How to Cook Delicious Meals while Camping

Categories:Cooking Tips | Guest Post

Except for taking in the great wilderness, sleeping in a tent or simply sitting around the fire enjoying the night nature scenery, cooking delicious meals happen to be one of the most amusing and enjoying parts of any camper.

Therefore, today, we’re bringing you some basic tips on how to cook delicious meals while camping.
Choosing the best outdoor BBQ for your next camping trip
First and foremost, choosing the best outdoor barbecue is important, especially if cooking outside is something you’re enjoying the most. With so many different options on today’s market, choosing the best outdoor BBQ can be a daunting task. In order to help you get the best decision and make the process of choosing the perfect one easier, we gathered three most popular BBQ’s for outdoor cooking: Propane BBQ, smoker BBQ, and charcoal BBQ. Let’s start with propane BBQ first!

Propane BBQs

Even though propane BBQs are not that affordable, they are slowly starting to take the place of the charcoal ones and it is not just because you can cook your meals faster, but because cleaning and starting them is much easier.

Propane BBQs mostly work on propane or other gases and because of that, its operators have open gas lines and ignitions, although most of them come with a built-in igniter on electric power. This way you can start your fire in a clean way without any need to wait for around 15 minutes to build up enough heat to start cooking. These types of BBQs that work on propane and other gases burn much hotter than charcoal BBQs which reduces the cooking time.

Many types of propane BBQs come with various accessories such as bun warmers, rotisserie kits, built-in woks and, of course, thermometers. The cooking surface can also be chosen per your preference, so whether you choose one with a flat grill, traditional BBQ surface or ribbed grill, propane BBQs will give you enough flexibility and benefit to cooking multi-course meals.

Even though propane BBQs are not that affordable, they are slowly starting to take the place of the charcoal ones and it is not just because you can cook your meals faster, but because cleaning and starting them is much easier.

Propane BBQs mostly work on propane or other gases and because of that, its operators have open gas lines and ignitions, although most of them come with a built-in igniter on electric power. This way you can start your fire in a clean way without any need to wait for around 15 minutes to build up enough heat to start cooking. These types of BBQs that work on propane and other gases burn much hotter than charcoal BBQs which reduces the cooking time.

Many types of propane BBQs come with various accessories such as bun warmers, rotisserie kits, built-in woks and, of course, thermometers. The cooking surface can also be chosen per your preference, so whether you choose one with a flat grill, traditional BBQ surface or ribbed grill, propane BBQs will give you enough flexibility and benefit to cooking multi-course meals.

All of these options, of course, come with a certain price – It’s the most expensive type of outdoor BBQ’s on the market, but if you want clean and fast cooking than investing in one will pay off in a long run.

Smoker BBQs

Even though some types of smoker BBQs can be a bit bulkier than the propane ones, what they offer is undoubtedly irreplaceable. Incredible smoked flavors you’ll get from this BBQ is something you won’t get from any other one.

They use either charcoal or slow-burning wood to cook vegetables and meat, and the temperature is moderate which means it’ll take a bit longer to cook your food than the propane type, but if you’re a camper enthusiast who enjoys cooking outdoors then this one’s perfect for you.

Different types of wood such as oak, mesquite, hickory, sugar maple, and cherry are the best types of woods to use as a fuel as, while cooking, their aroma will infuse into the meat’s flavor and it’ll be the best meat you’ll ever taste.

Charcoal BBQs

This is one of the most popular and earliest types of outdoor BBQs. It’s quite simple and inexpensive to use and we all get used to this type of meat cooking. Even though charcoal is pretty cheap and easy to use, it has a couple of cons, such as cleaning after you’re done, which is not an easy process and igniting charcoal is a pretty messy process that takes time.

In order to ignite, most manufacturers advise dousing the charcoal into the lighter fluid, lit with a lighter and leave it for around 15 to 20 minutes before charcoal builds up the heat. Besides making your grill dirty, the ash and soot that come from the briquettes can be easily rubbed off your skin or clothes so for these reasons, many campers opt for charcoal-fired BBQs or gas-fired ones.
Those that do enjoy – and prefer this type of BBQ– are typically rewarded with a bunch of benefits that this BBQ brings: From the unique flavor that charcoal adds to the food, to the price that makes outdoor cooking affordable.

Choosing the best stove for your camping trip

First, a camping stove with fuel cylinders or a fuel chamber is essential. One or two burners will allow cooking for the entire camp. There are stoves with removable burners, grills, and griddles for the most versatility.

Cooking equipment for camping
Every camper needs basic cooking equipment. A few well- selected items can replace most kitchens. A set of stacking pots and pans make cooking easy. Select a set with a removable/interchangeable handle to save space in packing. A set with an interchangeable lid or one where the skillet serves as a pot lid is more versatile. Use a Dutch oven to cook stews, soups and bake everything from biscuits to birthday cakes. Basic cooking tools, knives, forks, spoons, spatulas are available in kits.

For more info on choosing the best camping cookware and reviews, check out Hiking Mastery.

Cooking methods

Let’s go back centuries ago when people cooked their meals by only using a campfire. Of course, today, people became more complicated adjusted to amenities that today’s modern world offers. Therefore read on some simple, but most effective techniques you can use for camp cooking,

The most popular and effective way of cooking outdoors is by using the heat of the fire and nothing else. You will accomplish this in two ways, by wrapping your food in aluminum foil and placing it directly on coals, or to grill your meal on a grate over an open fire, just like you would do it as if you’re in your backyard. The first method requests, frequent checking while the other will take a bit longer to cook as the heat from the fire is less direct.

If you plan on cooking pasta, stews or soups, we advise you use above mentioned pans and pots. Simply build the fire and place your pan or pot over the hot coals. This way the heat can become inconsistent, but the key to do this right is in managing the hot coal concentration and amount. Once you learn how to do that, cooking will be easy as if you use your kitchen stove.

Additional tips

  • Measure your ingredients for each and every meal you plan on cooking and pack it properly in zip bags.
  • If you plan on preparing stews or soups prepare them before you go and freeze them at home so you can easily reheat it.
  • Always cover pans and pots when you’re cooking outside. This way you’ll keep insects and dirt out of your food plus your meal will be done quicker which will save some fuel.
  • Use only cooking utensils that are fireproof. Keep handles away from the flames and heat.
  • In order to save your matches from getting wet, you can stick them in wax and use them when you need them. Simply scrape off the wax from the tip of the match and light it.

That’s it! Easy, right? Happy cooking!


Rebecca lives in the USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favorite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, a company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for HikingMastery.com.

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