Loading up the car with kids, tents, sleeping bags and food often leaves minimal space for larger equipment. You need to be able to cook without lugging around large stoves or tons of accessories. The most convenient options are portable Coleman grills, small camp stoves or a traditional campfire.
The best gas grill can be disassembled for easy packing and uses a small propane tank. Coleman grills are sturdy, reliable and come in several different sizes. In addition to traditionally grilling meat and vegetables, a griddle accessory is a useful multipurpose tool for food that is too small or runny to cook directly on the grill.
Having enough stamina to get through a long day of hiking requires a hearty breakfast with plenty of complex carbohydrates, protein and fat. Cooking these delicious whole grain pancakes on a Coleman camping grill is easy and all of the ingredients can be found at the supermarket. Try these and you will be sure to get your family’s day started on the right foot:
● Hodgson Mills Whole Wheat Insta-Bake Mix
● Powdered buttermilk
● Powdered eggs
● Chopped nuts, dried fruit or chocolate chips
● Flavorless cooking oil
● Honey or 100% pure maple syrup
At home, mix pancake mix with appropriate amounts of powdered buttermilk and eggs with your favorite nuts, fruit or chocolate chips. Make sure to note on the container how much water is required to rehydrate all of the ingredients.
When ready to make breakfast, blend water, oil and the mix without overbeating. Give the batter a few minutes to rest for light, fluffy pancakes. Fry on the griddle with flavorless oil and serve with honey or natural maple syrup.
Portable stoves are lightweight and simple to use. The burner is stable enough to use household pots and pans, making them an affordable option. Most are fueled with butane, alcohol or solid fuel. Using a camp stove makes preparing your family’s favorite foods easy no matter how far from civilization you are. Try this effortless recipe on your next trip:
● Canned chicken
● Canned corn
● Canned chicken stock
● Canned black beans
● Canned diced tomatoes with green chilis
● Tortilla chips
● Garlic powder
● Chili powder
Combine all of the canned ingredients and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with garlic and chili powder, then serve garnished with tortilla chips.
Aluminum foil can be a versatile cooking aid for campfire cooking. Wrapping potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn on the cob in foil before cooking will help prevent charring. Foil can even be used to cook meals without additional pots or pans. This recipe is easy enough for even a child to make!
● Precooked bacon & sausage or vegetarian bacon bits
● Shredded cheese
Line a bowl with two pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil, making sure there are no gaps for liquid to escape. Crack eggs into the bowl and gently scramble, making sure not to tear the foil. Break the pieces of meat into the bowl or generously sprinkle eggs with bacon bits. After stirring carefully, bring the sides together and neatly fold the top closed to create a sealed package. Place this on top of the hot coals for 10-15 minutes. When cooked, sprinkle the hot eggs with shredded cheese and serve.
Aluminum foil can also be used very successfully with a dutch oven. Covering heavy pots with a layer of foil before replacing the lid will keep the contents moist. This recipe for a peach cobbler can be prepared quickly and cook while you relax by the campfire:
● Canned peaches
● Boxed butter or spice cake mix
Pour the cans of peaches into the bottom of a dutch oven with all of the syrup. Dump the dry cake mix over the fruit. Seal the dutch oven with a layer of foil before covering with the lid. Place the dutch oven in the coals of your campfire, placing additional coals on the lid if possible. Check after 20 minutes to see if it is done but it may take another 5 - 10 minutes.
All of these recipes are delicious and fun to make when you are camping. They can easily be tweaked to accommodate your own personal preferences. Campground cooking is easy with portable Coleman grills and camp stoves. With a little creativity, you can make nearly anything that you can at home.