Campfire Cookery Shock and Delight


Dutch oven with flames licking around it

High quality campfire cookery is a talent to be valued… Photograph: Martin Tomlinson

Campfire cooking abilities shouldn’t be underestimated. On the fundamental degree, you and your companions have to refuel however keep away from meals poisoning. What’s extra, nutritious and filling meals are essential outdoor, significantly in case you are making a journey. After all, a wholesome steadiness of advanced carbohydrates, fat and proteins, together with micronutrients present the inputs folks have to operate to their fullest on a visit, together with permitting their physique to restore as essential. However meals in camp means extra than simply gas and constructing blocks for our our bodies.

“I assumed we’d be consuming sausage and beans from a can each night”, Fred mentioned to me throughout a River Spey journey just a few years in the past. We’d far exceeded Fred’s expectations on the journey, with night meals consisting of a taste-bud tingling Thai inexperienced curry and rice on the primary night, a hearty tomato, tuna and vegetable pasta the second night time and a macaroni cheese the ultimate night. All of those meals contained recent elements, had been ready in our little expedition camp and cooked over the campfire. “The meals supplied was wonderful. Consuming the night meal round a campfire within the forest made it even higher.” Fred later wrote on his suggestions e-mail to us.

Hearty helpings are definitely one thing to stay up for on the finish of an extended, bodily day. If you realize a great meal is coming, you are likely to work more durable for longer and your physique feels happy with its refuel.

Two guys cooking on a campfire

Bloodvein River canoe expedition contributors put together a nutritious tasty meal deep within the wilderness. Photograph: Paul Kirtley.

Folks additionally stay up for flavours. They change into crucial on wilderness journeys. Selection can be helpful. Even the very best meals free their shine if you need to eat them each single day. If you happen to don’t consider me, ask the folks on the journey the place we one way or the other ended up with maple-syrup flavoured prompt oats for breakfast for 10 days in a row…

Considered one of my previous mentors at all times maintained one of many indicators of an completed out of doors information was they might prove good meals on a campfire. These of us who spend appreciable time working and residing outdoor, all have our repertoires of favourites; the meals we prefer to prepare dinner for others regularly in addition to the specials we prepare dinner sometimes.

Good meals is sweet for morale. Cooking for folks outdoor is a chance to shock and delight in addition to refuel them.

I requested members of the Frontier Bushcraft staff which meal of their repertoire tends to shock folks…

James Tub

I might be mendacity if I mentioned I made it on each course however I’ve accomplished it just a few occasions when there’s time – utilizing the Dutch oven to make a lasagne. Shoppers suppose you take the mickey however it’s superior. Fry onions, garlic and mince with pepper, salt and Italian herbs. Add mushroom, peppers, tins of tomatoes and/or no matter else you are feeling like. Handmade cheese sauce (in fact). Soften butter, stir in flour after which milk. Add salt and pepper to style and a great deal of any cheese. A number of layers of content material and lasagne sheets with loads of sauce on high. A lot of cheese sprinkled on high and put lid on with coals on the highest as nicely. Put in aspect of fireplace turning each every so often. Test that sheets of lasagne are cooked via with knife. I can not give an actual time however about an hour, depending on fireplace, wooden, wind, and so forth.

Martin Tomlinson

This seasonal pheasant pie has change into legendary amongst a few of my associates, so I am undecided I ought to be making a gift of my secrets and techniques however life is for sharing, so right here goes… Take pleasure in!


  • Some oil or butter (you will want butter for the mash potatoes so to avoid wasting on taking additional objects take a bit extra butter)

  • 1 hen inventory dice +300ml water

  • 200g (or as many as you possibly can maintain in your arms!) blended recent wild mushrooms

  • 6 rindless smoked streaky bacon rashers, minimize into slices

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 6 skinless pheasant breasts (or in order to not waste the remainder of the chicken, prepare dinner the entire chicken then strip the meat off the bone)

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • A beneficiant quantity of tawny or ruby port (100ml ish)

  • Some flour

  • 2 heaped tbsp finely chopped recent parsley leaves

For the mashed potatoes

  • 1kg potatoes

  • butter

  • milk

  • salt and pepper, to style

  • Some complete grain mustard (optionally available however advisable)
Homemead pheasant pie cooked over campfire

Martin’s legendary pheasant pie. Photograph: Martin Tomlinson.


In a big Dutch oven add some oil or butter and fry the bacon and onion till starting to brown. Then add the chopped mushrooms and prepare dinner for an additional 2 minutes. Add the pheasant to the pan and fry till the meat is frivolously browned. Add the garlic and port to the pan and permit the liquid to bubble for just a few seconds. Sprinkle the flour over and stir via the pheasant and greens. Now stir within the hen inventory and the parsley. Carry to a mild simmer and till the pheasant is cooked via and the sauce has thickened.

In a separate pan, boil the potatoes till cooked, drain, then add the butter and milk and mash the satan out of them. Stir in some complete grain mustard to style (you would be mad to not). Time this proper so your mash is prepared similtaneously your pheasant filling has completed cooking. Put the mash on high of the pheasant filling within the Dutch oven, put the lid on and knock again your fireplace fastidiously placing some embers on to the lid. You desire a low regular warmth underneath and above the oven. Prepare dinner till the mash goes golden. 30 – 40 minites relying in your variables. Serve with inexperienced beans or comparable.

Iain Gair

I made a good French dish with guinea fowl, Toulouse sausage, garlic, cabbage, and white wine just a few occasions. I made it for Martin, Mondo and Spoons as soon as. They appreciated it I consider.

Martin agrees “That dish was delish”.

[ N.B. We’ll have the full low-down of this recipe in a future blog post. The current article is the first in a series. – PK]

Guinea fowl and cabbage in a pot

This guinea fowl dish, launched to us by Iain, has change into a winner, each with shoppers and with the staff. Photograph: Martin Tomlinson.

And in the event you fancy a pudding, then Alison has the reply, even when the one cooking pot you’ve got left is a steel mug…

Alison Delaney

A campfire cake in a steel mug is at all times a winner!


  • four tablespoons self elevating flour

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • four tablespoons caster sugar

  • three tablespoons sunflower oil

  • three tablespoons milk

  • 1 medium egg

  • Just a few drops of vanilla or orange extract (optionally available)

That is an extremely simple to arrange and comforting deal with for these days whenever you want a heat chocolatey cake hug in camp. I are likely to pre-mix the dry elements right into a labelled zip loc bag for comfort and solely add the moist elements once I’m able to prepare dinner.


You possibly can both grease the within of a crusader cup with slightly oil or, in the event you’re nicely ready, line it with parchment paper. I favor to do the latter because it saves on washing up time after, which is at all times a bonus in my books. Completely combine the dry elements within the greased or lined cup earlier than cracking within the egg and mixing it in as completely as you possibly can. Stir within the oil, milk and extract if utilizing. At this stage, you will get slightly artistic and add some chocolate chips, elderberries, strawberries, raspberries or nuts in case you have them handy.

Scrape again slightly of the hearth and place the cup on the fringe of the hearth on heat ash and embers. At this stage, in the event you had been making the cake at residence you might loosen up for a bit, however a fireplace cake wants a bit extra tlc and administration. Rotating the cup periodically so that every aspect of the cake will get even warmth is essential. It is a nice activity although, particularly because the odor and anticipation of that heat cake is fairly damned terrific. The cake will rise evenly in the event you’ve managed the temperatures nicely and is cooked when a knife comes out clear when prodded into its centre.

Crusader mug containing chocolate cake

Alison’s campfire mug cake, able to eat. Photograph: Alison Delaney.

That is the primary in a brand new collection of weblog posts on campfire cookery, together with recipes. Tell us within the feedback beneath which of the above recipes you fancy making an attempt in your subsequent camp. Plus hold a watch out on the Frontier Bushcraft weblog for additional campfire cooking concepts.

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Paul Kirtley is proprietor and Chief Teacher of Frontier Bushcraft. He has had a lifelong ardour for the good outdoor and beneficial properties nice satisfaction from serving to others take pleasure in it too. Paul writes the UK’s main bushcraft weblog in addition to for varied publications together with Bushcraft & Survival Expertise Journal.



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