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Camping and cooking: a guide to cooking outdoors
What type of camping foodie are you? Are you the sort that has an assortment of crisps and other snacks to tide you over until you hit the restaurants? Do you like to cook your breakfast outdoors but eat the rest of your meals in restaurants? Or are you a proper Bear Grylls come Gordon Ramsey?
Perhaps you are yet to find out.
If you are a camping first timer, or you have taken the decision to cook outdoors for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming. You want to enjoy the experience and not make yourself ill. So, we have put this guide to camping and cooking for you to help you get the most out of cooking outdoors.
Plan your meals in advance
However long you are going for, it makes sense to plan your meals in advance. This takes into account any use by dates that you may have to adhere to.
With a written plan, you can set off knowing that you have enough food to last you through your adventure; or at least until you make it to any planned shops.
Prep your food beforehand wherever possible
To make your own life easier, and to help you with portion sizes, some foods can be prepped before you leave. For instance, peppers, carrots, and other vegetables could be sliced in advance and put in sandwich bags.
By doing this you could probably save space on utensils that could otherwise be left behind, or damaged. Moreover, by portioning it in this way, you make sure you aren’t running of ingredients to cook outdoors.
Keep your meals simple
As fun as it might be to cook an entire Lobster Thermidor from scratch on nothing but an open fire, it really isn’t practical. You are going to be out in the open air with the simplest equipment going.
Cooking outdoors is fun, but it is more functional than aesthetic. You need to store your cans and jars. You don’t want to overload yourself just because you fancy a chicken and shrimp paella on the third day in.
Think use-by dates when cooking outdoors
The problem with cooking outdoors in summer, is that it is hard to effectively store foods. Milk will go off quite quickly, and some meats might start to turn after a couple of days. So, unless you have a way to chill your food, make sure you take a few cans with you.
Most canned food has long life, and the packaging protects it from any bumping or banging damage.
Keep your workspace and utensils clean
The last thing you need when you’re camping is a bout of food poisoning. And that doesn’t just come from out-of-date food. In the summer heat, dried on old food is going to putrefy and grow bacteria.
The last thing you need is to ruin your holiday after poisoning yourself because you didn’t properly clean your workspace.
Always cover food when cooking outdoors
Nothing beats the smell of cooking, does it? Unfortunately, we’re not the only species on the planet that would agree with that. When you start cooking, you will attract all the insects over, and sooner or later, you could be seasoning your campfire treat with all sorts of six-legged critters.
Not only that, but covered food cooks a lot quicker than uncovered nosh.
If you are thinking of trying out your cooking skills outdoors this summer, check our shop for all the equipment that you will need.