Better than homecooked, right over your campfire!
There’s so much to do and so much to enjoy with your RV. You’re making a new life for yourself, and you’re exploring new ways of living. While you’re adding experiences to your memory bank, why not take a culinary trip out of the kitchen? Living in an RV connects you with so much around you, including nature. Now’s the time to fully embrace it and whip up a delicious meal over a roaring fire!
The great thing about cooking over a campfire is you save your RV resources, like electricity and propane. In the hotter months and locales, you can keep the heat to a minimum by cooking outdoors instead of in. But don’t go into the cooking experience unprepared. We have tips to make your first experience a success instead of a disaster.
Where do you begin?
Besides picking out recipes, gathering water, and preparing the perfect fire, what do you need to start? Equipment!
Choosing pots and pans for your campfire comes down to how comfortable you are in the kitchen. Equipment with plastic or rubber grips aren’t recommended because they can melt. While you’re at it, skip the Teflon. Teflon will start to deteriorate at 662 degrees Fahrenheit, while your typical campfire can exceed temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. You can see the problem here.
Stainless steel or even cast iron is preferred for cooking over an open fire. Both materials allow for better heat dispersion and are sturdy enough that the increased heat won’t damage them. They’re versatile enough that they can cook virtually anything, and you can even bake in cast iron if you have a Dutch oven.
Remember that you’re cooking with hot materials, and we’re steering clear of plastic and rubber grips, so you’ll need fire safe gloves to move your pots and pans. Skewers work well for meats that don’t need a pan, like hot dogs and sausages. Pop them on the end and roast them over the fire for a tasty treat, then clean them off and follow up with s’mores for dessert!
If you’re traveling away from your RV and don’t have all your supplies a few steps away, think of what your recipes will require you to have. Are there ingredients you need to chop? If so, you’ll need a cutting board and a knife. Do you have the cooking utensils you will need like tongs and a spatula? Spending a few minutes to go over the recipe will help you determine what’s needed for the cooking ahead. If you don’t want to pack a lot of items, try prepping before you head out!
The main event
Cooking is an art, and it’s an easy one to mess up. Many people get off on the wrong foot by not carving out enough time to properly prep and cook. It’s common to become impatient and try to cook quickly when many things require time.
If you’re using steel or cast iron, the pans need to be heated before you start using them to avoid sticking. Another common mistake is overcooking food. Just because your steak is off the fire, doesn’t mean it suddenly stops cooking. It’s still warm, so it will continue to cook and isn’t uncommon to increase another 10 or so degrees while it’s resting.
Don’t cook as soon as you see a flame. Cooking over a campfire is much like cooking on the grill. The best time to put your food on is when you have long, lingering coals with just a bit of fire.
If you want to roast vegetables, wrap them in aluminum foil first, and pop them on the hot coals. A lot of the cooking will depend on what recipe you’re using but understanding how your campfire and instruments work will keep you on the right track to culinary success!
- Wooden skewers work great in place of metal ones but remember they’re wood and will burn if you don’t soak them in water first.
- Fatty meats are dangerous to cook as the fat can drip into the fire and ignite, or the fire can even jump into the pan.
- Bring along your first aid kit! Burns happen in the kitchen, so it’s not unheard of that they will happen at a campfire. Having the right medicine on hand to treat burns is a good idea.
- Be mindful of the fire, especially if children and animals are around.
- If you’re traveling away from your RV, make sure meat and dairy are kept at a safe temperature throughout the trip to avoid sickness.
- Douse the pit once you’re done to avoid fires and put all food away to discourage animals from coming around the campsite and becoming dangerous pests.
Camping is a lot of fun, and it’s a great experience to share with friends and family. Members of RV Advisor have the unique advantage of saving money on campsites. In addition to discounts on campsites, coupons for restaurants and discounts on parts are also benefits of an RV Advisor membership!