If you’re planning to cook on a campfire, you’ve got three main ways of cooking the meal:
- Foil Packet Meals
- Over Fire Grill Meals
- Skewered Meals
Of these, skewered meals usually require little to no preparation. Over fire grill meals often require preparation at the fire side and that you buy a campfire grill grate. And foil packet meals are usually prepared in advance so you can throw them into the hot coals without any fuss. This makes them a great option for parents.
In this post, we’re taking a look at a few ideas for your next camping trip:
23 Easy Campfire Meals
1. Foil Packet Meals
Foil packet meals are great if you’re a pre-planner. It pre-loads a lot of the meal preparation to the day before the trip. This makes your camping trip so much less stressful. Simply prepare the meals, wrap them in tin foil, and place them in your cooler until you’re ready to cook them.
Here are some examples of some great foil packet meals you could do:
- Baked Potato with Cheese Filling
- Salmon and Asparagus
- Seasoned Chicken
- Corn on the Cob
- Chicken Wings
- Breakfast Sausage and Hash Browns (Breakfast Hash)
To cook these meals, allow your fire to burn down to hot white coals and throw the packets into the fire. Allow some time for them to cook, and check them regularly to make sure the meat is cooked through for safety reasons.
While aluminum foil resists heat well, you’ll need some good fire tools and long tongs to recover your foil packet from the white hot depths of your fire!
2. Over Fire Grill Meals
This is your option if you’re cooking a meal for a larger group or want a more sophisticated, fresher meal. While foil packet meals are a good idea, the food is never as fresh as if you cut up your vegetables and meats at your picnic table and grill them right away.
Some good meals for grilling over a campfire include:
- Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Grilled Corn
- Chicken Kebabs
- Steak and Veggies
- Minestrone Soup
- Grilled Salmon with Lemon Seasoning
- Breakfast Pancakes
- Breakfast Burritos
- Hot Dogs
- Grilled Vegetables
- Grilled Trout
An over fire grill meal will require that you have a campfire cooking grate. You can either buy one or ensure you go to a camping ground that you know has grill grates provided. If you buy one, we recommend a swivel stake model. Our second pick would be a flat bed model. Check our review of campfire grill grates for a break down of the differences between each.
3. Skewered Meals
A skewered meal is – simply – a meal that you’ve cooked on a skewer! This is the most interactive way to cook your meal over a fire and great for exciting and entertaining your kids. You can either buy metal skewers with forks on the end, or you can get your kids to go out and pick sticks for themselves from the surrounding foliage.
Once you’ve got the perfect length and thickness stick, skewer your food and hold it over the white coals, rotating regularly. This is an art more than a science – you want to find the perfect spot that’s not too smokey and doesn’t have too many flames, but is hot form white coals.
Here are some great campfire meals that are made with skewers:
- Chicken Kebabs
The Chicken Kebabs will need to be prepared in advance and placed on dedicated metal skewers. The sausages are super easy – just make sure they’re kept well refrigerated until you need to cook them.
And even if you cook your main meal on a grate or in a foil packet, every good campfire ends with S’mores for desert! Cook the marshmallows over the fire and be careful they don’t catch alight! Then, squeeze them over some Graham crackers and chocolate!
How to Cook over a Campfire
To cook over a fire pit, remember that adult supervision is always required. Only use approved firewood and do not use fuels that may give off toxic fumes that may infect your food.
For best results, it’s best to let the campfire burn through its flickering flame stage and reach the white hot coals stage. As soon as your campfire’s flames have subsided and the coals are glowing, start your cooking. If you start cooking too soon, you’ll get an inconsistent and likely charred meal. It’s the burning red and white coals that give the consistent heat needed to cook your meal evenly and thoroughly. Also remember to check all meats to make sure they’re cooked the whole way through.
If you’re using a grill grate, make sure it’s set to a nice height above the coals – I like about 6 to 8 inches – to allow for a good consistent level of heat.
And when the cooking is over, remember to put out your fire thoroughly.
Every good summer needs at least a few nights by a campfire cooking and sharing laughter. Which method to cook over a campfire depends on your needs and interests. If you want it to be an interactive experience, you might want to go for the hot dog on the end of a skewer option. This means everyone can cook their own meal which is always fun! But if you’ve got a whole family to cook for, preparing a meal in advanced and putting it in a foil packet might be a better option. It’ll ensure you’re organized and not dealing with the fuss of preparing a meal during the trip.
And of course, we love a good campfire grill – and this options often a good one for a nice trip among adults who want a good meal and a relaxed night among the stars.
Whichever way you cook over a campfire, make sure you enjoy your time in nature!
- Here’s a great blog with even more recipes ideas: https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g2444/campfire-recipes/