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Cooking Outside the Pot

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Cooking Outside the Pot

The next time you go camping, why not try a cooking method that goes beyond the usual pots and pans?  Alternate methods are a challenge.  And when you use a different method, your kids can even get in on the act and help with the cooking!

Kid-Friendly Cooking Methods

Share the cooking burden by letting the kids lend a helping hand. 

Stick Cooking

If it involves holding a stick over the fire, the kids can do it.  Let them cook their own hot dogs, dough boys, and marshmallows this way.  Remember, food cooks better and faster over coals than over flame.  And don’t let your food catch on fire!

Foil Cooking

From banana boat desserts to full meals, foil cooking gives you plenty of freedom.  When your wrap your ingredients in a foil pouch and place it in the coals, you’re essentially steaming your food.  Let the kids put together dinners with carrots, onions, potatoes, and ground beef, or create your own combination.  This is a terrific way to prepare vegetables, to bake apples and other fruit, or to poach fish and other meat.  Wrap a potato in foil and place it straight in the coals for an old-fashioned treat.

Inside Other Food

You can use the discarded outer shells of other food items as a wrapper for your meal.  Try baking muffins inside a hollowed-out orange or beef inside cabbage leaves.  Wrap your finished product up tightly (possibly in foil) to keep ash from getting inside. 

Adult Cooking Challenges

If you’re feeling more adventurous and are up for a challenge, try one of these back country cooking methods.

Coffee Can Cooking

This is an alternate to pot cooking.  Instead of placing a pot on a grate or on three rocks, you can set your coffee can directly in the coals.  Fill it with your ingredients and cover it with a lid or metal plate.  This method is best for heating up soups, stews, and other liquid-based dishes.

Cook on a Rock

Yes, you really can cook on a rock.  Before you light your fire, rinse and clean off a flat-topped rock.  Set it near (but not directly in) the heart of your fire.  You want heat and plenty of coals, but not open flames.  Let the fire burn for an hour or two before you begin cooking, so the rock will be piping hot. 

Paper Cooking

Soak a piece of paper in water and use it to wrap fish, apple slices, or any other ingredients that will cook fairly quickly.  When the paper is wet, it won’t burn.  Set it on a hot, flat rock near (but not in) the flames. 

Solar Ovens

Lightweight solar ovens are easy to assemble.  If you want to try baking a cake or biscuits on your next camping trip, consider a solar oven.  Of course, you’ll need good weather to make this work!  Solar Ovens are best used in full sunlight.