Does the thought of camping bring to mind burned hot dogs and granola bars? It doesn’t need to be that way! A little bit of prep work ahead of time can pay large dividends when you’re sitting around the campfire out in the woods. Here are a few of my favorite tips to create campfire meals worthy of any foodie’s seal of approval:
Foods on Sticks
Sure, you’ve probably roasted a hot dog on a stick before, but the same concept can be applied to pretty much anything, and with much more delicious results. All you need is a package of bamboo skewers and some imagination. All of these can be prepped ahead of time and stored in large freezer bags inside of a cooler with ice. When you are sitting in front of the camp grill, just throw them on and you’re all set.
On a recent camping trip I went on, we had a friend who brought along seemingly everything under the sun on sticks, and we ate quite well that night. You can play around with what works best for you, but here are a few ideas:
Chicken Skewers: skewer chunks of chicken breast on the sticks. If you like, you can also add vegetables such as bell pepper, onions, cherry tomatoes, etc. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite seasoning, and they are ready to go on the grill.
Shrimp skewers: Shrimp brushed in olive oil is great over a grill. If you’re feeling fancy, bring a little cocktail sauce with you and you’ll have yourself a grilled shrimp cocktail.Other options for seasoning your shrimp include lime juice, BBQ sauce, or sriracha.
Luau Teriyaki Chicken: Make skewers using pineapple chunks, chicken chunks, onion, and tomato. Brush with teriyaki sauce. Once you’re ready to cook them, just throw them on the grill.
Vegetables on sticks: Similar to the chicken skewers, you can take any vegetable of choice and skewer them, brush in olive oil, and grill. Season with a little salt if desired. Some favorites of mine are eggplant, green beans, asparagus, okra bell peppers, and mushrooms, but the possibilities are literally endless here.
Breakfast sausages: These can be skewered just like hot dogs, but they taste a lot better 🙂
Meals Wrapped in Aluminum Foil
Another great tip for delicious camping food is to wrap pre-prepared meals in aluminum foil. Keep them wrapped up, in freezer bags in your cooler. When it’s time to eat, just throw the whole foil package on the grill. Once it’s properly heated, unwrap the foil and enjoy your meal.Here are a few of my favorite options:
Baked potatoes and baked sweet potatoes: These heat back up nicely, and you can put your favorite toppings on them.
Tofu and Vegetable Bundles: Take chopped tofu and vegetables of choice, brush with olive oil and spices of choice, wrap in tin foil. These will cook easily over the fire.
Salmon With Lemon Dill: Place salmon fillets in foil. Brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with lemon juice, dill weed, salt and pepper. Grill until cooked.
Make Soup Using Heated Water
If you have the ability to heat water using a camp tea kettle, a jet boil, or even just a pot of water on the grill, there are a lot of great things you can make. I recommend making soups since they are delicious and are nice and warm on a cold night spent outside. For the soup base, just throw a bouillon cube (any flavor, choose your favorite) in heated water. Let it dissolve, stirring occasionally. Then, just throw in whatever ingredients you like. Here is a list of ingredients I think are great:
- Pre-cooked rice or noodles. These will keep well in your ice chest.
- Vegetables like chopped mushrooms, green onions, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, etc. These can be prepped before your trip by chopping them up and placing them in plastic zipper bags.
- Any meats should be pre-cooked. You can re-use some of the chicken chunks from the skewers, above, for an easy addition.
A Few Other Things to Grill Besides Burgers
- Portobello mushrooms.
- Corn on the cob
- Pineapple spears
- Quesadillas (seriously, it’s good!)
- Breakfast burritos (prep ahead of time, then grill them while camping. I’ve tried this and it’s awesome).
- Make grilled paninis over the fire using your favorite sandwich ingredients.