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What are the best campfire recipes?

 
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What are your favourite foods to cook on a campfire?

Do you have any tips or stories to share about cooking over an open fire?

Are there any ideas that would be really good for children to help with?
 
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This book has served hundreds of kids and families in my area. I don't think any of the ones in my care were actually Scouts. A great resource!
http://www.bsa-troop29.org/downloads/resources/cookbooks/Scout_Dutch_Oven_Cookbook.pdf
 
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Thanks will check this one out.
 
pollinator
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I haven't done it in awhile, but, I like cake mix cobbler in a dutch oven.
Butter the dutch oven.
Pour in a can or two of pie filling.
Spread a whole cake mix over the pie filling.  (not mixed, just sprinkle the powder around)
Place several pats of butter on top.
Put the lid on the dutch oven and set on the coals.
Cover the lid of the dutch oven with more coals.
In 20 to 30 minutes you have a yummy dessert.
A family with 6 kids will devour this before it's had time to finish cooling off.

I should have said not mixed like cake batter.
It's fine to mix it with the top inch or so of pie filling.
 
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One of the simplest items to cook with kids on a campfire would be toasted marshmallows.  When I was a kid, my Dad would find a nice green straight limb, sharpen the end and put a marshmallow on it and hold over the heat of the flames until it toasted.  And of course, there was always someone who burned theirs probably on purpose!

The next simple one for kids would be Somemores. Graham crackers, chocolate bar, top with one of those marshmallows then another graham cracker.

A lot of fun for the kids!
 
Phil Swindler
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Anne Miller wrote:One of the simplest items to cook with kids on a campfire would be toasted marshmallows.  When I was a kid, my Dad would find a nice green straight limb, sharpen the end and put a marshmallow on it and hold over the heat of the flames until it toasted.  And of course, there was always someone who burned theirs probably on purpose!

The next simple one for kids would be Somemores. Graham crackers, chocolate bar, top with one of those marshmallows then another graham cracker.

A lot of fun for the kids!



When my son was 7 or 8 we would occasionally do hot dogs and marshmallows in the fire place.
While cooking his hot dog he would use great care and patience to keep it from touching any coals.  He would slowly roast it until lightly browned all over.
When it came it his marshmallows he shoved them right into the fire and burnt them to a crisp.
One evening while sitting and roasting, my wife asked him why he did them that way.
His response -
When you burn a marshmallow it's warm, soft, and gooey inside.
When you burn a hot dog, the inside is just hot dog.
 
Amy Gardener
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Phil’s post makes me laugh. I remember working with at-risk youth and some of the creations that they “invented” were truly disgusting to me. They, however, found some incredible joy in their marvelous novelties. The confidence that they gained by choosing their recipes, writing the shopping and supplies list, following the recipe, making the fire, cooking then sharing it with the group was unmatched by any other hands on work. Yes, there were minor burns and undercooked specimens but really, everything was eaten with pure happiness. Their stories grew larger with time. Memories were seared into their souls. These were really the happiest times of many of these teens lives. The best advice to adults is to bite your tongue and let this strange alchemy of food, fire and kids take its course. The food doesn't have to be great for the experience to be perfect.
 
pollinator
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I cook tons of stuff over campfires.  If I had to pick a couple....

A classic is sausage, potatoes, onions, carrots (etc), salt and pepper... thyme and bay leaf if you have it... sealed in foil an cooked in the coals.

More wild foraged foods would be my standard Awesome Trout!!!  (yes, the exclamation points):  Fresh caught trout stuffed with wild onions or ramps and wood sorrel (or any tender, lemony sorrel), salt and pepper, wrapped in burdock leaves and cooked directly on the coals so it steams in the leaf packet, peal off the the burned leaves and enjoy.  Even better with some dandelion greens cooked with bacon.

Wild game chili is usually anything I kill, cooked with packed in beans, tomatoes and spices, in my old Dutch oven.

But, if you want to get fancy... and, I often do... Quails roasted with wild rose petals and red clover, wild onion or garlic is amazing, but you need to bring some butter or olive oil.  Fresh caught crawfish with corn and wild alliums and mints... gosh, that is good!  

Then, there is pan friend squirrel with gravy and cornbread... braised rabbit... pan seared crow breasts, pan fried catfish, jerusalem artichokes, cat tail shoot salad... it is all one huge and amazing feast... and really, my passion!
 
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HI there! One easy peasy recipe I love when out camping, is a dinner recipe, which is chicken thighs, over a bed of potatoes and onions/scallions or ?? in a dutch oven, with the spices you care for, cooked as you like it, over coals. Thighs have a bit more fat to flavor the potatoes and onions.
I then clean the oven, as in the morning, I have a homemade biscuit mix I made ahead of time, and I bake that up in the dutch oven, and, after it is done, I take the still hot lid, turn that upside down,  on the mostly used up briquets, and make either eggs and bacon on the lid on the coals, or a pancake mix I also mixed ahead of time, and maybe also bacon and eggs...or gosh, I mean whatever you might like to fry in a black iron skillet for breakfast. And the biscuits are still warm in the dutch over, so all can be eaten together....
 
Judson Carroll
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Oh yeah, and if you find some Spicebush, which is in the laurel family, it is awesome for seasoning meats or making tea - often called wild allspice.  You can make some awesome jerked style dishes if you pack in some stuff.  Just an ounce of crushed red pepper and powdered garlic, some oil and any good aromatic green herbs you find can make some crazy good marinades... you'll likely need something acidic, too and maybe something sweet.  Citrus doesn't grow in my area, so I use sorrel, blackberries, wild blueberries, sour wild (feral)  apples, pawpaws, sour wild peaches, etc.  always pack in salt and black pepper.  
 
Judson Carroll
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That is the way to go, if possible!  I recently spoke with a die-hard backpacker who was amazed that I actually pack in bacon,  chicken thighs, sausage and other meats.  I told her that where I live in the mountains, the creeks are all very cold.  I put the meat in gallon sized ziplock bags, then in a larger, mesh back and sink it all to the bottom of a creek, in a deep spot, where I can pull it out with some cordage.  Free, animal proof so far, refrigeration!
 
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A favorite
Hominy, carrots and sausage
Soak half a bag of dried hominy overnight for a few whole bag for a crowd
Rinse and boil in some broth or plain water an hour or more before chow time - don’t need a lot of water but don’t boil it dry
When that is tender add in some sliced carrots
When those are tender add in some cooked sausage chunks
The hominy is bland and we’ve done it with ham or hamburger but the sausage gives it more flavor. Salt and pepper to taste
This tastes best cooked in a Dutch oven over a fire

Now my cooking story story
We were camped with a historical group - everyone in costume
Usually my husband did the cooking over the fire. He wasn’t there so I thought I’d give it a go. First I built up a pretty good fire... I had never tried to cook over a fire.... Then I put a little too much oil in the skillet... Oops. Oh well. When I got the oil hot I put some meat in there to brown. I was going to make stew I think. Well things got a bit out of control about that time. The oil was way too hot. Fire way too big and oh the smoke. Then I looked up and some one with one of those news reporter cameras was aimed at me. He was about 50 ft way with a zoom. Yup it was me he was aiming at. He kept moving in closer. Well never mind I had my work cut out for me...  I dabbed at the tears running down my cheeks and I tried to pull the skillet off the fire with out spilling the whole thing. And I knew the leading cause of death for pioneer women was catching fire while cooking... Oops a bit of grease. Ew smoke and fire and more tears. So the reporter smiled a very toothy smile and introduced himself as I dabbed the tears from my face and sighed at the cooking disaster. So then the reported interviewed me. I gave it my best as he wrote everything down and snapped a hundred more photos... this was before digital cameras.  Then he said do you have a few words for my readers? I said through my tears and snot running down my nose - dab dab- “I don’t know how our foremothers did it.” And he wrote every word... nothing like having my first cooking over a fire documented by the newspaper. Fortunately it rained and the event was called off so I didn’t make the front page of the paper. When I looked in the mirror I had big black streaks all over my face. That too was documented... My husband showed up about that time and rescued the meat. I did learn the lesson - cool over coals - low heat. Big fire for boiling water and low heat for cooking.


 
Judson Carroll
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Definitely!  Cook over coals.  You can control, to some extent the heat of coals.  Fire is far less predictable.  I mainly put a pot in fire just for boiling water.  You can cook a steak directly on hardwood coals, no problem.  If you try that in fire, it will burn... quickly... light on fire... not good!
 
Kate Downham
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I think that this looks like a great idea for children: https://nordicfoodliving.com/danish-bonfire-bread-snobrod/



I wonder if just using my normal sourdough dough would work well for this.
 
Kate Downham
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I cooked a pork belly with vegetables in a camp oven once. Using lots of coals on top of the camp oven made it get delicious crispy crackling.

Thanks everyone for the links, suggestions, and stories!
 
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When I was a kid we made pineapple upside down cake every year at camp. Lined Dutch oven with foil, dump in can of pineapple including juice, sprinkle brown sugar generously over fruit, mix vanilla cake mix per directions and spread on top. Put on lid. Set in coals and set a few on the closed lid. Check after about 20 minutes.

When it's baked correctly, nothing tastes better. When it's burned and smoky, it's disappointing but still pretty good after working hard all day.

We also made hobo dinners... Two layers of tinfoil wrapped around chopped potatoes, carrots, onions and burger. Since I went plant based, I've modified this to switch out the meat for canned beans, corn, etc. Both versions are yummy. Again, it's about hot coals, not flame or it all burns.

Your recipes all sound amazing, everyone. Especially, yours, Judson. I don't eat meat but I would vicariously enjoy yours. Decadent by any standards.
 
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Hi, One of my favorites is pizza.  Mix ground beef with onions, salt, pepper, and saltine crackers. Place in bottom of cast iron skillet. Put favorite pizza sauce and toppings on and cover with lid or foil.  Kids love crumbling up crackers and mixing everything with their hands, and flattening the crust in the skillet.  Put the skillet directly on coals, hopefully you have them flat and level. It takes 10-15 minutes cooking time, sometimes longer or shorter depending on the coals and ash over them.
 
pollinator
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My favorite thing to cook over the campfire is corn on the cob.  Wrapped in foil with piles of butter….I could eat a field of it
 
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Asparagus is easy. Heavy foil, butter and some various spices and a little water. Poof, perfect asparagus ~30 minutes later.
 
miriam hawkins
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Tony you can add carrots and onions to the asparagus
 
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Kate Downham wrote:I think that this looks like a great idea for children: https://nordicfoodliving.com/danish-bonfire-bread-snobrod/



I wonder if just using my normal sourdough dough would work well for this.


What I call doughbobs are very simple to make. Make biscuit dough, either from a mix of from your favorite recipe, then simply push it around the end of a stick and roast it. It helps if you butter the stick, so that the bread comes off easier. Roasting takes about twenty minutes, which is perfect for sitting and talking. Then, when you pull it off, you can fill the cavity with honey or jam. They taste amazing.
 
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howdy,
not a recipe,

heavy duty steel outdoor skillet with holes, made to cook over coals/bar-b-que. I would have posted photo in use, but not having outdoor bbq(red flag fire season), and I don't do lpg grill.  Anything you cook indoors you can cook in this.  Maybe Oct./2021, I'll be able to post in use photos.This was made by Gorilla Grill but couldn't find same item. Newer ones I did see have plastic on the folding handle. My is all metal(rod) and folding. I/we really like it, take/use anywhere you have a campfire.  If you don't want food to char/burn, because of holes, I line with foil.

IMG_3022.JPG
folding handle
folding handle
IMG_3023.JPG
10+years in use
10+years in use
 
Anne Miller
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I have one of those like Randal's picture except mine is flat like a grill and is porcelain covered.  I use it for hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, etc.
 
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And, when your coals are dying down, here's dessert. Slice a banana lengthways (one per person), insert squares of chocolate, top with marshmallows, wrap in foil and place in the embers until the chocolate and marshmallows have melted. Mmmmmmmm. I'm drooling here thinking about it.
 
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We camp with groups that include kids every year. At least one meal is foil pouch dinners. No recipe--I just bring a variety of ingredients from the pantry to assemble-your-own, and everyone eats what they like!

Bring a generous array of veggies (raw: onions, broccoli, diced carrots, cabbage, diced sweet or white potatoes; canned corn, potatoes, carrots, mixed veggies, etc.; or if RVing use bags of mixed frozen veggies and thaw before assembling), meats/proteins (diced raw or cooked chicken, canned black beans, cheese cubes, ground beef, shredded pork, precooked bacon, sliced kielbasa, chunks of bratwurst or other sausages), and sauces/seasonings (bbq sauce, garlic salt, salsa, ranch dressing, soy sauce, hot sauce packets, you name it!).

I hand a smaller bowl to kids and tell hem to fill it up with what they like from the "ingredient buffet", and use a larger bowl for adults. Then they bring their filled bowl to my wrapping station. Dump the bowl in the center of a large square of heavy-duty foil, add any sauces or seasonings that the eater desires, then wrap carefully, folding edges of the foil together tightly several times to seal the pouch completely. Cook elevated over coals for an appropriate time (depending on whether using raw or precooked meats and veggies). Cut open onto a plate to cool and eat.
 
pollinator
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The bread is normally terrible it takes ages and you have to cook it very slowly or you get it burnt on the outside and raw in the middle, only children will eat it here (in denmark) no adult thinks it's edible. Any thick dough will work. Things wrapped in foil work well, you can bury them at the edge of a fire as well rather than having them over the coals. I found it's best to have something on the outside could be clay could be some large leaves to reduce the risk of charring the edges.
I have a Muurikka to cook with over a plain fire, not suitable at all for camping unless you have a vehicle but excellent for the back garden.

It comes with the legs you can see there. But the fire in the picture would make it way to hot to cook on, you need a couple of small sticks not a blazing inferno.
 
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My BSA Troop & church teen groups favorite was BEANS.
WE WOULD wash and let the beans set in apan overnight rinse in the morning put in dutch ovens cover with water use any left over bacon drippings and a onion. Bury the dutch ovens in the coals cover tops of oven.
Usualy we'd would make JIFFY MIX cornbread in a iron skillet.
Parents would always ask what magic we performed on the beans that thier kids would never touch at home.
My only answer was everything tastes better when your outdoors in nature, having fun, tired, and breathing Gods fresh air as a seasoning.
 
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Probably everybody loves it!
The butter is mixed with garlic, herbs. The cobs are smeared with this mixture. Everything is wrapped in foil, laid out on the wire rack. The dish is prepared for 40-60 minutes. Can be served with fish, meat dishes
 
Terry Austin
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Biscuit twists
We use caned biscuits.
Try. Dipping them in apricot jam while still hot.
Thanks now im hungry. Lol
 
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Haven’t had it in years but I remember as a kid a camping favorite was “Big Mac in a pot” you would dice up an onion and cook it with ground beef in a Dutch oven or any pot over coals. When the beef was cooked through you drain off the fat and add a bottle of thousand island dressing and a package of shredded cheese. Mix it all up and stir till cheese is melted. Serve on buns with dill pickle slices. It’s basically a Golden Arches themed sloppy joe variation but it’s easy and tasty and was always a hit around our camp fire. It did make for a tough pot to clean sometimes….
 
Arthur Angaran
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Hi,  A desert we just had was apples roasted on a spit over the camp cooking fire. Once roasted we cut them up and placed our favorite sweetener on the apples. Honey, brown suger, etc...
 
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