Open fire cooking

By Ren Behan

Cooking over an open fire is the oldest and most primitive method of cooking known, with glowing red flames and smoky ambers mostly lending themselves to frying, grilling and boiling. When camping in the great outdoors, the part I look forward to the most is setting up my little outdoor kitchen. If you’re a scout, you’ll almost certainly know how to start a small campfire. Otherwise, there are plenty of modern, portable open fire cooking stoves available to take along. It’s time to get creative too, since open fire cooking sets us all with a whole new cooking challenge.

With a small enamel saucepan to hand, start by getting some Epic hot chocolate on the go, which will be warmly welcomed by all. You can make up the chocolate mix in advance at home and take it along in a large jar. And don’t forget to pack the marshmallows! Spike them onto a stick and lightly toast over the heat, ready to add to the cups of hot cocoa.

Open fires are particularly suited to one pot cooking. If you’re feeding a crowd, try a chilli con carne or a casserole, mopped up with a crusty loaf. If you’re camping near the seaside, some fresh fish might inspire you to make a tasty camp-side Paella, in which case, a large, flat pan would work best. Don’t forget to add in some extra smokiness with some cooking chorizo – it’s a great camping ingredient to have to hand as it doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge. Chorizo can also very easily be sizzled up ready to find its way into a sandwich or even an omelette.

If you’re got access to a portable BBQ you can make Barbecued chicken which uses a marinade made from a few store-cupboard ingredients from home. Once cooked, you could construct chicken fillet burgers using plenty of lettuce, mayo and tomatoes. Or perhaps slice the chicken into pasta or salads. The marinade itself can be used to coat most types of meat. It’s best to wait until the flames have died down a little so that the meat doesn’t burn on the outside before being cooked through on the inside.

Veggie lovers will enjoy tucking into some Bad-ass cheesy corn on the cob .

Grill other vegetables at the same time, such as halved peppers and chunks of courgette on skewers or sticks. Another idea is to season up and wrap some small baking potatoes in tinfoil, then nestle them into the embers to cook, too.

Ren Behan is a food writer and a mum of two. Find out more at www.renbehan.com


15 Easy Crave-Worthy Recipes You Can Make With A Cast Iron Skillet

Have you ever used a cast iron skillet? These versatile pans can turn anyone into a Guy Fieri of campfire cooking. You can use them to whip up everything from breakfast to lunch, dinner, and dessert. Plus, they&rsquore relatively inexpensive. Pre-seasoned skillets go for $9 and up on Amazon, depending on the size (a medium 10-inch pan usually works great).

With their versatility in mind, we rounded up 15 of our favorite recipes&mdashfor all meals of the day&mdashto give you some examples of why you need a cast iron skillet in your life. Check them out below!

1. Pepperoni Pull Apart Garlic Knots

Photo by J. Kenji López-Alt, Serious Eats

If you like pepperoni pizza, there&rsquos a good chance you&rsquoll be salivating over these pull-apart knots made with pepperoni strips, butter, and herbs. Serious Eats shows us how to make this simple dish on their blog here.

2. Reese&rsquos Cup S&rsquomores Dip

Photo by Your Cup of Cake

Ohh yeah&hellipThis is the kind of stuff we dream about for weeks. The best part is that it only takes three ingredients: Reese&rsquos, butter, and marshmallows. Serve it with graham crackers and possibly a glass of milk. Get the recipe from Your Cup Of Cake.

3. Dutch Baby Pancakes With Fresh Orange Sugar

Photo via Hummingbird High

Imagine waking up and smelling these dutch baby pancakes cooking over the campfire. You can either drown them in maple syrup or add orange melted sugar over the top like this blogger did.

4. Bacon & Brussels Sprouts Pizza

Photo via How Sweet Eats

Bacon and brussels sprouts make a great combination for pizza toppings. Not to mention cast iron skillets have a wide, shallow shape that cooks the crust to a crispy perfection. Get the full recipe from How Sweet Eats.

5. Salted Caramel Skillet Brownies

via Two Peas And Their Pod

When a brownie has fudge and caramel you know it&rsquos going to be good. Print the full recipe on Two Peas And Their Pod.

6. Three Cheese Mac & Cheese

via Cook Like A Champion

Mac and cheese is comfort food at its finest. Skip the regular Kraft Mac & Cheese and try this version from Cook Like A Champion. It&rsquos made with penne pasta and a glorious combo of goat, Parmesan, and white cheddar. Get the full recipe.

7. Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Cornbread

Jalapenos, bacon, and cheddar always go well together. Combine them with a regular cornbread recipe and you&rsquoll take the southern classic to a whole new level. Check out the recipe from Lodge Cast Iron.

8. Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas

via Ambitious Kitchen

Made with black beans, butternut squash, and cheese, these simple enchiladas are hearty, healthy, and vegetarian. Ambitious Kitchen shows us how to make the Mexican dish on their blog here.

9. Caramel Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting

Start your day off right with some warm, gooey cinnamon rolls. Get the recipe from Hello Creative Family.

10. Hasselback Potatoes With Parmesan & Roasted Garlic

via Onion Rings And Things

If you&rsquove never hasselbacked your potatoes, you&rsquore in for a great surprise. It involves slicing potatoes and stuffing cheese and herbs in-between. Try this recipe from Onion Rings And Things loaded with minced garlic and Parmesan.

11. Cast Iron Baked Ham & Swiss Sliders

via This Silly Girl&rsquos Kitchen

Made with Kings Hawaiian Jalapeno Rolls and drizzled in savory butter sauce, these baked ham & swiss sliders are a hit at lunches, tailgating parties, and potlucks. Find the full recipe from This Silly Girl&rsquos Kitchen.

12. Campfire Pizza Nachos

via Cooking With Janica

When you can&rsquot decide if you want pizza or nachos, combining the two is the only way to go. Cooking With Janica shows us how to make this heaven-sent combo with pepperoni, olives, onion, bell peppers, and melty cheese on her blog here.

13. Fiery Campfire Veggies

Photo by Bless Her Heart Y&rsquoall

Simple and straightforward, grilled veggies pair well with any main dish. Fire up some zucchini, corn, bell peppers, onions, oil and spices in your pan for a savory side to your steak, sandwiches, or burgers. For the full recipe, click here.

14. Spinach & Refried Bean Quesadillas

These quesadillas from The Kitchn call for a regular frying pan, but tossing them in a cast iron skillet gives their exterior a nice crispiness. To change things up even more you can swap out the refried beans for black beans or pintos. Get the recipe here.

15. Chicken Pot Pie With Cheddar Crust

Photo by Spicy Southern Kitchen

You can never go wrong with a classic one-pot-meal like Chicken Pot Pie. This one from Spicy Southern Kitchen can also be made in a cast iron skillet for a flaky, golden crust. Get the recipe here.

For more recipes, check out these Delicious Meals You Can Make With An Instant Pot

23 Things to Cook on Your Fire Pit

You heard it here first: This is the summer that fire pit cooking becomes a thing. If you don’t have a fire pit, we suggest you get one — and then get cooking! It’s the easiest and most fun way to escape without leaving your home.

As a rule, anything you can cook on the grill you can also cook on a fire pit — as along as you’ve got a grill grate. More often than not I find my own fire pit gets lit late in the evening without any forethought, meaning anything I’m going to cook on it needs to be tasty, easy, and short on ingredients. Here are the 23 recipes I lean on for easy entertaining meals from the fire pit.

Snacks or Apps

A fire pit can warm dips, melt cheese, and pop popcorn with ease, but when you want an appetizer that’s just a little bit fancier, reach for one (or more) of these.

Easy Meals

Here’s what happens with my family: We are lingering around the fire after a day on the beach and suddenly everyone is hungry (and the adults are at least one beer into the evening). These recipes are perfectly satisfying and super easy.

Desserts

My late-night sweet tooth always gets the best of me. The safe answer around the camp fire is s’mores, so try one of these 14 ideas. Or try my favorite skillet cobbler that bakes up beautifully on a grill grate over the fire.

Meghan is the Food Editor for Kitchn's Skills content. She's a master of everyday baking, family cooking, and harnessing good light. Meghan approaches food with an eye towards budgeting — both time and money — and having fun. Meghan has a baking and pastry degree, and spent the first 10 years of her career as part of Alton Brown's culinary team. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about food and family called Didn't I Just Feed You.


Grilled bananas with smoky chocolate sauce

Smoked paprika adds a little twist to a classic campfire dessert. This hot chocolate sauce is simple to make: chill it and you have fudge, enjoy as is, or stuff into apples and bananas and slow-bake in the embers.

Serves 2
2 ripe bananas
30g unsalted butter
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp cocoa powder
A large pinch of sea salt
100ml full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika

1 Peel the bananas. Place directly on to the grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, until the fruit sugars bubble and start to caramelise. Slice in half lengthways and arrange cut-side down on a plate.

2 To make the sauce, melt the butter on a gentle heat. Add the maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt and coconut milk, then bring to a gentle simmer to reduce and thicken the sauce a little. Add the smoked paprika last and simmer for a further 30 seconds before removing from the heat. Pour the hot sauce over the caramelised bananas.

3 Alternatively, you can make the sauce as above and chill it in a small bowl or ice-cube tray – it can then be transported easily. Leaving the skin on the bananas, use a sharp knife to make a split down the middle, being careful not to cut all the way through. Push wedges of the chilled, fudge-like sauce into the split and wrap the bananas first in baking parchment, then in foil, and push the package into the hot coals for 10 minutes or so, until it's soft. Unwrap carefully – it will be extremely hot! – and scoop the pudding out from the banana skins with a spoon.


Tips to Spit Roasting Over an Outdoor Open Fire (recipes)

Spit roasting is the oldest method of cooking known to man. It's easy to imagine an early American squatting by an open campfire, turning a hunk of spitted meat over the flames. The tradition can be traced back at least to the Trojan wars. And, several centuries later, records show Hungarian villagers celebrated weddings by "spitting an entire 2,000-pound ox stuffed with a calf stuffed with a lamb stuffed with a capon stuffed with a quail." The time required to cook such a mammoth meal is entirely a matter of conjecture.

The advantage of rotisserie cooking is that large pieces of meat cook evenly on all sides.

At first, the spit was hand-turned so the meat would brown evenly. Later, cooks employed the unwilling services of a spit dog, and still later, clock spits were invented that did the job effectively. Today, we use electric spits called rotisseries, and it is a mouth-watering sight to see a fat mallard or goose turning on one and acquiring a heavenly golden glaze as it evenly bastes itself with its own juices.

The chief advantage of rotisserie cooking in the outdoors is that large pieces of meat such as whole game birds and roasts cook evenly on all sides. The rotisserie, attached to the hood of the grill, slowly turns the meat over a gas fire or coals until it is done. With lean meats like game, frequent basting is required to seal in natural juices. But the taste is well worth the exercise. Spit-roasted game is tender and juicy inside, with a parchment-crisp exterior. No other method of cooking brings out the rich natural flavor that makes wild game such a special treat.

Tip: Try these wild game rotisserie grill recipes here

Spitting & Balancing Food

Before cooking any food, it must be balanced on the spit so it turns and browns evenly. The object is to have the spit passing through the center of gravity. The meat should also be compact and well-fastened, turning with the spit, not slipping around it. This means not only that the meat should be tied or trussed securely but also that the holding forks on the spit must be properly placed and tightened.

Boneless roasts and tenderloins are rolled and tied with heavy cotton string to create an evenly shaped cylinder. The spit is then run through the center from end to end.

Game birds are first trussed with skewers and/or string to hold wings and legs in place. Large birds, such as ducks, geese, turkeys and pheasants, are spitted head to tail, with the spit running through the body cavity of the bird. With small birds, run the spit through the sides, placing several birds on the spit so the head end of one is beside the tail of another. Run a couple of long skewers through the birds, top and bottom, parallel to the spit, so they all turn at the same time.

Most rotisseries are equipped with two holding forks. Slip one onto the spit, then insert the spit through the middle of the meat. Push the prongs of the fork into the meat, then slip the second fork onto the spit, and push its prongs into the meat.

Now, with palms open, gently roll the spit back and forth in your hands. If it rolls smoothly, the meat is secure and well balanced. If the meat slides or the spit rolls awkwardly, remount and retie it. Or if your rotisserie is so equipped, use adjustable weights for counter-balancing uneven loads. They attach right on the spit and are useful for large or irregularly shaped cuts of meat.

Tip: Shop the portable TexasSport Rotisserie Grill and Spit at Bass Pro Shops

Cooking Over the Fire

Rotisserie cooking is best done over moderate coals or a medium gas fire. When using a charcoal grill, position the coals along the back half of the grill. They should extend three or four inches past each end of the meat you're roasting. Place a drip pan under the front half of the meat to catch its juices. Add five or six briquettes to the fire every 30 minutes or so to maintain even heat throughout the cooking process.

Rotisserie Cooking Tips

A meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of rotisserie cooking. Push the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, making sure it doesn't touch bones or the spit. Secure with wire or string if necessary.

Game birds and small game should be cooked to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F or until juices run yellow. Count on 3 to 3.5 hours for an 8- to 10-pound wild turkey, 2.5 hours for a 7-pound goose, 1.5 hours for a 3-pound duck, 40 minutes for quail.

Venison is rare at 140 degrees, medium at 160 and well-done at 170. Wild boar and bear should be cooked to at least 170 degrees to destroy parasites that cause trichinosis. Basting adds to the flavor and gives a nice glaze. You can use the drippings from the meat or other fat, alone or mixed with wine. Or you can prepare your own special basting sauce.

Wild Game Rotisserie Recipes

Quail Recipe

  • 4 quail
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Gradually blend soy sauce into mayonnaise in a small bowl. Stir in last six ingredients, and pour over quail in a large zip-seal plastic bag. Press air from the bag, and seal. Refrigerate 2 hours, turning the bag occasionally. Remove the quail from the sauce, skewer on a rotisserie spit, and roast over medium heat for 40 minutes or until done to taste.

Slow-Turned Pheasant Recipe

  • 1 pheasant
  • 1-1/2 cups white wine
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine wine, soy sauce, oil and garlic. Pour over pheasant in a large zip-seal bag. Press air from the bag, and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours, turning often. Remove the bird from the marinade, and secure the wings and legs to the body with cotton cord. Skewer with a rotisserie spit, and turn over a medium fire for 2 hours or until done to taste.

Spit-Roasted Wild Duck Recipe

  • Rub inside of ducks with salt, and place on a spit.
  • Set spit so revolving birds just clear the fire.
  • Roast and check for doneness in 1.5 hours.

Brush ducks last 15 minutes with the following: 1/3 cup each butter, orange juice and wild plum or crabapple jelly melted together and applied hot.

Roast Saddle of Venison Recipe

  • One venison saddle, about 5 pounds
  • One fifth red wine
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 onion stuck with 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf

Marinate the venison for two days in a mixture of the remaining ingredients. Remove from marinade, rub with oil, balance on a spit, and roast over a moderate fire until the meat thermometer reads 140 degrees. Baste with marinade until the last 15 minutes of cooking.

The venison saddle is term for loin muscles, or muscles surrounding the spine or back area and is usually done on the bone, although the loin can be boned for steaks.

Slow-Roasted Glazed Dove Recipe

  • 10 doves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Marinate doves 4 hours in a mixture of the last three ingredients. Alternate on a spit, and roast slowly over moderate heat, basting them occasionally with the marinade. When the leg bones can be twisted away from the meat, the birds are done.


How to use a Dutch oven

  • Prepare your ingredients and place them in the Dutch oven.
  • Place the Dutch oven directly on the coals of a campfire or on charcoal briquettes.
  • Check the food occasionally.
  • When your meal is ready, serve and enjoy.

Click here for detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for each step of Dutch oven cooking.


These orange ginger pork kebabs are great for a summer dinner on the grill. An easy, fresh and tasty low carb summer dinner!

Fresh Off The Grid is a culinary resource for the outdoor community. We offer a collection of recipes, how-to guides, and camp cooking gear to help you enjoy great food in the great outdoors!

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Recipes Ideas

Pulled Pollo, as featured in Cheryl Alters Jamison’s new book, “Texas Q.” (Courtesy of Amy Solov)

Open Fire BBQ Roast Beef with the BBQ Pit Boys – Recipes Cooking Over Open Fire | Recipes Cooking Over Open Fire

In this time of ambiguity and quarantine, there is annihilation like a little abundance aliment to accommodate a diversion.

And for those who like their abundance boring broiled and smoked over a copse fire, Santa Fe-based adept cookbook columnist Cheryl Alters Jamison is advancing out with aloof the thing.

A four-time champ of the celebrated James Beard Award for her cookbooks, her 20th and latest, “Texas Q,” is due out this month. Original affairs alleged for it to already be available, but the apple bearings pushed aback the advertisement date, Jamison said.

“I attending at affable as comforting,” she said. “It’s abundant for you or your family. You feel like you’re accomplishing article positive.”

“Texas Q” expands on a affair she explored abounding years ago with her backward husband, which won them their aboriginal Beard Award, for “Smoke & Spice,” appear in 1994, which delved into the history of barbecue beyond the American South.

Beef Stew cooked over an open fire in our Dutch oven. | Fire .. | Recipes Cooking Over Open Fire

Given the attributes of the book, Texas got one chapter, but that wasn’t enough, said Jamison, who is additionally the affection of the website excitedaboutcooking.com

“We bare to say article added on the topic,” she said. “Back then, we anticipation we were chronicling a dying art. It was slow, messy, it was outdoors. It was article bodies didn’t do a lot of in that era.”

“People got added absorbed in absolute American cooking,” she said. “An absorption in added rustic or accurate American cooking. It all coalesced in an amazing new absorption in barbecue by the accepted public. It’s amazing to anticipate aback now, how deficient it was then.”

And afore activity any further, Jamison wants to accomplish it bright that back she speaks of barbecuing, it is done with copse – or flavored dress-down – and slowly, finer with aberrant heat, as against to the accessible blaze of gas and a grill, accepted as grilling. She has accounting several cookbooks committed to the closing and said it is a altogether adequate way to baker meat.

Butterflied Chicken Over an Open Fire (or grill) | Open fire .. | Recipes Cooking Over Open Fire

A barbecue, however, is article different.

A Smokin’ Burger from Cheryl Alters Jamison’ new book, “Texas Q,” (Courtesy of Cheryl Alters Jamison)

“We’re talking slow-smoked, austere barbecue,” Jamison said. “Grilling became alike with barbecuing as a affable technique, but is absolutely a altered beastly in all respects. It was an event. A gathering. It started with bodies digging trenches and afire logs bottomward to do the cooking. But with the move to suburbs and cities, you couldn’t dig up your backyard, so grills became a affair bodies had admission to.”

Barbecuing, however, was meant for apathetic affable ample pieces of meat, such as accomplished hogs and abandon of beef, she said.

It gradually acquired into a way of affable smaller, but tougher, meats.

“That low, apathetic affable tenderizes meat that can be boxy as covering boots contrarily and adds so abundant acidity in the action of the cooking,” Jamison said. “You end up with article acutely tender. And you get the ancillary account of the begrimed acidity that comes from the wood.”

Roasted Chestnuts over Open Fire – Recipes Cooking Over Open Fire | Recipes Cooking Over Open Fire

This new book not alone gets into the history of Texas barbecue, but what it has acquired into.

“Texas Q” is a new book by four-time James Beard Award-winning cookbook columnist Cheryl Alters Jamison of Santa Fe. (Courtesy of Cheryl Alters Jamison)

“I refocused aloof on Texas,” she said. “One of the things we’ve apparent accident in Texas is there is a actual able multicultural aggregate with newer cultures that accept appear into the state. Korean. Vietnamese. Tex Mex was consistently a basic of things, Tex Mex barbecue and chicken-fried steak.”

And a big focus of Texas barbecue acclimated to be brisket, but there is so abundant added out there for bodies to experience, Jamison said.

“I capital to accord the clairvoyant a adventitious to attending at the affair and attending at area it is today,” she said. “It is a cookbook at its heart, but it’s a history of all of these. The affection of it is a cookbook so bodies can accomplish these things at home.”

In accession to the meat recipes – which alike accommodate such things as hamburgers – “there are lots of ancillary dishes and desserts,” she said. “I anticipate this appeals to New Mexicans because it oozes its way over to our state. We like alive blaze affable here.”

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Corn on the Cob

Ingredients

  • corn on the cob (do not husk)
  • water
  • 1/2 – 1 C sugar (optional)
  • butter
  • salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix water and sugar in a clean bucket, cooler or large pan (add enough water to cover corn). Add the corn to the water mixture and soak for one-two hours.
  2. Remove corn from water and place on campfire or grill, turn often to avoid over burning of the husk, cook for approximately 20-30 minutes or until tender, remove corn from fire.
  3. Peel back husk and silk, spread with butter and/or salt.

Make the most out of summer’s best produce: peaches! This easy Peach Crisp from Family Spice is a wonderful Dutch oven dessert that is perfect for cooking over the campfire.

Looking for more great recipes? Whether you’re in search of camping breakfasts, easy camping meals, or campfire desserts, we have you covered! See our full recipe index here.

Fresh Off The Grid is a culinary resource for the outdoor community. We offer a collection of recipes, how-to guides, and camp cooking gear to help you enjoy great food in the great outdoors!