Great Camping Recipes

Camp site cooking is an genre of camping life that can become a virtual obsession for outdoor enthusiasts who also happen to be fanatics about good food and food preparation. With the right kind of equipment, there is virtually no form of cooking that is not possible using little more than the camp fire you already have or the camping stove and equipment that is a routine part of a campers equipment.

There is no reason to minimize the possibilities of good foods and fine recipes that you can use in a camp grounds situations. Any internet search of “camping recipes” will yield a bonanza of cookbooks of wonderful recipes that can be easily prepared at a picnic table in the wild. The camp fire itself is a great starting place for cooking and meals prepared using the fire are fun for the family and have a genuine feel of cooking in nature.

Obviously some simple tongs or tools as easy to put together as straightening coat hangers give you the ability to cook hot dogs or marshmallows over the fire. But the coals or embers of your camp fire provide another rich cooking resource of heat that can be used to extend the ways to cook using the camp fire. With little more than a roll of aluminum foil, you can create meals that will delight your taste buds using a well developed bed of embers or coals from an evenings camp fire. To create coal beds that are particularly well suited for cooking, you can dump conventional charcoal briquettes into the camp fire for an hour or so. Then when you push away the burning logs to examine the embers, you will have a spectacular base of glowing coals that can be used in a wide variety of ways for cooking.

With no more equipment than aluminum foil, you can prepare baked potatoes, corn on the cob and baked applies or onions by simply wrapping those items in foil, perhaps with a quarter sick of butter buried in the core of the item and left in the coals for 20 minutes or so. For an amazing taste treat, core an apple and fill it with cinnamon candy or “red hots” and cap the ends with part of the core and put it in the fire inside of foil and let it cook away. It will turn into a desert more delicious than anything a restaurant can put together.

The next level of “work” for cooking in the camp fire embers takes no more effort than to fold your aluminum foil into an envelope, sealing the corners and filling the resultant bag with meat, vegetables, rice and some soup for moisture and cooking the casserole right down in the coals. Let that combination cook together for a half hour or so and what comes out of that foil will be a delightful stew that will warm the belly and be the hit of the camp out.


Many experienced camp out campers also make the investment in Dutch Ovens which are heavy metal pots designed specifically to cook wonderful meals using camp fire embers. These durable pots can be used to make anything from a breakfast casserole to lasagna to cakes and cobblers right over the coals. Check out some well written Dutch Oven cook books for how to do the grocery shopping and prepare for some of the best camp site cooking you have ever enjoyed. And you will have a lot of fun learning to make wonderful recipes with this equipment that will result in meals you can put in front of your family while camping that you never would have thought possible outside of the refinements of a modern kitchen.

You can even make a turkey for Thanksgiving using a fire pit and some innovative preparations. By digging a small pit and filling it with coals and resting the turkey on a grill to get it up above the coals, you can allow that turkey to roast for hours in preparation for your Thanksgiving feast. To capture the smoke and heat, bring a large, sturdy cardboard box that will go over the turkey and keep the heat contained. Line the interior of the box with foil and monitor the turkey’s progress so it doesn’t dry out. You will probably want to baste it every so often as you do when cooking a turkey in the oven but it will slowly roast to a golden brown and can be served in camp to the delight of your fellow campers. A camp side Thanksgiving celebration may be the closest thing to an authentic reenactment of that first Thanksgiving that you can come up with.

After you conquer cooking over the fire, you can supplement your recipe options using your Coleman propane stove and some sturdy camp cooking utensils, pots and pans. These tools are the staples of a seasoned camping family and are a perfect alternative should camp fire cooking be impractical or not possible due to park restrictions or weather. Much of what can be done in the camp fire can be reproduced on the camp side stove top.


One fun recipe that many enjoy in camp is to let everyone make their own omelet using nothing more than strong gallon plastic bags and a pot water that you got boiling either on the Coleman stove or over the fire. Put out all of the ingredients of the great omelet on the picnic table and let everyone assemble their own using chopped up meat, cheeses, fresh vegetables, eggs and butter. The omelet ingredients are combined right into the gallon bag and shaken up to scramble everything together. Then place the bag right down into the boiling water and monitored as the boiling process turns the raw materials into a delicious breakfast.

You can see that camp fire cooking is just a matter of creative thinking and some innovation in finding ways to recreate your family’s favorite foods while camping. As you continue to camp, create your own family cook book of the recipes that work well for you and you can swap and share those with other camping families you meet, Before long, mom will be eager to get out on the camp site just as much as the rest of the family so new and fun recipes can be tried with each new camp out.