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Campsite Cooking Tips and Recipes

By Charles Hopkins Published 12/8/2013 | Food & Drink

When you are enjoying a camping vacation with friends and family then it is just not feasible to arrange for elaborate cooking sessions at the campsite. You have access to limited number of cooking accessories and just the basic cooking equipments that can be conveniently carried along with other camping luggage. So with just a few utensils and a spoon or two, a few packets of packaged/frozen fruits, meat and vegetables you have to cook up camp food quickly using charcoal, wood, buddy burner or the all-time camp cooking expert the humble Dutch oven.

In campsite cooking, everyone is willing to allow a big margin of error, for the fun is more in the cooking than in the eating. So if your recipe doesn't come out just right, you aren't going to be hanged. You don't take measuring cups, thermometers, measuring spoons or other such elaborate cooking equipments with you on your camping trails, so everything is approximate. Use your best judgment for your entire campsite cooking expeditions.

Here are a few campsite-cooking tips that might come handy while cooking up a meal on your camping excursions.
- Try to indulge in foil-wrap recipes in which case you can cook the food wrapped in aluminum foils. In this way you can avoid using too many utensils and leave little to clean up when the cooking is done.
- Always cook up simple recipes on your camping trips and keep the more elaborate ones for the home kitchen!
- So prepare a checklist of easy-to-prepare camping recipes that you can refer to while cooking on your outdoor camping jaunts. You can pick up campsite recipes from camping cookbooks or from various websites.
- An essential tip that will save much time while camp cooking is to build exactly the right kind of fire for your various cooking needs. Thus you can set up high flames for boiling, low flames for stewing or a bed of brightly burning charcoals/wood for frying and boiling.
- Measuring the ingredients while camp cooking will require more of your fingers and palm that will perform the function of cups or teaspoons or tablespoons. Practice at home by comparing the measurements of your fingers/palm with those in cups/teaspoons/tablespoons.
- Bring along a couple of potholders and oven mitts to help you around while camp cooking especially the oven mitts come in handy while handling those marshmallow forks that get hot over the campfire.
- Donít forget to carry a grate to be put over the campfire in case the campsite doesnít provide you with cooking grills.

Well to make life easier for the camping chef there are dozens of cooking tips for camp cooking. You can become an expert with each camping trip and come up with newer cooking tips to add to your list!

For campsite cooking, a Dutch oven is really your best friend. They are essentially little more than portable pressure cookers, so with some adjustment and experimentation, your favorite pressure cooker recipe should translate well to a Dutch oven. Dutch ovens are also shorter and wider than pressure cookers, so you have more choice over what you can cook.
Campsite cooking is different from cooking at home in these respects:
* You can only take a minimum of cooking equipments and accessories along with you on your camping expedition.
* Anything you cook will taste good.

With that in mind, here's a tasty and easy to prepare camping recipe called Dutch Oven Stew.

4 or 5 pounds of stew beef
2 bags mixed vegetables (the frozen stuff you can buy at any supermarket)
6 or 7 large potatoes, diced
A bunch of celery, chopped
A bunch of carrots, chopped
Some onions, chopped
A packet of stew seasoning mix

12 inch Dutch oven

Throw the meat into the oven with enough water to cover. Put the lid on, check and stir periodically. When the meat is brown, throw in rest of ingredients. Put the lid on again. Continue to check and stir. Remember, a lot of moisture will evaporate, so there's no real need to worry if you put in too much water at first. When the vegetables are tender, it's time to eat!

Want to indulge in some sweet dish while camping? You can try out this quick-and-easy Peach Cobbler dessert recipe. The Dutch oven will come in handy again.

3 or 4 cans of canned slice peaches.
A box of cake mix
Brown sugar.

Put the peach slices on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Reserve some peach juice and mix it with the cake mix. Pour the mixture on top of the peaches. Cover the whole thing with brown sugar. Now place the lid on the Dutch oven and continue to cook until the cake mix is baked. It's now ready to eat.

That's the general idea of campsite cooking. However, if you're backpacking, Dutch ovens aren't all that good for you because of their weight. If you're on a trip where every extra pound of weight will be an additional burden, then you ought to give up the idea of cooking and carry dried fruits and nuts, instant and dried soups, and at most a few packets of ready to eat meals that you can simply boil and eat.