Preparing meals for an upcoming camping trip can be very frustrating. Try using some of these helpful tips next time you pack the cooler.
Cook Your Meals Ahead of Time
If I know I have an upcoming camping trip, I buy specialty cuts of meat, then marinate and freeze them. When it's time to cook them, I drop the whole bag into a pot of boiling water and let it cook for about 20 minutes until the meat is tender, flavorful and moist. Freezing your meals also cuts down on ice needed in your coolers, plus the meals stack nicely.
Submitted By: Craig Phinney
Dutch Oven Cooking
The cooking possibilities with a 12-inch, cast iron dutch oven is endless. You can prepare main courses, side dishes and the greatest desserts. When everyone else is eating hot dogs, we are enjoying lasagna, chicken parmesan, pork roasts and yummy desserts. Cleaning up is just a wipe out of the pan.
Submitted By: D. Capron
Potato Ice Packs
Keep your cooler cold by packing frozen twice-baked potatoes wrapped in foil. When you're ready to eat them, just toss them into the coals of your campfire.
Submitted By: Margie Winn
Organizing your Cooler
I put the fixings for each meal into a plastic grocery bag and pack them in the cooler according to when I will use them. If I am going for the weekend, I pack Sunday's meals first, then Saturday's, then Friday's meal. My favorite first night meal is prepared potato salad, chips and grilled chicken. When packing the cooler simply open a bag of chicken breasts, dump in the marinade of your choice and seal the bag. When it's time for dinner all you have to do is cook the chicken on the grill, set out plates and enjoy.
Submitted By: Amy Costa
Time Saving Tip
One of our favorite evening meals when we go camping is steak, baked potatoes and vegetables. To cook things faster, I always pre-cook the potatoes at home in the microwave. I then wrap them in heavy duty foil, put them in a sandwich bag and then in the cooler. I simply reheat them on the grill or on the coals with the steak.
Submitted By: Joni Hally
Ice for Your Cooler
I freeze water in large plastic jugs and use them as large ice blocks when I pack my cooler. The ice keeps the food cold and once it thaws, I use the water to clean the campsite or wash my hands.
Submitted By: Deborah Richards
A S'more Alternative
We use chocolate covered graham cookies when we make s'mores. They are less sweet, not as messy and the kids love them.
Submitted By: John & Jodie Martin
We went camping and forgot the graham crackers for our s'mores, so we used oatmeal chocolate chip cookies instead. Now it has become a tradition when we take the girls camping, they will not eat them any other way.
Submitted By: Missy Sweeton-Guilory
I like to individually wrap s'mores up in foil and then cook them on the campfire for just a bit until the chocolate and marshmallow melt. This saves our kids from creating a sticky mess on the table and keeps their s'more from breaking while trying to eat them.
Submitted By: Nancy Low