Favorite camping recipes

With summer being upon us, Hallboy is begging to go camping. We’ve got the tents, the charcol grill and the air mattresses. (Leave me alone–my back is too old to sleep on the ground.)

But, I need some good recipes for camping. They can either be a prepare-and-make-before-you-leave food, or semi-prepare beforehand food, or even cook over an open flame (or on a grill) food. However, it should be relatively easy because for some reason, all that fresh air makes us all starving in a short period of time. (And, no snack foods–like cheese cubes and vienna sausages. We want a REAL meal.)

So, what say you? What’s your favorite camping recipe?

Fresh fish cooked over an open fire. Any kind of fish will do. Clean as normal, don’t bother fileting. Wrap cleaned fish in aluminum foil with butter, salt, pepper. Cook over fire, eat.

Downside is you gotta catch the fish first, then clean them, which takes away “hungry NOW” points.

Clean a fish? You mean like take it out of the white waxed paper the guy behind the counter wraps it in, right? :smiley:

With the inclusion of air mattresses, I assume you are car camping, right? (Not a judgment - we car camp and sleep on one of these. :smiley: )

Anyway, we get rave reviews for our marinated steak & veggie dinner. Simplicity itself: just cut up a bunch of steak and place it in a plastic bag with the marinade of your choice. Do the same with sliced peppers and onions. Carry some whole mushrooms and tomatoes with you. On-site, just whip our your BBQ wok and get busy. Cook the meat to doneness, then wrap in foil. Wok the peppers and onions until nicely charred, then cook the mushrooms and deglopped tomatoes. Pile on a plate with the meat and serve with a nice rustic red wine.

Never eat fish. Ick. Fish live in water. W.C. Fields had it right about water.

OK, it sounds like you’re going carcamping and will have a cooler?

Simple is good and if you’ve got a charcoal grill how about some steaks? Only takes a few minutes per side - brush on a bit of oil, rub 'em with salt and pepper, grill. Or salmon, chicken, etc.

Plenty of veggies grill up nicely - make some veggie kabobs (ahead of time or on the spot) and throw them on the grill as well. Chunks of onion, bell peppers, zucchini/squash, broccoli, whole mushrooms, etc. Put them on bamboo skewers (soak the skewers in water to help keep them from burning).

If you want to add some baked potatoes, wrap them in foil and bury them in the coals ahead of time. They take longer to cook - personally I prefer yams or sweet potatoes, they cook up much faster. You can also slice a potato in half the long way and put it face-down on the grill to cook - a friend of mine does this and they taste good, never tried it myself so I can’t vouch for cooking time.

Definitely have some snacks onhand for when you’re starting to build the fire and prep for dinner. It always takes longer than you thought and you don’t want people starving in the meantime. Winter camping we’d have instant soups and hot beverage mixes since you can get some hot calories into your system asap and that tides you over until dinner proper is ready.

Bear creek instant soups - cheddar potato is my favorite. Augment to your liking. I use tuna if no cooler available or maybe start with a frozen bratwurst (thawed by suppertime)

I like this egg dish: cook some cut up sausages. Add southern style (cubed) hashbrowns. cook for a bit. Then add beaten eggs.

Oatmeal (I pre put in sugar)

more later

Nothing wrong with going traditional…cook hotdogs on sticks, follow with marshmallows…or go whole hog and break out Hershey bars and graham crackers for Smores…

I have a few recipes that always go over well (and I am not normally a good cook). But they require a fair amount of prep work, so they may not be what you want.

Foil dinners
Hamburger patty
Onion soup mix
Heavy duty foil

  1. Lay out a piece of tin foil.
  2. Put the hamburger, a chuck of butter, and the veggies in the middle
  3. Add salt, pepper, and onion soup mix (I usually use 1/3 of a packet of soup mix per burger).
  4. Wrap up the package carefully. There can’t be any openings, cracks, or creases otherwise the butter will escape.
  5. Throw directly on the coals (wood or actual charcoal) for 30 minutes (flip over at the 15-minute mark).
    Do you have a dutch oven? These are two recipes I use with great success (they are from somewhere on the internet):

Campfire stew
beef chuck (cut into eating size pieces)
red potatos (cut into pieces)
carrots (you can use baby carrots or a frozen bag or can to save work)
red onion
beef stew mix
corn starch (for thickening at the end)

  1. Brown the meat and onions in the oil.
  2. Add all of the veggies and stew mix.
  3. Add enough water to cover everything.
  4. Cook for 1 hour.
  5. Use the corn starch to thicken it up if needed.

Campfire cobbler
Cake Mix
Can of Pie Filling
1 Can of Soda
2 Tbsp Butter

There are two variations:
a) white cake mix + cherry pie filling + 7up
b) spice cake mix + apple pie filling + rootbeer

  1. You can line the dutch oven with foil to save clean-up.
  2. Melt butter in bottom of dutch oven
  3. Add pie filling
  4. Add cake mix
  5. Make a zigzag in the cake mix to add the soda
  6. Cook for 15 - 30 minutes or until done (done means doesn’t stick to a fork)

We do Thanksgiving in the Woods as our first night dinner.

  1. Bring a store prepared turkey breast.
  2. Can of cranberry sauce
  3. Frozen butternut squash
  4. Yams
  5. Fridge biscuits.

Warm up turkey by wrapping in foil and leaving on side of teh fire.
Warm up squash in a pot over fire.
Cook yams by cutting up and wrapping in foil and into teh coals. Add butter to the packets =good.
Open can of cranberry sauce
Open biscuits and cook over fire on a small pan covered with foil until golden.


If you have a griddle or large frying pan, quesadillas are a fairly easy and quick meal. All you need is tortillas, cheese, salsa, and other filling of your choice.

You need breakfast, too, so just get a big pot of boiling water on the stove or fire, crack two eggs into a quart-sized ziploc freezer bag, smush them up so they are scrambled, add your other omelet fixins (green peppers, diced ham, mushrooms, shredded cheese, whatever you want), seal the bag (remove as much excess air as possible), write your name on the outside with a Sharpie, and put those baggies right into the pot. Boil for about 12 minutes (longer at high altitude). Awesome!

CaveMike, my husband’s scout troop made that campfire cobbler (it’s called “dump cake” around here) with chocolate cake mix, cherry pie filling, and Coca-Cola.

Another breakfast dish, if you have a skillet or dutch oven, is breakfast tacos.

Scramble up some eggs with sausage, peppers and onions while warming the tortillas in foil on the far outside of the fire or grill. When that’s done, use the mix to fill the tortillas, sprinkle some shredded cheese and other taco toppings of your choice and chow down.

This is especially popular with the kids.

Awesome Tamex! I’ll have to try that version next!

The foil dinners are excellent. We never use the onion soup mix, as my husband and daughter think it’s too salty. I generally put in some celery, too. Sometimes I’ll add some other veggies. Squash and broccoli are surprisingly good. We like to use chicken parts as a change from the hamburger now and then. In that case, I season it well with poultry seasoning and seasoned salt.

In fact, we like foil dinners so much that we sometimes make them in the BBQ grill. Just let the bricks turn into coals, and bury the dinners.

I will add another recipe.

Frito Chili Pie

Fritos (do not substitute, MUST be Fritos brand)
Chopped onion
Chili (can be canned chili)
Shredded cheese, cheddar or American

Heat. Eat. Fart.

Oooh, I love camp cooking! My husband and I go all out planning our meals in advance. We have this cookbook which is really great: Campfire Cuisine.

One of our favorites is to make this bean salad the night before we go and let it age in the fridge overnight, it’s a perfect lunch for after setting up camp. Eat straight out of the bowl or put into wraps:

Black Bean Salad
Juice of 3 limes
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl honey
1 Tbl ground cumin
1 Tbl ground coriander
1 Tbl dried oregano
2 14.5 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 bell peppers (preferably red, yellow, or orange; or a combination), seeded and diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced

Mix lime juice, salt, honey, cumin, coriander, and oregano in a large bowl until well combined.
Add beans, diced pepper, and onion and toss until well combined. Cover and store in a fridge or cooler overnight for best flavor. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serves: 4

It’s amazing. For quick deserts I make foil apple cobblers with just cut up apples, cinnamon, sugar, and honey with some oats. I just let individually wrapped packets sit in the coals for a bit until the apples are warm. Very good.

Bread has been a big hit in my camping trips, and can be used to make all sorts of other good things. Rising is time intensive, but low “hands on” time.

5# bag of flour, 3 packets of yeast, some salt (a good palm sized pile), and a few “glubs” (this is a technical measurement, tilt the bottle high, each bubble of air makes a “glub”) of oil. Add water and mix until it’s “shaggy.” I tend to do the mixing, and the rise, in a small cooler (like a small Playmate). Let at least one rise happen, and punch down in the cooler.

The bread can be baked in a dutch oven. I tend to hang over the fire, and add coals on top of the oven.

It can also be wrapped around sausages (precooked), hotdogs, or kielbasa. Take the dough wrapped meat, and place in a large sheet of oiled tinfoil, and seal with lots of space around the raw dough. Allow to rise for a couple of hours. Park around the campfire, and rotate every 10 minutes or so. When they are hard to the touch, they are done. It’s now a hard, fresh roll, with a hot stick of meat inside.

Chili over the fire (another dutch oven use) work great. Start by sauteing the veggies & browning the meat with the dutch oven on the coals, then add the rest of the ingredients (beans are not optional IMO, but YMMV), and hang over the fire to simmer away.

Dutch ovens can be used to make pies. As can a “cardboard box oven” for a large variety of items from pizza (use the bread above for the crust) to turkeys (yep, whole, large ones, if you’ve the time and inclination).

  1. Take a large onion.
  2. Cut out the stem.
  3. Place one cube of beef bullion in the hole where the stem used to be. Cover the cube with one slice of butter.
  4. Wrap with foil.
  5. Place in the coals of your campfire.
  6. Grill a steak over the coals.
  7. When the steak is done, the onion will be done.

I’m not sure I’d invest this much effort at HOME…

It’s not really that hard. I generally get the bread started when I’m done with breakfast on Saturday morning. Sometime in the late afternoon, I get started on whatever I’m doing with the bread.

You were looking for fun camping cooking, and if you’re hanging around the site, it’s a fun little project, that greatly impresses the other campers.

Granted, my trips are a bit excessive in our setups, as we bring in a camp kitchen, as well as equipment to go over the fireplace.

We take our camping food VERY serious. The last trip saw 6 species of animal consumed (Bison, Deer, Pig, Beef, Chicken, Turkey) in various methods over the campfire. Though we were hiking for 3 hours in the middle of Saturday afternoon, over the course of the evening, we had (for 6 people), a venison roast & a chicken from the rotisserie, and a pork wellington (AB’s Good Eats recipe). Everyone took a turn helping, and it was no real work at all.