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May 24, 2013 07:37 AM

Campfire Cooking

My husband and I are going camping next weekend, and I wanted some campfire cooking ideas from my fellow hounds.

My husband likes to "rough it". Last year we cooked our steak on a flat rock that he heated in the coals of the fire. We soaked our corn in the river before throwing both the corn, and some potatoes in the coals to cook. No dutch ovens or grill grates allowed for these camping trips.

So, with that in mind, what are some of your ideas? I need to come up with meals for 2 days.

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  1. Wrap meat (hamburger patty, chicken, fish, etc), veggies (we usually use corn on the cob) and potato in aluminum foil and cover with hot coals. 20-30 minutes later your meal is ready!

    14 Replies
    1. re: PotatoHouse

      If it's truly roughing it, is foil allowed? I agree fish cooked this way is excellent, and cooks quickly.

      I assume no pans or skillets are allowed, right? How about food on sticks? Hot dogs, steak tips.

      I would tote a lot of charcuterie and hard cheeses.

      I'd also make him cook if he was dictating the manner of cooking....but then, I'm a meanie :-)

      1. re: pinehurst

        <I'd also make him cook if he was dictating the manner of cooking....but then, I'm a meanie > Actually, that sounds quite fair :)

        1. re: mike0989

          I am wondering how the fire will be built. Will modern clothes be worn and - more importantly will there be a tent and deodorant allowed? bug spray?

          Just kiddin ya OP.

          1. re: Sal Vanilla

            Funny enough, I cheated and bought one of those pads that inflate a little when you roll them out and he had no issue with it. BUT when it comes to eating we have to be like cavemen.

        2. re: pinehurst

          Foil is allowed, but no actual cooking vessels. Food on a stick is a good idea.

          And yes, he cooks. He gets all puffed man, me cook on fire. ;)

          1. re: krisrishere

            for food on a stick you can soak rosemary twigs and then skewer veggies. I also love Halumi on a skewer, holds it's shape, so tasty.

            bring a cedar plank to soak prior in the river, then cook any of your fish on that over the coals. You may need to raise it up slightly over the coals with rocks or it might burn. I like salmon with a maple syrup lime glaze on a bed of scallions.

            You could go really old school and fashion a rotisserie out of sticks and hang a whole chicken from it.

            Bannock is a good one, bread dough wrapped on a stick and cooked.

            For dessert my family is a huge fan of banana boats. Don't peel, but slice banana lengthwise in the curve, creating a boat, stuff boat with chocolate and marshmallows, wrap in foil and toss on fire until banana is cooked and stuffing melted, eat with a spoon.

            I have friends that always make taco in a bag, place cooked meat, cheese, salsa, lettuce into a small bag of dortitos and eat right out of the bag.

            1. re: cleopatra999

              Banana boats are awesome...I prefer them to s'mores. They are especially good with butterscotch chips :)

            2. re: krisrishere

              We used to do hotdogs and sausages on sticks. Also bread dough we would wrap around te sticks. We have also done shrimp that way too.

              1. re: krisrishere

                I would bring the phone number of a good divorce attorney. Guess that makes me a meanie, too. :)

              2. re: pinehurst

                I would do baked potatoes well wrapped in foil in the fire.

                1. re: juliejulez

                  Agree. I bake the potatoes at home, then just reheat them at camp. Not only way shorter cooking time and reduced chance of burning or uneven cooking, but good potato skin even when reheated in foil (I assume; I've always reheated on grill grate).

                  Also "chinese chicken wings" (first marinated for a day or two in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, lemon, veg oil) that can just be reheated. Can't understand no grill grate, and I wouldn't cook them from raw in foil, the flabby skin would bum me out. Next best is reheating in foil if that's allowed.

                  I also bring no-cook food like smoked trout/salmon with accoutriments, deviled eggs, crudite and dip, cheeses and charcuterie as mentioned by other poster. Without those sure bets, if the food in the campfire came out lousy I'd be one PO'd fellow-camper.

                  1. re: Niblet

                    Even I was surprised how well the heated rock seared the steak I brought last time. Rocks are where it's at! :)

                    1. re: krisrishere

                      Really! I'm intrigued, have to try it.

                      1. re: Niblet

                        Just be careful not to get a rock that gets soaked in a nearby stream--they can explode from the steam.

            3. As he seems to like a Quest for Fire style of cooking, how about doing a chimichurri to go along with the meat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mike0989

                I like that! Freshens everything up.

              2. Cut the top 1/3 off an orange, scoop out the flesh. Fill w/ dough, put top back on, wrap in foil and put on the outside edge of coals for orange flavored rolls. You can also add cinnamon sugar, top w/ glaze (use orange juice from the orange) to make cinnamon rolls.

                Another dessert idea--peel sliver of banana. Remove 1/3 sliver of banana (down the center), add chocolate chips, nuts, marshmallows (I can't do marshmallows because it's too sweet for me), top w/ the sliver of banaa, wrap in foil. Heat at coals of fire. It's like a melted sundae.

                1 Reply
                1. A small note about rocks in the campfire: Make sure those rocks are not hauled from the river. Those are likely to explode.

                  You can cook fish from the river on those rocks or on a soaked (non toxic)green hard wood tree branch. Make sure the pit is deep and that you have cooked down that fire before setting the food on it. A rotisserie of sorts can be assembled by using 3 green sticks (2 with a y shape and one straight - impale (for example a whole chicken) on the straight one and have the two Y's staked into the ground on each side of the fire and the Y part holding the straight over the fire (about a foot and a half higher than the fire). Turn occasionally. Your man will love that. Very primal. Otherwise - make stuff ahead for sides,, bring corn and potatoes and let him do the ugauga ing. How fun.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                    Oops, just replied upthread about the wet rock thing. Hadn't seen your post.

                    1. re: pine time

                      Mr. Caveman husband is well aware of the exploding wet rock problem. :)

                      1. re: krisrishere

                        Does the pup get to join in on the campy fun? They make excellent protein scavengers if the caveman fails on the hunt.

                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                          Yes actually he does..which should be interesting because it will be his first time!

                      2. re: pine time

                        We three are the safety monitors. No sense in ruining a good time with exploding rocks.

                    2. I've heard of cooking steak directly on the coals (no grate) a coupla years ago, but never got around to trying it:
                      and here on Chow with other links

                      I also saw this done with whole, head-on, non-peeled shrimp.

                      As a kid, we'd scrape mud outta puddles and "batter" apples, about 1/2" thick. We'd place them in the fire and cover with coals to bake. After about 15 minutes, the mud is hard and can be chipped off. The apple is baked goodness.

                      We'd also scale and gut a few perch or bluegills that we caught, skewer them whole onto sticks and cook marshmallow style.

                      You can skewer all kinds of stuff on sticks (beef/chicken/pork/veggies, etc etc) and set on two rocks on each side of the coals. You can even pack them in a marinade before leaving.

                      I cooked small trout in an empty soup can in the fire, but I guess this is a step above "rough it".

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: porker

                        <I've heard of cooking steak directly on the coals (no grate) a coupla years ago, but never got around to trying it:>

                        I saw Steven Raichlen do this once on Primal Grill. Here is a link to the recipe on his Site.