When you’re out in the middle of nowhere on a fantastic camping trip, there’s no need to survive the adventure on granola bars and roasted marshmallows. Cooking on a camping grill shouldn’t make you anxious, and there’s a whole host of easy and nutritious recipes that you can indulge in. Follow these expert tips for camping grill cooking made easy.
Build a proper fire
Security first: never build a fire and start it until you’re sure it’s in a safe place. If there is no fire pit, then set up your camping grill in a flat area free of debris and loose dirt. You should look out for stray tree roots or low-hanging branches, which can quickly catch fire. A good rule is that the overhead space of the fire needs to be clear of any objects for at least three lengths of the height of the fire.
Choose the right gear
To cook over a camp grill, it’s essential that you use metal utensils and never plastic, which can melt. For this reason, it’s best if you skip pots and pans that have a rubber-coated handle, opting instead for aluminum pot lifters. If possible, purchase utensils that have been manufactured specially for the outdoors.
For an added layer of protection from embers, coals, and hot surfaces, you can wear heavy-duty gloves and close-toed shoes.
Choose your cooking method
Depending on your recipe and food choices, there are several ways to cook on a camping grill. If you’re planning on cooking hot dogs, stick to skewer cooking. Investing in a dutch oven can give you lots of flexibility and options, almost as if you were cooking in a kitchen.
Know what foods work (and which don’t)
Foods such as bacon, steak, or duck breast secrete lots of juices and fat while they’re cooking, which could cause a flare-up, so it’s best if you avoid them. Whenever possible avoid any foods that need frying or require some sort of oil.
Be aware of food safety
If you’re going to be grilling chicken or raw meat, make sure the food is kept in ice before you place it on your camp grill. Food that warms up from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause foodborne illnesses. Your leftovers also need to be refrigerated quickly, as food should never be outside for more than two hours.
Always use a thermometer when grilling meat, and make sure your food is between 140 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating it. It’s next to impossible to know if your food is cooked just by looking at it, so make sure you prepare your food to the appropriate temperature.