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Cooking at the campsite — Tips for a successful campfire cookout

One of the joys of camping is the experience of cooking over a campfire. With some simple guidelines, cooking at your campsite can be just as fun as eating the food you prepare.

Thinking ahead
Meal preparation can be easy and enjoyable if you plan ahead of time. Select the recipes you intend to make, and have as many ingredients as possible measured, marinated and chopped, so only the minimum needs to be done at the campsite. Put all your ingredients in plastic bags and label accordingly. This saves space in your RV refrigerator, and saves cooking time.

Store and serve food properly
Store items that need to be kept cool in your RV refrigerator or an additional cooler. Keep the foods you're using first at the front so the cool air isn't lost while rummaging for items. If you use a cooler, keep it out of the direct sunlight. Be sure to replace or refreeze icepacks if they defrost to prevent your food from spoiling.

Serve safe food by using a thermometer on cooked meats to check doneness, and promptly refrigerate any leftovers. The USDA recommended safe internal temperatures for meats:

  • Steak - 145°
  • Chicken - 165°
  • Ground beef - 160°
  • Fish - 145°
  • Pork - 160°
  • Egg dishes - 160°

Bring only the necessary utensils and equipment
A few basic utensils and some portable equipment is all you need to satisfy your taste buds. Remember, your RV space is limited — pack smart!

Foil recipes are great for reducing the amount of utensils you bring with you on your camping trip. Using aluminum foil to cook produces amazing meals with minimal work and easy clean up. Many great campsite recipes start with some aluminum foil, so don't forget to bring it along.

Rather than hauling along a bulky grill, use a grill designed for your campfire to cook delicious burgers, steaks, chicken breast, and many other tasty foods. Cook simple or elaborately with a campfire grill. Looking for a quality campfire grill? The Perfect CampfireGrill™ offers a selection of steel-constructed grills with a convenient one-inch raised edge to prevent food from falling into the campfire, and easy to clean surface. For more information on The Perfect CampfireGrill™ visit Tip: Add some charcoal to your wood campfire to help even out the heat for perfect cooking! Be sure to start the campfire fire early to give the wood/coals time to evenly heat, and reduce the flames.

Have fun
Campsite cooking is an enjoyable activity in itself. Get the whole family involved in food preparation and cooking. Recruit kids to shuck corn, let older kids assemble shish kabobs and teens carve melons into fun serving bowls. There's plenty of room to get creative. Brainstorm some recipes to test them out together on your trip. A campsite meal is always delicious when you're having fun!
Key Lime Chicken

1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Create marinade by mixing together soy sauce, honey, olive oil and limejuice. Place chicken breasts in bowl of marinade and place in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight, rotating it occasionally so the flavor covers the each chicken breast entirely. Cook chicken breasts for approximately 10 minutes per side, or until juices run clear.
Bag Breakfast

1 bag shredded hash browns
6 eggs (or egg substitute)
1 lb sausage or ham, cooked
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups shredded sharp cheese
Seasoning salt and pepper
Red, yellow, or green peppers

Take an aluminum foil cooking bag sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, sprinkle with seasoning salt and put some pats of butter in the foil bag.

Open a bag of hash browns, beat eggs, chop onions, pour all ingredients into the bag of hash browns, and mix by squeezing. Then pour the mixture into the foil cooking bag and spread out. Add some salt and pepper, more seasoning salt, and a bit more butter on top of the hash brown mixture. Place the aluminum cooking bag on a preheated grill (medium heat) and turn the bag every five minutes. The bag will start to puff and you can open it to check for doneness.
Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin
1 package onion soup mix
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 apples, sliced and peeled
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup water
Teriyaki sauce

Put all ingredients in an aluminum foil cooking bag. Cook on a grill (top rack) 1-1/2 hours or on a hibachi 1 hour. Be sure to turn it over approximately every 15 minutes. If liquid boils out, add more water to prevent the pork from drying out.

Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC)
2222 Association Drive, Okemos Michigan 48864-5978
(517) 349-8881,
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