Quick and easy camping meals are my forte. Camp cooking can make any reasonable cook look like a Michelin star chef. Without the noise of food processors, strainers, spinners, or stoppers; a camp cook needs to channel his or her inner collegian to create that perfect camp course.
You don’t need to feel limited without every tool in the kitchen. My camp kitchen remains minimal and I’ve never felt like I needed a tool when at a campsite or in the bush. Further, access to water to clean the kitchenware may be another reason to keep the pack light.
These are, in my opinion, the best camping meals to be had, and can be made with nothing more than a campfire and a cast iron skillet.
Gear for Easy Camping Meals
I’m recommending a medium-large iron skillet to cover most of the bases. I’ve gotten away with smaller but the below should suffice:
For those without access to a build in fire-ring grill, a folding camp grill is a nice thing to have. With a skillet, you can place it directly on the fire, but to grill, you’ll need this:
Eggs and Bacon
This one is pretty self explanatory. A dozen eggs and a pack of bacon will feed a 4-6 people. Throw the bacon on first to grease the skillet, and eggs in after. Make sure to dump the bacon grease out before adding eggs, but keep enough in the skillet to coat it. The grease should be dumped away from the camp sites as bears dig bacon too.
Eggs, Potatoes, onions, and peppers
This can also be found in a Potatoes o Brien bag, but is quick to make with simple ingredients for those easy camping meals.
Simply dice the potatoes, onions, and peppers. After, oil the skillet and place on some camp embers. Add the diced veggies and stir until steaming brown.
Personally, it think it’s pretty easy to buy the pre-made stuff again here. It saves on packing and space. If you want to go pro, pancakes are simply flour, water, baking soda, eggs, milk, and butter. Again, the skillet is the right tool to get this one done.
Packaged everything here is the way to go. Get the camp fire going with some embers. A skillet is enough to cook the hot dogs and toast the buns. The can of chilli can be cracked open and placed near the embers to warm.
Do-it-Yourself sandwiches make for an easy camping meal. During the day, your group should be out exploring, so cooking something warm might not always be the feasible thing to do. Start making the sandwiches after breakfast, or even bring the ingredients along to make wherever your adventure is. Making the sandwiches before the hike is a better idea, since you can make everyone carry their own lunch.
If you do find yourself around camp, grilling or cooking a burger in a skillet is a treat for either a lunch or dinner camp meal. The ingredients are easy to pack into a cooler.
Foil Pack or Hobo Pack
Dinner is where the best camp meals really are. When the sun goes down and the fire glows, I want to keep eating until I retire to my tent. The foil pack or hobo pack is the quintessential interactive camp meal – I think. Hot dogs on a stick have their place too.
For a foil pack, all you need to do is pick your favorite ingredients that can melt or steam, wrap them in aluminum foil, and throw them near the coals to cook for a good amount of time. Potatoes, onions, peppers, carrots, ground beef, sausage, cheese, salt, pepper, and oil. Remember to oil the and to move the foil pack around from time to time. You want an even cook on all sides.
Chilli over Chips
Chilli over chips, redneck nachos, or Frito pie are all synonyms for the delicious camp cuisine that your tent mates will thank you for. It can’t be easier than this one: a cracked can of chilli near the coals, and a big bag of Fritos corn chips. Pour in the hot, steaming chilli into the bag and shake. Add cheese for effect.
Meat, Veggies, Grill
Meat and veggies go great on a camp grill. To really lean into the camp experience, putting these things on a stick are even better. Skewers of chunks of meat and veggies can go directly on the grill, or held over the fire like a marshmallow til ready. I’d sooner go with beef or hot dogs with this method than I would something like chicken or fish.
If you want to do fish, there are fish grilling baskets that can work, but they take up a bit of space. You can also substitute this for a grill and open a niche of easy camping meals like hot sandwiches toasted over fire. The possibilities are out there:
There you have it. Some easy and quick camping meals! Get outside!
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