Cooking for large groups of people can be time intensive, so it’s best to plan your meals in advance. This doesn’t mean planning dinner for a single night. It means preparing meals that feed a whole group of people over the course of the day. This means you’ll need more than one cooking appliance and, inevitably, more than one pots and pans. If you don’t have many cooking tools at home, here are some of the items you’ll need to get started with cooking for a large group:
Campfire cooking is great fun for families but can also save a lot of money, especially if your family cooks often. Open fires are especially well suited to one-pot cooking, something even the pickiest eaters can appreciate. If you’re camping near the woods, whip up a nice, warm casserole or a chilli con carne with some tortilla chips, grilled vegetables, meat, baked beans, and salsa. If you’re backpacking around the Pacific Northwest, consider making a chimney, an open fire that supplies plenty of heat but is usually portable so you can move it around easily.
A good foil pan, preferably one that’s non-stick, makes the cooking experience a lot easier, especially if you cook on lower temperatures. You can make a nice soup or a lasagna out of leftover potatoes (make sure you cook them to get rid of most of the starch before using them). Another good idea is to place a layer of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. When you’re ready to bake, place the foil over the pan and turn the oven on to the desired temperature. The bottom of the foil lets the hot steam to evaporate; the top of the foil traps the heat in, thus keeping the baking process cool.
Another great method for campfire cooking is the slow cooker, which is exactly what it sounds like. Place a few pieces of wood on the bottom and cover with the lid, letting the wood burn until the coals are completely blackened. Then, select your favorite recipe and put it in the slow cooker. It will maintain the correct heat until it’s time to remove the lid.
Campfire cooking is also easy when you have an open hearth cooking over an open fire. This method is similar to indoor grilling except you’re cooking over hot coals. To get the right effect, start out with only half a stick of fat or shortening. When the fat begins to shimmer and flare, it’s time to flip and cook the other side. Cooked meat and vegetables come out hot and ready to serve.
Campfire cooking can be fun no matter what type of fuel you have available to you. Whether you prefer hot dogs, steaks, or potatoes, cooking outdoors is always a breeze. Just remember to protect your foods from the effects of the elements by placing them in the fridge before you start cooking and cover loosely if you have pans and pots in the fire. Finally, follow the directions for your particular camp stove and your campfire stove, and before you know it, you’ll have the perfect cookout for two!