Easy Campfire Cooking

Easy Campfire Cooking

There's nothing like a good campfire meal when you're hungry and out in the fresh air! These practical reader tips will whet your appetite for a camping trip.

Foiled Again

Foil-packet cooking is a great method for campfire meals…and cleanup is a snap! Here are some simply delicious suggestions:

  • Sausage Dinner for Six. "I coat the inside of a large foil cooking bag with nonstick cooking spray and add 1 pound of fully cooked smoked sausage (sliced), three to four chopped potatoes, a small cabbage cut into six wedges and 1/2 cup water. I seal the bag and cook on coals for 30 to 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Yum!" (For a similar recipe, check out Bratwurst Supper.) —Kelly Reed, Paragon, Indiana
  • Banana Splits. "My grandmother took my brothers and me camping when I was little. She'd make these banana splits: Cut a whole unpeeled banana halfway through from end to end. Place marshmallows and pieces of chocolate bar in the slit. Wrap banana in the foil with the cut end up. Place in coals for 10 to 15 minutes until chocolate and marshmallows are melted. Open the foil carefully and scoop from the banana peel." —Laura Miller, Highland, California
  • Girl Scout Grub. "My troop members love making individual foil packs to cook over charcoal. Here's how they do it: On a sheet of heavy-duty foil, place two cabbage leaves, a marinated chicken breast or hamburger patty, and thinly sliced potatoes, carrots and onions. Sprinkle on seasonings of your choice. Cooking time varies, but we test a packet after 25 minutes." (You can also try Chicken Bundles for Two.) —Leslie Rhodes Burlington, North Carolina

Campfire Creativity

Improvising can lead to some memorable outdoor meals, as these reader ideas demonstrate:

  • Singin' Apples. "Place an apple on a cooking stick and roast over hot campfire coals until the apple peel splits and 'sings' (sizzles). Carefully peel away the skin (adults should help kids with this) and roll the apple in cinnamon-sugar." (Another way to enjoy apples outdoors is with Baked Apples on the Grill.) —Carol Milligan, St. Clair Shores, Michigan
  • Stacked Supper. "Put a pan of hot dogs in water over the fire. Use a second pan of baked beans as a lid. Top it with a metal pie plate. Pour a prepared Jiffy muffin mix into the pie plate. Cover with a 10-inch fry pan lid. It takes about 15 minutes for the muffin batter to bake, and by then, the hot dogs and beans are ready." —Marge Austin, North Pole, Alaska
  • Biscuits on a Stick. "Swirl a refrigerated biscuit on a 1-inch by 3-foot dowel. Cover the end of the stick with dough and, as you turn the stick, gently stretch dough 3 to 4 inches, overlapping the biscuit onto itself to seal edges. Turn as you cook until biscuit is golden brown and will easily slide off the stick. Fill the center with butter, jam, peanut butter or chocolate…or slide a cooked sausage link inside." —Sandra Smith, Battle Creek, Michigan

Super S'mores

Try out these twists on an old favorite…

  • Instead of packing graham crackers and chocolate bars for s'mores, we use fudge-striped cookies. Just slide a roasted marshmallow onto the bottom of one cookie and top it with another cookie. —Shelly Leingang, Mandan, North Dakota
  • Substitute chocolate-covered grahams in place of the plain graham crackers and chocolate bar. It's easier and less messy. —Martha Collins, Nelson, New Hampshire
  • For a different twist on flavor, use peanut butter cups instead of chocolate bars when you're making s'mores. —Amy Lester, Dimondale, Michigan

Irons in the Fire

Pie irons are versatile and fun to use. These hinged, double-sided cast-iron cookers with long handles are set on coals to produce handheld treats known as "hobo pies" or "pudgy pies." Kids need adult supervision when using pie irons—and everyone should be careful to let the hot fillings cool a bit before eating the "pie." These reader versions are sure to please:

  • Pudgy Pie Meal. "My family used to camp well into the fall. When chilly weather set in, we'd make hot sandwich pudgy pies. Between two slices of buttered bread (buttered side against the pie iron), we'd layer ham, turkey or corned beef strips, cheese, and sliced veggies such as onions, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes." —Mikaela Vogelzang, Fitchburg, Wisconsin
  • Let's Toast. "For great-tasting French toast, we dip bread in egg batter and cinnamon and then cook it in a sprayed pie iron. Coating the inside of the iron with nonstick cooking spray makes the food release easily." —Heather Barnette, Lapeer, Michigan
  • Wake-Up Call. "We make breakfast sandwiches in our hobo pan by placing precooked sausage and scrambled eggs between two pieces of bread. The iron is also great for cooking a side of hash browns." —Jeanne Williams, Mays Landing, New Jersey
  • Tasty Tacos. "Round pie irons cook up perfect taco pudgy pies. Fill small tortillas with 2 tablespoons each of prepared taco meat, refried beans and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. Add jalapeno peppers if desired. Trim off any excess tortilla with a knife after closing the iron." —Lisa Heffington, Greenville, Wisconsin