10 Recipes for Beginners Cooking Over a Campfire
When starting to camp there is a desire to get the full experience by cooking over the campfire. This can be a daunting idea to many people, this list of 10 recipes are ideal for people starting the great adventure of outdoor cooking.
Many of these are not full meals but will produce something edible and build your confidence in cooking on a campfire. This will then become a stepping stone to more complicated recipes and techniques.
The most important part of starting is that this should be fun, no one expects a fancy multi-ingredient recipe, the focus is being outside with the people you care about. The food just needs to be edible and if possible hot.
1. Beef in Biscuits
This is a very simple recipe to cook over a campfire with only three ingredients. The main learning from this recipe is finding the coals to cook over slowly.
Cooking over a flame with make the food have a black soot shell and bitter taste, being really hot will also likely mean the inside is raw. Learning to cook more slowly over the coals to create a golden brown result cooked the whole way through is a skill that can be transferred to other recipes and preparations.
2. Stuffed Baked Apples Cooked in the Coals
Cooking in the coals is a great campfire skill and these baked apples in foil are a fun place to start. The apples sitting in the coals slowly baking and softening similar to how they would at home.
Stuffed with dried fruit and flavor these apples slow cook to create a decadent dessert. Creating
such a great result from simple ingredients will help build confidence for more complicated recipes.
3. Mock Risotto Cooked on the Campfire
This mock risotto has all the flavor with half the effort making it ideal to cook over a campfire. The simple recipe means you can focus on learning heat control.
The recipe itself uses normal rice, cans of soup and mushrooms, and fresh chicken. This is a great example of a one-pot meal, which is also an advantage while learning over a campfire, fewer elements to distract your attention. The resulting meal will be enjoyed by all.
4. Cheese and Ham Toastie Cooked in a Pie Iron
Pie irons have been a favorite around the campfire for years, in part due to their ability to make simple meals easily and without fuss. Thus making it perfect for those with limited experience around a campfire for cooking.
This specific recipe is for ham and cheese, but once the skill is mastered you can branch out to any toasted sandwich. The trick while learning is to have fillings that can be eaten without cooking, this allows you to focus on getting the brown of the bread. For example, recipes using raw eggs I would save for later camping trips.
5. Campfire Beef Stew
Another wonderful one-pot meal this beef stew requires a little more technique, with a few more steps in the cooking process, yet still easily achievable by a learner campfire cook.
This recipe also has a few more fresh ingredients yet these are easily prepared before the cooking starts. There are also two techniques starting with the frying (browning) of the beef before the remaining ingredients are added and
6. Chocolate Chip S’mores
S’mores are an American classic which is basically a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between two cookies with a piece of chocolate.
Many people toast the marshmallow over the fire without any problems but then feel disappointed the by the time it is with the chocolate it is not hot enough to melt it (although having done this many times I am not sure that is a realistic goal to start with). This version is far more successful from cooking to eating as it uses chocolate hazelnut spread, so no melting required to get that smooth chocolate texture.
7. Egg in a Ladle
Another simple recipe with a single focus is this method for cooking an egg in a ladle over hot coals or a gentle flame. Aiming to get the egg cooked yet runny or cooked through without going that weird crispy helps you learn temperature control skills with the fire.
Once the egg is cooked it can be partnered up with a larger meal it eaten in a simple fried egg sandwich (if you have never tried one of these you really should).
8. Chocolate Bananas Cooked in the Coals
There is a reason these are loved by scout leaders around the world, they are a great chance for kids (and adults alike) to learn some basic campfire cooking skills with a safe recipe that can be eaten raw or well done.
Unlike many other recipes cooked in the coals, this one allows us to experiment with not wrapping in foil, and the banana skin is more than capable of protecting the edible goodness inside.
9. Campfire Fried Salmon
Fish even at home can be seen as sometimes tricky to cook so you may be a little surprised to see this one included with the more tricky campfire style of cooking.
Practically however salmon is a much easier protein to learn with, incorrectly cooked chicken is much riskier (salmonella) and expensive cuts of steak with burnt outsides and raw insides can be heartbreaking, or even just a well-done steak all the way through. This is a quicker and easier item to cook with a built-in temperature indicator – aka if it starts falling apart, it is cooked.
10. Pizza Rolls in Foil in the Coals
A full meal, a pizza roll, is a great learner recipe being cooked in the coals. The items in the roll can all be eaten raw, but getting them heated is a great challenge in learning control of the fire.
The cheese in the roll is the true measure of success paired with the crustiness of the outside. The goal is to have all the cheese melted on the inside with a golden brown toasted roll on the outside. ‘Needs more practice’ would be a roll that is burnt with non-melted cheese on the inside.