Some of my absolute best childhood memories involve sitting around a campfire waiting for the grown-ups to present me with some exquisite, fire-cooked dinner. But campfire cooking can go so much further than BBQ burgers, hot dogs, and s’mores (although I do firmly believe that no campout should go without those things!).
Check out our guide to some of the best and easiest camping meals you can make on your next trip to keep your diet varied and your companions entertained. Camping doesn’t need to mean you don’t eat well!
What to take with you
When you’re planning a camping trip, you’ll naturally be thinking of things like “tent, sleeping bag, fire starters”… But it’s essential not to forget some kitchen tools to help you create delicious campfire dinners and snacks!
Some really handy things to pack include:
- Reusable dinnerware (plates, bowls, spoons, knives, and forks, in particular)
- A camp-stove
- Camping lighters or long matches
- Bottle and can openers
- Sharp knives
- Aluminum foil
- Heat-resistant tongs
- Cutting boards
- Seasoning and sauces
- A cool box
- Bin bags (separate ones for general waste and recycling)
- A camping Dutch oven
- BBQ Hot Dog & Potato Packs
- 20oz red potatoes, cut into wedges and refrigerated
- 4 hot dogs
- 1 small onion, cut into wedges
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
Plus some heavy-duty aluminum foil cut into four pieces approximately 18” square each.
- Divide potato wedges between the 4 pieces of foil and top each with 1 hot dog and equal portions of the onion and cheese.
- Drizzle each with barbecue sauce before folding the foil to create parcels, sealing tightly
- Grill the parcels over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Once heated through, open the foil carefully to allow steam to escape before serving in the parcels or camping plates.
- Campfire Nachos
- 1 tbsp neutral-flavored oil
- ½ lb tortilla chips
- 1 can hot tomato sauce (El Pato or similar)
- 1 cup Mexican cheese blend, shredded
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 large avocado, cut into cubes
- 4-5 green onions, sliced
- A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 small lime, cut into wedges
- First, lightly oil the bottom of a large camping Dutch oven to prevent the nachos from sticking.
- Spread 1/43 of the nacho chips along the bottom of the Dutch oven, then top with ¼ can hot tomato sauce, ¼ can black beans, ¼ cheese, and a handful each of avocado, green onions, and cilantro.
- Repeat step 2 to create 3 layers of nacho-goodness.
- Top with the remaining cheese, avocado, onion, and cilantro.
- Cover the Dutch oven and place over the campfire until cheese has melted in approximately 10 minutes.
- Serve with the lime wedges.
- Lemon & Dill Salmon Packets
- 1 tbsp butter, softened
- 4 salmon fillets
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ medium onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 4 fresh dill sprigs
- 1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
- 1 medium lemon, sliced
- 4 pieces double-thickness aluminum foil, approximately 12” square each
- Spread butter on 4 pieces of aluminum foil and place 1 salmon fillet on each square.
- Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper, and top with onion, garlic, dill, basil, and lemon.
- Fold the foil to create parcels around the salmon and seal.
- Place salmon packets on a grill grate and cook over the campfire or grill for around 8-10 minutes or until the fish can be flaked with a fork.
- Open the packets carefully to allow any hot steam to escape before serving.
- Best-Ever Snack Mix
Okay, so this snack mix is actually best made before you go camping. Still, if you’re sick of naughty fingers picking out the best bits of a pack of trail mix, this recipe takes only the best bits for a camping treat that will actually be eaten!
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups Corn Chex
- 2 cups Crispix
- 2 cups bite-sized Shredded Wheat
- 1 ½ cups salted cashews
- Preheat oven to 250’ and coat a 15x10x1 inch pan with cooking spray.
- Mix the butter, Worcestershire sauce, oil, salt, and garlic powder together, then toss with the cereals and cashews, mixing thoroughly to ensure an even coating.
- Bake the mix for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Pack in airtight containers ready for your next camping trip.