When I think of campfire cooking, I automatically think of three things:
1.) Old Westerns
2.) Hot Dogs
These things are all dandy. But the truth is, campfire cooking is just like regular cooking! There are no limits to what you can cook. And contrary to popular belief, Cowboys are not the only ones who do it.
All it takes is a little extra prep and you can cook anything outdoors that you would cook at home.
Here are some handy tips to keep in mind:
- Plan meals ahead of time. Any ingredients that you can peel, chop or marinate beforehand, should be done at home. Pack and store ingredients in ziplock bags and coolers.
- Bring the right equipment. There are tons of camping cookware options out there, such as stovetops, campfire grills and Dutch Ovens. However, you can also use an old set of regular pots and pans. You also need to think about utensils, mixing bowls, TONGS and items to use for clean up. Will you use firewood or charcoal? Bring the appropriate fire building materials.
- Figure out your fire. Depending on what you are cooking, you will need to adjust your firewood/coals accordingly. You don’t want to cook over an open flame so you will need to let your wood/coals burn down to embers or white hot coals. You also should be aware of the amount and how it is distributed to ensure heat consistency. Turning your food every 15 minutes will also help with heat distribution and help avoid hot spots.
Keeping these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to roughing it in the woods!
I enlisted the help of the River Valley Black Pot Cookers, who travel the nation participating in Dutch Oven Gatherings (also known as DOGS), to bring you this easy Dutch Oven recipe for Pecan Praline French Toast.
- 6 eggs
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 12 oz. loaf French or Italian bread
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- Whisk eggs, half and half, brown sugar and vanilla in bowl until mix is smooth and sugar is dissolved. Pour 1 cup of egg mixture into a size 12 Dutch Oven (or 9x13 casserole if you want to replicate at home).
- Arrange slices of bread on top of the mixture and pour the rest of the egg mixture on top.
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Mix ¾ brown sugar and maple syrup into butter, stirring until smooth
- Bring syrup to a boil, and then bring to simmer for 1 minute. Stir pecans into syrup.
- Spoon syrup over bread mixture and cook at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown.
- To achieve this temperature in the Dutch Oven, you will need 9 coals on the bottom and 15 on the top
- Be sure to rotate the lid clockwise every 15 minutes, and the bottom counter-clockwise every 15 minutes.
To learn more about the River Valley Black Pot Cookers, head to their facebook page for more recipes and information on their Cookin’ for Kids project, purchasing school supplies for kids in need.
Misty is a full-time working wife and mom. She lives in Central Arkansas with her husband and three boys. Aside from her real-job pushing bacon, she struggles to keep up with her blog about the projects in her daily life. Follow her attempts at www.burlapandbeestings.com