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Outdoor Cooking

Camp Cooking Can Be Gourmet

Since as far back as man can remember there has always been an interest in cooking around an open fire. We can’t have this luxury in our home or else we wouldn’t have a home after the meal was done. Over time the camp out included cold meat and bread, hot dogs, or an occasional hamburger but for the most part it was sandwiches. While open fires are the perfect place to fix meals the problem was carrying everything to the camp site and then roughing it when it came to preparing everything. It took a lot of preparing ahead of time so you could be ready for camping.

Camping around an open fire can be viewed in a totally different way. It’s not so much about dragging and lugging everything but the kitchen sink to the camp site and tons of water to help you rinse and keep up with the dishes. It’s about preparing all the food in bags and having it ready so that all you need to do is get it out and cook it. Here are some helpful hints and tips to make your next camping trip a success and leaving them wanting more of your gourmet meal.

When you are done preparing the meal everything should fit neatly inside a cooler so you can tote it around without making a mess. Make sure you count the number of meals that you need to prepare for so you won’t go hungry.

  • Take the usual hamburger and hot dogs and spice them up. First, realize that aluminum foil is your friend. Press out hamburger patties and wrap each individual ones in an aluminum pouch. Don’t forget to add onion, carrots, celery, and your favorite spices and seasonings. You can also replace the beef and pork with chicken. Take the average hot dog and place it in the pouch with some potatoes and beans. Season to taste and then your family can enjoy it.
  • For breakfast, you want everyone to enjoy the taste of a hot breakfast before you get your day started. Precook sausage patties and eggs before you leave and place them on a biscuit that has already baked. Individually wrap each one so that they can eat what they want. Purchase or make frozen potatoes which can also be put in aluminum pouches and season to taste before adding them to the fire. Everyone can enjoy a nice hot breakfast to get everyone started on the right foot.
  • Snacks are going to be in demand because your family will burn more calories when they are outside. They can’t watch television or listen to music so they will be exploring more and becoming active. You will need to provide something that will hold them over until the next meal. Snack foods such as granola bars, trail mix, crackers, and popcorn are just some of the snack foods that you can have ready. These do not require too much preparation so you will be able to purchase them or fix them up before you leave. They will last during your trip without being refrigerated.
  • Drinks are another thing you may want to consider. Everyone will probably drink water but they will want something different with their meals. Take advantage of the outdoors by brewing up some sun tea. This is easy to do and tastes so good. Your family will enjoy a tall glass of ice tea with their meals.

It’s not always easy to prepare for camping but this year the meal will be more enjoyable for you and your family.

Author: Lisa Paterson
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Eliminate Outdoor Cooking Mistakes

We all make mistakes. It is human nature to do so, and cannot be prevented each and every time. When it comes to barbequing, this rule is no different. We often make mistakes that we do not even realize until we taste our food, or something potentially dangerous happens.

Some mistakes just mean that the food you cook is not going to taste very good, while others could potentially mean a trip to the hospital, or a visit from your claims representative on your home insurance policy. No matter the severity of the mistake, you should do your best to try to avoid them whenever possible.

Cooking Mistakes

You must properly prepare the meat you are cooking, before cooking it. You should never attempt to cook meat on a grill when it is still frozen, or even partially frozen. Thaw your meat by sitting it out about 12 to 24 hours before you plan on cooking it, or by thawing it in a microwave. The meats should be at room temperature prior to cooking. If the meat is cold the meat will cook on the outside and steam on the inside making your meats chewy and dry.

Once meat is cooked, never put it back in on the same plate when it was raw. This could cause the spread of unwanted illnesses.

Cooking with charcoal lighter fluid can be good or bad. The lighter fluid will cause the food you are cooking to taste different then with other types of grills. Alternatively, Use a charcoal chimney to get the job done. Tear small strips from the charcoal bag starting at the top and work your way down as the charcoal is used up.

Never poke the meat while it is cooking. Poking holes in meat will cause the juice inside to leak out into the bottom of the grill. Not only will this make your food dry and unappealing in the end, but it also could potentially ruin your barbeque grill. At the very least, it will cause a buildup of unwanted grease and juices on your grill, which will make cleanup harder.

Once the meat is on the grill, try not to open the lid to many times. Each time you open the lid, you change the temperature in the grill. The constant change in temperature and the air flow will cause your meat to dry up quickly.

Remember that the higher the heat is not always the better. While it is ok to quickly cook food, turning the heat up will just cause the meat to dry up and potentially burn.

While using tin foil or aluminum foil will make cleaning easier, it will cause your food to have more of a fried taste then a grilled taste.

Dangerous Mistakes

Never, under any circumstance, should you leave a grill alone when it is in use. Grilling does have fire involved, and accidents can happen. Fire spreads quickly, so being aware of your grill could mean the difference between a small fire that is quickly extinguished, and a visit from the fire department.

Never place a hot grill against a wall, even if the fire is already completely out. A hot grill can heat up an exterior wall to the point of combustion. Also, do not put the grill cover back on until you are sure that the grill is completely cool.

You grill should be cleaned after each and every use, no exceptions. While no one likes cleaning the grill, it is essential for the life and safety of your grill. If you allow your grill to sit dirty, not only are you causing a potential fire and health hazard, but you are ultimately making it harder on yourself when it does come time to clean your grill.

Make sure that your grill is completely cold before cleaning it. Spraying oil and cleaning agents on a hot surface could cause it to ignite. Be careful, because the grill may seem cool, but may still be hot in certain areas. You do not want to sustain a burn.

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