13 Ways to Go Gourmet on Your Campfire
Whoever thought that going camping means roughing it out without the kind of food you’re used to. If you’re into gourmet cooking and eating, don’t leave that at home while you eat what you see. Certainly not! Go camping and eat in the style you’re used to.
If you’re an avid camper, you know the amount of preparation is involved in one camping holiday. It’s not just the destination that you need to have in place, but your survival kit and the essentials like food and medicines. But let’s talk about the food and how you can eat gourmet out in the wilds. Here’re 12 ways you can have great gourmet meals on your upcoming holiday:
Preparing for Your Camping Holiday
1. Write Out a Food List
Your camping food list needn’t be exhaustive, but it would help if there’s enough variety even if the number of days you spend out camping isn’t many. Here are some samples of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner:
Oatmeal, granola, maple syrup, pancakes and cereal
Dehydrated veggies, pita bread, crackers, canned salmon and tuna, bagels, tinned sardines, canned soup, canned beans, rice cakes and tinned oysters
Potatoes, pasta, canned pasta sauce and jar of pesto
Tea, coffee, sugar, milk, hot chocolate, juice and water
Mustard, ketchup, relish, spices, garlic, salt and pepper
Of course, these are just the basic stuff you should carry. To this, you can add energy bars, meats, sausages, etc.
Can You Tick These Off Your Checklist?
Now, as you pack your things, ensure that you’ve got all these together. Begin crossing off all that you have on your camping food checklist.
Once You Reach Your Campsite
Once you reach your campsite and it’s time to get down to some food, use any of the camping food hacks given here that will not just make life easy for you but also make your meals enjoyable.
2. Take the Right Utensils with You
Don’t worry if you’re not sure of the cookware to take with you. There are several products you can take which will work well for you. For example, a camping stove and some pots, utensils and silverware. They are compact and easy to bring along.
3. Prep Your Food A Couple of Days Before
You can prepare for your trip and enjoy it too if you do some prepping that’s going to help you. These could include
- Measuring out your ingredients and grouping them for specific dishes
- Cutting your vegetables
- Marinating meat
This kind of prepping will make life easier for you, particularly if you’re the only one who’s going to slog it out.
4. Be Generous with your Special Cheeses
Once you’re at your camping destination and it’s time to rustle up that gourmet dish, don’t think further than cheese. You’ve brought that platter of cheese, so go easy on them and sprinkle them with a large hand on top of your spaghetti and see how it changes the taste.
There’s a gourmet meal for even the most discerning diner. And remember, hard cheese does well when camping since it requires little refrigeration. Apart from a gourmet meal, you can also use your cheese platter to make a sandwich for breakfast or use it as your star ingredient in anything else. You can use your favorite cheese to make the best camping snacks—your kids will love them.
5. Cut out the Noodles, Please
Just when you want to enjoy some noodles around your campfire, it will take an age to cook. The family can’t wait till the noodles tenderize, so ditch them for something that cooks faster. How about polenta?
Not only does it cook better and faster, but you can also use it for various other meals too without being bored of it. When you make pancakes next, throw some in. Another option worth considering is quinoa, or zoodles or even farro.
6. Reach for a Pack—Don’t Always Cook
There may be times when you don’t want to cook. Sure, why not? After all, this is a holiday. At such times, you could reach out for some no cook camping meals or Meal Ready-to-Eat (MRE). You can have some fun with the family while not taking on the stress of daily cooking. Just add boiling water to them and you’re ready to eat.
You will find them at camping stores containing packaged rice, chicken, and sometimes chicken alfredo too! Don’t turn up your nose at them because they aren’t just commercial. They are easy to eat foods that are nutrient-rich too. And with them around, you can have a hot meal in minutes without using elaborate cookware or ingredients.
7. How About Something Fresh—Like Fruits?
If your camping trip is just for a week or under, perhaps fresh fruits and veggies don’t work well for you. But if you’re going to be there for long, take along some fresh veggies and fruits. There are some advantages for you in stocking up on fresh fruits and veggies.
First, you save money. Buying fresh fruits and veggies are way cheaper than buying their dried counterparts. They also contain more nutrients than dried fruits and veggies and are great to cook with. Good options to take along are berries, apples and bananas, mushrooms, carrots and broccoli.
8. Clarified Butter or Butter?
Well, butter is part of your checklist, so you will take it along. But on campsites, you don’t have much space for refrigeration, so don’t waste that space on butter but on meats and other foods. Instead, don’t use butter to cook but clarified butter or ghee.
Butter without any lactose clarified butter can stay without refrigeration for a whole week. Just a little on hot rice or to any dish you make can make a huge difference to the taste. Pop it on toast if you like or on your pancakes. Or just make the choicest and easiest vegetarian camping food.
9. You Can’t Clink Your Glasses, but You Can Certainly Have Some Wine
What’s a gourmet meal without the finest wine to go with it? Sure, why not? However, there are some limitations. For instance, you may not be able to take traditional wine glasses with you safely to your campsite. But you can certainly get yourself a few wine glasses with screw-off stems which make them easy to pack. Why give up a good habit just because you’re out in the wild?
Taking wine bottles too could be difficult, so, ditch all of that and organize some boxed wine instead. In your kind of setting, it works much better. worry about. Instead, grab some boxed wine. If you look around, you’ll find some nice ones. So, you won’t be making do with these wines but have some good stuff.
10. Minimize Your Mess
Reduce the mess you make while cooking by using a handy tub in which you can dip all your cutlery.
11. Let Your Skillet Turn Out Some Gourmet Grills
Get yourself a stylish skittle that’s a great combo of a grill and wok. Non-stick and works on propane, you can use it to have stir-fries, frying anything you like and cook exotic stuff.
12. Your Favorite Cheeses
Take your cheese assortments, melt them over the campfire and add them to boiled or grilled veggies. Among camping side dishes, this one works well.
13. Carry Your Flavors in a Compact Case
You need to flavor all your food—right from breakfast to dinner. So, keep all the ones you’re going to use in a compact case that comes with a carabiner. So, just clip it to your backpack and you’re good to go.
Every holiday can be special if you work hard to make it so. And so it is with a camping holiday too. Wanting to give yourself a gourmet experience at a campsite might be a tad difficult as it involves a lot of work, but if you enjoy it and do it together, you can have great fun cooking, eating and clearing up. And after all, that, to sit with your favorite drink, sipping it into the night is a different pleasure entirely.