Mention campsite cooking and most people will conjure one of two images; toasting marshmallows on sticks over a roaring fire, or heating up a tin of beans over an impractically small stove. However, it doesn't have to be either unhealthy or impractical – with the right planning and preparation, your campsite cooking can be good enough to please any gourmet.
Prepare at Home
Some things are simply easier to do at home than at your campsite. If you plan at least some of your meals in advance, then you can do some of the complicated preparation – the chopping, blending, and marinating, etc – at home, and simply keep the prepared ingredients chilled until they're needed. This means that you can leave some of your bulkier kitchen equipment at home!
Space is always at a premium when you're camping, so stick to the essentials; a couple of saucepans with lids, a set of good knives, a chopping board, a Pyrex measuring jug and some wooden spoons and spatulas are your basic necessities. A camping kettle is a great investment – water will boil quicker than in a pan, which saves on gas – and you should take along a few sealable Tupperware boxes for your ingredients and leftovers.
The right garnishes, toppings and dressings can turn a plain meal into something far more impressive. Pack a few lemons and use their zest and juice to brighten up your cooking, or prepare some delicious bacon seasoning before you go – cook some good quality bacon on a low heat until it's crispy, pop it in your food processer and turn it into a coarse powder which can then be sprinkled over your dishes or included in trail mix. Don't forget the cheese – hard cheeses keep very well, and can be grated over your dishes, added to sandwiches and even melted into fondue!
If you're eating outside, you may find that some of the local wildlife are as interested in your food as you are. One surprising way to keep bugs and flies away from your food is to choose dishes that can be served at room temperature, rather than piping hot – steaming hot food carries the aroma further, and entices more insects over to your dinner.
Here at Opus, we offer a simple advantage to improve your campsite cooking – our camping trailers include a refrigerator, sink and two gas burners, giving you practical storage, cooking and cleaning facilities, as well as a comfortable and welcoming place to cook and eat if the weather turns inclement.