Campfire Cooking: How To Grill Like A Bear In The Backwoods

Campfire Cooking: How To Grill Like A Bear In The Backwoods

Are you already counting down the days until your next camping trip?

There’s no better way to enjoy those hot summer days than by hiking, fishing, and hunting.

Of course, a man’s gotta eat.

Whether you bought some meat from the grocery store, or you plan to grill up your catch (or kill) of the day, you’ll need to know the proper campfire cooking techniques.

Learn to build your own DIY Fire Pit.

After all, the last thing you want to do is burn that fish you spent an hour trying to reel in.

But don’t worry–we have your back.

Keep reading to discover our campfire cooking tips to ensure you get a great meal every night.

campfire cooking

Table Of Contents:
1. Get A Grilling Grate
2. Arrange Your Wood in a Teepee
3. Nurture Your Fire
4. Use Coals
5. Pick Meats Carefully
6. Use Tin Foil
7. Cook with Leaves
8. Campfire Cooking Tips

1. Get a Grilling Grate

Sure, camping is a blast.

But the day before you leave? Not so much. There’s a seemingly never-ending packing list that has to be written and collected.

Then, you have to figure out how you can pack everything just right so it all fits in your truck.

Often times, this means leaving a few large pieces of gear out. If you just don’t have room for that charcoal grill (even a small one), there are other options.

You can get a campfire-friendly metal grill grate that can go right over a campfire!

Of course, there are also Dutch ovens, cast iron pots and pans, and skewers that make campfire cooking a breeze.

If you have a little extra room, consider bringing a cast iron pan to go along with your grill grate.

These two pieces are smaller and easier to pack than one grill but will give you a ton of options. You can use the pan to cook a hardy egg breakfast or to protect your meat from the open flames.

2. Arrange Your Wood in a Teepee

Starting a fire may be one of the basic camping tasks, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one.

If you arrange your wood poorly, your dinner will suffer.

The teepee method is the best option to ensure you have a good fire to cook on that will also last for those late night s’mores with your kids or drinking beer with your best buds.

This is because the wood is arranged in such a way that gives you a longer and more steady burn.

Plus, it’s pretty easy to make!

Start by placing your tinder in the center of your fire zone. You can buy tinder before you leave or use dry leaves, grass, and bark that you find in your campground.

Then, use larger sticks to build a teepee around your tinder.

3. Nurture Your Fire

Of course, starting the fire is only half the battle. You’ll also have to make sure you care for it properly to retain that steady burn.

Add bigger sticks as the fire begins to burn.

But be careful not to just throw them anywhere because you may smother the fire. Instead, angel them towards the flames.

Also, be sure to only add wood when necessary.

If you throw in too many sticks at once, your fire will likely become too big and hard to manage, and your food will burn.

Have plenty of wood ready to add to the fire before you start cooking. This way, you can throw additional sticks into the fire without having to leave your food unattended to find some.

4. Use Coals

Is cooking over an open flame not your idea of fun?

We get it–fire can be hard to get just right for cooking.

Another option is to use coals.

Just pile them together, and you can throw your food directly onto the hot coals. It’s a lot easier than working with fire, and it’s sure to taste great.

5. Pick Meats Carefully

When you hear the word “grilling”, you probably think of burgers, steaks, and chicken. But you’ll have to be careful when grilling these over an open campfire.

Here are 10 of the best food to cook over a campfire.

All three of these meats tend to drip fat while cooking. When too much fat falls into the fire, it can cause flare-ups which could burn your food.

To avoid this:

Trim all the fat except for a quarter inch on your steaks. Make sure marinade isn’t dripping off your meat, and go as light on the oil coating as possible.

If a flare-up does occur, make sure it only lasts a few seconds. Anything longer than that, and you’ll want to move your meat to the other side of the grill grate.

6. Use Tin Foil

Did you ever make hobo meals during your boy scout days?

Well, get ready to bring back the nostalgia on your next camping trip.

Hobo meals (also called tin foil meals) are great for camping. Just wrap your vegetables or diced meat in a tin foil pouch and throw it on the grill.

You won’t have to worry about that skinny asparagus falling through the grill grate or the fat from your diced chicken causing a flare-up.

You can even make full meals, like Tex Mex Chicken, using foil pouches.

7. Cook with Leaves

Do you prefer to shed as many modern-day conveniences as you can while in the great outdoors?

Luckily, that doesn’t mean your only option is to cook your freshly caught fish on a stick.

Instead, try wrapping your food in leaves.

Find the biggest leaves you can to fully cover your food or use a little-wet twine to hold smaller leaves together.

Then, place it right next to your fire. Your food will steam inside the leaf pouch while getting a little extra flavor and protection.

Palm leaves, banana leaves, corn husks, and grape leaves are among some of the best. However, you can also use leaves from linden, walnut, sycamore, chestnut, oak, maples, and cherry trees.

Be sure to research the trees in your area to find out which leaves are edible and available at your campsite.

8. Campfire Cooking Tips

Don’t just wing it on your next camping trip. If you want to enjoy the best meals, follow these campfire cooking tips.

Do you want to learn even more about cooking over an open flame? Then check out our definitive guide to fire pit cooking today.