Is it your first time to try camp cooking? Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? It’s a pretty normal feeling, right? But, it doesn’t have to be.
I gained tons of cooking experiences while going out on camping trips. And these experiences taught me that, no matter how tricky the art of outdoor cooking can be, creating a feast for your buddies can still be a whole lot of fun.
Now go ahead and dig into some tips I am sharing with you today on outdoor cooking!
Plan and pack
First thing first: know your campsite.
Are you backpacking, heading to the mountains, or are you camping close to your car? Bringing a tiny pocket stove works well when you are in the backcountry. It works well too when you are camping on an island while enjoying the beach side.
Yet, when your campsite has easy access to your car, bringing a bigger skillet makes more sense than bringing in a smaller pan.
Your checklist matters
Again, plan. Write down your planned meals for the whole trip. Make a list of the ingredients and the utensils you would need. Mark your list as you pack. Better yet, tape your checklist right on the cooler. That should give you a better view of what you planned and what you have. No more forgetting the basics. Easy, right?
The best place to prepare is in the home
Cooking an entire dinner from scratch in the campground can be really fulfilling. But you wouldn’t want to pack too much cooking utensils. Yet, if you prefer to bring fresh ingredients then, try to prepare them at home, as much as you can. Plan your meals, make a checklist of what you need – ingredients and all, and mark them off as you pack.
Consider the shortcuts
You’re probably the master chef of your own kitchen, cooking only the freshest ingredients you can find but cooking outdoors is different. Too many factors to bear in mind – time, weather, space and keeping things cold – you may want to consider some shortcuts. A good example is the use of canned goods. Alternative ingredients found in a can, like chicken, salsa, vegetables, and beans, can work well too. Most campers aren’t choosy when the tummies are hungry.
Before you go, practice
You can cook almost anything you would on a home stove, over a campfire but the process would be totally different. Camp cooking can be quite tricky. You wouldn’t have much control over the heat output of a small camping stove. It would be ideal to try out recipes at home using your camp stove before you’re out on the trail. See what works and what doesn’t.
I’d like to share to you this fish taco recipe ideal for camping on the beach. Fish taco contains a few ingredients and can be done quickly. If in the morning, you throw in some frozen fish and shrimp in a cooler with ice, by the time you are ready to make dinner, they’ll be thawed out and ready for cooking. Sweet!
Fish and Shrimp Taco Recipe
- Tilapia fillets, 3 pieces
- Pre-cooked shrimp, 1 cup
- Chopped onions, ½ cup
- Chili powder, 1 tablespoon or according to taste
- Oregano, 1 tablespoon
- Lime, 1 piece
- Ripe avocado, 1 piece
- Green pepper, 1 piece
- Black beans, 1 can
- queso fresca
- crema Mexicana
- Before you start cooking, get your fire burning for about 45 minutes. This will give you some hot coals when you are ready to cook the fish.
- While it’s burning, you can chop your onion (if you have not done it at home), put the beans in a pot and cut the pepper.
- Once your coals are ready, place a grill grate over them and grease up your pan. Allow it to heat up for a few minutes.
- Then, put the fish, shrimp, onions, and spices in the pan. At this point, add the black beans and pepper.
- Start breaking the fish into smaller pieces when they begin to cook. This will help you save cooking time. Continue to stir the fish and black beans as they heat up.
- When the fish is already opaque white and can easily be shredded just by pulling at it, then it is done. The time can vary depending on the strength of your fire and how close you place the pan on it.
- Place the fish in a tortilla and top with black beans, cheese, cream, and avocado!
Whether you are on to your first camping trip or planning to be on your 100th, always get prepared. And of course, enjoy the trip!