The Luke’s Local team recently had the privilege of cooking for one of Hipcamp’s Campout events at Jug Handle Creek Farm in Caspar, CA. It was a beautiful weekend filled with great people and delicious food. Our head chef, Nick Rappoport, is no stranger to cooking while on the trail, and he brought some tried and true tips with him to Caspar that are helpful for anyone trying to make cooking while camping just a little bit easier!
First and foremost, to avoid having to wash a bunch of dishes while you’re camping, it’s best to do most of your prep before you head out. Cut up veggies, marinate any meat, cook up any stews, or make your sauces and dips. This way, you can relax while you’re on the trail, and all you’ll have to do is throw your food on the fire!
When you get to your campsite and you’re cooking over a fire, you really don’t want to cook over the actual flames. If you do, you’ll end up with a piece of charcoal for dinner. Instead, wait until the wood is white hot and then put a grate over that to cook. Usually, the rule of thumb is if you can’t leave your hand over the embers for more that 2 seconds, you’re ready to go.
I also really like utilizing heavy duty aluminum foil when I camp. Before leaving for a camping trip, I will chop up various seasonal veggies and toss them in some good olive oil and salt. I make a foil pouch that I’ll seal the veggies in. Once you’re at your site, start a fire and throw the foil pouch on the hot coals, and in about 20 minutes you’ll have delicious, coal-roasted veggies.
I also will always bring some sort of cast iron pan with me. Just lay it on some hot coals and cook what you choose. There’s nothing like waking up with the sun, brewing some coffee and smelling bacon crackling on an old cast iron.
Here’s one of my favorite easy, on-the-trail recipes for you to enjoy! It’s a campy take on ratatouille. Everything can be pre-cut at home, seasoned and put into foil. Just throw it on the fire, and before you know it, you’ll have a great, summery side dish!!
1/2 lb zucchini (chopped in half circles)
1/2 lb vine ripe tomato (chopped)
1 onion (medium diced )
1 small globe eggplant (chopped into chunks)
1 large red bell pepper (diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Before leaving for your camping trip, lay a 3 foot piece of heavy duty foil on a flat surface. Put all ingredients, minus the parsley and basil, in a bowl and toss until well incorporated. Put in the center of the foil, and close up the sides, creating a packet. Make sure there is absolutely no leakage. Use another piece of foil if that’s the case.
At your campsite, build a fire and let it die down to white embers. Place the foil packet on the coals and shovel more over the top, just until barely covered. After a few minutes, you should hear a faint sizzling, and that’s how you know the veggies are cooking. After about a half hour, your ratatouille should be done. Let sit about five minutes, open the packet and garnish with the fresh chopped basil and parsley. Dig in!
Luke’s Local is all about helping busy people eat well. Choose from the best chef-made meals, local produce, dairy and meal kits packed with ingredients – all delivered right to your door to make home cooking fast and easy.
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