Camp cooking might have an undeserved reputation for being bland. It’s often unfairly associated with undercooked pasta or endless marshmallows incinerated at Scout camp. With a little bit of know-how though, cooking while camping is limited only by your imagination – just like at home.
In this blog, we are going to look at some clever outdoor cooking recipes and techniques and talk about why you are often better off with a wood-fuelled stove than making a fire.
Read on to learn more.
Delicious dehydrated food
One of the easiest ways to cook up a delicious meal while out camping is to use dehydrated meals. Dehydrated meals are, basically, meals that have been pre-made and had the moisture removed from them. When water is added to them the dehydrated food is then rehydrated. Not all are made equal, but ours reconstitute to a delicious and healthy meal.
Wild Stoves has recently started selling Firepot dehydrated meals. These award-winning meals are handmade in Dorset from real food. In order to prepare them, simply boil-up the required amount of water on your stove and add the meal. Firepot meals are available in meat, vegan and gluten-free options. We sell them in compostable packaging. The meals are made using 100% natural and locally sourced ingredients.
Combining fresh and dehydrated food
On longer backpacking trips where there are opportunities to resupply then a great way to add an extra kick to your meals is to mix the dehydrated with the fresh. A pinch of spinach, wild sea-beet, or other edible green leaves can do wonders to improving your diet on longer trips. You can also augment your meals with a few blackberries or cobb nuts from the hedgerow.
If you have a taste for the spicy, bring along a small container of pre-made spice mix made up to suit your tastes. This can be carried in a small lightweight plastic bottle suitable for air travel, such as these ones from Boots . You can also add in some stock powder for ready-made ‘body’ to any stew and broth.
Dehydrating your own meals
If you are a dab hand in the kitchen, then you could always try making your own dehydrated meals. There’s no need to go out and buy an expensive dehydrator though, you can make simple meals just using your oven on its lowest setting. Learn more about dehydrating your own meals without a dehydrator here. Head over to the Backpacking Chef for some inspiration and recipes.
Making your own meals though can be hard work and very time consuming, that’s why it is often best to leave it to the experts.
Delicious camping meals
Of course, nothing really beats cooking with fresh ingredients just like you would at home. While this is not always possible while on a long trek, there is no reason not to eat in style when car camping. Stoves such as our Envirofit G-3300 Rocket Stove and our Wild Woodgas Stove are perfect for cooking exceptional meals outside.
Read on to learn more.
‘One pot’ meals
One of the keys to making delicious camping meals is to consider how you can cook your meal in one pot. ‘One pot’ meals are just that – everything is cooked just using the one pot. Outdoor cooking sites such as the wonderful Fresh Off The Grid have a huge range of amazing ‘one-pot’ meal recipes that you can make out camping. From campfire nachos to blueberry and banana pancakes, Fresh Off The Grid has loads of ideas to help you eat in style on your next camping trip – all you need is access to the ingredients. She Dreams of Alpine also has a selection of one-pot meals suitable for car camping, including some tasty looking curries – find out more here.
‘One pot’ meals are not only easy to cook over a camping stove, they also save on mess and washing up. The key to success with ‘one-pot’ meals is being prepared.
Luxury camping meals
For those that are car-camping, the BBC Food website has a large range of luxury camping meals. These range from Mozzarella, pepper & aubergine calzone to salmon tacos – find out more here.
Can’t beat a BBQ
Of course, nothing can really beat a bbq when camping. Whether frying up steaks, cooking a freshly caught fish or preparing veggie sausages there is little better than bbq style cooking when camping. Here at Wild Stoves, we are very focused on finding ways to use wood as a fuel, as so much charcoal is made from tropical forests and the process of making it can be quite polluting. Wood is a fuel that requires no processing at all. Any fire can be readily used as a BBQ: simply let it burn down a while and cook over the glowing embers just as the flames start to subside. Any grill will work, balanced on a few stones. Alternatively, any of our rockets stoves such as the Envirofit G-3300 and Eco Stove can be used with a griddle for searing and BBQing meat, fish and veg.
Why use a stove at all?
Campfires are part of the romance – and comfort – of camping but there are very good reasons to use a wood-fuelled stove for cooking. One of the main issues with campfires is the environmental risk that they pose. National Parks, such as Dartmoor and across much of the New Forest, ban them outright and they are generally discouraged on all public land. It takes a great deal of skill to have a campfire and not leave unsightly scorch marks on the earth. What is more, even in the most experienced hands, campfires pose a risk of spreading out of control.
Not only do wood-burning stoves leave almost no trace, but they are also much more efficient than an open fire. In fact, some of our stoves have been shown to use up to 80% less than a small, well-tended fire to cook exactly the same meal. Our stoves also produce fewer emissions. When wood is burned completely it emits just CO2 and H20, where burning wood in an open fire produces methane, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons such as formaldehyde and benzene. Find out more about this issue in our FAQ section.
If you would like to combine a love of cooking outdoors with foraging then read our blog on making a feast from what you find on the seashore – click here to read our blog.