5 Gourmet Camp Cooking Hacks

"Roast chicken & veg cooked in the camp oven” by Geoffrey Rhodes available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/20940650@N07/22917906889/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Holidays on the road are incomplete without a scrumptious meal prepared around the campfire as you share stories while the sun sets on the horizon. However, preparing a mouthwatering dinner while on a road trip in an Australian campervan hired by family and friends can sometimes dampen your mood when all you wish to do is just stretch your legs and lay your back after an adventure-packed day outdoors.

Perhaps a few innovative ways to prepare more than just hot dogs and steaks is what you need in order to upgrade your campervan menu handed down to you by previous generations that have enjoyed the legendary Outback. It really is very easy to add fresh ideas into your favourite camping recipes.

So whether you’re camping with friends or family, make mealtimes more fun by checking out these few hacks on how you could make the most out of your campervan kitchen.

Learn to Improvise

First off, you must plan your meals. Avoid thinking of making dishes that would take forever to cook over a campfire (remember, everybody’s had a long day of adventures and are likely to be very hungry), or would require large and heavy pots and pans to prepare (you don’t have much room to bring your entire home kitchen with you). If you want to impress your mates with an elegantly cooked dinner, look for easy-to-prepare, readily available alternatives. Besides, meals that imbibe the rustic feel of a night at a campsite like pot roast with steamed vegetables or baked beans could be as good as a slab of beef from your favourite steak house.

You can also prepare a hearty breakfast using leftovers from last night’s dinner. Bring out the eggs and grate some cheese to create an omelette that would melt the sleep from your mate’s eyes. Squeeze a few fresh oranges and serve the juice in a pitcher and add some honey to give them that sun-kissed vibe to prepare them for another day outdoors.

Have a Knack for Nibbles

Sometimes, a hearty chatter at the campfire is best complemented with light snacks. Load up on fruits, nuts, and popcorn for starters. Nothing beats the combination of quirky conversations and the crackling of popcorn over a campfire.

"Popcorn” by White93 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jt_white/4991059908/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Popcorn” by White93 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jt_white/4991059908/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY White93

If you want something that would be akin to fine dining, try melting some dark chocolate on a pan where you can dip some fruits or marshmallows in it. Voilà, it’s like having your personalised fondue, camper style!

Speaking of marshmallows, a campfire huddle would not be complete if you’re not making s’mores. Try adding new ingredients to this classic campfire snack like candy sprinkles or using vegan marshmallows, as a healthier alternative.

Jostling Jaw Dropping Delights

There are certain dishes that are difficult to prepare outdoors. Examples are baked goodies such as cakes, pies, and brownies so most campers just buy from bake shops or bake them a few days before the camping trip. Well, you’re in luck because there are now innovative ways to make these without an oven, so you and your travel companions can enjoy freshly baked treats in the wild.

For instance, you could try baking brownies using orange peels. You can do this by cutting the top of the fruit and scooping off the pulp. This way, you would be creating a pocket for your brownie mix. Fill 2/3 of the pocket with your prepared batter. Put back the top and wrap the ball in aluminum foil. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes and you’ll have tangy orange-sized brownies for your mates!

You can also make pies using pita bread as an alternative for the traditional pie crust. Or why not try newspapers as an alternative to aluminum foil when cooking fish? The possibilities are endless. You’re camping – you can be as innovative as you want!

"Fish in Newspaper” by Beck available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckayork/3803452845/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Fish in Newspaper” by Beck available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckayork/3803452845/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Beck

Stock Up on the Essentials

After you have planned your meals, right down to your dessert options, it’s now time to stock up on the ingredients and outdoor equipment that you’d be using. Just remember only to bring the essentials, you’ve already planned what to prepare for your gourmet holiday. So, there’s no point in bringing excessive equipment and supplies.

This makes things quick and easy to set-up when you’re at the campsite. Also, this would make your holiday baggage lighter and easier to clean-up when you head back home. If this would be your first time taking a campervan holiday, bring  a sturdy cooler as well as a set of good roasters for your campfire. The rest of the supplies you’d be needing can easily be found in your kitchen cabinet like pots and pans, as well as dining utensils.

Clean as you go

Preparing wonderful meals during your campervan holiday can also be environmentally friendly. Just like the examples earlier, using alternatives to certain materials for cooking your meals would help reduce waste after your outdoor retreat.

Using old newspapers instead of aluminium foil to lock-in the flavours when grilling fish helps reduce your carbon footprint. Biodegradable materials could be turned to compost after using them for cooking your delectable treats, like the brownies stuffed in hollowed out orange peels. If you have a garden back at home, you can collect your biodegradable trash and turn them into home made fertilizer for your beautiful greens.

"Campfire” by Jeff Souville available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/133326959@N03/17779428771/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Campfire” by Jeff Souville available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/133326959@N03/17779428771/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Jeff Souville

Just a friendly reminder, it’s a no-no to throw out your garbage at the campfire. It would be better to segregate your wastes and throw them properly after your holiday. Throwing garbage at the campfire not only adds up to the pollution in the surroundings. It could even start wildfires because you keep on adding fuel to the flame.

If that happens, you can wave goodbye to your gourmet campervan experience.

Camping can also be a gastronomic adventure, if you know how to turn home-cooked meals into gourmet dishes miles from the comforts and conveniences of your kitchen. All you need is some creativity and a breath of fresh air in the campsite. Now, why not make your own campervan memories? An Australian campervan hired at our website can help you make the most out of your self-drive holiday.

We always love to hear from you, so share with us your gourmet campfire cooking ideas and experiences today. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on how to make your campervan holidays the best ever.

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