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6 Campfire Cooking Methods and 7 Delicious Campfire Recipes to Try

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Do you remember how old you were the first time you cooked over an open fire?

Don’t laugh, but I first cooked over an open fire when I was 27 years old. I know, I know. A lot of kids cook hot dogs over an open flame, but I was never an outdoor person when I was young.

As you all know, I was born and raised in the city so these things were pretty foreign to me. But now I cook over an open flame whenever I get the chance.

So if you are like I once was and aren’t sure about campfire cooking, let me share with you how to go about it. There are multiple methods, and truthfully, it is probably some of the best food you’ll ever eat (at least in my opinion.)

Here is how you cook over an open fire:

What is Campfire Cooking?

If you are unfamiliar with campfire cooking, it is basically a method of cooking with no electricity. You will bring your food and whatever tools you need (depending upon the method you choose) and cook your food over an open flame.

As you will see there are many different methods to try. This way of cooking has many benefits to it. You can cook even when the power is out, you are camping, or if you are living off-grid. So campfire cooking a good survival skill to have. Also, the food has a lot of added flavor when cooking with this method as well.

Plus, it is lots of fun (at least my household thinks it is!) So go ahead and give this method of cooking a try. You could be the next campfire cooking pro.

Make Your Preparations

In most methods of cooking over an open flame, you’ll need to begin with a fire. How you progress from this step will depend upon the method you choose.

But for the first methods we’ll discuss, you’ll need to build a fire and let it burn for a while. When you are nearing the time you are ready to cook, you’ll need to let the fire burn virtually out. If you see nice red coals in the bottom of the fire you’ll know you are ready to cook.

Keep in mind, some of the later methods I’m going to share will require a rolling fire in order to cook your food properly.

What You’ll Need:

  • Tongs (for each method)
  • Roasting stick (method 2)
  • Aluminum foil (method 3)
  • Cooking grate (method 4)
  • Pots (method 4)

Methods for Campfire Cooking:

Method 1: Cooking on the Coals

If you don’t want to risk burning yourself with live flames jumping around, then you might prefer this method. You’ll need to be sure that you have lots of hot coals to cook on.

So you’ll begin by piling the coals up together. When you have them all heaped together, you simply throw your food right on top of the coals and cook. I know, it sounds a little crazy, but you can cook food right on the coals with no need for pots.

However, be sure you have a sturdy set of tongs to help maneuver the food around. You don’t want to burn your hands while cooking.

Method 2: Cooking Food on a Stick

The first time I ever cooked food over an open fire I used this method. It was at my mother-in-law’s house, and we had a hot dog roast. If I eat hot dogs, I actually prefer them cooked over an open flame now.

So if you’d like to give this method a try it is super easy to do. You’ll need a roasting stick. You can actually learn how to make your own. Also, you will need to rev your fire back up because this one does require a flame in order to cook your food properly.

Once you have your stick ready, you just slide the food on it. Then you’ll place it into the flame and rotate it until the food is cooked thoroughly. You can use this method for hot dogs, marshmallows, corn on the cob, and other vegetables too.

So if you’d like to try a simple method of campfire cooking this is probably as simplistic as it is going to get.

Method 3: Wrapping the Food in Foil

This is another super simple method of campfire cooking. You’ll need to allow your flame to go back down again until you have your coals visible.

Once you can see your coals and there are no active flames, you’ll want to place all of the coals in a pile like you did in the first method.

Next, you’ll wrap whatever food you are planning on eating in aluminum foil. Wrap the food tightly so it won’t fall out in the coals.

Then you’ll leave the food on the coals until it is done. Be sure to use your tongs to move the food around a little for even cooking.

Method 4: Go Modern

When a lot of people go camping, especially if camping at a park, they have nice fire rings to contain their fires. Then they have these little metal grates that go over the top of the flames. This grate is a wonderful way to cook your food.

So you’ll need to begin this method with revving your fire back up so you can have an active flame in the fire ring.

Next, you’ll place whatever food you are cooking into a pot. You can use a pot like this or this to cook with. When you have the food ready to go, you’ll simply place the pot on the grate and allow it to cook.

Method 5: Classic Roasting

This last method is for those that are really looking to cook in a hardcore way. You’ll begin this method by digging two 6 inch holes right across from each other. You’ll then have to place two sticks in the ground with the ‘y’ side of the stick sticking up.

Next, you’ll need to place rocks around the sticks in order to hold them steady. These sticks will be holding your food so you don’t want them to be moving around on you.

Then you’ll build the fire up in the fire pit so it can cook the food. After this is done, you’ll want to place the food that you will be roasting on your roasting stick. Be sure to season it before you place it on the roasting stick.

Finally, you’ll place the roasting stick into the ‘y’ notches on your base sticks. Then rotate the stick as needed so the food will cook thoroughly and evenly.

Method 6: Dutch Oven Cooking

If you are backpacking and campfire cooking along the way, then you probably won’t use this method for cooking.

But if you are cooking outdoors for fun or even in an emergency, this could be a really great option for you.

So you’ll need a Dutch oven and a fire with coals. Then place the Dutch oven directly on the coals. You’ll have to learn how to regulate the temperature of the pot.

However, once you learn how to cook with your Dutch oven, the options are limitless. You can use them for stews, desserts, baking, and many other recipes.

Once your food is done, you just pull the Dutch oven off of the coals and serve it. It is also a great campfire cooking option if you are cooking for larger crowds as well.

Now that you know of 6 different methods to cook on a campfire, you’ll need to know what to cook and how to cook it.

7 Delicious Campfire Recipes:

So I’m going to share a few recipes to get you started:

#1. Campfire Philly Cheesesteak

I’m a Philly Cheesesteak fanatic. So as soon as I saw this campfire recipe, I knew I had to share it with you all.

So if you love hot sandwiches, don’t think they can’t come with you on a camping trip. If you use this recipe, you can have hot sandwiches anywhere.

Try this campfire recipe.

#2. S’mores Cones

I love s’mores. I think they are a delicious little treat that can be made virtually anywhere and enjoyed by most everyone.

So when camping if you don’t want all of the mess of the big marshmallows and chocolate bars, then make these little s’more cones and enjoy them easily wherever you are.

Try this campfire recipe.

#3. Camping Mac’n’Cheese

Who says you can’t have macaroni and cheese while sitting around a campfire? Well, if they told you that, clearly they were mistaken.

Thanks to this awesome recipe, you can enjoy mac’n’cheese wherever you are. As long as you have an open fire, you are good to go.

Try this campfire recipe.

#4. Campfire Chili Cheese Fries

I love chili cheese fries. They are the farthest thing from healthy, but I love them so much. Which is why I love this recipe.

Because when camping, you should be one with nature and all kinds of comfortable. So why not take a favorite comfort food along with you.

Try this campfire recipe.

#5. Campfire French Toast

French toast is a quick go-to breakfast on busy mornings. This is why it makes it such a wonderful idea to take with you on a camping trip.

So if you love the delicious taste of French toast, then consider using this recipe on your next camping trip. It looks delicious!

Try this campfire recipe.

#6. Hot Ham and Cheese Campfire Sandwiches

Did I mention how much I love hot sandwiches? So the idea that I can take them with me wherever I go is A-Mazing to me!

Which is why I needed to share this recipe for any other fellow sandwich lovers out there. It looks really delicious and super simple to fix. So whether you are a newbie to campfire cooking or an old pro, you should definitely add this delicious recipe to your list of campfire cooking go-tos.

Try this campfire recipe.

#7. Campfire Beer Cheese Dip

I was originally from Kentucky. I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared that with you all before, but I was. Kentucky is like the beer cheese capital at least of the east coast. Queen Elizabeth actually keeps her horses in Kentucky and when she comes for the derby she always has to take home beer cheese.

So if the queen is a beer cheese lover, I figured quite a few others must love beer cheese too. That is why I love the fact that you can now enjoy a tasty beer cheese dip while sitting around the campfire, thanks to this recipe.

Try this campfire recipe. 

Well, there you have it. You now know 6 methods for campfire cooking. Plus, you have 7 new recipes to try out on your next camping trip.

But I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you cook over an open fire? Which method is your favorite? What are your favorite campfire recipes? Is there a particular method you’d recommend for beginners? Is there a method you would NOT recommend?

We love hearing from you all so please leave us your comments in the space provided below.

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Comments:

  1. Growing up cooking on campfires and in open fireplaces. We would bury our tin foiled food in the coals, and do the same with Dutch ovens (quite often these have a lip on the lid so the coals stay on top whilst you open the pot to check if the food is done).

    Baked potatoes in foil are terrific, once they are done, just add a bit of cooked onion and bacon from a frying pan, and top with coleslaw and cheese. Corn on the cob does well this way too, and you can use flavoured butter in the foil, so it comes out pre buttered. Whole bananas that you split and stuff with chocolate chips, before wrapping…make a fantastic dessert. Pineapple and brown sugar isn’t bad either.

    Another favourite was to wrap damper dough (a bit like American biscuit dough, or English scone dough) around the stick about as thick as a man’s finger, in an overlapping spiral cone shape…then when it’s cooked through, it should slip off the stick, then you fill it with butter, jam/jelly, honey or anything else you like to eat on toast.

    Oh and an Aussie billy tea, which was made with a small bucket of water that was boiled on the coals…then you add young eucalyptus leaves (or black tea if not available) let it brew for a few minutes, then swing the billy from your knee over your head and back around like a windmill a couple of times to settle all the leaves to the bottom of the pot before pouring the drink into mugs…if you had normal black tea you can then add condensed milk if you like it sweet and white. Remember the bottom of the pot is hot, so use a stick or tongs to tip it up.
    As kids we’d practice the art of swinging the billy with the chook bucket (bucket of scraps for the chickens)…we were as careful not to spill that on us, as we were with boiling water! Speed is the trick, slow and it’ll end up all over you…and be careful not to hit your knee on the way past.
    Eucalyptus tea is fantastic if you’re camping in winter and getting the sniffles before heading off to bed, or in the frosty mornings.

    Beer bread is good in the Dutch oven. 1kg self raising flour and one stubby of beer. But you need to know how to cook on coals before attempting this, otherwise you end up with black crusts and raw middle.

    We always have at least one wire coat hanger that has been bent into a two pronged fork (you need more if you’ve got little kids who want to cook their own at the same time as their siblings), and all the coatings burnt off in the fire, for toasting bread in front of the fire. The wire leaves smaller holes so when you put toppings on they don’t fall through the holes a stick would make.

    Im sure I could think of many more recipes, but these were my favourites as a kid (therefore easy enough for novices to try). Growing up on a farm, as long as it wasn’t fire ban season (late spring until late autumn, we can’t have camp fires without permission from the fire department), we had plenty of opportunities to cook over an open flame.
    Once you’ve got the hang of judging the coals you can cook pretty much anything that you can cook in a kitchen.

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