Campfire cooking "secrets"

I saved the article at 23 Secrets to Cooking on a Campfire | Living Well | Design Mom so I’d take my own notes of it, and here there are. :slight_smile:

Food Preparation

  1. Plan your meals, including extra food/meal (as simple as loaf of bread and nut butter
  2. Line cooler with cardboard, which acts as insulation and increases air circulation
  3. Pack cooler as full as possible, fuller is colder
  4. Pack in layers, last day first in reverse order of meals; place paperbags or cardboard between layers
  5. Consider multiple smaller coolers; produce doesn’t need to stay as cool, and a condiments cooler means main cooler isn’t opened as often (keeping cool)
  6. Freeze everything the day before, food acts as ice packs
  7. Plan out pots, pans, utensils, cooking and cleaning items
  8. Don’t bring your good cookware, pick up pots and pans secondhand

Building the fire

  1. Materials:
  • firewood
  • lighter
  • kindling
  • shovel
  • “loose-fitting high-heat resistant gloves” (:face_with_raised_eyebrow: I’ve never used these and feel like I’d never use them enough to justify obtaining a pair)
  • water
  1. If obtaining wood onsite (is that allowed anywhere in California, I wonder… :thinking:) avoid green, fresh wood. Look for small dry branches to start as kindling and add larger logs as it goes.
  2. Don’t burn all the wood in one go.


  1. Don’t cook over the open flame, turn the logs into hot coals for consistent heat.
  2. Use tools to move hot coals to one side and keep the fire going on the other.
  3. Campfire grills are inexpensive and easy to use for cooking over hot coals, as well as providing a flat surface for pots and pans.
  4. Cooking food directly in the hot coals requires protection so the food doesn’t burn, such as double wrapped heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  5. “With foil dinners, it’s a good idea to layer the food in such a way as to prevent it from burning.” I think this is when you cook a whole meal in a single foil pack, so all the veggies, protein, etc., all wrapped and put in the coals.
  6. Create handles on the sides of foil wrapped foods. The handles will not be as hot as the food in the center.
  7. You can foil wrap smores, heating for a few minutes.
  8. Peppers, chiles, and corn-on-the-cob in a husk can be put directly on the coals without foil, capturing some of the flavor of the fire.
  9. Soaking corn in cool water for 30-60 minutes will keep the husk from burning.
  10. Cook meat, chicken, and fish on a grill, taking on flavors from the coals and nearby flame.
  11. Turn food every 15-20 minutes
  12. Food continues cooking off the fire, corn steams in the husk, potatoes cook in foil.

There are four recipes included in the article, and here are three of them I’m interested in, for making note of how long things cook; I eat neither trout nor bacon, so the Bacon-wrapped Trout recipe is in that article for those of you so inclined. :slight_smile:

Campfire Baked Potatoes

4 large baking potatoes (Russets are great)
a little oil
8 (12-18″) pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil
Butter, for serving
Salt and pepper

Scrub the potatoes really well. Dry and the rub with a little oil. Wrap each potato in a double layer of foil, twisting the ends to use as handles.

Separate the hot coals from the main part of the fire. Place the potatoes directly on the hot coals. You can use a shovel or long spoon to scoop the coals and ash around the potatoes. Let cook for about 45 minutes. To test if they are ready, gently squeeze the potato. If it gives, then it’s ready. If it’s still hard, then put back onto the coals for another 10-15 minutes and test again. Rotate the potatoes every 20 minutes for even cooking.

To serve:
Carefully pull the foil back. Cut the potato in half lengthwise and use a knife or fork to slightly mash it. Top with butter, salt and pepper. Makes enough for 4-8 servings. (We usually share a potato between 2 people if they are really big.)

Note: Prepare a few extra potatoes for the next day. In the morning, dice the potatoes and fry in a pan for quick hashbrowns.

Campfire Corn-on-the-Cob

4 ears of unhusked corn
Butter, for serving
salt and pepper

If desired, gently pull back the husks without tearing them and remove just the silk. Pull the husk back over the corn and secure with twine. Or leave the silk on and it will come away easily after the corn has been cooked. Soak the corn in cool water for about an hour before cooking. This will help prevent the husk from catching fire.

Separate the coals from the main fire. Place the corn directly on the flames. Cook for 10 minutes, turn, cook for 10 more minutes. Test for doneness. If not done, place back on coals for another 5-10 minutes.

*Be careful! Make sure to wear protective gloves or a hot pad because the ears will be hot and let off steam as you open them.
23 Secrets to Campfire Cooking | Design Mom - 23 Secrets To Cooking on a Campfire featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Time to get creative by mixing and matching different kinds of cookies, chocolate, spreads and other goodies!

Graham crackers, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, snickerdoodles, chocolate wafers, shortbread, gingersnaps, etc.
sliced strawberries, bananas, pineapple, raspberries, etc.
different kinds of chocolate (dark, milk, white)
spreads – nut butters, nutella, lemon curd, jam, cookie butter (Biscoff)

Skewer marshmallows on roasting stick of choice. Hold over hot coals. Rotate frequently for even cooking. Marshmallow is done when it becomes loose on the stick (meaning it’s melted inside) and golden brown on the outside.

Sandwich the marshmallow between two cookies/crackers along with chocolate, fruit, or spreads of choice. Eat while warm.

These recipes are actually kinda great for our family, as @susan, Clover are fans of potatoes, corn, and smores! :slight_smile:

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