Cooking on a campfire is one of the simplest and most rewarding things you can do in the great outdoors. Imagine waking up to the smells of bacon frying, then taking your first bite of freshly cooked eggs! While it might seem daunting at first, cooking on a campfire doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some tips that will help you master the art of cooking over fire:
Stack the kindling and logs in a log cabin formation
To start your fire, stack the kindling and logs in a log cabin formation. You’ll want to ensure that each piece of wood is stacked on top of the last piece, but not directly on top, so that they will stay intact. The space between each piece should be enough to let air flow freely so that the fire doesn’t suffocate.
Kindling should be placed at an angle pointing towards the center of your pile so that it has more room to burn and catch on fire without blocking oxygen from getting into your coals or logs. The logs should form a three-sided structure, with one side open for airflow and another for heat output (i.e., where you will hold your pot over it).
Build your fire slowly
The first step is to build your fire slowly so it doesn’t get out of control. Start with a few small pieces of kindling, then add the logs to the fire. If you’re cooking for more than one person, add more kindling if necessary.
Test your coals before cooking.
The next step to cooking on your campfire is ensuring your coals are hot enough. Don’t place food on red or white coals—this will burn it before the inside is cooked. Instead, use tongs to test whether or not your coals are ready for cooking, and don’t use metal tongs if you can avoid them (plastic ones will last longer).
Please don’t use your hands to test how hot something is by touching it; this can result in nasty burns. If you need to check whether something is too hot, wait until it cools down enough before attempting to touch it again.
Use a grate
A metal grate is an ideal tool for grilling food over a campfire. The grate should be placed above the fire, not directly in it. The grate should also be at least 2 inches above the flames so as not to catch fire while cooking your food.
Make sure to place your grate on a flat surface before placing it over the fire. If this isn’t possible, ensure that you have plenty of rocks or bricks to support it while cooking and that there’s nothing flammable under where you’ve placed the grate!
It’s important not to place your grill too close to trees, bushes, or other objects that could cause damage if they catch fire!
Invest in some heavy-duty utensils.
To cook on a campfire, you’ll need some heavy-duty utensils. You can’t just grab a toothpick and expect it to stay intact when you try to flip your flapjacks.
You’ll want a spatula or tongs for flipping your pancakes and turning over burgers, a grill for cooking the meat, frying pans for frying up some eggs, and pots or pans for boiling water if you want tea or coffee. These things will make cooking on a campfire much easier and more fun!
Cook in stages.
Allowing the fire to burn down is a great way to help you control cooking temperatures. If you want to avoid your food being over- or undercooked, this is a good option!
You can also use a thermometer if your fire doesn’t die down enough by itself. Check with a thermometer to ensure that the coals are at an even temperature throughout before placing food on them.
Don’t rely on a timer.
Don’t rely on a timer. It’s only sometimes possible to bring a timer, and even if you do, it might not work right in the dark or if there’s no light inside your tent.
The best way to cook food on the campfire is by sight. Touching it with your hand will tell you when it’s done (if you’re not using tongs).
Campfire cooking isn’t anything to be afraid of; it just takes a little practice. Keep these tips in mind the next time you go camping or hiking, and you’ll be comfortable in the kitchen. It takes some work, but the reward is well worth it. The food tastes excellent, and the experience is memorable and fun. So make sure to have everything ready before you start cooking and enjoy!