Ultimate Guide To Easy Camping Food Ideas
Whether camping out in the wild or at a campsite, it doesn't mean you have to rough it when it comes to camp cooking. Just because you don't have an entire kitchen at your disposal, you can still enjoy a wide variety of delicious and easy to cook campfire meals without relying on a packet of crisps and a tin of spaghetti.
This is why we've created the ultimate guide to easy camping food ideas in Australia that has you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including campfire cooking tips and everything you need to know. Whether you're searching for easy camping meals for the family or just yourself, this guide has you covered.
- Important Campfire Cooking Tips
- 5 Easy Breakfast Camping Food Ideas
- 5 Simple Camping Meals For Lunch
- 5 Delicious Campfire Dinner Ideas
Important Campfire Cooking Tips
There's nothing worse than having something go wrong - especially when it's dinner time. Before you set out on your next outdoor adventure with a list of camping food you plan to cook, here are some important campfire cooking tips you will need to know first.
The most important and crucial tip when it comes to campfire cooking is planning ahead. Apart from planning out the daily activities you'll be doing, it's a smart idea to plan and list out all the camping meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner you will be cooking as well. When you have an organised menu planned, you'll have more time to enjoy your camping trip, whether you prefer embracing the great outdoors or enjoying a drink from your hammock.
Do food prep before you leave
A major headache that campers most commonly encounter is the stress of getting everything ready at their campsite. To avoid rushing to get everything done before the sun goes down, you should always prep your planned meals before you leave. For example, chop all of your vegetables and meat and store them in sealable plastic bags. Then when it's time to start cooking, most of the work is already done.
Only take cookware you are going to use
It's understandable to be overly cautious, but a common mistake when camping is to overpack. Instead, only take the camping cookware and utensils you know you are going to need. Also, opt for more versatile cookware when camping, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven that you can just chuck everything into when cooking.
Use squeeze bottles
Storing as many ingredients into handy squeeze bottles that are labelled is a massive time saver when it comes to making easy camping food. Liquids such as cooking oil, pancake batter, salad dressing and even pre-scrambled eggs can be stored into squeeze bottles. This will make your life easier, save on storage space and save on the amount of rubbish you'll generate when camping.
Test out your cookware beforehand
A guaranteed vibe killer is discovering your camping stove isn't working - especially when everyone is waiting for their dinner. Before you pack up the 4WD, caravan or car and head out, make sure you have fired up your camp stove or portable barbeque to ensure it's working. Apart from making sure all the burners are turning on and working, also make sure you have enough gas cylinders and fuel for your trip as well.
5 Easy Breakfast Camping Food Ideas
You awake to the sounds of birds chirping as the orange glow from the sunrise illuminates the tent. With a grumbling stomach, you emerge from your tent - it's time to start cooking breakfast. When it comes to easy camping food ideas to fill your belly in the morning, here are five simple yet delicious breakfast ideas to get you going.
1. Campfire frittata
A campfire frittata is a hearty breakfast that's quick and easy to make, especially since you can cook the entire campfire meal in a cast-iron skillet with a lid. Similar to an omelette, it's a delicious breakfast meal featuring chopped basil, fresh shallots and ripe cherry tomatoes layered together with egg and gooey cheese. Typically cooked in an oven, a frittata can easily be made over a campfire, and if you don't have a lid for your skillet, just wrap it in tin foil instead.
2. French toast
The iconic French toast: thick slices of fresh bread that are coated in egg and then lightly fried for a delicious crispy texture - what's more to say? This easy camping recipe is also simple to make over a campfire or camp stove with your trusty cast-iron skillet or frying pan. For best results, bring a loaf of bread to slice or pre-slice it before you leave, as using pre-sliced sandwich bread can result in a rubbery mess due to being too thin.
Homemade pancakes are another incredibly scrumptious and easy camping meal idea to make, especially if you make the pancake batter beforehand and store it into a convenient squeeze bottle. Then simply squirt some into a frying pan on your camp stove. From there, you can add your favourite toppings such as blueberries, strawberries, sliced banana, icing sugar, honey, maple syrup or shaved coconut.
If you want to spice things up a bit, then shakshuka is a great option. Extremely popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa, shakshuka consists of cracking a few eggs into a simmering tomato sauce and letting them poach. Then it is all topped off with some melted feta cheese and freshly chopped parsley. It can be easily layered into a cast-iron skillet over the campfire or camp stove, and goes perfectly with some thick slices of fresh bread.
5. Bacon and egg sandwich
Needing no introduction, the bacon and egg sandwich is so iconic that it's basically ingrained into the very fabric of Australian culture - plus it's easy to whip up. Just chuck some slices of bacon into a pan, then put them onto some plates once they're crispy and chuck a few slices of bread into the pan to toast and soak up some of the flavour. Then arrange onto a plate while cooking a couple of eggs and you've got yourself one delicious breakfast.
5 Simple Camping Meals For Lunch
You've spent the morning exploring and working off breakfast. As the sun shines down on the campsite and your stomach starts to grumble again, it's time to get lunch started. Here are our top five camping food choices to satisfy your lunchtime hunger.
Snags are perfect when camping as they are quick and easy to make - and are a fan-favourite. You can cook snags in a skillet or frying pan on a camp stove or wrap them in tin foil and cook them over a campfire instead. While they're cooking, make sure you chuck on some onions, grab your bread and sauce, and you have yourself the perfect meal.
2. Potato boats
Who doesn't like a baked spud? This camping recipe features a unique twist on the otherwise rather simple baked potato. Simply slice some potatoes into halves and lay down on a piece of tin foil. Layer each potato with some bacon or ham and then finish with cheese and some chopped chives. Put a little bit of butter on each one, seal it up in the tin foil and then let it bake in the campfire or skillet for about 20 minutes.
Just like hot dogs, hamburgers are an easy way to keep everyone happy and full at the campsite when lunch rolls around. You can use already made burger patties or go that extra mile and make them yourself beforehand. While they are cooking on the grill or in the pan on the camp stove, slice some burger buns and layer them with lettuce to protect the bun, tomato, cheese, burger pattie and then sauce of your choice.
4. Mac and cheese
Easy camping food should be no fuss, so what's easier than mac and cheese? It's also a great camping recipe to make because it can all be done in a cast-iron Dutch oven. Just add some water and add in the macaroni, cover and place it over the coals in the campfire for about 10 minutes. Then remove it from the fire, chuck in some shredded cheese, garlic powder and some diced chives, and there you have it - it couldn't be more easy!
5. Chicken skewers
Chicken skewers are another great camping food idea for lunchtime because you can spice things up however you want. Simply layer however many skewers you want with some pieces of chopped chicken, onion, pineapple, capsicum and whatever else you want, and then cook them over a campfire grill or on a skillet until cooked. As chicken skewers are very easy to eat, it also means practically no washing up at the end!
5 Delicious Campfire Dinner Ideas
As you feel the weather starting to feel cooler and the sun starts its slow descent into the distant horizon, it is time to get cracking with dinner. For some no-fuss campfire dinner ideas that are surprisingly easy to make, here are our five top picks.
When it comes to comfort food that everyone at the campsite will love, you can't go wrong with chilli, plus it can all be made in your trusty Dutch oven. All you'll need for this delicious one-pot camp meal is some garlic, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, beef mince, black beans, ground cumin, onion and capsicum, but you can also chuck in any other ingredients you prefer. Let it simmer and give it a stir every now and then, and presto, you've got yourself a tasty campfire dinner!
2. Fish tacos
If you want to get a little fancy but not too complicated when dinner comes around, then fish tacos are a great option. You can use whatever fish you prefer, although snapper fillets are a good way to go, and then place them into a skillet or grill over the fire or stove. While the fish is cooking, make a quick salsa with some diced tomato, coriander (or parsley if you prefer), corn kernels, red onion and mix together with a pinch of salt. Once the fish is done, place it all onto a plate with some tortilla wraps and let everyone get stuck in.
If you want to go all out for dinner with something special, and you love seafood, then you can't go past paella. It's a pretty flexible dish in terms of ingredients, so it's great for cooking up the day's catch if you're fishing on your camping trip such as clams, mussels, prawns, fish, yabbies and crab. It's an easy dish to cook as well, as you simply add some broth into a pan with some onion, garlic and tomato, season it, chuck in some rice and white wine and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Then add in your seafood mixture, stir and then serve once the rice has become tender. Serve with the leftover white wine, if you haven't polished the bottle while cooking, and some slices of bread.
4. Beef stroganoff
For a classic and easy camping meal for the family, look no further than beef stroganoff. Nothing beats the winning combination of creamy sauce with egg noodles, brown mushrooms and delicious strips of steak. It also goes perfect with some toasted thick slices of buttered bread and a glass of red wine. It's also a great one-pot meal, so all you need is your handy skillet. It's best to use chuck or rump steak, but if you want tender pieces of meat, remember to let the steak rest for about 10 minutes before you start slicing it.
5. Homemade pizza
Did you know that a Dutch oven is also great for making homemade pizza? As it's hard to find a single person who doesn't like pizza, it's a perfect crowd-pleaser when it comes to cooking delicious camping food for dinner. It's best to make your own pizza dough beforehand and bring it with you, rather than fiddling around the campsite, especially once it starts getting dark. Place your dough into your Dutch oven, layer it with tomato or barbeque sauce, sprinkle over some cheese, and add on some pepperoni slices and whatever other toppings you like. Then cover with a lid and place over some hot coals for around 10 minutes.
And there you have it, our top picks for easy and delicious camping food ideas in Australia for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even though packaged camp meals are quick, tasty and convenient, sometimes nothing beats a homecooked meal, especially when you're away camping. If you're going on a hike, then check out our guide on choosing the best hike food to take camping and visit our camping and hiking section in our Adventure Centre for more awesome tips and helpful information.