Who doesn’t love a campfire? And I’m not talking about those fake campfires on the fireplace channel on your TV— I’m talking about real live campfires out there in the wilderness. Food just tastes better when it’s cooked over a campfire.
We’ve all roasted a weenie or a marshmallow above the dancing flames, but have you ever ventured out into the world of cast iron pans and dutch ovens? If you haven’t, I hope this list inspires you to take your campfire food to the next level.
Steak On A Hot Rock
You know what’s better than hot dogs on a stick? Steak cooked on a hot rock paired with sizzling green beans with Trader Joe’s bacon ends.
This delicious meal was made and photographed 5 miles into Kings Canyon, California. Californians know how it’s done.
It’s All About The Trout
Stuck in a campfire rut? It’s time to stop eating those store-bought, pre-pressed hamburgers and start frying Brook Trout with butter, salt, and pepper in a cast iron pan about 10 minutes after you catch it.
Life doesn’t get much better than this.
More Cheese Please
Here’s some inspo for all of you vegetarians out there. Vegans, sorry but you’re reading the wrong article.
This is a granny smith and aged cheddar melt cooked in a cast iron pan in the great outdoors. It’s basically an elevated grilled cheese, but it tastes way better because it was made over a campfire.
Slow And Steady Wins The Race
This is a five spice pork belly, marinated for 48 hours, and then spit-roasted for two hours before eating.
The brine is made out of garlic, sugar, salt, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, star anise, cinnamon, fennel, Sichuan pepper, and cloves. Shove some potatoes under there to catch the drippings, and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Salmon Westcoast Indigenous Style
This whole image is so serene. I can almost smell the smoke and the fresh salmon mixing together in the air.
Also, if you look closely, there are some baked potatoes wrapped in foil in the lower left corner. You can never go wrong with potatoes.
Classic Campfire Cooking
This guy’s girlfriend surprised him with a brand new cast iron skillet. What better way to break it in than with breakfast?
Contents of the skillet: chunks of sausage, bacon, bell peppers, tomatoes, eggs and hash browns, and a hefty handful of grated cheddar cheese.
Everything Tastes Better Outside
Imagine this: you go on an hour-long hike in the wilderness. You get back to your campsite and the smell of steak, baked potato, fried eggs, asparagus, mushrooms and fine screw top wine welcome you home.
I bet you’d want to spend every day in the great outdoors.
A Medley Of Flavors
We all love meat and potatoes, but a little variety is nice too. This skillet is full of a shrimp, potato, and corn medley topped with fresh parsley.
This is making me so hungry, I can barely stand it. When are we going to develop the technology to smell and taste through computer screens?
Campfire Breakfast Play By Play
Tortillas are great for camping. They’re a great plate replacement. I love that this campfire cook took the time to photograph each stage of this breakfast burrito.
This is almost too epic for words. Please get it in my mouth immediately. Is anybody else drooling right now?
Hot Dogs Can Be Fancy Too
Chicken sausage is just a touch fancier than a regular old hot dog. Pair it with some grilled veggies and Caprese salad, and you’ve got yourself a world-class outdoor meal. Real plates make it look even better!
Can we talk about the background for a minute, though? North Carolina is gorgeous.
Bread Fresh From The Dutch Oven
With just some flour, yeast, oil, salt, and water, you could create this warm, fluffy, dutch oven bread.
It takes a little bit of time and patience, but I promise you the end result is very worth it. Bonus points if you have some butter and jam for spreading.
Coffee Tastes Better Outside
Campfire coffee just tastes better. There’s something about the great outdoors that makes a warm cup o’ joe that little bit extra delicious.
If you haven’t tried campfire coffee yet, you are seriously missing out. Don’t give up on your daily dose of caffeine just because you aren’t close to a Starbucks.
Shakshouka In A Paella Pan
Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern breakfast food that’s basically eggs poached in a tomato sauce, topped with parsley and a bunch of spices (and feta cheese if you’re into that sort of thing).
It’s super delicious, and it’s especially good if you have some pita or flatbread to dip into it.
Steak, Potatoes, And Beans
That looks like a lot of potatoes. I hope more than one person enjoyed this campfire feast.
I bet that steak is perfectly done inside. Campfires are pretty good at cooking things perfectly. Building a fire can be hard work, but enjoying the fruits of your labor makes it all worth it.
Now This Is An Operation
Um, excuse me, this is more than a campfire. This is a fire pit of epic proportions. How many people does this guy feed on a regular basis to warrant having this monstrosity in his backyard?
Not gonna lie, I kind of want one though.
Eggs, Bacon, And Beans In The Ontario Wilderness
Ok, stop the presses, this is my new favorite picture. Those pans are just so round and uniform and full of delicious food.
I want to dive into this picture and swim around in it. Can you tell that I’m hungry? I’m really hungry, by the way.
Campfire Chicken Stew
Want to boil this chicken stew over your own campfire? You’re going to need one whole pre-roasted chicken, carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, celery, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, garlic, chilies, and chicken stock.
Leave the mushrooms out until the very end unless you want them to lose their “rooms” and turn to mush.
Outdoor Pizza Party
Here’s a trick: cook both sides of the dough in the skillet before you add all of your pizza toppings. Once the dough is toasted, add your tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and any vegetables of your choosing.
The campfire adds a delicious charred taste to an already cheesy food concept.
Tripod Chili FTW
Suspending food above a campfire is the next logical step after cooking food on a campfire.
Want to take this campfire chili totally over the top? Make some cornbread in a cast iron skillet as a side dish. I promise you won’t regret it.
Back To Basics
Some things are called classics for a reason. You can’t get more classic than steak and eggs.
This is also a great way to use up leftover steak the next morning. Some of the steaks on this list looked pretty big, so I hope they got a second chance at life in a dish like this.