Campfire Cooking

Culinary creations that go beyond the marshmallow

You don’t have to travel to the Smokies or even a local park to enjoy a meal al fresco—your backyard makes the perfect place to start. Campfire cooking is seemingly a way of the pioneers, but new cookware and updated recipes allow you to enjoy more than a roasted weenie and can of beans.

To plan your meal, think about what equipment is needed; for example, a Dutch oven, kettle, or iron skillet. Most of these pieces require seasoning before use, which is a protective coating on the cookware created by applying oil and heat.

Speaking of heat, cooking over an open flame is very different from cooking on a stove. Similar to pre-heating an oven, you must let your campfire burn and allow coals to get hot to achieve even cooking. Occasionally, recipes might require you to place coals on top of the Dutch oven to ensure all-around heat, or you may have to rotate a pan while cooking. Extreme caution should be exercised during campfire cooking and protective clothing and eyewear should be worn while handling hot cookware to protect against burns or flyaway embers. When everyone is through enjoying the cozy campfire, it should always be put out completely. In the wise words of Smokey, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

After brushing up on your campfire cooking tips and instructions, carefully research what you would like to prepare. Keep in mind, if you are out in the backcountry, access to certain amenities, such as running water or electricity, may be limited so plan your meal preparation accordingly. Some of our favorite recipes have come from freshoffthegrid.com, such as their Apple Sweet Potato Hash and Dutch Oven Chicken Marbella. And, no meal is complete without an ooey gooey s’more for dessert.  

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