It’s true. Food always tastes better when prepared and eaten outdoors. Whether you’re cooking out in a local park or on a camping trip, outdoor cooking offers a relaxing way to gather with family and friends, and share stories and meals with a scenic backdrop.
Before You Go
For a smoother campfire experience, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Then freeze and store in plastic bags. This will also help keep things cold in the cooler. Aluminum foil serves many purposes. You can wrap meals inside and place on hot coals, use as a grill cover or pot handles, and wad it into a ball to clean the grill. Placing foil or detergent on the outside of your pan helps for after meal cleanups.
Enjoy a recipes and video for making Orange Muffins and Sweet and Sour Chicken over a campfire. You can find more recipes from our Campfire Cooks of MDC Conservationist article. Find recipes for cooking wild edibles and game outdoors including Carp on a Stick, BBQ Wild Turkey and more.
“Just add water” muffin mix, any flavor
- Cut the oranges in half so the stem is on the bottom. With a spoon, remove all of the orange, leaving only the intact rind.
- Put the muffin mix in a bowl and follow package directions. Mix completely and pour into each rind until it’s about a centimeter from the top.
- Tear off an 8-inch piece of aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the foil on top of the muffin mix and wrap around the orange.
- Repeat for all the orange halves.
- With a fork, poke a few holes in the foil to let steam escape. Place the oranges on a grate above the campfire.
- Wait for muffin mix to come out of the holes. When it looks cooked or when you can stick a toothpick in the foil and it comes out dry, they are done.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
1 cup hard rice soaked in water for 30-60 minutes
4 tablespoons water
1 packet dry sweet and sour mix
4 cups fresh stir fry vegetables coarsely chopped and rinsed (peppers, carrots, onions, celery, water chestnuts, etc.)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- Place an 18x18 inch sheet of aluminum foil on a paper plate.
- Place a sacrificial vegetable like an onion on the bottom. This will spare the rest of the meal if it burns and provide steamed flavor.
- Put one-half of the rice on top of the vegetable
- Place one chicken breast atop the rice.
- Place one-half of the vegetables atop the chicken.
- Sprinkle one-half of the dry sweet and sour mix on top of the vegetables.
- Fold the east/west ends up and roll them down to the top of the food.
- Roll up the north end of the foil.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of water into the foil packet.
- Roll up the south end of the foil until tight.
- Repeat the steps for the other half of the ingredients.
- Place the foil packets on coals that are hot but not flaming. The heat needs to be able to boil the water to cook the rice and the chicken. It will also steam the vegetables and make the sauce.
- Cooking time should take 20-30 minutes, depending on the temperature of the coals.