There’s something about the fresh air that piques the appetite. I don’t consider myself a good (or even enthusiastic) cook, so rest assured these are all doable, delicious recipes that are worth spending the minimal prep and cooking time on.
Here are seven delicious campfire recipes to inspire the menu on your next front-country camping trip.
You can always crack a couple of eggs into a pan and season with salt and pepper for a quick and simple breakfast, but why not spice it up a little?
When its raining or snowing, a quick, hot breakfast is where it’s at. Mix eggs, onions, cheese, tomatoes, salt and pepper in a greased pan. I like to add some chunky salsa to save on the amount of fresh ingredients I must bring and chop. Set the pan over the coals, or on the grate if your pit has one, and let it cook. You can also mix this in a Ziploc or sous vide bag and boil in water for 10-15 minutes, but I prefer to limit plastics in my diet and outdoors. My omelettes always end up more scrambled than beautiful, but they still taste great. Stuff it all in a wrap and no one will know.
Campfire French Toast
French toast is a sweet option for a slow morning at the campsite. The classic recipe is made from eggs and milk beaten together, but I prefer a tasty vegan recipe that won’t leave with you a soggy raw egg centre if a cool wind is blowing. Smash a ripe banana, mix with a can of full fat coconut milk and some vanilla. Butter a pan over coals or the grill, dip in slices of bread and fry. You can add cinnamon to either mixture, but I find it just floats and coats unevenly, so I prefer to sprinkle the bread with liberal amounts as the slices fry up nice and crisp. A few passes with a bottle of maple syrup and the smell alone will get everyone out of their tents.
There are so many savoury meals you can make in or on a campfire. Throw some corn on the cob with the husks on into glowing coals and in 5-10 minutes, you will have perfectly cooked corn that begs to be eaten with some butter as a side to one of these yummy campfire lunch options.
Cheese Steak Sandwiches
If you have leftover veggies or meat from last night's dinner, lunch is the time to get creative. These cheese steak sandwiches are quick and delicious: the perfect reason for a mid-day adventure pause. Fry thin slices of steak, peppers and maybe some onion in a pan over the grill or coals, add liberal sprinklings of shredded cheese when everything’s cooked, and slather on fire-toasted slices of bread or leftover buns. Filling, warm and full of flavour.
Campfire Foil Salmon
Another quick but delicious and nutritious lunch option. Butter the bottom of a thick or double layer of foil, tuck in a piece of salmon with some salt, pepper, garlic, dill, onion, basil and a splash of lemon juice. Fold the packet and seal as well as you can. Pop the packet on the grate, or in some coals, and cook until the fish flakes apart and makes you drool, about 8-10 minutes.
Campfire meals should be relatively easy, but you don’t have to eat hotdogs every night. If you’re front-country camping, bring a small cooler with some pre-prepared meals and ingredients for tasty, satisfying post-adventure supper meals. Crawl into bed with a full, happy stomach after indulging in these recipes.
Foil packets are a fantastic way to cook over the campfire without getting too much of that smokey or burnt flavor. There’s no limit to what you can chuck in a foil packet and cook in the coals or on the grate. Case in point: add some oil to the bottom of a piece of foil, cover with potatoes, carrots, beans, onions, salt, pepper and any other spices. Add some Italian sausage if you are a meat eater or serve beside some campfire grilled steak. Cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft, keeping the potatoes at the bottom of the packet.
Naan and Curry
Pack a jar of sauce like butter chicken or tikka masala and you’ve got a tasty, easy meal waiting for you after a day of exploring. Cook bite-sized chunks of chicken in a frying pan, add some peppers and spinach if you have some in the cooler, pour in a jar of your favourite sauce and let it simmer until you’re ready to eat. You can serve with rice that is precooked or cooked over the fire, but I prefer a pile of naan to mop up the sauce with. The dough can be made ahead of time and left to rise while you explore. I’ve hiked a Ziploc bag of it in my pack up to a backcountry lake and it was a treat. To make, mix two cups of flour with a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of quick rise yeast and salt. Separately mix ¾ cups of warm water with three tablespoons of yogurt or sour cream and two of olive oil. Add to the flour mixture and knead into a soft, slightly sticky dough. Let it rise covered in an oiled bowl or Ziploc. Roll handfuls into flat rounds and cook on a dry pan or on a hot rock.
Probably my favourite of the bunch, this mouth-watering meal is an easy campfire pleaser and can be prepared in advance, so it’s easy to throw together after a long day on the trail or lake. Toss beef chunks in a Ziploc with a splash of lime juice, white vinegar and olive oil, chopped cilantro and jalapeños, salt, pepper and garlic powder and marinate overnight. Pop the beef on skewers, along with any vegetables you have handy, and grill over an open flame. Are you drooling yet?