Veteran campers understand that a well-stocked RV pantry or grub box should always contain a few canned goods.
Why cans? Many new forms of shelf-stable food are in plastic and cardboard containers, making them an easy target for pests. Cans are rodent-proof, they're sturdy, and when properly prepped—labels removed and lid opened—they can be placed directly in the campfire.
Whether you have other fresh foods on hand or not, you can make a hearty and satisfying meal with canned goods. Here are a few tips for cooking with your canned goods and recipes to get you started.
Canned-Food Cooking Made Delicious
Remember these tips before you roast a can of chili over the fire. From recipe starter ideas to safety tips, this is must-know information.
- Canned foods can result in sodium overload. Always buy no-salt-added or low sodium canned goods. You can always add more flavor with your own seasonings and spices.
- Saute fresh chopped onion in a teaspoon of olive oil before heating canned soup or stew. It will look and taste more homemade.
- Invent your own soups by combining two or more cans together. Start with a can of beans (any kind) and add chunky tomato or pea soup and cream of tomato. Add a dash of sherry to give it a gourmet finish.
- Canned ham, or Spam, is great for kebabs. Thread the meat onto a skewer with pineapple chunks and canned or fresh whole mushrooms.
- Replace fresh ingredients with a canned version of the same item to add variety to the dish or make a meager meal heartier. Choices include corn, peas, eggplant, diced tomatoes and diced peaches.
- Bring a can of beef stew to life with a splash of dry red wine.
- Don't forget canned fruit for dessert or to add a touch of sweetness to your savory meals.
Use these five recipes to become a five-star canned-food chef.
Bull Moose Stew
1 10-ounce can of roast beef in gravy
2 cans, 15 ounces each, mixed vegetables, not drained
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 small can of mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 small can of diced chilies, drained
Serves 3 to 4
Open the can of roast beef and twist a fork in it to break up the meat. Put it in a medium saucepan and mix well with the mushroom soup. Add everything else over low heat and stir occasionally until everything is well blended and heated through.