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Cooking Under the Stars: Ultimate Camping Food Inspiration

September 05, 2023
Cooking Under the Stars: Ultimate Camping Food Inspiration

When you think of camping, cooking delicious food on a fire or a barbeque is one of the many activities to look forward to.

Camping and cooking go hand in hand, and there's something truly magical about preparing and enjoying a meal in the midst of nature.

Whether you're a seasoned camper or a novice looking for some cooking inspiration while camping, this Everything Caravan & Camping guide is for you.

We'll explore easy-to-prepare, mouthwatering camping recipes, offer outdoor cooking tips, and discuss the best food for camping.

So, grab your camping cooking gear, light up the campfire, and let's get started!

Camping Recipes

One of the most exciting aspects of cooking while camping is experimenting with different recipes that can be prepared outdoors. You don't need to be a gourmet chef to create delicious campfire meals; all you need is a bit of creativity and some basic camping cooking equipment.

Camping Cooking Basics

Before we dive into the recipes, let's talk about the must-have camping cooking gear you should bring on your outdoor adventure:

1. Campfire Or Camping Stove


The heart of outdoor cooking is the campfire, but if fire regulations are in place at the campsite, a portable camp stove is a great alternative. Consider one with adjustable heat settings for precise cooking control.

2. Cast Iron Skillet


A cast iron skillet is a versatile piece of cooking equipment in general. It can be used for frying, baking, and even as a makeshift oven. Plus, it's incredibly durable and retains heat well.

3. Camping Pot And Pan Set


Invest in a lightweight, compact camping pot and pan set. Consider non-stick options to make cleaning up a breeze.

4. Grate Or Grill Rack


If you plan to grill over an open flame, bring a grate or grill rack. This will allow you to cook meats and veggies with that classic smoky campfire flavour.

5. Cooking Utensils


Don't forget utensils like spatulas, tongs, and a good camping knife. These are essential for flipping, stirring, and chopping ingredients.

6. Camp Cooking Utensil Set


Explore the option of a camp cooking utensil set to make meal preparation much easier.

7. Campfire Tripod


For a true campfire experience, a campfire tripod is a great addition to your arsenal. It allows you to hang pots and kettles over the fire for cooking.

8. Camp Oven Or Dutch Oven


This versatile cooking vessel is typically made of heavy-duty cast iron and features a thick, tight-fitting lid. It excels at creating a mini-oven environment in your outdoor setting, allowing you to bake, roast, simmer, and stew a wide variety of dishes.

With your camp cooking gear in tow, let's explore some delicious camping recipes that range from breakfast to dinner to camp oven cooking recipes and everything in between.

Campfire Breakfast Burritos


● 6 large eggs

● 1/2 cup diced bell peppers

● 1/2 cup diced onions

● 1/2 cup diced cooked bacon or sausage

● 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

● Salt and pepper to taste

● 4 large flour tortillas


  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over your campfire or camp stove.
  2. Add a bit of oil or butter to the skillet and sauté the bell peppers and onions until they're soft.
  3. Whisk the eggs and pour them into the skillet with the peppers and onions.
  4. Scramble the eggs, then add the cooked bacon or sausage, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Warm the tortillas over the fire.
  6. Assemble the burritos by placing a portion of the egg mixture and cheese on each tortilla.
  7. Roll up the tortillas and enjoy your campfire breakfast burritos!

Campfire Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


● Bread slices

● Butter or margarine

● Sliced cheese


  1. Butter one side of each bread slice.
  2. Place a slice of cheese between two slices of bread, buttered side out.
  3. Wrap the sandwich in aluminium foil.
  4. Cook the sandwiches on a grate or grill rack over the campfire, flipping occasionally, until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  5. Unwrap and enjoy your gooey, campfire grilled cheese sandwiches!

Campfire Chilli


● 1 lb ground beef or turkey

● 1 onion, diced

● 2 cloves garlic, minced

● 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes

● 1 can (14 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

● 1 can (14 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

● 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce

● 1 packet chilli seasoning mix

● Salt and pepper to taste

● Shredded cheese and chopped green onions for topping (optional)


  1. In a large cast iron skillet, brown the ground beef or turkey over the campfire or camp stove.
  2. Add the diced onions and garlic, and sauté until they're softened.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, tomato sauce, and chilli seasoning mix.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Simmer the chilli over the campfire for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve hot, topped with shredded cheese and chopped green onions if desired.

Campfire Pizza


● Pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)

● Pizza sauce

● Shredded mozzarella cheese

● Toppings of your choice (e.g., pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms)


  1. Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface.
  2. Spread pizza sauce over the dough.
  3. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese evenly on top of the sauce.
  4. Add your favourite toppings.
  5. Carefully transfer the pizza onto a preheated cast iron skillet or grill rack.
  6. Cook the pizza over the campfire, covering with a lid or foil to help melt the cheese and cook the toppings.
  7. Once the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly, your campfire pizza is ready to be devoured!

Foil Packet Dinners

Foil packet dinners are a camping favourite because they're easy to prepare and require minimal cleanup. Here's a basic template, but feel free to get creative with your ingredients:


● Protein (e.g., chicken, fish, shrimp, sausage, tofu)

● Chopped vegetables (e.g., potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, onions)

● Seasonings (e.g., garlic powder, paprika, herbs)

● Olive oil

● Foil sheets


  1. Place your protein and chopped vegetables on a sheet of aluminium foil.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
  3. Fold the foil over the ingredients to create a packet, sealing it tightly.
  4. Cook the foil packet over the campfire or camp stove until the protein is cooked through and the vegetables are tender (cooking times vary depending on the ingredients used).
  5. Carefully open the foil packet and enjoy your flavorful campfire meal!

Baked Corned Beef (Only If You Have A Caravan Oven)


● 1 (3-4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet

● 4-6 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

● 4-6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

● 1 small head of cabbage, cut into wedges

● 1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges

● 4 cloves garlic, minced

● 2 bay leaves

● 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

● Water, to cover

For The Glaze

● 1/2 cup brown sugar

● 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

● 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

● 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


1. Preheat The Camping Oven: Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).

2. Prepare The Corned Beef: Remove the corned beef from its packaging and rinse it under cold water to remove any excess salt. Place it in a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven with a lid.

3. Add Vegetables And Spices: Scatter the carrots, potatoes, cabbage, onion, minced garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns around the corned beef in the pot.

4. Add Water: Pour enough water into the pot to just cover the meat and vegetables.

5. Cook Covered: Put the lid on the pot and place it in the preheated oven. Bake for about 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the corned beef is tender and easily pierced with a fork.

6. Make The Glaze: While the corned beef is baking, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, and apple cider vinegar until well combined. Set aside.

7. Finish With Glaze: When the corned beef is done, remove the pot from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C). Carefully remove the corned beef from the pot and place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil.

8. Glaze The Corned Beef: Brush the glaze mixture generously over the top and sides of the corned beef.

9. Broil: Place the glazed corned beef under the broiler for a few minutes, just until the glaze caramelises and forms a delicious crust. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.

10. Serve: Slice the glazed corned beef against the grain into thin slices. Serve it with the cooked vegetables from the pot and some of the cooking liquid if desired.

Baked Sausage Rolls


For The Filling

● 1 pound (450g) ground sausage (you can use your favourite variety, such as pork, beef, or chicken)

● 1 small onion, finely chopped

● 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

● 1/4 cup milk

● 1 egg

● Salt and pepper to taste

● Optional: herbs and spices like sage, thyme, or paprika for extra flavour

For The Pastry

● 1 package of store-bought puff pastry sheets (you can also make your own if you're feeling adventurous)


1. Prepare The Campfire:

a. Set up your campfire and allow it to burn down to hot coals. You'll want a good bed of coals for cooking with your camp oven.

2. Prepare The Filling:

a. In a bowl, combine the ground sausage, finely chopped onion, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, and any optional herbs and spices. Mix well until everything is evenly incorporated.

3. Roll Out The Pastry:

a. Roll out your puff pastry sheets on a clean surface. If you have a cutting board or a flat rock, it can make this process easier. Roll the pastry into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

4. Shape And Fill The Sausage Rolls:

a. Cut the rolled pastry into smaller rectangles or squares, depending on your preferred size for the sausage rolls.

b. Place a portion of the sausage mixture along one edge of each pastry piece.

c. Roll up the pastry, enclosing the sausage filling, and seal the edges by pressing them together. You can use a little water to help seal if needed.

5. Preheat The Camping Oven:

a. Grease the bottom of your camp oven with cooking oil or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

b. Place a sheet of aluminium foil in the bottom of the oven to catch any drips.

c. Preheat the camp oven by placing it on the cooking grate or tripod above the hot coals for a few minutes. This helps ensure even cooking.

6. Cook The Sausage Rolls:

a. Arrange the sausage rolls in the preheated camp oven, leaving some space between them.

b. Cover the camp oven with its lid.

7. Bake The Sausage Rolls:

a. Place the camp oven on top of the hot coals and add some additional hot coals on top of the lid.

b. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the sausage is cooked through.

8. Serve:

a. Carefully remove the camp oven from the coals using tongs or a long-handled spatula.

b. Allow the sausage rolls to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Outdoor Cooking Tips

Now that you have some delicious camping recipes in your arsenal, let's discuss some essential outdoor cooking tips to ensure your campfire cooking endeavours are a resounding success.

1. Safety First

Always follow fire regulations and guidelines when starting and maintaining a campfire. Make sure you have a safe cooking area away from flammable materials, and keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby.

2. Prepare And Pre-Measure Ingredients

Prepping ingredients at home can save you time and effort at the campsite. Pre-measure spices and pack them in small containers to streamline the cooking process.

3. Keep It Simple

While it's fun to experiment with different recipes, simplicity often works best when camping. Stick to recipes with minimal ingredients and straightforward cooking techniques.

4. Pack The Right Tools

Invest in quality camp cooking equipment, as mentioned earlier. Good gear can make a world of difference in your outdoor cooking experience.

5. Practice Fire Management

Learn how to build and maintain a campfire. Proper fire management ensures you have a consistent heat source for cooking.

6. Use Foil Packets For Easy Cleanup Foil packets are your best friend when it comes to easy cleanup. They also help to lock in flavours and juices, resulting in tasty meals.

7. Embrace One-Pot Meals

One-pot meals are not only convenient, but also save you from washing multiple dishes. Soups, stews, and chilli are excellent options.

8. Plan Ahead For Special Diets

If you or your camping companions have dietary restrictions or preferences, plan your meals accordingly. There are plenty of vegan camping recipes available.

9. Leave No Trace

Remember to clean up after yourself and practice Leave No Trace principles. Dispose of food waste properly and pack out all trash.

10. Experiment And Have Fun

Camping is all about the adventure, so don't be afraid to experiment with new flavours and recipes. Enjoy the process as much as the result!

Best Food For Camping Beyond The Campfire

While campfire cooking is a quintessential part of camping, there are times when you might want to keep things even simpler. Here are some "no cooking required" food ideas for camping:

1. Trail Mix

A classic camping snack, trail mix combines nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, and granola for a quick energy boost on the go.

2. Sandwiches And Wraps

Pack pre-made sandwiches or wraps with your favourite fillings. They're easy to grab and eat while hiking or lounging at the campsite.

3. Fresh Fruit And Veggies

Apples, carrots, and bell pepper slices are refreshing and require no cooking. They also add a healthy balance to your camping meals.

4. Canned Soup Or Chilli

If you have a camp stove or pot, canned soups and chillies are quick and satisfying options. Just heat and serve.

5. Cheese And Crackers

Create a mini charcuterie board with cheese, crackers, and some cured meats. It's a simple and delightful snack.

6. Instant Oatmeal

For an easy breakfast, bring along packets of instant oatmeal. Just add hot water, and you have a warm, filling meal.

7. Nut Butter Packets

Individual packets of peanut butter or almond butter are convenient for spreading on bread or eating with fruit.

8. Energy Bars

Stock up on energy bars or protein bars for a quick source of nutrition during your camping adventures.

9. Dehydrated Meals

Dehydrated camping meals have come a long way in terms of flavour and variety. Just add hot water, and you'll have a satisfying meal in minutes.

10. S'mores

Don't forget the classic camping treat! Marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers are a must for a sweet campfire dessert.

With the right camp cooking gear, some creativity, and a sense of adventure, you can whip up delicious meals that will enhance your outdoor experience. From hearty breakfast burritos to comforting campfire chilli and easy "no cooking required" snacks, there's a campfire recipe to please your taste buds.

Remember to prioritise safety and sustainability while enjoying your outdoor cooking adventures. Leave no trace, respect fire regulations, and embrace the simplicity of campfire cooking. Whether you're camping with family, friends, or enjoying a solo expedition, the joy of cooking under the stars will create unforgettable memories that you'll cherish for years to come.

So, pack your camping cooking equipment, venture into the bush, and savour the flavours of the great outdoors!

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