Camping, hiking and other outdoor activities can work up an appetite. So when everyone comes running hungry, satisfy their cravings with meals that are just as delicious as homemade. Like everything else about camping, the basic rules apply to campground cooking too: be prepared and keep it simple. The following campground cooking tips will help you be better prepared and make your campground cookouts easier.
- You don't have to make everything from scratch at the campground. For example, it is perfectly acceptable to make your favorite marinara from scratch, but it is also OK to use bottled sauce or just bring leftovers. Another example: pancakes from scratch are great, but just-add-water box mix works good too, and it's a lot simpler than carrying all the scratch ingredients to the campground.
- Save time and make your recipes ahead of time at home. Remember, foil is your friend. Refrigerate homemade meals and leftovers and reheat them in foil on the grill or over a campfire. Cook foil-wrapped side dishes while you grill your favorite meat.
- To avoid cooking lunches, think non-cook meals. Homemade sandwich spreads, lunch meat, summer sausage, cheese, fresh fruit and salads fit this menu.
- Grilling at the campground is an easy way to cook. Planning meals where most all of the food is grilled saves time and cleanup. Make marinade at home and bring marinated meat in a plastic Ziplock bag. Refrigerate in your cooler until ready to grill at camp.
- Any recipe made at home that you use only the stovetop to prepare can be made at the campground on a 2-burner campstove. Actually, with careful timing, you can prepare a 3 or 4 pot meal on a 2-burner campstove. Cook the longest foods first. When they are finished, cover them, remove them from the stove, and then cook the quicker dishes.
- One pot meals couldn't get any simpler. Soups, stews, goulash and jambalaya are just a few examples of hearty meals that have wide appeal. Pre-dice and chop ingredients at home, and store them in the cooler until you're ready to cook.
- Don't overlook the local cuisine. Some campgrounds have a restaurant on the premises, and they may offer weekend breakfast specials, a Friday night fish fry or a Saturday BBQ. But first, be sure to ask other campers, if they've eaten there and did they like it. Nothing gets simpler than letting someone else do the cooking. Also, there may be a great restaurant in the vicinity too. Again, use word-of-mouth to help you decide whether to try it out or not.