During the summertime, when the weather is sunny and warm, people like to cook and eat together outdoors, at picnics or campsites. But things can get complicated when cooking or dining outdoors if you don’t have the right tools to prepare your food. Here’s a list of the essentials you will need to create amazing dishes when you spend time outdoors with your family and loved ones.
Wood or Charcoal
To cook, you’ll need to start a fire, so you will need wood or charcoal. Many campsites may require you to buy from their wood stocks at the camp but if that’s not the case, bring your wood with you. It’s recommended to take a combination of soft and hardwood, as softwood helps start the fire easily, but hardwood will keep it going for long periods. Additionally, take charcoal or propane with you; charcoal is more suitable if you’re cooking on a flame or grill, while propane is better if you’re cooking on a camp stove.
Campfire Cooking Tools
You will also need fire cooking tools to ignite the fire since, without a fire, you won’t be able to cook anything outdoors. You will need matches or a lighter to ignite the fire; the longer the lighter the better to avoid getting in close contact with the fire. You might also need firestarters, whether homemade ones or simply use old newspapers to get the fire going. Take heat resistant fire mitts so you don’t burn your hands while cooking as the flames can get pretty intense. It’s also recommended to take along tongs for handling the food over the fire to avoid going home with your eyebrows burnt off!
To cook properly, you’ll need the appropriate cookware. Dutch ovens with legs can be placed over the fire for braising, roasting, steaming, and baking. If you don’t want to invest in a Dutch oven because it can be very costly, then at least invest in one large heavy-duty iron skillet. You could also opt for using miscellaneous pots and pans from your kitchen to cook but make sure that they are ones you don’t value too dearly as they may become scorched or get ruined from being in close contact with the flames. Another idea for cookware is an over the fire grill grate. It is a very useful tool for cooking outdoors as you can use it when cooking food directly on the surface. Alternatively, you can place pots and pans on it and cook in them instead. It’s easy to carry, can fold up, and is made of durable material, so you won’t need to replace it too often.
Stackable Cooking Supplies
Other useful tools to take with you when cooking outdoors with your family are stackable cooking tools. These are very easy to use and store, and they barely take up any space. Stackable cooking supplies are among the most essential RV kitchen accessories that you need to bring along on any outdoor adventure or gathering. Examples of stackable cooking supplies include stackable measuring cups and spoons. Stackable measuring cups must be lightweight and also accurate so that you can cook with the right amount of ingredients. Stackable mixing bowls are also essential to mix everything you are cooking in them and use them to store the leftovers afterward. It is recommended to purchase melamine mixing bowls as they can handle being tossed around and won’t break easily. Choose ones that have airtight lids to double as sturdy storage containers for leftovers when you are finished eating.
Portable Cutting Board and Cutlery Set
Although you could chop everything you need and bring them along with you before you go outdoors, it’s more fun to get everything ready outdoors! You may also find that you have forgotten to chop an essential recipe ingredient to complete your dish. Purchasing a portable cutting board means that you’ll never have to try to chop something up on a paper plate ever again. It goes without saying that while eating, you will need utensils to eat with. Bringing along a small box of plastic cutlery with you is more than enough to satisfy your outdoor dining needs.
The most essential part of any meal is the food that will be cooked. There are so many simple recipes you can cook while dining outdoors with your family. Examples of these easy dishes include s’mores, hot dogs, nachos, grilled burgers, chicken kebabs, among many more! The possibilities are truly endless. However, to cook any meal, you’ll need your pantry essentials. Necessary items to take with are any form of fat, such as oils (like olive oil, coconut oil, or sunflower oil) or cooking sprays as well as water and vinegar. Seasonings are essential to take with them as they can make or break any dish. It is a good idea to place the spices in a compact seasoning container so you can have as many as you want with you. You should also take with you lemons, sugar (or any kind of sweetener), and any drinks, such as soda, juice, instant coffee, or tea bags. If your recipe requires rice, pasta, potatoes, or bread, remember to take these along with you. Canned foods can also be lifesavers in case someone is still hungry after you have eaten.
If you follow this simple guide, you should face no issues on your next family picnic or camping trip. From campfire cooking tools and disposable utensils and plates to stackable cooking supplies and pantry essentials, these tools will ensure that you can cook efficiently and serve delicious meals no matter where you are. Moreover, these essentials are easy to carry around, which is incredibly important when dining outdoors. Pack a few snacks like chips, cookies, energy bars, or savory snacks for your family to nibble on until the food is ready. As long as you have everything you need, eating outdoors is a great way to spend some quality time with your loved ones, especially during the summertime.