Sure, everything tastes better after a day of hiking and swimming, but we can do way better than a burnt hot dog on a stick. Rekindle your love of campfire cooking with recipes that are equal parts fun and sophisticated. Browse our collection of ideas, tips, and recipes for your best-ever camping trip.
Campfire Fried Eggs with Potato-and-Bacon Hash
Cook the quintessential outdoorsy breakfast: eggs and potato hash fried in bacon drippings. Brew a fresh pot of cowboy coffee directly over the campfire to complete the meal.
1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes
8 ounces sliced bacon
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 large eggs
3 scallions, chopped
1. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
2. Cook bacon in a cast-iron skillet set over a campfire or on a medium-high grill, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon, let cool slightly; crumble.
3. Add potatoes to skillet, lightly smash each using the back of a spoon, and cook until just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir crumbled bacon into skillet. Push hash to one side of skillet.
4. Working in batches, and adding oil as needed, crack 2 eggs into skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until desired. Stir scallions into hash. Serve eggs with hash.
DIY Instant Oatmeal
By toasting and grinding rolled oats in advance, you can make your own instant oatmeal, cutting your morning cooking time and allowing you to create novel flavors.
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup light-brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Pulse in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Mix in 1 cup of a combination of add-ins (see our suggestions below), and stir in sugar, salt, and cinnamon, or more to taste, before storing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
2. To Serve, stir in boiling water until desired consistency is reached. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes.
Huevos Rancheros Wraps
This hearty handheld breakfast is endlessly adaptable to your tastes -- and your leftovers too. Stuff them with eggs, beans or meat, vegetables, cheese, and big dollop of salsa for a great start to your morning.
8 slices bacon
Salt and pepper
4 small flour tortillas
Warmed refried beans
1. Cook bacon until crisp. In 2 teaspoons bacon fat, fry eggs and season with salt and pepper. Warm tortillas and top each with beans, 2 slices bacon, 1 fried egg, avocado, and hot sauce.
Making your own granola means you can pick the mix-ins. Follow the basic recipe and change up the nuts, fruits, and flavorings as you wish. Make a big batch to enjoy for breakfast and snacks.
3 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest (packed)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup dried tart cherries or dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats and almonds. In a small saucepan, combine butter, agave nectar, lime zest and juice, and salt over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts, about 2 minutes. (Or, place ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until butter melts, 1 to 2 minutes; stir until combined.) Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and toss until oats and nuts are completely coated. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake until oats are lightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack, 20 minutes, then stir in cherries or cranberries.
Skillet Breads with Grilled Sausages
After being "baked" in a skillet, these breads can be split for a sandwich, tossed in a salad, or skewered for dessert. Make a double batch if you plan on sampling all of the above. The dry ingredients can be combined at home. Serve them with sizzling Sausages and Charred Tomato Relish.
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
2 1/4 teaspoons (one 1/4-ounce envelope) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
1 1/2 cups warm water
1. Combine flour, yeast, and 1 tablespoon salt in a bowl. Gradually pour in oil, then water, and mix until dough comes together.
2. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape dough into a ball, and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Let stand, covered with a towel, in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
3. Roll out dough to a 6-by-12-inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into nine 2-by-4-inch rectangles. Transfer to a floured surface. Let stand, covered with a kitchen towel, in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
4. Heat a cast-iron skillet set over a campfire or on a medium-high grill. Working in batches, cook rolls until puffed and undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Flip, and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more.
Campfire Chicken Under a Brick with Lemons
You don't need an oven to roast a chicken. Flattening the bird with a brick and cooking it in a skillet achieves a "roasted" finish. Serve it with Grilled-Bread Panzanella made from leftover Skillet Breads.
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes
1. Remove backbone from chicken using kitchen shears. Place chicken, breast side up, on a cutting board, with legs extended on both sides. Press firmly on breastbone to break it and flatten chicken. Rub all over with 2 tablespoons oil, and season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a cast-iron skillet set over a campfire or on a medium grill. Place chicken in skillet, breast side down, and place a clean brick or heavy skillet directly on top, pressing to flatten chicken. Grill until skin is golden and crisp, about 12 minutes.
3. Remove brick, and flip chicken. Cover with foil, and grill for 20 minutes more. Flip chicken, and grill until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reaches 165 degrees, about 5 minutes more.
4. Meanwhile, grill lemon wedges directly on grates, flipping, until caramelized, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with red-pepper flakes. Serve with lemons.
Homemade graham crackers with fun star cutouts make for the best-ever s'mores.