Whether you’re at the pre-game tailgate, a picnic in the park, camping in the deep woods or just having a neighborhood block party, preparing and cooking food outside of the kitchen can be an exciting and delicious experience. Learn the tips and tricks to having a tasty, safe and properly cooked meal in the great outdoors.
Preparing what you can before you leave the kitchen will set you up for success to cook the meal. Measure ingredients for each meal and pack in labeled zip top bags to save time and space. Pre-made seasonings and sauces in their own bags can help with saving space and time on meal preparation.
Making entire meals ahead of time is another option. Meals like stews, chili, burritos and fajitas can all be made and prepped ahead of time. Meals like soups and stews can be frozen and kept cold in a cooler until it’s time to reheat.
Having an efficient cooler is a must when cooking outdoors. Make sure that the cooler is well insulated and free of leaks to ensure the food remains at a safe temperature (35°F to 40°F). Always keep the cooler closed and latched when not in use to keep cold air inside. Pack food items in zip top bags or sealable plastic containers as the original packaging may not hold up as the ice thaws and melts.
Pack the food in the same layers as you would in your refrigerator with raw beef on the bottom, separated from cooked beef and raw vegetables. Use ice blocks instead of ice cubes as the blocks will melt slower.
Whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or outside of the home, food safety remains paramount. Prevent cross contamination by washing your hands, all cooking utensils and preparation areas with hot soapy water. Do not use anything that handled raw meat- including containers, kitchen utensils or cutting boards- with the final cooked product. When cooking over a camp stove, keep a pot of hot water available to clean after use.
Cast Iron skillets and outdoor cooking are a perfect match. Quickly cook some of your favorite meals using the skillet when outdoors.
Just because you’re “roughing it” doesn’t mean you can’t eat a 5-star quality meal. These simple camping recipes are great for cooking on a grill, grill pan or cast iron pan on your camp stove.
Build a packet with shredded beef, beef sausage and vegetables and cook on the grill. Super easy and fun for the whole family. And … no clean up.
This recipe tastes great over the campfire or on your grill at home. Pepper-rubbed T-Bone Steaks are served with flavorful Charro-style beans.
Every game is “the big game” when you have a great meal during the tailgate party.
Take your neighborhood BBQ party to the next level with these great BBQ recipes