After our recent trip, I’m starting to feel like I’m mastering the art of campfire cooking. Tony and I have our awesome gas camping stove that we use every morning when we camp to make our scrambled eggs, heat up water for washing dishes and cook up whatever we’re eating for hot meals. When we went on our trip to canoe in South Carolina and Maryland we decided we were cooking over an open fire for all of our dinners
Planning your meals is a game changer
We brought our trusty cast iron skillet with us and I did some serious planning so that we could execute this challenge successfully. I’m sure there are a bunch of campers out there who have done this a million times, but for me this was pretty new. I didn’t camp as a kid and haven’t camped much in my adult life until Canoe 52 started.
My planning consisted of creating One Pot Meals for every dinner. It’s the easiest way to cook over the fire and there are a lot less dishes to clean up. We eat a primarily vegetarian diet so meal planning around fiber, protein and iron intake is a part of my life.
Cooking each of my planned meals over our stove at home was my way of experimenting with and modifying recipes. I found some great recipes on food blogs and made some adjustments to fit our taste.
Putting my plans into action
When I got to the campfire it was super easy because I was already familiar with the recipes. One challenge we ran into was not having a cover for our cast iron skillet, but I perfected folding together the edges of two sheets of foil to cover the top. After cooking I balled up the foil cover, boiled water in the skillet and cleaned out the pan.
The trick is moving the skillet around to make sure you’re not over exposing one side to the flame. Both Congaree National Park and Assateague Island National Seashore have grates over their fire pits for cooking. We placed the skillet close to the edge of the ring in order to keep most of our meals cooking over medium heat. When you really need a rolling boil, you can give it the full flame, but most of the cooking is done just off of the center.
Our campfire cooking menu:
Recipes from our trip to Congaree National Park and Assateague Island are available now or coming soon:
- White Bean, Kale and Potato Hash
- Lentils with Quinoa and Spinach (inspired by Simply Quinoa)
- Veggie Chili Mac & Cheese (inspired by Amuse Your Bouche)
- Campfire Cornbread
- Chickpea Rice Pilaf
- Curried Quinoa