We love campfire food! You may think we live off it in the Pegs and Pitches office but surprisingly this isn’t the case. It’s a real treat for us to get out and cook on the campfire and we love to take a group of family and friends with us when we do. Over the years we’ve learnt what makes an easy camping meal for a group and what becomes more hassle than it’s worth!
Here’s our list of easy camping meals for groups:
Good for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Grab yourselves some sausages, burgers, halloumi and veg and pop it all on a grill over the campfire. We like to marinade our veggies in herbs and lemon juice first, but keep them big and chunky so they don’t fall through the grill. Make sure you have buns and ketchup and a nice side salad or coleslaw also goes down a treat. The ultimate easy camping meal for groups.
Use beef or go veggie and make a bean chilli. Either way this is a great one pot meal to feed the hordes. If you need an easy option for your first night’s camping, pre-make the chilli. All you’ll need to do is heat it up over the fire and cook some rice to go with it.
If you’re planning on making this during your camping trip, try using a dutch oven. You can pop all the ingredients in, then just sit it in the coals and let it do it’s thing.
The fry up
Essentially it’s a breakfast BBQ. Cook your sausages and bacon directly on the campfire grill and throw on some big portobello mushrooms. We like to get one of the kids on bean stirring duty and always opt for scrambled eggs as it’s easier for a crowd. Make sure the eggs aren’t directly over the heat and keep them moving – otherwise you’ll never get that pan clean!
Hugh’s Tip – wrap the big mushrooms in foil with lashing of butter and garlic. The trapped steam makes them extra moist!
Another easy camping meal for groups. Grab some good quality baked potatoes – many of the farm shops near our Sussex campsites sell a great spud. Pierce the potatoes with a fork a few times, wrap your potatoes in foil and pop them straight in the coals on the edge of the campfire. Get the kids to find a suitable long stick and use this to rotate the baked potatoes every 10 mins so they cook evenly (with the appropriate adult supervision of course). The campfire backed potatoes will take around an hour (just a fraction longer than in the oven), but will come out as the best tasting potato you’ve ever had. Top with baked beans and cheese or another topping of your choice.
Hugh’s Tip – if you leave a baked potato or two on the fire overnight by accident, in the morning scoop out the middle and mix with an egg, for a campfire version of Spanish potato omelette.
Fish or chicken wrapped in foil
This is a great easy camping meal for groups to make in advance. Wrap up a nice piece of fish or chicken with some vegetables of your choice (we like courgettes, peppers and onions). Season well and pop on top of the grill or lightly in the coals. You’ll have to keep an eye on these and check on them but once cooked, hand each person their foil wrapped gift and they’ll be grinning from ear to ear when they unwrap it!
This is a great one for the first night if you pre-make the bolognese at home. Try the BBC’s easy bolognese recipe. Make it the night before camping then all you’ll need to do is boil up some water for the pasta and heat up your campfire bolognese. The hardest part will be deciding who does the dishes.
The one pot meal
We’re calling this the one pot meal because it can contain anything you want it to! We hire dutch ovens at our campsites and think they are the easiest option for this group camping meal. Essentially you just need to put your favourite ingredients into the pot and cook it in the coals. You could choose a stew, a cassoulet, or a cacciatore. We like to throw in some pieces of chicken, onions, peppers, olives and a tin of tomatoes. Let this slowly cook in the coals and serve with rice/pasta/mashed potato or anything else you fancy! For the vegetarians, leave out the meat and try mushrooms for their earthiness. Alternatively a beef stew substituted with jackfruit is a real winner!
Hugh’s Tip – quickly sear the meat or veg on the grill over the campfire. Then once it’s in the pot it will transfer some of that smokey flavour of the fire.
There you have it – our tried and test easy group camping meals. Easy enough to feed a crowd without causing you too much stress. Why not get the kids involved too?
Once you’ve stuffed yourselves with dinner, try a group camping dessert?