Why does everything seems to taste so much better when cooked over a campfire? Maybe itâ€™s that smoky, slow-cooked flavor, or maybe itâ€™s just the fresh air. Whatever the reason, campfire cooking is an enjoyable summertime tradition thatâ€™s well worth preserving.
While there are some great recipes out there for campfire gourmets, Iâ€™m all about keeping it simple when we cook out. Here are five of our familyâ€™s favorite, no-fuss, campfire treats. (Obviously most of these arenâ€™t exactly health foodsâ€”thatâ€™s why theyâ€™re only occasional indulgences!)
The classic campfire choice, sâ€™mores are traditionally made by sandwiching a roasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate between two graham cracker halves. My ever-resourceful husband attempts to improve on this classic treat by adding peanut butter or Nutella, or by substituting cookies for the graham crackers.
A new family favorite is biscuit dough, wrapped around the end of a thick, well-oiled dowel rod or stick, and cooked over the fire. Spiral the dough around the end of the stick, then smooth it out, pressing firmly (see photo at right). When cooked, it will slide off easily. The Lehmanâ€™s biscuit roaster makes cooking biscuits even easier. Whatever your method, fill the finished product with butter, jam, pie filling, peanut butter, chocolate, or marshmallowsâ€”or whatever else sounds good to you.
3. Fruit pies
Fruit pies are simple to make with a pie iron. Butter two slices of bread and place them in the pie iron, buttered side out. Add canned pie filling (homemade, if you have it!), close the iron tightly and set in hot coals until outsides of the bread are crisp and brown, turning occasionally. You may want to try filling the pie with peanut butter and jelly, cheese or pizza ingredients instead.
Another perennial favorite, popcorn is as easy to make over the campfire as it is at home and makes a delicious and healthful snack. Add a little oil and your favorite kind of popcorn to a long-handled popcorn popper, hold it over the fire and shake.
Or make your own hobo-style popper by folding a large piece of foil into a pouch to hold the popcorn and oil (leave plenty of room for the popcorn to expand). Tie to a stick and dangle over the fire, shaking frequently.
5. Banana boats
Slit a banana lengthwise (leave the peel on). Stuff with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Close it up again and wrap in foil. Cook over the fire until chocolate and marshmallows melt and banana is soft. Scoop out with a spoon and enjoy!
Lisa Amstutz is a freelance writer and editor. She lives on a six-acre hobby farm with her husband, four children and small menagerie of farm animals. Lisa is co-author of Local Choices and author of seven nonfiction picture books.