Cooking Methods

Camp cooking can be experienced in many different ways. You can make it quick and simple or you can plan it as one of your activities for the day. Many enjoy the process of camp meal preparation and experiment with various methods. But the one thing everyone agrees with, is that food cooked at camp always taste good. Below is an outline of some of the various cooking methods used in the outdoors.

Camp Stoves

  • Propane or white gas (2) burner stoves – most commonly used
  • Butane (1) burner backpack stoves – very lightweight
  • Kerosene stoves – efficient and inexpensive fuel

CAUTION: Do not operate stove or store fuel containers around another heat source such as a campfire. Only operate the stove in open, well ventilated areas. Never use the stove in a tent or a confined area.

See the Camp Store for our selection of camp stoves


  • Used in BBQ grill or fire ring
  • Provides consistent heat distribution
  • Use a fire starter to start charcoal or to reduce heating time use a charcoal tower or large can with both ends removed and holes punched around the bottom. Crumble paper in bottom and place charcoal on top. Tilt can slightly and light paper with a match. Using pot holders, remove can when coals are ready and spread out for larger cooking surface.
  • One piece of charcoal equals 40 degrees of temperature
  • Charcoal will be gray-white in daylight and red at night when ready for use

Wood Fires

  • Reflects true camp atmosphere – warmth, romance, simplicity, gathering place
  • Provides practical & versatile cooking opportunities
  • For successful cooking, have the right kind of fire for the type of cooking you plan on doing. Example – for boiling use a quick flame, for stewing use a low flame, for frying or broiling use a bed of glowing coals.
  • How to build a campfire

Vagabond Stove

Buddy Burner

Dutch Oven

  • Use with charcoal
  • Place three times as many charcoal pieces on the lid as under the oven
  • Always cook with lid on
  • Must be seasoned with oil before use
  • Cover outside of oven with foil for easy clean-up

Foil Cooking

  • Cook on bed a glowing coals
  • Use heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Foil should be large enough to wrap around food and fold all edges securely for a tight seal. Leave some space for expansion when you wrap your raw foods. You must keep steam and juices inside package.
  • On heavy duty foil, place meat, potatoes, vegetables, seasoning etc, add a cream soup on top, fold up foil and secure ends, place over coals, turn and rotate often until fully cooked.
  • Use your cooking creativity – try various seasoning (garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, BBQ sauce, Worchester sauce, Italian dressing, Heinz 57 sauce, bouillon granules, Teriyaki sauce etc), try meat variations (hamburger, pork, chicken, turkey, stew meat, cubed steak, ham, fish, hotdogs seafood etc), try various vegetables, try small dough balls of biscuit mix for dumplings, try breakfast foods, try desserts

Box Oven

  • Works just like a regular oven
  • Made from a cardboard box
  • How to make a box oven

Tin Can Cooking

  • Use large tin can
  • Layer your meal – meat on bottom, vegetables, seasonings etc.
  • Cover with foil

Cook over fire

  • Remove can with pot holders and serve

Cooking with Pie Irons


Our summary of various types of home-made Firestarters.

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5 Replies to “Cooking Methods”

  1. I agree with the fact that wood fire provides practical cooking opportunities. My husband, however, always gets very impatient while cooking with wood fires, so I am thinking of buying a camp stove. Iw ill do some more research online to make sure I get the best option.

  2. Thanks for all the great stuff on this website. We took a few recipes and bought our first dutch oven, went camping using our new way of cooking, and we absolutely loved it. We cannot believe we have never tried dutch oven cooking before. We enjoyed the cherry dump cake, the beef strogonoff, and bisquits. Also we enjoyed the scavenger hunts that are listed here as well.

    We use a cast iron griddle to cook our bisquits on. We cook them on our small BBQ that has a lid to cover them, but could use the dutch oven also, I think that is the way to go, so easy and fun.

  3. Ben, try baking your biscuts in a cast iron skillet with a lid or dutch oven with a lid over coals, good luck

  4. Our Girl Scout Troop of 30 are going camping for the first time.
    We are in a burn ban(Texas). Need some creative cooking meals. We can use the Coleman Stoves. Someone said something about Solar Cooking. HELP.

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