Camp Cooking Tips

Readers share their favorite ideas for easy campfire cooking

Camp Cooking Tips

Camp Cooking Tips

Here, other readers share their outdoor-tested ideas for cooking over the open fire. You'll find camping recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Campfire Bean 'n' Ham Soup is just one recipe made for the great outdoors. However, you'll want a hearty morning meal to get your campers off to a good start. Readers suggest these taste-tempting ideas:

  • A fisherman's breakfast is popular with William Dolan of Indianola, Nebraska. "We like to shred fillets of bass, crappie, bluegill or catfish in with scrambled eggs and cheese," he says.
  • "For our Camper Skillet, I brown breakfast sausage and diced bacon, then add chopped potatoes, onion and sliced mushrooms," notes Susan Daily from Crown Point, Indiana. "When the potatoes are tender, I add six lightly beaten eggs and some shredded cheese, stirring until the eggs are cooked."
  • Fresh-air flapjacks are a favorite of Sherri Melotik from Oak Creek, Wisconsin. She says, "I put together the dry ingredients at home and take along the oil, eggs and milk. While we're camping, it's just as quick as a box mix, and there's no comparison for the taste."
  • From Leesburg, Virginia, Carolyn Eskew writes, "Our Senior Girl Scout Troop 4940 makes these easy biscuits on our canoe camping trips: Mix 2 cups of self-rising flour with enough heavy cream to make a soft dough. Pat into a square, cut into smaller squares and bake biscuits in a cast-iron Dutch oven."

Make-Ahead Mixes

Take a few minutes in the kitchen at home to assemble these mixes. You'll love their convenience later!

Instant Rice Pudding. At home, I fill a resealable bag with 1 cup of instant rice, 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup raisins. Later, in a kettle over the campfire, I add 1-1/2 cups water to this mix and bring it to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Then I remove it from the fire, cover and let it stand, stirring occasionally. —Louise Bolles, Duncan, Oklahoma

Cocoa Concoction. For a tasty mix that will make 26 cups of cocoa, combine 3 cups nonfat dry milk powder, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 cup powdered nondairy creamer, 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 cup baking cocoa and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sift ingredients or pulse in a blender. Store in a resealable bag. To make cocoa, stir 1-1/2 tablespoons of cocoa mix into 6 ounces of boiling water. —Shirley Tockey, Cleveland, Oklahoma

Barbecue Rub. Use this zesty seasoning rub for beef roast, ribs or chicken: In a resealable bag, mix 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 cup paprika, 2 teaspoons each of chili powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Rub mixture into meat well before grilling or smoking. Our Scouts love the flavor. —Sandra Headlee, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania

Goodness in the Great Outdoors

Campers suggest these easy delicious meals for enjoying on the trail, in the park or in the woods:

Super Skewers. We use a grill basket over the open fire to cook kabobs with slices of hot dog, ham, mushrooms and pineapple. Then we slide them off into a bun and top with warm cheese sauce. —Renee Sensenig, Newmanstown, Pennsylvania

Brown Bears in the Orchard. To make this treat with a cute name, pour two 25-ounce jars of applesauce into a Dutch oven. In a resealable bag, mix two 14-ounce boxes of gingerbread cake and cookie mix with 2 cups of water and pour over applesauce. Do not stir. Cover and cook 45 minutes or until gingerbread is done. Serve warm with whipped topping. —Ruth Gruchow, Yorba Linda, California

Camp Taco Salad. To adapt this favorite, I brown the ground beef at home and combine lettuce, cheese and diced tomatoes in a resealable bag. On site, I simmer the meat with a can of chili beans, then add a packet of taco seasoning with water. Come time to eat, top tortilla chips with the meat/bean mixture and other fixings. —Susan Wagers, Minot AFB, North Dakota