Camping is that time when family and friends get a chance to take a break from the usual work routine, gather together, and make lifetime memories. The woods, lit with warm sun rays, create the perfect environment for camping and this explains why summer spots a whole lotta family activities.
When you’re out camping, the bigger picture is to relax and have fun! A lot of activities are planned out and the majority of them require jolts of energy so, needless to say, you need a well-structured meal plan to provide all the needed nutrients. Considering you have fewer kitchen equipment to work with, typically just a campfire and maybe the very necessary camping essentials, you need major adjustments.
Perhaps you had enough space to bring your outdoor grill and you’re wondering, what can I prep while out here? Well, some of the best camping grill ideas originate from unique ideas, originality, and not merely following cookbooks. Besides, you barely have the time for such so, instead, go for less- complicated meals, more filling recipes, and pack a ton of pre-prepared foods. The idea is to create nutritious plates within the shortest time possible but without compromising on flavor and taste. This will mean experimenting with different ingredients, sauces, and veggies to create a delightful treat that your family will be thanking you for!
We’ll also take a look at some handy meals that can cater to large-sized families as well as important cooking equipment to pack while preparing for a camp. Hope you’re ready!
For a start, let’s begin with a comprehensive breakdown of tasty meals that you can crank up on your griller at different times of the day.
The first meal of the day is the most important one and as such, you ought to bring out your cooking guns for this one. Have an ample protein supply that will carry your loved ones for a substantial amount of hours before they get a chance to bite on something else. How about?
- Scrambled eggs – very quick, very easy, you’ll be out of your cooking site in a heartbeat. Also, a great idea if you have a lot of bellies to attend to but not much energy in turn. Typically, you don’t need to have a burner to make your eggs, simply use your grill as a burner. You only require a frying pan on which you will crack your eggs onto and you’re set.
For the ingredients, add in whatever your loved ones like to have onto their egg mixture and ensure your grill is preheated to the appropriate temperature. Done correctly, you won’t have to worry about mess-ups as the eggs shouldn’t fall through the grates.
If you’d like to have a burst of more flavors, make omelets and throw in some bacon slices for an even concentrated protein dose.
- Grilled pancakes – camping pancakes are such a catch because they get ready in just under 10 minutes. For the ingredients, you need milk, egg, flour, baking powder, and sugar. Mix them thoroughly and ensure you get a nice semi-thick consistency that can go onto the grill smoothly with no sign of lumps.
If you’d like to get those grill marks going, instead of a pan, try Cookina grill sheets. They are thick enough to withstand the heat but also cook your foods just as well. Pour your batter onto the sheets, give each side a few minutes to turn nice and brown, then serve with some hot morning coffee.
Some people like to accompany the pancakes with fresh raw berries while others prefer to cook them inside the pancakes – whatever works best for you.
When it’s time for a quick refill before heading out again, these are some of the recipes you could work with.
- Veggie salads – There’s a smoky, crunchy savor you get out of this little trick. And it’s appropriate to all sorts of vegetables from carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, onions, asparagus, zucchini, butter squash, cherry tomatoes- there’s nothing that can’t go onto your grates.
When roasting vegetables, you want to ensure that your grill temperature is set to a high, approximately between 400- 450°F thereabout. The same applies when the vegetables are fresh from the farm or taken right out of the cooler.
For the dressing, feel free to drizzle your favorite sauces- a bit of olive oil too and perhaps a lemon squeeze just to tie everything together. Get a cooling beverage to go along with it and enjoy it!
- Skewer snacks– a personal favorite that you cannot afford to forego while out camping. Just like most of these recipes, skewer foods are completely customizable to your preference so you are at liberty to mix things up however you like.
I find a combination of meats such a treat, plus, after downing a couple you’ll forget you ever were hungry in the first place. So for some mouth-watering suggestions, I would recommend a grilled fajita skewer endowed with chicken or shrimp or steak. Better yet have the three types of meat all stuffed onto each skewer.
You may also want to have some color aesthetics in your foods, so have bell peppers of all colors ( yellow, orange, green) and sandwich your meats between these. Onions to make great additions. Go ahead to season as desired and let your stuffed skewers roast on top of the grill for a few minutes. You must occasionally check the progress to avoid burning, turn sequentially from side to side until you begin to notice the stuffing shrivel. This is one of the indicators that your skewers are ready for serving.
- Saucy king-size burgers– for this one, if you are preparing from scratch, it is probably best to make the patties beforehand. The cooking will last a much shorter duration plus you can bond with your loved ones while you do it. If this sounds like a lot of hard work, simply pack ready-made patties in your camping food bag.
For the ultimate camping burgers, as a baseline, you will need some good old cheese (cheddar preferably) drizzle sauces (barbeque, Worcestershire), perhaps some dried garlic, salt, and pepper. This list can be stretched as far as you like.
After a pre-heat of roughly 15-20 minutes, pop the patties onto the grill. You should hear some sizzling sound – that shows the cooking temperature is ideal. To get well-done grill burgers, wait approximately 10 minutes or slightly below before removing them.
Please note that a prior thorough clean is important to wipe up off the nasty debris that would otherwise diminish the final results. Also, for heightened juiciness, keep the fat to meat ratio significantly high. Once your patties are ready, go wild with your favorite toppings, lettuce, onions, whole lotta cheese, and enjoy some yummy lunch.
- Salmon fillets– the good thing about salmon is that it cooks amazingly fast and does not require sophisticated preparation mechanisms. For optimum results, start with the skin-side down first as you work through the other parts. You want that smoky aurora to catch on as much so give it ample time.
A salmon meal blends incredibly well with citrus dressing, and you can have this as a whole meal by itself or eat it with some rice- of course, the latter requiring some curry as an accompaniment. It makes a lovely treat so you can bet everyone will love devouring this particular dish.
Being the last meal of the day, you’re probably exhausted from all the day’s fun and longing to hope into bed. The last thing you need is spending hours on a meal. I have a quick solution to this and that is foil packets, or if you like, hobo dinners.
Nothing beats foil packets when it comes to convenience and speed. The only tasking bit with this technique is the assembly bit but that could get done just as swiftly with a few extra hands. Your kids or spouse can chip into preparing foil dinners.
I have three amazing suggestions that you could start with as you inspire to craft a scrumptious dinner.
- Turkey foil packets
- Chicken foil packets
- Sausage foil packets
Each of these is open to various fillings the common ingredients including potatoes, bell peppers, onions, apples, butter, just to mention a few. First, chop up all the collaterals including the meats into chunky pieces.
Try maintaining sizeable bites because very small dices will likely result in mushy packets. So keep them relatively large. Next, throw them into a bowl and mix everything. Once that’s done, rip off a good size of foil paper, brush off some butter on the surface then proceed to fill in with your ingredients.
Because a singular wrap of tin foil can bring about undesired charring, go over the foiling process with 2 more additional layers ensuring the sealing is tightly done. Place the packets onto grates and leave till ready. It is not only tasty but also packs both the macro and micronutrients, all into one big fold.
Keep in mind that the cooking time will vary depending on how much you stuffed into each serving, how hot your grill is, and the size of the ingredients.
- Potato volcanoes – now this is for those times you don’t mind putting in a little bit more work into cooking, say it’s a special night and you’d like to commemorate the same with a special dinner. Try this.
Wash some large potatoes, (depending on how big or small your party is) and follow to poke holes into them. Cover each in a separate foil and place them on the grates. Meanwhile, prepare a marinade of cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and green onions into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
After a while, take out the potatoes, cut out both ends and proceed to use a scooper to burrow holes inside. This gives you room to fill in your marinade before finally placing them back to the grill for the final touch. Melt some cheese as a topping and voila! Epic potato volcanoes.
Snacks & Dessert
- Grilled Sweet Corn
Use fresh corn for this recipe for a naturally sweet flavor. There are many ways to do this- inside the husk, in a foil, or naked on the grill. Additionally, you can create a juicy marinade to coat the corn as it grills, perhaps some coconut milk, fresh thyme, paprika, parsley, and freshly ground pepper.
You want them to char but not burn so gauge your grill temperature. As a last secret ingredient, squeeze in fresh lime juice onto the corn while it’s still hot. Let your corn cool off and serve.
- S’ mores
Who doesn’t love a gooey s’ more? It’s a warm dessert with a bit of a twist to your biscuits. You can add peanut butter, chocolate bars, or marshmallows and leave it to melt inside your cookies. All sweet-tooths will rave over this one!
What Cooking Equipment Should I Bring for Camping?
You may not be able to carry all your kitchen supplies but a couple of staples are necessary for a smooth trip. Here are some handy essentials.
Metal tongs to help you handle hot foods while on the grill.
Heavy-duty aluminum foil.
A plethora of spices, preferably dry.
A cooler to refrigerate perishable goods such as meats and beverages too.
Plastic bags for when you need to marinate your meats.
A meat thermometer- this may sound extravagant but when you are handling different meats, it is advisable to ensure that you do not end up with undercooked steak. It can get poisonous. So for the safety of your loved ones- invest in a meat thermometer.
- What is the best outdoor grill? A charcoal grill will afford you the desired smoky savory much better than a propane grill can. However, if you do not own a charcoal grill and know-how best to use your propane grill, you should get close to similar results.
- Is a stove more convenient for camping? Camp stoves are more portable due to their small size but have limited options on what you can cook on them. Depending on what your meal plan looks like, you should only consider having it as a backup and not the primary cooker.