Campfire cooking 101 - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 44 Old 04-05-2017, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
underpowered
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Campfire cooking 101

Going camping in a few weeks for the first time in years. want to make a few meals over the campfire including one big dinner to feed a group of 12 or so.

anyone got any good tips or trips for some open fire cooking? i consider myself a well seasoned cook one the Grill both charcoal and propane but been a while since i have done the open fire thing.

I know the basics, i already plan on the typical corn on the Cob, some baked potatoes. gonna do Hobo meals one night but not sure what to make for the group main dish. Would love to do some good BBQ, something like ribs or pork roast but not sure how feasible that really is. Chicken is out, as someone else is making it one night to feed the group.


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post #2 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 09:51 AM
Fourtrail
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Look at some dutch oven recipes for the pork roast. Also look at foil packet cooking the ribs in the coals. IMHO direct open fire isn't the best for cooking ribs or pork roast, too hot and no control. If you want to cook something over the open fire, then grab hot dogs, burgers or some steaks.

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post #3 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 12:34 PM
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I would probably cook ribs at home, then re-heat on the fire. Or, get a big pot of oil and fry wings. It's easy to turn out tons in a short time and have a variety of sauces.

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post #4 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 03:16 PM
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Nothing easy about open fire cooking. Not an experiment for the inexperienced, at least not when there is a throng of hungry spectators.

Limit your efforts to grilled or boiled items and items to reheat. Everything else has disaster potential.

Breakfast is best. Get a cheap very large non stick skillet, 15- 18 inches and make bacon sausages and fried eggs. by the time you cook up 3 or 4 pounds of sausage and bacon you will be deep frying those eggs in bacon fat. Dump out most of the oil and make fried bread instead of toast, the English way with plenty of jam and marmalade.

Dinner Grilled pork cops, grilled corn and boiled new potatoes with salt and butter.

Don't even think about a dutch oven for real cooking or baking. Experts make it look easy - it isn't.

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post #5 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
Nothing easy about open fire cooking. Not an experiment for the inexperienced, at least not when there is a throng of hungry spectators.

Limit your efforts to grilled or boiled items and items to reheat. Everything else has disaster potential.

Breakfast is best. Get a cheap very large non stick skillet, 15- 18 inches and make bacon sausages and fried eggs. by the time you cook up 3 or 4 pounds of sausage and bacon you will be deep frying those eggs in bacon fat. Dump out most of the oil and make fried bread instead of toast, the English way with plenty of jam and marmalade.

Dinner Grilled pork cops, grilled corn and boiled new potatoes with salt and butter.

Don't even think about a dutch oven for real cooking or baking. Experts make it look easy - it isn't.
breakfast we have covered.

and not wanting to grill. I can grill anytime, in fact i do grill anytime. as in the original post, i am Pretty proficient on the grill. Open fire or coal cooking is what i am after here.

boiled potatoes are a no go. Foil packet, sliced 'taters with butter and herbs/spices tossed right on the coals is the only way when you have fire around. do the same with the corn on the cob as well. or even water soaked husk right on the coals turning often and cooked to perfection.


Only one way to do it and that is to dive in head first, right? If it flops, on to Hot dogs and smores.

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post #6 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fourtrail View Post
Look at some dutch oven recipes for the pork roast. Also look at foil packet cooking the ribs in the coals. IMHO direct open fire isn't the best for cooking ribs or pork roast, too hot and no control. If you want to cook something over the open fire, then grab hot dogs, burgers or some steaks.
Thought about possibly indirect heat over the fire. Offset the grill grate and do it almost as if i am smoking it. Keep the flames away but still plenty hot to cook over.

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post #7 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 04:13 PM
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Thought about possibly indirect heat over the fire. Offset the grill grate and do it almost as if i am smoking it. Keep the flames away but still plenty hot to cook over.
You could do ribs that way, but when the hungry crowds are closing in, it might not be the easiest thing to judge when you have them cooked just right.
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post #8 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 05:53 PM
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post #9 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 06:36 PM
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you would better off and going to wall mart and picking up a jumbo joe grill and some charcoal if you need to cook a main meal. other than that foil packed fish for the campfire.
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post #10 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by underpowered View Post
breakfast we have covered.

and not wanting to grill. I can grill anytime, in fact i do grill anytime. as in the original post, i am Pretty proficient on the grill. Open fire or coal cooking is what i am after here.

boiled potatoes are a no go. Foil packet, sliced 'taters with butter and herbs/spices tossed right on the coals is the only way when you have fire around. do the same with the corn on the cob as well. or even water soaked husk right on the coals turning often and cooked to perfection.


Only one way to do it and that is to dive in head first, right? If it flops, on to Hot dogs and smores.
I remember gonzo guys like you ruining dinner for my hungry kids camping. Specifically, I recall rock hard biscuits the kids could not even bite into and something akin to Girl Scout Stew that was crunchy. And, I recall a Scouting event where a Cubmaster brought a pork shoulder along that had been sitting in his cooler for a day and a half. Cooked in two hours, it was like rubber. Probably unsanitary too.

When it was my turn I made Philly cheesesteak sandwiches for 20 sauteed on a couple of cookie sheets. They burst into flames but the charred edges of thin sliced steak was a hit. Cleanup - 10 minutes.

So get yourself a Dutch Oven and spend the day trying to regulate the temperature of an open fire. Ask Hashbrown to give you some pointers. He's the expert.

Good luck.

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post #11 of 44 Old 04-06-2017, 10:29 PM
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UP(UnderPowered), will there be young kids involved or just adults ?

If kids I would tend to be instructual and cook it all onsite .

If all adults, I would be shut up and eat it .

That said UP were I cooking a meal to feed 12 it would likely be chili and the 6 pounds of cooked weight meat would have been browned and frozen before I left the grid for the boonies .

The rest of the ingredients can be added on site if you want to be fancy and it would be cooked in well under an hour .

Work smart, not hard right ?

Do you now own a DO(Dutch Oven) or have a big pot to cook in ?

Easy peasy .
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post #12 of 44 Old 04-07-2017, 06:59 AM
Jeff88
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phit has the right idea, chili is always his answer and in this case it actually works. (just teasing phit)
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post #13 of 44 Old 04-07-2017, 12:19 PM
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Wilson put it a little more bluntly than I would have but the point is valid. Cooking for a large group under adverse conditions is not the time to experiment with something you've never done before. When our group camps I always do the cooking because it's important to me to have a group meal and that it's something decent. Most of the guys would be just as happy eating chili out of the can so don't go overboard. Most people don't want to wait around and eat something sub par just on the off chance it might be spectacular.

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post #14 of 44 Old 04-07-2017, 07:53 PM
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We bake and cook anything that you can make at home. It's all about heat management.

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post #15 of 44 Old 04-07-2017, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jbolty View Post
Wilson put it a little more bluntly than I would have but the point is valid. Cooking for a large group under adverse conditions is not the time to experiment with something you've never done before. When our group camps I always do the cooking because it's important to me to have a group meal and that it's something decent. Most of the guys would be just as happy eating chili out of the can so don't go overboard. Most people don't want to wait around and eat something sub par just on the off chance it might be spectacular.
I am often a little too blunt. No offense intended.

I just know that the cook, who is essentially the host for the meal has one responsibility: to be sure that the guests have a good time and are well fed. I've cooked for 20. Its hard.

It should never be about me putting on a show or demonstrating my own skills. And, I am not there to give the folks an experience they have not had before so as to improve their lives. They can sign up for the zipline for that. I am at their service. And, trying some experiment and then tossing dogs and smores on the fire if it doesn't work is simply not ok. Sorry. Too blunt again. The OP asked for advice but probably not what I have offered. Its still good advice.

OP, do something you know how to do and do well. Save the show for a time when it is not dinner for 20, but just you and the missus.

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