Tag Archives: Food Production

Top 10 Must-Have Tools for the Kitchen

     A few years ago, I was all about Food Network. I watched every single show they made. I paid close attention tothe terminology they used, the ingredients they combined, and the kitchen tools they used.  Those kitchen tools?Yeah, I wanted them all. The juicers, the meat slicers, the panini press… I just had to have them!

     Then I paid closer attention. I looked at the basic tools they all used. These are the ones that really matter. Not everyone needs a shark skin grater or a donabe smoker, but everyone needs the ones I’m going to talk about in this article… so read on!

This article was written by Patrick from Survival At Home.

My Go To Spice Mix Recipes

We all have those spices that we reach for time and time again.  Well, frankly I have gotten quite tired of buying my spice “blends” at the store and not being able to pronounce half of what’s in it.  So, I have been collecting and trying recipes over the past little while to find what I like and what works for me.  I have gathered my collection here for you to experiment with, modify if you need to…and make them your own.

I have yet to find a spice rack or keeping system yet that I like and that works in my tiny kitchen…I will keep looking and when I do, I will share that with you!

Source

All Purpose Seasoning

Lightly grind up all the spices till of the same consistency.

Perfect for grilling meats and anything really!

  • 2 parts oregano
  • 1 part rosemary
  • 1 part thyme
  • 1/2 part garlic granules

 

Pumpkin Spice

This pumpkin spice blend goes well in pumpkin pie. I also use it in my coffee..yes..and on top of ice cream, in cream cheese with bagels, eggnog and many…many more uses.

  • 4 parts cinnamon powder
  • 2 parts ginger powder
  • 1 part cloves powder
  • 1/2 part nutmeg powder

 

Taco Seasoning

Used on tacos, fajitas, meats and chili.

  • 1/3 c. chili powder
  • 3 TBS. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 TBS. cumin
  • 1 TBS. garlic powder
  • 1 TBS. paprika
  • 1 TBS. salt

For Tacos:
Mix: 3 TBS. of Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix with 2 TBS. arrowroot starch, & 3 TBS. water to 1 lb. of ground beef.

 

Italian Seasoning

  •  2 TBS. garlic powder
  • 4 TBS. onion powder
  • 2 1/2 TBS. dried oregano
  • 4 TBS. dried parsley
  • 2 1/2 TBS salt
  • 1 TBS. pepper

For Italian Dressing:

Mix: 2 TBS. Homemade Italian Seasoning Mix with 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar, 1 TBS. water, 1/2 c. olive oil

For Italian Seasoning:

Use on any kind of meat or sauce you want. But don’t get too crazy here. It’s not chocolate.

 

Italian Season #2

  • 1/3 c. dry crushed oregano
  • 1/3 cup dry basil
  • 2 Tbsp. rosemary
  • 1/4 cup each thyme, sage, and marjoram

Combine spices and seal in Ziplock bag or jar.

 

Ranch Dressing Mix

  • 1/2 c. dried chives
  • 3/4 c. dried parsley
  • 2 TBS. salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. paprika

For Ranch Dressing:

Mix 3 TBS. of Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix with 1 c. organic mayo, 1/2 c. whole-milk yogurt, & 1 tsp. of honey. Add a little bit of water if it needs thinning out.

 

BBQ Spice Rub

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

To Use:

Rub on beef cuts such as T-bones, tenderloin, top sirloin and top loin (strip). Allow to marinate for 1-4 hours or overnight. Grill or broil 3 to 4 inches from heat 10 to 13 minutes for medium rare.

 

Herbs de Provence Recipe

  •  3 Tablespoons dried marjoram
  • 3 Tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 Tablespoons dried savory
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Use herbs de Provence to season chicken, vegetables, or meat.

 

Homemade Seasoned Salt

  • 8 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 3 Tbsp. pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container. use on everything! This is my favorite seasoning!

 

Homemade House Seasoning

  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1/4 cup of garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup black pepper

Mix and use on everything! This is my 2nd favorite homemade seasoning!

 

Homemade Fajita Seasoning Mix

  • 2 1/2 -3 teaspoons chili powder (vary according to how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp.cumin

To use, sprinkle chicken or steak with fajita seasoning. Sprinkle with lime. Mix and let marinate one to several hours. Fry in hot oil.

Chili Spice Blend

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

 

Dry Onion Soup Mix

  • 4 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules
  • 8 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Combine spices and seal in Ziplock bag or jar.

 

 Lemon Pepper Seasoning 

  • 1 C. ground black pepper
  • 1/3 C. dried lemon peel
  • 3 T. coriander seeds
  • 1/4 C. dried minced onion
  • 1/4 C. dried thyme leaves

Combine all ingredients and seal in ziploc or vacuum seal bag (or jar) or spice jar. My husband adores this one.

 

Meatloaf Seasoning Mix

Make your own Meatloaf seasoning mix! I got real tired of buying the package at the store.  This following recipe makes 1 package for one meatloaf.

You’ll Need:

  • 2 tsp. dried mustard
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder

Combine all the spices and seal in Ziplock bag or jar.

Meatloaf Recipe:

1 package Meat Loaf Seasoning Mix
2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 slices bread, finely crumbled or 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce

Combine the Seasoning Mix, ground beef or turkey, eggs, milk and bread crumbs in large bowl, Shape into a loaf and place into a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Spread ketchup or BBQ sauce over top of loaf, if desired. Bake at 375F for about 1 hour or until cooked through.

This article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply


Simply Pumpkin Pie

Welcome to your Simply Pumpkin Pie Tutorial AND Recipe!  Yes, Simply Living Simply is all about Semi-Homemade…but today were making Pumpkin Pie from Scratch…yes, SCRATCH!  So a quick overview.  We need pumpkins, sugar/baking pumpkins are best.  Two will do you.  A blender, some time, your favorite pie crust recipe (check back this week when I will be sharing Stacy Harris’s Pie Recipe!), and ingredients for your pie.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s get bakin!!

 

Kat’s in the kitchen!

Pumpkin Puree Tutorial

1.  Choose 2 pumpkins, preferably sugar/baking pumpkins.

2.  Wash or wipe off the outsides. Place on foil lined cookie sheet.

Time to bake the pumpkins

3.  Preheat oven to 350 and bake in the middle for 20-1 Hr.  Time depends on how big your pumpkins are and how many you are baking.  Don’t cut the tops off or poke holes.  Leave those pumpkins ALONE…NO TOUCHIE!

4. When a knife inserted easily comes out clean … your done, they are done!

5.  Take out carefully, they are hot and heavy.  NOW cut the tops off carefully…STEAM will escape and its HOT!!

6.  Allow to cool…this takes about 30 minutes.

7.  Cut in half to help cool.  Then divide into sections.

Cut in half to cool

8.  Seeds scoop out easily with your knife or a spoon.

9.  Carve off the skin (like when sectioning cantaloupe)

Carve out the flesh and cut into chunks for storage or puree

10. Cube into chunks.

11.  You could now put into plastic freezer bags for later use OR puree

12.  To Puree: fill blender halfway full, add a little water, turn blender on, add more water if needed for consistency.  Blend till smooth.

 

Pumpkin and a little water, that’s it folks

13.  Store in freezer bags in 2 C. increments, easy for recipe use!

Simply Pumpkin Pie

Let’s get your pie going now…the pictures you will see are 1 pumpkin pie.  There are only 2 of us here…and 2 pies is just overkill and dangerous!

1.  Preheat your oven to your desired temperature…we are going for 425

2.  Find your pie plates and get your most favorite pie crust in there all beautiful like!!

 

This is my favorite whole wheat crust…Stacy Harris original!

3. Now we add all our ingredients to our bowl.  You know the drill, Pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, spices, and evaporated milk.

4. Mix

Mix Everything together

5. Pour…isn’t it pretty?!

All ready for the oven

6. Bake!

Waiting is so hard…smellin good!

7.  EAT…no wait, it’s hot…..but your so tempted, right??!!!

Out of the oven, cooled and ready to EAT!
Simply Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Rating: 5

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Please note, the pictures in the tutorial are only 1 pie, I halved the recipe up above. Watch your crust, if they start to brown too much, put foil sleeves over them.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 16 oz. Pumpkin Puree, Homemade
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 large DEEP dish pie shell or 2 Shallow pie shells

Instructions

  1. MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  2. POUR into pie shell or shells
  3. BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
  6. Top with whipped cream before serving.

 

This fantastic article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply.  Like them on Facebook while you are there!

Autumn Squash

There is a chill in the wind, leaves falling from the trees and the temps dip into the low 50′s at night here.  We grab sweaters and jackets when we leave the house and it’s dark when we get home.  It’s Fall…with Winter fast on her heels.

Thankfully God has brightened our chilly Fall days and Winter nights with glorious beautiful squash….Acorn and Kabocha we will spotlight today, but there are many others.  Speghetti, Butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, Turbin and yes….Pumpkin!, just to name a few.

 

Acorn Squash

Acorn

Until the recent rise in popularity of butternut squash, acorn squash were the most commonly available squash in the U.S. They are a great all-around squash, with moist, sweet, tender flesh. They are good for roasting, baking, steaming, mashing, and sauteeing. Smaller ones are perfect for stuffing and make an excellent vegetarian main course for special occasions like Thanksgiving.

Acorn squash are round, with even groves around the entire squash. They are mostly dark green, with occasional splotches of orange and yellow. The flesh is a slightly yellowish pumpkin orange. They tend to weight between 12 oz. and 2 pounds.

 

Kabocha Squash

Kabocha

Kabocha squash have a remarkably sweet and tender flesh with a slightly nutty flavor. The peel is really more of a rind and is difficult to cut. The dense, smooth, sweet flesh is so tasty it needs very little fuss in preparation. Roasting it or slicing and baking it with a bit of butter or oil and salt are all this delicious squash needs. The dense flesh also holds its shaped with cooked, even in liquids, which makes it perfect for using as chunks in soups or steamed dishes. It pairs well with ginger and sesame as well.

Kabocha squash are large, round, and squat. They are dark green and mottled, often with bumpy skin and make lovely table decoration until they’re cooked.

Recipes

We couldn’t end this post without some recipes for the season and to celebrate the wonderful bounty from God!

Baked Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 Acorn Squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and bottoms trimmed to lie flat
  • 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
  • 8 Springs of Thyme (you may use dried to sprinkle)
  • 1/2 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place squash halves cut side up on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide cream and thyme among the halves.
  4. Bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 35-40 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake until cheese is melted.

 

Autumn Pork Chops – Crock Pot Alert!

Ingredients

  • 6 Thick pork chops
  • 2 Medium acorn squash
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet or brownn sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Orange peel, grated

Instructions

  1. Trim excess fat from pork chops.
  2. Cut each squash into 4 or 5 crosswise slices; remove seeds.
  3. Arrange 3 chops on bottom of Crock pot.
  4. Place all squash slices on top; then another layer of three remaining chops.
  5. Combine salt, butter, sugar, bouquet sauce, orange juice and orange peel.
  6. Spoon over chops.
  7. Cover and cook on low 6−8 hours or until done.
  8. Serve one or two slices of squash with each pork chop.

 

Autumn Chicken, Rice & Kabocha…Oh My!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 6 skin-on chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Med. white onion, diced
  • 1/2 Lrg. Kabocha Squash, seeded and cut into large chunks (4 Cups)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 6 Sprigs Oregano (or can use dried)
  • 1 1/2 C. Whole Wheat & Wild Rice
  • 1/4 C. Chardonnay wine
  • 3 1/2 C. Chicken Broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In large heavy pot with tight fitting lid, heat 1 Tbsp oil over high heat.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Working in batches, cook chicken skin side down till golden brown 6-8 minutes. Flip, cook 1 minute more.
  5. Transfer to plate, discard fat, wipe pot clean.
  6. Reduce heat to medium, add remaining oil to pot.
  7. Add onion and squash and cook till onion is translucent – 8 minutes or so.
  8. Add garlic and oregano and cook till fragrant.
  9. Add rice and cook, stirring until opaque.
  10. Add wine and cook, stirring, till completely evaporated.
  11. Return chicken to pot, skin side up, add broth, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  12. Bring to a boil, cover, transfer to oven and cook till liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
  13. Approx 25 minutes. Let sit, covered for 10 minutes.

 

This article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply

 

 

 

12 Simple Campfire Cooking Recipes

campfire cookingGrowing up, I spent a nearly every October out on the lake.  The fresh air of the Piney Woods National Forest was fantastic… but that isn’t what I waited all year for… It was the food!  Coming from a southern family, we love to cook outside over an open fire.  Every evening was filled with crickets, frogs, and the smell of fried chicken and cornbread.

The cool weather we have has gotten me thinking about old times and I wanted to see what other people would cook out over a campfire.

My friends over at Eartheasy.com put together a great article with some fantastic recipes, that I wanted to share with you. (be sure to check out the campfire roasted potatoes and the amazing orange brownies!):

Campfire cooking can be downright civilized.

No matter how spectacular the scenery, meals around the campfire are often the highlight of the camper’s day.

Recipes for Campfire Cooking         

Bannock

Simple to make, four basic ingredients, one bowl to wash. This kids’ favorite is tasty, nutritious and fun to cook on a stick over the campfire. It can also be cooked in a skillet. Bannock can be a meal in itself.

Ingredients:

2 – 3 cups flour

1 – 2 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt (optional)

2 – 3 Tbsp oil, butter or lard

2/3 cup warm water

Directions: Put everything but the water in a bowl and mix with your fingers until crumbly. Slowly add water and mix until dough feels soft. It may seem that you don’t have enough water, but keep working the dough till it holds together. Don’t add more water!

Take a small handful and wrap around the end of a green stick, like a marshmallow roast. Knead it so it stays together. Cook over coals for about 10 – 12 minutes, rotating to cook evenly. Eat as is, or add a bit of jam or honey.

Shishkebab

Chop, skewer and cook…couldn’t be easier! Let the campers cook their own meals – it’s a fun activity and much more nutritious than the standard wiener roast.

Ingredients:

beef or pork cut into 1″ cubes

small whole onions

red or green peppers, whole mushrooms, whole cherry tomatoes

Directions: Brown the cubed meat in a skillet over high heat for 1/2 minute on each side. Cut the peppers in large chunks, leave the other vegetables whole. Slip the pieces onto a skewer, alternating the ingredients. (Skewer the onions and mushroms through the core, or they might fall off while cooking.) Cook over the open fire for 15-20 minutes till done. Sprinkle with grated cheese and breadcrumbs before serving.

Campfire Potatoes

This meal pretty much cooks itself – just leave it in the coals! Be sure to count how many potatoes you put in the fire, because the foil becomes covered with ash, and blends in well with the coals.

Ingredients:

large baking potatoes

whole onions, red or yellow

dill, parsley, bacon bits

Directions: Slice potato almost all the way through, but leave enough to hold it together. Slice the onion, and put one slice in between each potato slice. Sprinkle with bacon bits and a little dill. Wrap well with heavy aluminum foil and bury in the coals of the fire. Leave untouched for about 45 minutes, and test for doneness by piercing with a fork – the fork should lift out without lifting the potato. Cooking time depends on size of potatoes and strength of fire. Serve with pat of butter and a few sprigs of parsley.

Beer Batter Fish Fillets

If you’ve had luck fishing, do the catch justice with this simple, mouth watering recipe. Be sure to dry the fillets on the outside so the batter will stick while cooking. Cook over medium heat.

Ingredients: Allow 1/2 pound fish fillets or two small, cleaned pan fish per person.

……………… 1 cup buttermilk pancake mix

……………… 3/4 cup beer

……………….1/4 cup cooking oil

……………… parsley, dill, lemon

Directions: Using a small bowl, blend the buttermilk pancake mix with the beer, using a fork. Whip the batter until smooth and the consistency of heavy cream. Blot the fillets dry using a napkin or paper towel, and dip in the batter. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the fillets until golden brown on the outside. The meat should be moist and shiny on the inside. Be careful not to overcook – fillet should flake easily when tested with a fork. Serve with a sprinkle of dill and garnish with parsley and lemon slice.

Pocket One-ders

Here’s a wonderful method for campfire cooking which is simple, versatile and doesn’t even require cookware or a grill. All you need is some heavy-duty tin foil.

Tear off a 12″ sheet of foil and fold it back over your fist, making a “pocket”. Roll the sides in a few turns so the pocket is only open at the top, and roll a turn or two up from the bottom for extra strength. The pocket needs to be leak-proof, and formed well enough to withstand cooking directly in the coals. If your foil is thin, you may need two layers.

Start by lining the bottom of the pocket with thin slices of lemon. This helps keep the food contents from burning, and imparts flavor to the meal. Chop potatoes and carrots (cut small enough to cook all the way without overcooking everything else), tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions, green beans, etc. and stuff the pockets. Add garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil, and a dash of cayenne. Add 1/4 cup of beer or water, fold the top edges of the pocket closed and set directly into the hot coals….it takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on how everything’s cut. All the veggies slow roast in their own juices!

Jessa, Jen, Lori and Sarah

Campfire Beans

I think my most favorite campfire food is really true “Campfire Beans”. I make them with whatever is in the cooler starting with the bacon drippings from breakfast, then add onions and other veggies …toss in the DRY beans (if they have been soaked great, but it does not matter). This is done in a cast iron pot, nestled in the coals…I put in whatever meat is available…we often have frozen venison, but beef and pork do fine too. Add garlic and any other seasoniong you like…do not be afraid of a pinch of cinnamon…. keep adding liquid…beer, wine, water …a few bullion cubes help…chopped celery, diced tomatoes (this is a great way to use the veggies that get soft in the cooler). Lee

 

Simple Meal-in-one

In the center of a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil place a hamburger patty (venison or chicken breasts would also work). On top of the burger, place a thin slice of onion. Wash potatoes with skins on, slice thinly and add a layer of potatoes on top of the onions. Add salt, pepper, garlic and a large spoon of canned baked beans (Bushes hickory bacon are my favorite). Bring edges of foil together and fold down to seal then roll ends to finish sealing. Place in hot coals for 30 to 45 min til done. NO muss! NO fuss! GREAT eating! Lynn

Campers Stew

An all time favorite meal in our family is a classic we called campers stew…… It’s a simple mess-free dinner the whole family can enjoy.

On a 15 ” strip of aluminum foil, crumble hamburger and top it with finely chopped potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and any vegetable you have on hand. Add salt, pepper and a tsp of butter to the top. Wrap it up tight and stick on a bed of hot coals. When it’s done add Tabasco or ketchup. ummmmmm. It’s fabulous. Shannon

Camping Corn Hash

1 can corn and its liquid

5 long slices of bacon cut into rough squares

1/2 medium onion diced

1/2 can diced tomatoes

salt, pepper

* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

In a cast iron skillet, begin frying your bacon until it gives all of its grease and the bacon is browned and crispy. Add the onions directly to the skillet. Fry the onions for about two minutes. Add a dash of salt. Add the diced tomatoes and the can of corn with the corn liquid. Cook the mixture until nearly all of the water has boiled out. Add the pepper and pepper flakes if desired. Serve immediately. Kami

Simple Campfire Desserts ( The real reason campfire cooking is so good ;) )

https://www.dayonegear.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/320px-Smores-Microwave.jpg

Smores: Put a marshmallow on a stick and hold it over the fire until it is just right, then get two graham crackers and two pieces of chocolate; put the chocolate in between the crackers and slide the marshmallow on and you have a smore. Lisa

Fried Pies: You’ll need 1 can biscuit mix and 1 can of your favorite pie filling (apples, peaches, cherry). Roll the biscuits out to about six inches or so.  Put a tablespoon or two of pie filling into biscuit and fold over pressing edges close with a fork.  Brown in a skillet in some butter and when golden brown sprinkle with powered sugar. Homemade pie right at the campsite. Mary Lou

Orange Brownies: Take an orange, and cut about half an inch off the top, keep the top. Take a spoon and scrape out the insides, then fill the orange with brownie mix. Put the top back on the brownie and completely cover the orange in foil. Then let the orange cook in the coals for about 20 minutes or until the brownie is done. Enjoy the brownie. Dani

These are only a few of the great recipes that these guys put together, click here to see the full list.

So now you know a few things that you can cook over that roaring fire, but the first step is getting that fire going.

Check out this great step by step guide for getting a toasty cooking fire going in no time.

Modern camp stoves and specialized cookware make the cook’s job easier, but nothing beats the taste and appeal of a meal cooked over the campfire. Success at campfire cooking will encourage you to go camping more often.

Caution and Respect

In days gone by, cooking over an open fire could be taken for granted. Today, with concerns about air quality, restricted areas for camping and dwindling firewood stocks in many campgrounds, the freedom to cook over an open fire is a privilege which requires the utmost in caution and respect. Here are a few important considerations:

Wood – Campfire cooking requires a clean-burning, hot fire. This is only achieved with dry, seasoned wood. Stripping trees of green wood is fruitless – your fire will be smoky, will burn poorly and create unnecessary pollution. If dry wood is not available, it will need to be packed in. Many public campgrounds supply firewood – call ahead to see what’s available.

Fire location – Pay close attention to the ground before preparing any fire. In circumstances where building your fire on a rock is not possible, one should ensure that the base of the fire is on bare mineral soil. A fire that is burning all evening has lots of time to burn through the organic layer of the soil and will not be put out with a simple bucket of water. Use previously established fire pits if available, to avoid scarring the area with more fire pits.

Wind – .Any medium to strong wind is hazardous. The danger of sparks getting away can ignite a forest fire. Also, the coals will reduce more quickly and provide much less cooking time. If substantial wind shelter is unavailable, any outdoor fire is out of the question.

How to Build a Campfire for Cooking

The object is to have all the wood turn into coals at the same time. This gives an even fire with no flames reaching up to burn your food or blacken your cookware. It also yields the longest cooking time from the coals.

 Prepare the site

– Select a fire site at least 8′ from bushes or any combustibles. Be sure no tree branches overhang the site.

– Make a U-shaped perimeter using large rocks or green logs. If using logs, they’ll need to be wet down from time to time. If breezy, have back of firepit face the wind.

– Put a large flat rock at the rear of the firepit to act as a chimney. The “chimney rock” will help direct the smoke up and away.

Lay the kindling

– Fill the fire area with crumpled paper or tinder.

– Lay kindling over paper in layers, alternating direction with each layer. Use thin splits of wood or small dead branches. Do not put kindling down “teepee style”. The whole fire area should be covered with the kindling stack.

– Set a bucket of water near the fire area. Light the paper to start your fire.

Build the fire, grade the coals

– When kindling is ablaze, add firewood. The wood should be all the same size, as much as possible. Use hardwood or hardwood branches if available. Distribute wood evenly over fire bed.

– As soon as the last flames die down leaving mostly white coals, use a stick to push the coals into a higher level at the back end and lower level at the front. This will give you the equivalent of ‘Hi’, ‘Med’ and ‘Lo’ cook settings. Or, level the coals to your preference.

To cook, set the grill on rocks or wetted green logs. Put food directly on grill or in cookware and prepare your meal. If cooking directly on the grill, a small spray bottle or squirt gun is handy for shooting down any rogue flames, usually caused by food drippings.

As the fire diminishes, bank the coals to get the most heat from them.

After cooking, add wood for your evening campfire. Before retiring, extinguish thoroughly and soak with water. Turn rocks in on fire bed. It will be easy to reassemble the next day if required.

Solar Ovens for outdoor cooking

You can enjoy some of the benefits of campfire cooking at home with a solar oven. In areas where outdoor fires are prohibited, solar ovens are a safe alternative. Our online store has several models of solar ovens to choose from.

Click here for more information on solar ovens. 

This article was originally published on Eartheasy.com, Click here to view the original article in its entirety.

This article can also be viewed at www.survivallife.com