Campfire Cooking

Diane Hedin, Interpretive Naturalist at William O'Brien State Park

Feeling a little ambitious? Why not cook a hot meal over a cheery campfire? Choose one of three ways to cook over a fire that will satisfy your taste buds!

Campfire Cooking Safety Tips

  • Always build the smallest campfire, building just what you need.
  • Fire is hot! Please be careful when putting in, moving, stirring, or taking out food from a campfire.
  • Cook over the coals, not the direct flame. Food can burn quickly over the direct flame. 
  • Put your fire completely out when done.

Aluminum Foil 

Aluminum foil is a Camp Cook's best friend! Use heavy duty foil or double the sheets when cooking over a fire. Try these recipes:

Fantastic Foil Meatloaf Dinner

1 1/2 lb. ground beef, 1 pkg. onion soup mix, 1 egg, 3/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/3 cup ketchup, approx. 3 cups potatoes (frozen potatoes that has now thawed in your cooler work well), approx. 3 cups veggies (try peas and corn), cut into small 1/2 inch pieces for faster cooking, salt and pepper. Makes 6 servings.

Cut two pieces of foil for each patty. The foil pieces should be 2 times as wide as a hamburger patty and 2 1/2 times as long. Place two foil layers on the table so they form an "x".

In a bowl, mix the ground beef, onion soup mix, egg and bread crumbs. Form the meat mixture into 6 patties and place each meat patty on two pieces of foil.

Spoon a tablespoon of ketchup on top of each patty. Place 1/2 cup of potatoes and 1/2 cup of vegetables around the meatloaf. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Bring up the long sides of the foil packet and fold over tightly. Leave a little room at the top of the foil for air circulation. Then fold the other two sides in tightly to form your foil packet. Place foil packet in the nice coals of your fire, cook for 15 minutes, rotate the packet, and cook for another 20 minutes. Make sure your meatloaf is fully cooked through with no pink in the center of the meat. When you fold back your foil, steam will escape and it will be hot. Please do so carefully! Enjoy!

Brownie Orange-licious

Oranges, Brownie Mix

Cut orange in half. If it won’t sit flat on the table, shave off bottom until it does. Scoop out the orange pulp inside, and eat the orange pulp! Take two sheets of aluminum foil and wrap around orange, leaving the top open. Mix brownie mix according to directions. Look for the kind where you just add water. Fill two-thirds of the orange up with prepared brownie mix. Place on top of coals on grill or next to coals in campfire. Bake 20 minutes or until middle is done. Yum!

Belly-Busting Banana Boats

Bananas, Chocolate Chips, Marshmallows

Do not take peel off of the banana. Make two rectangular slits in top of the banana. Then cut one end and peel back, making a flap. Scoop out banana just below the flap and eat it. Put chocolate chips and marshmallows into the rectangular hole. Fold flap back over the banana. Wrap in foil and set near warm coals for 5 minutes. Pull off of coals and let cool. Caution, Banana Boats will be hot! Unwrap aluminum foil and enjoy the chocolate, banana gooey goodness!

Pie Irons

Pie Irons are a Camp Cook's tool for fabulous stuffed sandwiches and desserts, especially pies! Try these recipes:

Pie Iron Pizza Pocket

Refrigerated pizza dough, canned pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, toppings such as precooked sausage or bacon, pepperoni, veggies chopped into small pieces to cook faster, butter

Butter the inside of your pie iron generously. Unroll pizza dough from container, cut a piece of dough and spread out pizza crust, lay the dough inside one half of the pie iron, with an equal portion hanging over. You’ll fold the hanging portion back over the toppings before closing the pie iron. Spoon sauce onto pizza dough and spread evenly around dough. Spread sauce on the overhanging flap of dough, too. Add your toppings. I personally like sausage, mushroom and black olive! Yummy! Now fold the overhanging flap of dough on top of the toppings. Pinch around the edge of the dough so a pocket is formed. Close the iron tightly and bake on each side for 5 minutes. Cook longer for a crispier crust. The pie iron will be hot and the pizza pocket will be hot, so please use caution before biting in.

Pudgie Pies

Bread, butter, pie filling (try cherry, apple, or peach) or use any type of filling

Heat your pie iron over a coal bed until hot. Take two pieces of bread, buttering the outside, much like a grilled cheese sandwich. Place one piece of bread buttered-side down on the iron. Spread your fillings on the bread without getting too close to the edges. WARNING: Overfilling the pie iron will not allow your edges to seal and there will be a big mess! Place the second piece of bread on top of the filling, butter side up. Close the iron and cut any crusts off that stick out. Place the iron back into the coal bed and cook on both sides until medium brown.

Roasting Stick

Nothing says camp cooking more than roasting a marshmallow over the fire with old faithful, the roasting stick. Please do not cut any live tree to make your roasting stick. Try these recipes:

Eggs on a Stick

Large orange, egg, salt and pepper 

Cut a large orange in half and scrape out the fruit from both pieces. With a sharp knife, cut a small "x" on one orange half about 1/4 inch below the rim. Cut another "x" just below the opposite rim. Thread a roasting stick through the cuts so that the orange half hangs like a basket. While someone holds the half peel steady, crack a small egg into it. Grasp the end of the stick and hold the orange shell over low flames or embers of a campfire for about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and remove the orange from the stick. Add salt and pepper and enjoy your egg! Recipe from the Egg Farmers of Alberta.

Mummified Hotdogs

Hotdogs, American cheese slices, refrigerated biscuit dough

Spear hotdog onto roasting stick length-wise on stick. Roll biscuit dough into a long rope-like structure. Wrap cheese around hotdog and secure with biscuit rope, pinching together at top and bottom so it stays on the hot dog and secures the cheese. Cook over indirect heat until hotdog is done, cheese is melted, and biscuit is golden-brown.

Mallowy Goodness

Marshmallows, caramels

**No flaming mallows! (Unless you like charred marshmallows) When roasting your marshmallow, if your mallow catches fire, do not wave the marshmallow to put the flame out! No one wants to get hit with flying, flaming mallow! If it catches on fire, slowly move the mallow away from the fire and blow the flame out.

If you want a really awesome treat, put a caramel candy on the roasting stick above your marshmallow. When the marshmallow is golden brown and the caramel is soft, slide the marshmallow up and over the caramel. Slide them both off together for a fabulous marshmallow treat!

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