Ready Steady Cook Outdoors
Whether it's with a gas stove or on an open fire (in designated fire pits), cooking in the great outdoors is one of life's simple pleasures and going back-to-basics can be a rewarding experience.
With just a few key items and a little planning and preparation before heading into the hills and you could be rustling up some tasty camping food in no time. Here's how...
Essential Camping Cookware
Just like at home your outdoor culinary feast will need some basics such as pans, fuel, etc. But a varied collection of ingredients and knowledge will also help.
If you are considering in investing in some new kit then think about whether weight is essential to you. You'll pay more for lighter weight and stronger products but they will last longer. Ensure you know how to use it before setting off – this is essential for water purification devices. Consider your destination and where it will be used e.g. is your stove compatible with fuel connections in other countries.
Authors of Moveable Feasts Amy-Jane Beer and Roy Halpin suggest that the absolute minimum requirement for cooking outdoors is a sharp knife and a whole load of knowledge.
But for the rest of us they offer a handy checklist for the essentials:
- A Stove (a windshield would also come in handy)
- Extra fuel in a suitable container
- Nesting pans with handle
- Pan lid/frying pan
- Penknife with locking blade, can opener and bottle opener
- Light plastic mug
- Insulated mug
- Rubbish bag
Key Tips for Cooking Outdoors
- Never cook inside your tent – invest in a tarp if you need shelter.
- Clean burnt food off your pan immediately to ensure it doesn't become stubborn or alternatively use a non-stick pot such as this one from MSR.
- Be aware of water boiling temperatures – for every 165m of altitude the boiling point of water drops by 1°C. If you're cooking at 1000m, your water will boil at 94°C; at 2000m it will boil at just 88°C.
- Carry a small amount of paprika or chili, lemons or limes it can make most food taste edible.
- Always ensure your drinking water is free of nasties. If your water source is from a stream or lake, always boil, filter or disinfect with dioxide tablets first.
- Prepare food at home. Weigh ingredients and place in sealed plastic bags - this takes out a lot of faff - especially if conditions are less than perfect.
- Don't forget your matches, or for added kudos a Light My Fire Fire Steel Scout is sure to impress.
For more reading on outdoor recipes and cooking tips visit: Jetboil Recipes.
About the Author:
Mike Humphreys - Online Content
Mike is a keen cyclist, snowboarder, hill walker and Land Rover tinkerer. He has travelled extensively, spending a year living out of a van in New Zealand before joining Ellis Brigham four years ago. Can usually be found walking his dogs or tortoises.