Packing list, tips and tricks for a great outdoor cooking experience.
Whether you’re a seasoned backwoods camper, dedicated backyard chef, or looking to start your outdoor culinary journey, success in packing an outdoor kitchen is founded on just two things: simplicity and reliability.
In collaboration with our chefs and passionate outdoor cooks, we’ve put together a list of camp kitchen essentials, tips and hacks to help you have achieve the perfect camp getaway.
Keep it cold:
Rather than using bagged ice or frozen cold packs to chill your cooler, freeze drinking water and any foods and beverages that can or should be frozen to keep them and your cooler colder, longer. Not having a pool of water in the bottom of your cooler is an added bonus.
3 essential spices:
Beyond simple salt and pepper, chili flakes are versatile and can be used in just about any meal to add a bit of heat. Cumin helps bring out a lot of flavours you’d otherwise miss in your camp meals and smoked paprika adds a bit of smoky sweetness that can’t be beat.
3 crucial herbs:
Perfect in scrambled eggs or added to a marinade for the perfect campfire steak, rosemary, thyme and sage are the top three herbs to tuck in your travel sack. They’re versatile, handle heat well and add unique, earthy flavours to sauces, marinades, braises, rubs, and soups/stews.
Zero food waste:
One of the best ways to use up leftover proteins, vegetables, starches and grains is to make the ultimate breakfast hash. This can consist of leftover roasted meats and burger patties combined with cooked potato and rice and some grilled vegetables. Melt some butter in a pan and sweat off onions and garlic, mince up whatever leftovers you’re using and add it to the onions and garlic, season it as you’d like (try using smoked paprika!) And cook until everything is browned. Top with some cheese and serve it with a side of eggs!
Reusable Food storage:
Using reusable food storage containers and silicone sandwich bags are a great way to reduce the amount of waste that can produced when camping. They help keep certain foods fresh and are a great way to stay organized and avoid cross contamination.
Alternative for Tin Foil
If you run out or forget to pack some tin foil and you want to cook up a nice piece of protein, wrap it in a few large leaves of lettuce or cabbage and place it on the bed of coals in your fire pit. The leaves will help keep your dinner from drying out.
Meal and ingredient prep:
Plan and prepare all meals ahead and prepare them for the cooking process in advance. Store cut/prepared foods in the same reusable containers you’ll need to keep leftovers and transfer spices, herbs and ingredients needed in small quantities into smaller, labelled containers.
Look for collapsible buckets and wash basins for for cooking and washing. They don’t take up much space and you can use the water to put out your campfire before you head to your tent for some shuteye!
Make tasty grilled fruit skewers (yes, it’s really a thing) with leftover pineapple, watermelon, peaches, apples or pears. Better yet, add some halloumi grilling cheese for protein! You can also make a simple yogurt dip by adding some smoky, savoury paprika or drizzle in a little local maple syrup or honey for a sweet, no-waste experience.