- Plan ahead. I get it: in theory, part of the reason you're going camping is to get away from the lists, the schedules, and the overall hustle and bustle of your everyday life. But there's nothing worse than getting out to the site and realizing you forgot something you're going to need. If you plan out what you're going to eat and bring the appropriate tools in your chuck box, you'll be one happy camper.
- Have the right tools. There are very specific things that will make your life easier once you've set up camp. A grill grate and tongs are both must haves. If you're going to be stationary camping, it's a great idea to bring an outdoor Dutch oven and a cast iron skillet. Yes, they are heavy and bulky, but these tools are sure to assist you in creating perfect campfire cuisine.
- Prep some grub before you leave. It's a great idea to prep veggies and put them in plastic baggies before you leave. Shish kebabs are an easy and delicious dinner for a campfire feast. If you have the time, put together some yummy marinades before you head off into the wilderness. There's no reason your food shouldn't be as flavorful as possible.
- Foil is your best friend. Aluminum foil is a must have for any camping trip. One of the most simple ways to prepare food while camping is to simply wrap up the ingredients in foil and place them directly on the coals. The method is typically called a "hobo bag" — but there's nothing hobo about the flavors that come out of those little packages. It's also a great idea to bring disposable aluminum pie pans for prepping food and not having to deal with washing too much.
- Check food regularly. They say a watched pot never boils, but you're dealing with a lot more elements in the great outdoors. When cooking outside, especially directly on hot coals, it's integral to check your food far more often than you would in the kitchen. If you're going to be grilling up a storm, a meat thermometer will certainly help with this process.
- Either know your facts, or else forget the foraging. Since foraging is a huge trend right now, looking for your own food will be tempting. If you are an avid forager, more power to you — but unless you've done some serious research and have a guide handy, don't eat what's available in the wilderness.
Got other tips for campfire cooking success? Share your thoughts with comments below!