Your First Campout
Discover the Truth about First-time Camping
Family Camping Bargains
Essential Camping Gear and Camping Checklist
Choosing the Right Tent
Sleeping Bag Facts
Staying Dry and Warm
Economical Camp Stoves
Easy Camping Recipes
Quick Course on Dutch Ovens
Camping Meals without Pots and Pans!
Easy Meal Cleanup
Building a Fun and Safe Campfire
More Camping Resources
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Easy Camping Recipes Your Family Will Love
Camping is all about having fun outdoors with family and friends. Not everyone wants to spoil the fun by having to cook. So, I will show you many quick and easy-to-follow recipes that make tasty dishes for the whole family.
The first thing to consider is to bring food that you, and especially the kids, like to eat. In fact, I ask the kids what they want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and usually get a lot of “sugary” suggestions that I can build something wholesome out of, and everyone is happy.
For breakfast prepare what you would normally prepare like cereal and then add eggs or pancakes to it. You can purchase small, single-serving cereal boxes that you can cut a “T” shape into and pour the milk right into the box. Great on cleanup! The kids can be munching on the cereal while I fire-up the stove and get the coffee brewing. Nothing like the smell of fresh coffee in the fresh mornin’ air! My kids are now old enough that they want to help make the meals. So, with a little supervision they crack the eggs, make the bacon, or mix up pancake batter while I tend to the coffee. Once the eggs or pancakes are done, they get out the plates and cutlery and serve it up. Don’t forget to pack butter and syrup for those pancakes. Once finished, the kids dispose of their dishes and put the frying pan in the washtub. More on this in the cleanup section: “5 Tips for Easy Campout Meal Cleanup”.
Lunch can be a variety of ideas, depending on weather and activities. If you are going for a hike, you may want to pack a sandwich, fruit, cookies and water. If you are going to a nearby lake to swim, fish or boat you may want to pack a picnic-style lunch and drag the cooler along. Sometimes I even fire up the BBQ and do hot dogs! It really depends on what you and the kids are doing and what makes the most sense, with the least amount of effort. Remember you are there to enjoy yourself!
Dinner is where I really like to “turn it up a notch”. To my family this is the big meal of the day and one where we will all gather around and share tales, invite friends and start to draw the day to a close. I usually go with fish or meat on the BBQ, put some potatoes or corn in foil and put them on the fire, boil some vegetables and start a dessert in the Dutch Oven. I’m famous for my peach cobbler!
To make any meal preparation easy I have a Cook Kit that has the essentials for cooking my campout meals.
So, with my Cook Kit, a stove, BBQ, a workplace/cutting area, and all the meal’s ingredients from the cooler, I’m ready to cook up a storm! Are you?
Here’s some recipes that you can ‘WOW’ the kids and adult campers with:
One-Pot Camping Recipes
These are the simplest and probably the tastiest meals to prepare and cleanup. I like to do chicken, but you can do cubes of meat also. Use any cooking pot or even a Dutch Oven for this.
For the Chicken One-Pot recipe:
Onion Swiss Steak (in a Pot or Dutch Oven)
3 lb Round steak, 3/4" thick
1 1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
2 pk Onion soup mix
2 cans (10 oz) tomatoes
Cut steak into serving pieces (cubes), season with salt and pepper and place into large pot or dutch oven. Sprinkle onion soup mix over top and pour tomatoes over all.
Cover and cook over slow fire for 2 to 3 hours or until meat is done and tender.
Make some rice to go with this and you are set!
For more information on Dutch Ovens, check out my Quick Course on Dutch Ovens.
Most campgrounds will have a cast iron BBQ pit or pedestal style BBQ that you can easily put charcoal in and light up. The ones at campgrounds tend to be rusty and well used. So, bring a BBQ steel wire brush with you to scrape off the debris. Once the surface is clean and hot it’s perfect for any meal.
Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
2 lb Boneless chicken parts (may use bone in parts)
2 T Honey
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T Melted margarine
1 t Basil Leaves
1/2 t Garlic Powder
Preheat grill for direct-heat cooking. Place chicken on grill rack. Combine remaining ingredients. During last 3-4 minutes per side of grilling time, brush chicken with sauce.
Salmon on Cedar (Smoked and Steamed)
For my favorite BBQ recipe, I bring my ‘baby’ Weber BBQ, which has a lid to provide “all round” heat and for this particular recipe, locks in the steam. I take a couple of salmon fillets, with the skin still on them.
I bring two pieces of 1” x 6” cedar, about 8-10 inches long. You can get 6- and 8-foot lengths of rough cedar at most Home Depot or hardware stores. Cut them to the length of your grill. Before you fire up the grill, let the cedar soak in water, fully submerged for 2-4 hours.
Once the coals are white hot and ready, put the wet cedar on the grill and put the lid on to trap in the steam. While you are waiting for the wood to steam and crackle, put some spices or seasoning “rub” on the salmon.
Sometimes my wife makes a teriyaki, soy, and honey sauce that I spread on. The cedar will be ready for the salmon when the wood crackles! Put the salmon, skin-side down on the cedar, close the lid, with the vent holes open and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
While you are waiting you can prepare some vegetables, a salad, rice or whatever else you want to add. The cedar will start to burn and steam. That is normal. You want the smoked, steamed flavor in the salmon!
When its done, use a flipper to get between the fish and the skin, which should be sticking to the cedar, and remove the aromatic fish. Leave the cedar planks to cool and dispose later in your campfire. After my kids had salmon prepared this way they won’t eat it any other way!
Don't want to use pots or pans to cook, try my Camping Meals without Pots and Pans.