There is nothing in the world quite like cooking over a campfire, and sharing the meals produced is the stuff of which memories are made. However, if you are a city-slicker who is new to, or inexperienced at, camping, it can be a daunting, difficult task.
The good news is, it does not have to be that way. Follow these handy hints to ensure hassle-free cooking on your next trip.
1. Prepare At Home
Make cooking in the campsite kitchen that much easier for yourself by preparing what you can at home. Rice can be pre-cooked, and soups and sauces can be pre-made.
Some vegetables can be chopped and stored in containers, and if you plan on cooking kebabs, they can be skewered. It also helps to marinate meat before you go. Another option is to make pancake batter at home, put it in a bottle, and freeze it. You can also freeze bottled water and boxes of juice. That way, they can act as ice packs in your cooler box. If you freeze leftovers from your meals, they can also make a handy alternative to traditional ice packs.
2. Bring the Best Utensils
There is no need to pack everything, including the kitchen sink, when camping. With the right combination of utensils, you can make a surprising variety of meals.
If you want to travel as light as possible, take a lightweight pot and pan, otherwise choose cast iron. Another necessity is a portable grill, tongs and a spatula, and heavy-duty aluminium foil. When you are ready to start cooking at the campsite, coat the outside of your pot or pan with liquid soap to protect them from being damaged by the fire.
3. Tasty Tinder for the Fire
Packing a bag or two of corn chips such as Doritos can come in handier than you think, especially if you forgot the firelighters at home, or cannot find enough tinder for your campfire.
Use a few corn chips instead of wood. Puffed maize chips also work well.
4. Use Creative Cooking Methods
Camp cooking does not have to be done in pots and pans. A quick and easy meal involves wrapping up a burger patty, slices of potato, carrot, onion, and a knob of butter in a double layer of foil, and leaving it on the coals for a maximum of 20 minutes.
Place 2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels and 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on a 40cm foil square, fold it into a pouch, and use string to tie it to a stick. Shake it gently over the fire, and in a few minutes, you will have hot popcorn. If you eat oranges, cut them in half and scrape out the flesh, rather than peeling them the usual way. Crack a raw egg or put some muffin batter into one peel cup, use the other cup as a lid, wrap it in foil, and cook it in the coals.
Just like with topics as diverse as gardening, saving mobile battery life, or betting NZ, these are tips and tricks that can make it all so much easier.