Cooking over Campfire: 9 Best Dishes Hikers Can Prepare
by Emily Jannet on Apr 06, 2023
Cooking over a campfire is a time-honored tradition that has been enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts for centuries. There's nothing quite like the taste of food cooked over an open flame, and the experience of cooking and eating in the great outdoors can be truly magical. For hikers, campfire cooking is not only a fun and delicious way to refuel after a long day on the trail, but it can also be a necessary skill for wilderness survival.
In this article, we will explore the 5 best dishes that hikers can prepare over a campfire. From main dishes to sides and desserts, we will provide you with a variety of options to satisfy your appetite while you're out in the wilderness.
Before we dive into the recipes, it's important to note that cooking over a campfire requires some basic equipment and preparation. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Choose the right campfire location: Make sure to choose a location that is safe for building a fire and cooking. Look for a clear, level spot away from any flammable materials, such as overhanging branches or dry grass.
Essential cooking equipment: A sturdy pot, skillet, or Dutch oven is a must-have for campfire cooking. You will also need long-handled tongs and a spatula, as well as heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands from the fire.
Other useful tools and accessories: A camping stove, portable grill, or tripod with a hanging grate can provide additional cooking options. A good cooler with ice will keep your food fresh and prevent spoilage. And don't forget to bring plenty of matches or a lighter to start your fire.
With these basic preparations in mind, let's explore the best dishes that hikers can prepare over a campfire.
Campfire chili is a hearty and satisfying meal that's perfect for chilly evenings around the campfire. Here's what you'll need:
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the ground meat in a pot or Dutch oven over the fire, using a spatula to break it up into small pieces.
Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot and sauté until the vegetables are soft.
Add the beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce to the pot, along with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Stir well and let the chili simmer over the fire for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Foil Packet Meals
Foil packet meals are a versatile and easy way to cook a complete meal over a campfire. Here are some ideas for foil packet meals:
Chicken and vegetable foil packets: Cut up some chicken breast, potatoes, carrots, and onions and place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Fold the foil tightly around the ingredients and place on a grate over the fire for 20-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Breakfast foil packets: Scramble some eggs and add in diced potatoes, onions, and bacon or sausage. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce, and wrap in aluminum foil. Cook on a grate over the fire for 15-20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Steak and veggie foil packets: Cut up some steak, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms and place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite steak seasoning. Fold the foil tightly around the ingredients and place on a grate over the fire for 10-15 minutes for medium-rare steak.
Kebabs are a fun and easy way to cook meat and vegetables over a campfire. Here's how to make them:
Choose your ingredients: Cut up some chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu into bite-sized pieces, and chop up some bell peppers, onions, zucchini, or other vegetables. Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before use.
Assemble the skewers: Thread the meat and vegetables onto the skewers, alternating between different ingredients. Leave some space between the pieces to ensure even cooking.
Cook over the fire: Place the skewers on a grate over the fire and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
Campfire Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes are a classic campfire side dish that are easy to prepare and delicious. Here's how to make them:
Toppings of your choice (e.g. butter, sour cream, cheese, chives)
Scrub the potatoes clean and pierce them with a fork a few times.
Rub each potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and place them on the grate over the fire.
Cook the potatoes for 45-60 minutes, flipping them occasionally, until they are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Serve the potatoes with your favorite toppings.
Grilled vegetables are a healthy and flavorful addition to any campfire meal. Here's how to make them:
Vegetables of your choice (e.g. bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms)
Salt and pepper
Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
Toss the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the vegetables on a grill or grate over the fire and cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally, until they are tender and lightly charred.
Campfire Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is a summertime classic that can be easily cooked over a campfire. Here's how to make it:
Corn on the cob
Salt and pepper
Remove the husks and silk from the corn.
Spread a thin layer of butter over each ear of corn and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Wrap each ear of corn in aluminum foil and place on the grate over the fire.
Cook the corn for 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally, until it is tender and lightly charred.
No campfire meal is complete without s'mores! Here's how to make them:
Break the graham crackers in half and place a piece of chocolate on one half.
Toast the marshmallows over the campfire until they are golden brown and gooey.
Place the toasted marshmallow on top of the chocolate and sandwich with the other half of the graham cracker.
Let the s'mores cool for a few seconds before enjoying.
Grilled fruit skewers are a healthy and refreshing dessert option for your next camping trip. Here's how to make them:
Assorted fruit (e.g. pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, banana)
Cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces.
Thread the fruit onto the skewers.
Place the skewers on a grill or grate over the fire and cook for 5-10 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the fruit is lightly charred.
Serve the skewers on a platter and enjoy!
Campfire Banana Boats
Campfire banana boats are a fun and easy dessert that kids and adults alike will love. Here's how to make them:
Cut a slit down the middle of each banana, leaving the skin on.
Stuff the banana with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.
Wrap the banana in aluminum foil and place on the grate over the fire.
Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chocolate and marshmallows are melted and the banana is soft.
Let the banana cool for a few seconds before enjoying with a spoon.
And there you have it, 9 delicious and easy dishes to cook over a campfire on your next hiking trip. Hopefully, you found this article helpful, and happy camping!