For some of us, the concept of campfire cooking is back to basics, for others the menu gets quite involved: cast-iron-seared foie gras over embers; beer-simmered venison roast; marshmallows soaked in whisky.
The key to a successful campfire cookout is preparation, planning and connecting with the natural world.
Tips on how to level up your campfire game on your next outdoor adventure.
- Don't be intimidated by the campfire aspect.
If you can think about something that you want to try in your regular kitchen, there's a way to do it out in the middle of a field.
- Finesse your fire.
First rule of campfire cooking: A good fire takes patience, so plan 30 to 40 minutes to get it going. Jin says to start with pine needles, build up to smaller twigs and then kindling. When that gets going, start adding the logs. Allow the flames to dwindle so that you're cooking over embers.
- Invest in the right equipment.
There are a few items that can help improve your wilderness spread; a portable grill with folding legs, an inexpensive nonstick sauté pan to be used solely on camping trips. (It will get dirty from the fire.) and chopsticks rather than forks. When you're done, throw them in the fire.
- Pack versatile ingredients.
Cut up a variety of vegetables, such as onions, peppers, asparagus, zucchini and squash, and use them one night for stirfry.
The next morning, toss any leftover vegetables into a breakfast hash.
- Stock up on spices.
Make sure you bring along salt, pepper and your favourite spices.
- Eat from the land when you can.
Forage to add variety to campfire meals and pack a mesh bag to harvest while hiking.
- Put food safety first.
Ice can be cumbersome when you're trying to pack light, but raw meat needs to keep cool so freeze them meat so they act like cool packs.