How to cook up a delicious meal safely and efficiently in the outdoors.
There are many enjoyable aspects that come along with escaping to the woods and camping out for a weekend in the wild
-- nights spent sleeping in a tent under the stars, getting away from the hassles and stressors of everyday life, taking a break from our technology-ruled world for a little one-on-one time with nature, and much more.
While each of these facets is an enjoyable and exhilarating part of camping, one activity that truly allows you break away from technology and experience the delights of nature is cooking outdoors.
For some reason, meals that are cooked over a campfire or that are precisely prepared for you and your campmates always seem to taste better than the ones you simply pop in the microwave or oven when you're at home. Perhaps it is because of the increased amount of patience and ingenuity that camp cooking requires, or the added scents and seasoning that comes along with cooking in the woods
, but whatever it may be, cooking outdoors can be an enjoyable, delicious task.
However, preparing a meal outdoors is not as simple as roasting some hot dogs on top of a fire. It is important that you follow certain food safety guidelines to not only ensure that your food is healthy and okay to consume, but also that you don't have any furry creatures raiding your camp in the middle of the night.
There are several different methods of campsite cooking that you can choose from when preparing a meal outdoors.
The simplest option is to purchase a portable, outdoor-capable range grill that is simple to set up on a picnic or camp table. Basic two-burner ranges, such as the Profile, contain two 12,000 BTU burners with flexible hoses that allow you to use propane or butane fuel canisters for cooking. The next step up from the Profile Two-Burner Range is the Profile Duo Range/Grill Combo
. This piece of equipment not only features a 12,000 BTU burner with the above-mentioned add-ons, but also a 10,000 BTU grill so that you can get the most out of your food.
Another cooking method that has managed to stand the test of time is the basic activity of cooking over an open fire. There are essentially two different ways that you can go about this method: wrapping food items in individual aluminum foil and placing them atop hot coals, or simply setting up a grate over the open flame and cooking your food as you would on any other grill. However, be sure that you are using a spatula or tongs, or any other cooking accessories
, that will ensure that you do not burn yourself on your equipment or food.
Animal Safety Tips
While bears are often thought of as the only animal that sneaks into a campsite and steals a campers snacks, other animals such as mice, raccoons, birds and squirrels have been known to invade campsites and scavenge for food.
In order to ensure that wild animals stay clear of your tent at night, be sure to keep your campsite clean of any and all dirty dishes or uneaten food lying around in the open. Instead, be sure to keep any excess food--including dry non-perishables--sealed in a locked cooler or in the truck of your car. Also, never store any type of food
, including snacks, inside of your tent at night. The last thing you want is an unexpected visit from an animal at two o'clock in the morning.
Cooking outdoors is a wonderful opportunity to get in touch with nature and take advantage of the elements around you. However, be sure to follow these simple safety tips and advice for outdoor grilling, that way you can ensure that your next trip outdoors, and the food that you consume, is not spoiled in any way.