Planning a camping trip this summer? Then, it’s time to talk about campfire cooking.
The ultimate goal of any camping trip is preparedness. The last thing you want to face while you’re miles from home and possibly cut off from electricity and running water is a lack of food options. Because hangry campers aren’t happy campers, the most important thing you can do before embarking on your trip is to figure out a few easy, foolproof meals everyone will enjoy.
So whether you’re a novice camper with no clue what to serve or a more experienced camping guru on the hunt for new ideas, read on for our top choices for the perfect camping meals. You can make these while sleeping under the stars — or even just in your backyard.
1. Walking tacos
Tacos are always a good decision, but they’re even better when you pre-make them before a camping excursion.
The trick to this crowd-pleasing dinner is to make your meat at home ahead of time, so you won’t have any dishes to worry about when you’re out in the wilderness. Once you cook your meat and let it cool, seal it up in a resealable plastic bag, and put it in the freezer. That way, it can help keep the rest of your food cold in your cooler until you’re ready to eat it.
Pack up any desired toppings you want, such as cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and beans. Purchase individual snack-sized bags of your favorite chips — top choices for this meal include Doritos and Fritos, but any kind will work. On taco night (preferably a Tuesday), crush up the chips in the bag, and then add your heated meat and toppings. Enjoy these straight from the bag.
2. Foolproof camping pancakes
Camping and pancakes go together like peanut butter and jelly. But rather than hauling along a bunch of ingredients, such as a giant box of pancake mix, eggs, and oil, you can do most of the work ahead of time instead.
For this hack, find a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag. Pre-mix your pancake batter at home, and add it to the bag. When you’re ready to make your pancakes, simply snip off the end of the bag, and squirt the batter into your heated pan or skillet.
Voila: Perfect pancakes. Just don’t forget the syrup.
3. Fruit and s’more cones
S’mores are a camping necessity, but they aren’t necessarily the healthiest treat.
This hack helps make your s’mores a little bit healthier with the addition of fruit. Instead of traditional s’mores, fill a waffle cone with chocolate chips, diced fruit, and mini marshmallows. You can also put in other fun toppings, such as shredded coconut, bananas, toffee chunks, or whatever your heart desires.
Pack everything into the cone, and cover tightly with foil. Cook over a campfire, and enjoy.
4. Easy breakfast burritos
There’s no law that says you have to eat these for breakfast, so if you want to eat them for lunch or dinner, go right ahead.
Again, the key to making this simple camping meal is to do your prep work before you leave. Cook everything in one skillet, so the flavors meld together in beautiful harmony. Start with your meat — bacon or sausage works best. Next, add in your favorite veggies, such as onions, peppers, and diced white or sweet potatoes. Then, scramble your eggs, and fold everything together inside a flour tortilla. Seal them up tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze. When you’re ready to leave, transport the frozen burritos to a cooler.
To enjoy, simply remove from the plastic, and heat on a grate over an open campfire.
5. Foil packet meals
A little bit of prep before your trip will save you a ton of time when you’re on site. When making foil packet meals, you’ll need to choose a protein, vegetable, starch, and seasonings, but those options are totally up to you.
Start by dicing up your raw protein, so it cooks evenly. Add seasoning, a starch, such as cubed potatoes, and veggies all into a square piece of foil (get the heavy-duty foil to avoid the packs ripping). Wrap all the ingredients up tightly. Make as many foil packs as you have people to feed, and put them all into a labeled, resealable plastic bag.
Once you’re on the campsite, start a fire a couple hours before you want to enjoy your meal. Let it die down a little, and give the embers plenty of time to get nice and hot. Place your foil packs on a cooking grate over the fire, and cook for at least 20 minutes or longer depending on the size of the meat or fish.
Enjoy your meals right out of the foil — no plates required. Find a few great ideas for what to put in your foil packs here.
6. Banana boats
One s’mores variation that’s sure to please comes in the form of banana boats.
For this hack, skip the graham crackers in favor of a banana boat. Split the banana lengthwise, and then top the halves with your favorite toppings. Stick to chocolate and marshmallows for a more traditional s’more taste, or go rogue with peanut butter, coconut, butterscotch, berries, or whatever you like best.
Wrap the whole thing in foil, and cook on the campfire for a few minutes. Enjoy this treat right out of the foil with a spoon.
7. Scrambled eggs in a bottle
Eggs provide tons of energy, and they’re quick and easy to make. But hauling around a fragile carton in your cooler while camping is quite tricky. Instead of attempting to keep a dozen whole eggs from cracking, why not crack them ahead of time?
For this hack, find a large jar or bottle. (Well-rinsed creamer containers work well here.) Crack your eggs directly into the bottle, seal, and shake well. Remember to label the bottle to help you remember what’s in it. When you’re ready to make your scrambled eggs, all you need to do is pour them onto your pan over the fire. Genius!