You Don’t Have to Eat Freeze Dried Food At Camp! – Video

4 Types of Cooking Over A Campfire

When it comes to cooking at camp or in the backcountry there is a much better way than simply adding hot water to a bag of freeze dried food.  Imagine cooking anything, yes anything over a campfire. From hot wings to spaghetti to even a blueberry pie, it’s all possible.  All that it takes is a few simple tips and tricks with the campfire and you can turn camp food into delicious gourmet backcountry cuisine. 

Boil It, Grill It, Fry It and Even Bake It.

It’s all possible outdoors

When it comes to camp cooking boiling, frying, grilling, and baking are all viable options. All that it requires is a little know how relating to campfire regulation and you will be set!  

How To Boil Over A Campfire 

From soups and stews to pasta. Boiling is a great way to cook over a fire. It allows the camper to cook an entire meal in one pot with little to no calorie loss. I mean who isn’t drinking that broth!! 

  • Keep the campfire high. Lots of wood and high flames means lots of heat and when we want to boil food that’s important 
  • Once your food is to cooking temperature allow the flames to die down slightly. This will provide a simmer and allow you to slow cook the meal. 

How To Fry Over A Campfire 

With a little oil and a pot/pan wonderful and delicious meals can be fried up. Imagine eating mozzarella sticks on top of a beautiful overlook in the Rocky Mountains!  

  • Start out with a low flame. High campfire flames can quickly ignite your oil. 
  • As the flames grow low and embers appear in your campfire you should be right to fry.  
  • Test your food by touching it to the oil. Immediately, there should be signs of the oil sizzling and frying the food. 
  • Maintain your fire by feeding small sticks into it. If the oil seems to be getting to cool add a few large sticks for a quick supercharge. 

How To Grill On A Campfire

Steaks, fish, even corn on the cob can all be grilled over the campfire. Grilling offers an easy, and quick, way to prepare your meal. Before you start to grill get a large fire started. Keep the fire large for a generous amount of time as this will build a bed of hot embers. 

Grilling is a fast processes and shouldn’t take long. It is important to keep a well regulated heat during this time. Embers, not flames, provide the most even heat when cooking.  

  • Flames will char/burn the outside of your food and leave the inside raw. 
  • Choose the wood you cook on wisely. It is important that  you do not cook on wood that contains a lot of sap, such as Pine or Hemlock. This type of wood leaves behind a lot of unfavorable tastes. 

How To Bake On A Campfire

Pies, Stromboli, or just warming up some buns can all be accomplished by baking. 

For this technique we can set out UCO Flatpack on its side and capture radiant heat. 

  • Baking is a slow process and shouldn’t involve flames. 
  • When baking over a campfire be sure to rotate the items often and flip them if possible. So instead of making a traditional pie made a folded turnover. 
  • The same as grilling try to choose woods that don’t have a lot of sap content. Although the food isn’t being cooked over the flames/coals we don’t want to get too much of that black smoke all over our food. 

Spice up camp life using these tips and tricks. You and your friends will not be disappointed. Making meal time at camp a memorable one!  

Fire Starting Emergency Kit

Be ready for everything with this Fire Starting Emergency Kit from UCO.

About The Author


Dan Wowak, Owner and Instructor, of Coalcracker Bushcraft and the Appalachian Bushman School, has been an avid outdoorsman since childhood. His love and passion for the outdoors began while fishing and hiking with his grandfather in the hills of Appalachia. Over the years, he continued pursuing his love for the outdoors through backpacking, camping, hunting, and trapping.

As time went on, Dan’s enthusiasm for the outdoors compounded with his drive for reaching his physical and mental limits. The collision of these two passions launched him into the unforgiving, highly dynamic world of survival and bushcraft. He spent years honing this craft and was driven to inspire individuals to pursue a love of wilderness skills. Dan has been formally teaching and sharing knowledge of survival and wilderness living for several years. Most recently Dan has had the opportunity to put his lifetime of knowledge and foundational survival approach to the test on History Channel’s Alone Television Series.