Three Tips For Cooking Over A Campfire

One of the best things about going to sleepaway summer camp is cooking over a campfire. Although many of your meals will likely be prepared for you, building a fire, putting a cast iron rack over it, and preparing a meal makes you feel as though you're conquering nature. With a heavy cast iron pan, some strong oven mitts, and all of your necessary ingredients, you'll soon be cooking up a meal that brings everyone in your group to the edge of the fire with watering mouths. Here are some tips for effectively cooking over a campfire.

Let The Flames Die Down

Once you've built a roaring fire, you might be tempted to place your pan over it and begin to cook. While this approach can work, it's generally more enjoyable and gives you a better finished product to wait until the flames die down a little. Leaping flames can singe your hands when you're reaching over the fire to stir your food, as well as hit the bottom of your cast iron pan with such ferocity that they cause the food to scorch. After you make the fire, let it burn down a little — the glowing embers are still extremely hot, and your job will be easier when you're not dodging flickering flames.

Have A Place To Set The Pan

When your food finishes cooking at home, you likely move the pan to a hot plate on the counter. You'll want to set up something similar at your campsite to avoid the food getting overcooked. As you're waiting for the flames to die down, figure out where you'll put any hot pans when they need to be away from the heat. Generally, a flat rock is a good idea — although you can set a hot pan directly on the ground, it can leave the bottom messy. When you use a flat rock, there will be no such issues.

Use Long Stirring Tools

Regardless of what you're making, you'll likely need to stir, mix, or flip it while it cooks. Don't attempt to use your stirring tools from home; they're too short and, if they're metal, they'll get hot quickly as you work over the campfire. Instead, invest in longer tools, which you can buy at any camping store. Tools that are a couple feet long, for example, will allow you to keep your hands away from the heat as you cook your food.