camping food prep

Great Tasting Camping Meals – Prepare in Advance

I hate making a big ordeal of cooking at the campsite. The more complicated your meal plan, the more junk you need to load in the car. It also means more cleaning and more hassle. Cooking at camp doesn’t have to be this way though. Here are a few tips to make your meals great with little fuss and cleanup.

  1. Veggie and Potato Packs – Chop up some zucchini and yellow squash, thinly slice potatoes, add chopped onions and some garlic. Lay out two sheets of tinfoil and fold up the edges to make a tray shape. Throw in all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Add some butter and lay another sheet of tinfoil over the top. Roll up all the edges to make a foil pack and seal everything inside. You make these as small or large as needed and make multiple to have them ready for each day of your stay. Build a fire until you have a good bed of coals. Set the foil on coals to cook. 10-15 minutes is typically sufficient but you may have to check them on occasion and make a judgement call. I like to have them with a piece of meat for dinner then save the leftovers to mix with eggs in the morning.
  2. Pre-cut veggies for breakfast and salads – Chop up onions, bell peppers and your favorite veggies and keep them in a tupperware or ziplock baggie. You can throw them in a pan and saute with eggs or throw them raw into a salad. It’s nice doing the legwork in the comfort of your kitchen and having everything ready to use in camp.
  3. The Meat – Freeze your steaks, chicken, pork or game and throw in a ziplock bag with marinade (except the ones you will cook within 24 hours). The meat will thaw throughout the trip and keep your cooler temp low. Take a fire grate for camping meals and save the need for excessive propane use. Throw the grate over the fire and cook your meat.
  4. Utensils and Cleanup – Keep it simple. Paper plates are nice for cleanup/burning in your fire or eat out of your foil pack. One knife, one fork and one plate per person with a small tub, biodegradable soap and a sponge will handle a group.
  5. Coffee Time – I’m a coffee snob. If I can, I’ll bring along a french press with some nice ground coffee. They are  apain to clean though and I’ve managed to break a few. On longer trips, I’ll just go for the instant coffee. Boil some water, fill up a thermos and you are good to go. It’s not the best but actually isn’t all bad either. Instant coffee also gets your day moving along quickly when you have plans.