There is a myth about camping that everything tastes good when it’s been cooked over a campfire. Probably the originator of that myth has never camped and never tried to cook a simple meal over an open fire with the bugs coming down and smoke in his eyes and his eyebrows burning.
The simple truth of camp cooking is that almost nothing tastes better over a campfire unless care is taken in the cooking. When you get good at it you can cook almost anything and can do a decent job out in the wild.
However, you need to understand the outdoor camping cooking methods before presenting a meal to you hiking mates or family members.
Methods of Cooking in Camping
There are few methods of cooking one can apply and follow to present a decent meal that blends with the raw wild nature. Check out these methods below:
1. Coal Cooking
Roasting roots, potatoes, fish, and meat in the coals of a fire is an easy way to get a good hot meal. You must have a thick layer of coals. After the wood from your fire has burned down and the red coals are topped with a bit of gray ash, it is the perfect time to cook.
Dampen enough green tree or wild grape leaves to wrap several layers around the food you want to cook. Place the food in the center of the leaves. Add wild onions or garlic for a savory treat. Fold over the sides to make a neat package. Wrap with more layers of leaves.
Place your bundle in the coals, leave for 5 to 10 minutes. The outside leaves may blacken, but if the temperature and moisture are right the inside leaves will stay green and your food will not be burned.
A simple way to cook meat is to roast it on a spit above the coals. You can do this with a whole fish, too. Last time while hiking in West Ridge I had a great experience of cooking from fresh fish meat.
Use a green stick. Tie the meat tightly onto it or push the skewer lengthwise through the meat so that it is firmly attached. Lean the spit up against a rock or lay it across two rocks.
You may also suspend the spit between two Y-shaped sticks. Turn the meat slowly as it roasts. It will smell and taste delicious.
3. Rock Boiling
“Rock boiling” cooking works well if you have a container such as a tin can, metal bucket, or a pot. The container can be as small as a cup, for tea, or larger for boiling tubers and meats.
Heat three to four rocks in a fire for about an hour. Then use leather gloves to pick up the hot stones, brush off the ash, and place them, one at a time, into the container. For a single cup, rocks about the size of a quarter can be used.
For a larger pot use rocks, the size of a softball. When one rock cools, put it back in the fire and put a hot one in the container. Keep repeating until your food is cooked.
4.Boiling Water in a Leaf
You really can boil water in a leaf. The water keeps the leaf from burning. You can boil water in a paper cup, too.
Use a mountain maple leaf or the biggest leaf you can find. Then gather several hair-thin stems to pin the leaf together so that it will hold water. Don’t let the water drain out through holes the stems make. Place them high on the cupped leaf.
Now suspend the leaf-cup between two stones over a small fire. Embers pulled from a larger fire are good. Use your leaf-pot to boil wild greens or eggs.
Pit cooking is so good that it is used in many places, like community fund-raisers and backyards, not just camping.
Dig a pit deep enough to hold your meal. Gather rocks and 16 inches of grass and greens.
Prepare any combination of vegetables, meat, or fish. Wrap the meal in leaves or tinfoil. Put to the side.
Line your pit with stones and build a good hot fire on top of them. Let the fire burn for about an hour to heat the rocks through and through.
When hot, remove coals with a shovel. Add a 6-to 8inch layer of greens on top of the hot rocks, place your meal on top of them, and add another layer of greens about the same thickness. Cover with a large, flat stone, bark, logs, or soil anything to keep the heat in.
The advantage of pit cooking is that you don’t have to watch it or worry about it burning. You can go fishing, collecting, or work on your camp while the meal cooks. When the stones are cool in about an hour the food is done. Cooking this way makes a tasty, moist meal.
Some Easy Camping Recipes that Takes No Time to Present
Here are the short and simple recipes you can follow while on campingoutdoors.
Baked apples: Core apples and cut into slices. Take heavy-duty aluminum foil and put the apples in the middle. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Pour a bit of cider or water on the apples. Wrap the whole thing up tightly, pinching the seams to make sure there are no leaks.
Chicken: It takes a longer time to cook chicken, so plan this for a long trip. Cut chicken into small pieces, add a little salt, butter, or spicy flavoring to taste.
Dogs in a Blanket: Hot dogs wrapped in Bisquick make a tasty treat. Mix a batch of biscuit dough. Wrap it around the hot dogs. Grease and wrap aluminum foil around the “dogs in a blanket.” A half-hour trip should do it.