. Pans, pots and utensils with plastic handles as a NO NO.
- Be sure to keep your matches dry. The last thing you want is being unable to start the fire…
As I wrote in the beginning of this post, these are the basic tips. But they are enough for you to be well prepared to cook a great meal during your camping trip.
Wish you a great time dining in nature.