Cooking over an open flame is such a pleasure as you sit around the campfire or the barbecue, socializing and enjoying being outdoors.
The grill master has to however pay full attention – the meal could be ruined if the person cooking over an open flame doesn’t take into account the temperature of the fire, and adjust the positioning of the various items being cooked.
In the collection below are ideas for breakfasts, lunches and dinners, that use meats ranging from beef, to pork, chicken, venison and alligator. Bread is very important as a staple, so this collection has a number of open-flame bread recipes from around the world that can easily be mastered.
Then, we come to arguably the most pleasing part of the meal – the dessert. Even though most families don’t have dessert every night in a bid to curb sugar consumption, somehow when people are outdoors, they crave sugar.
Perhaps it’s all that extra energy they are using, added to the fact there won’t be much candy around, so indulge them with some of the easy open-flame desserts.
Campfire Southwest Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs with a little milk and some salt come out fluffy, and are great for the kids, but maybe adults want a little more zing with red capsicums, onion and even a jalapeno or two if you like heat.
To complete the meal, add baby tomatoes and southern potato hash. Get the recipe here.
Breakfast Oats with Cinnamon Baked Apple and Maple Syrup
Get the fire going, and enjoy the warmth as you enjoy mugs of hot tea or coffee. Bake the apples in foil while you do the oats in a skillet. Get the recipe here.
Campfire French Toast
This recipe uses a whole sliced loaf of white bread, which should feed a whole lot of happy campers. Soaked in a sweet egg mix and wrapped in foil, and placed over the campfire until the egg is cooked and the bread lightly toasted.
Served with maple syrup and sliced strawberries or with whatever suitable fruit (like bananas, blueberries or peaches) you have on hand. Get the recipe here.
Campfire Skillet Breakfast
When you’re camping it’s a bit of a schlepp trying to get the eggs over easy, the bacon to the rights crispness and the hash browns all coordinated over a campfire, especially when there are a lot of people to serve.
This one-skillet meal has it all – bacon, potatoes, onions, eggs and topped off with melted cheese. Yes, please! Get the recipe here.
Hawaiian Chicken Bacon Pineapple Kebabs
There is something about the sweet tart bite of pineapple that goes exceptionally well with the salty richness of bacon in these chicken kebabs. It doesn’t require too much effort to craft sublime tasting colorful kebabs that use red capsicums (peppers) and red onion.
Once done, smother them in a tangy barbecue sauce redolent with garlic, and you have a winner. Get the recipe here.
Bacon Vegetable Kebabs
Instead of making a hot side dish (which may not be possible if you are camping), and relying on one fire, cook your vegetables on skewers. Now, we all know they can get a little bland, so jazz up the taste with bacon inserted between to keep them moist and tasty.
Mushroom, capsicum, onion, chunks of pumpkin with the skin on, squash… there are heaps of vegetables to choose from.
And when the meat is done, the skewers of vegetables should be too, and can be served at the same time, so you don’t have to fuss over whether your side-dish is being kept warm. Get the recipe here.
Koftas – Turkish Lamb Kebabs
Lamb and veal ground meat is used in this recipe. The impressive part is they take around 30 minutes from preparation to having them on your plate.
I have always been impressed with the way koftas are formed around the stick instead of being threaded on – and they do taste delicious! Get the recipe here.
Steak Kebabs with Vegetables
Juicy pieces of tender marinaded sirloin steak are combined with red and green capsicums. Get the recipe here.
Fish and Bacon Kebabs
After a successful fishing trip take some of the bounty, wrap the filleted pieces in bacon, and thread the chunks onto skewers– the bacon keeps the delicate flesh of the fish from falling off the skewer so you can enjoy the best of surf and turf. Get the recipe here.
Satay Beef Skewers
In this recipe the rump steak is cut into long strips and threaded onto the skewers rather than cut into small blocks making this a much easier way to do the skewers. Serve with a spicy sauce. Get the recipe here.
Fire Roasted Vegetables on the Grill
When roasted over an open flame the char imparts a delightful smoky flavor to certain vegetables. If you are making relishes and salsas then you may need to sweat the vegetables in a Ziploc bag for a while so it’s easy to remove the skins.
If, on the other hand you are making a hot roast veg salad then you can skip the sweating and simply chop the vegetables when they’re cool enough to handle. Get the recipe here.
Foil wrapped grilled Butternut Squash
Opening the parcels after cooking butternut in foil on the grill is like opening presents – you have an idea but are not quite sure what you’re getting. I love it slightly caramelized!
Wrap securely and keep turning the parcels on the grid to ensure even cooking. This recipe calls for sage but I like to sprinkle on cumin and add a little rosemary fresh from the garden.
Some people toss the smaller parcels of butternut or pumpkin in the coals but I have found they can easily burn this way if the cook if the barbecue master isn’t paying attention. Get the recipe here.
Easy Campfire Beans
Camping and beans go together like peas in a pod. Use a skillet to make this recipe that calls for pinto beans, onion and mustard.
Serve with one of the campfire bread recipes, and perhaps some eggs for breakfast, or alongside barbecued meat for a supper. Get the recipe here.
Putting potatoes in aluminum foil and cooking them in the coals is something most seasoned campers have done many times.
However, this recipe shows how to up the stakes in the preparation stage so you have garlicky oniony potatoes in the campfire that are redolent with flavor. Get the recipe here.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Corn does not need to be shucked then placed on the grill. Try this method which involves soaking the corn in cold water for 10 minutes, leaving it with its protective coating of leaves and cooking on the grill for moist smoky corn on the cob.
Serve the traditional way with butter, salt and pepper or get a bit more adventurous and use mayonnaise or grated Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of paprika. Get the recipe here.
Caramelized Onions on the Grill
Instead of whole onions cooked on the grill these are cut into wedges, placed on foil, then sprinkled with beef bouillon granules, other seasonings, dotted with butter, and caramelized over a medium fire.
Folks who don’t normally like the sharp taste of onions will want more of the sweetness released by the slow cooking. Get the recipe here.
Beer Brined Ribs
Beef (or pork) ribs on the barbecue marinaded in a generous 3 bottles of beer, and a sweet and sticky BBQ marinade – the Woolworths brand is called for in this recipe but feel free to use any brand that you are familiar with. Get the recipe here.
Grilling steak is an art form, to get it succulent and tender rather than a seared piece of something that resembles leather. This recipe makes is sound so easy, but the secret is to have a good quality steak and follow the instructions given here.
This is not strictly open-flame grilling as the coals should be white hot, rather than tossing the meat onto a grid above leaping flames. Get the recipe here.
Hangers Steaks Marinated in Red Wine Served with Flatbreads
For best results prepare the marinade and allow the steak to reach peak tenderness by marinading for up to 48 hours. Grill them medium rare over the coals, then set aside while you prepare the flatbread.
The dough should be ready made or store bought, then stretched thin over the grill and done for a couple of minutes on each side. Get the recipe here.
South African Braai Beef
The way you prepare your rump, fillet or sirloin by first sprinkling it with pineapple juice, then balsamic vinegar, followed by the seasoning rub, before painting with olive oil to retain the moisture, makes all the difference to the taste of the meat.
South Africans are carnivores who prefer their meat ‘pure’ – many will turn up their noses at barbecuing processed sausages and burger patties.
The only acceptable sausage is boerewors – literally meaning ‘farmer’s sausage’ which is made from various meats – it can be a combination of beef and pork, but can also incorporate warthog, and various types of local antelope. Get the recipe here.
Grilled Wagyu Beef
Wagyu beef is highly desirable because of its fat-marbled meat making it more tender and tastier. The Wagyu cattle originate from Japan, but are becoming popular in countries like the US where Wagyu cattle must conform to the standards set by the American Wagyu Association.
The meat is also higher in omega 3 and omega 6 than other beef. Get the recipe here.
Grilling T-Bone Steak
I once went to a barbeque where the young host treated his guests to his barbecued meat. It was one of those events where we were all seated around the fire, the music pounding while the chef plied us with more of his offerings.
The steak was so tough the guests couldn’t not eat it so his dog received plenty of surreptitious offerings in the dark! The man was so overjoyed with his cooking ‘skills’ that none of us had the heart to tell him his steak was virtually inedible!
Steak on the barbecue has to be perfected – from the heat of the flame to the correct choice of meat, marinade and maturing as well as the ‘resting period’ after removing the steak from the flames, and there are some good tips here.
Homemade Turkish Meatballs
Ground beef combined with various spices can be cooked in a skillet over an open fire. But there is a little secret to creating melt in the mouth meatballs, and this recipe shows you how.
Serve with campfire pita bread (see the bread section of this article) and a selection of campfire roasted vegetables. Get the recipe here.
Easy Grilled Chicken
The balsamic lemon herb marinade is the secret to getting this boneless, skinless chicken breasts succulent. It’s a marinade with lots of herbs, but easy to put together. All you need is time to allow the chicken to soak in the marinade for between one hour to overnight.
If you’re having a large gathering around the campfire preparing the marinade the day before or in the morning will give you time to socialize while simply turning the chicken on the grill. Get the recipe here.
Campfire Whiskey Barbecue Chicken
The sauce for this chicken recipe can be prepared up to a week ahead, and then taken along on the camping trip in the cooler. When you are ready to make the campfire haul it out, paint on the chicken, and tantalize neighboring campers with the aromas coming from your fire.
One of the tips for this moist chicken is soaking it in olive oil for two days prior to putting it on the grill. Get the recipe here.
Chicken Tenders for Fussy Kids
Even the fussiest of kids won’t argue about these chicken tenders. They are lightly seasoned, dipped in milk and egg, then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried in a combination of olive oil and butter for the best taste. Get the recipe here.
Peri Peri Chicken Portuguese Style
Peri peri chilli powder, paprika, garlic and lemon combine with white wine and a broth to create a succulent marinade for this Portuguese style whole chicken, butterflied and grilled over the coals. Get the recipe here.
Spicy Cranberry Chicken Wings
The combination of cranberries with Hoisin sauce, Sriracha, rice wine vinegar, honey, ginger, and garlic, give these chicken wings an Asian twist that is spicy and sweet. Get the recipe here.
Tequila Barbequed Chicken
Orange juice and tequila add to the sweet chicken meat. After grilling, a sauce is made that adds another layer to the taste – honey, brown sugar, garlic, more tequila and orange juice, among other ingredients are added to create a tangy sauce. Get the recipe here.
Tandoori Grilled Chicken Wings
The flavors of India – cumin, coriander, lime, chili, paprika, garam masala, and yoghurt – all go into this delicious recipe to coat the chicken. If you like your chicken wings with a bit of spice, this is the recipe for you.
What’s great about the recipe is that you can prepare the marinade and leave the wings to soak for up to 24 hours before grilling.
You can also grill the wings, and then simply reheat if you are having a big get together and feel you may battle to grill everything on the day. Get the recipe here.
Spicy Barbecued Chicken Wings
These are one of those open flame treats that will simply disappear – do far more than you think everyone will eat! Follow the steps carefully to prepare the chicken wings before seasoning – it just makes them that much easier to eat.
Paint them with some spicy bourbon barbecue sauce to keep them moist during grilling, then it’s ready, set, eat! Get the recipe here.
Campfire Pita Bread
Cooked on a baking stone or dry slate directly over the coals, they pita breads puff up in just a few seconds then are turned to complete cooking. Get the recipe here.
Corn and Beer Bread
With just three ingredients, this is an easy bread to put in the Dutch oven and bake in the coals. All you need is self-rising flour, a can of sweetcorn, and one bottle of beer (actually a little less – the cook is allowed a swig or two).
I like to line the Dutch oven with parchment paper to make it easy to remove the bread, and if I want to go a little fancier with it I will put in some paprika, grated cheddar cheese, and some finely sliced spring onions. Get the recipe here.
Rooster Koek (South African grilled cake / bread)
This is a version of a yeast dough that is divided into smaller pieces, flattened slightly and then left on the grill to cook.
Although literally translated as cake it’s definitely a bread and is best served hot, split, and slathered with butter as an accompaniment to barbecued meat.
South African’ often end a meal with a piece of rooster brood that has been spread with homemade apricot jam as a ‘dessert’. Get the recipe here.
Damper on a Stick
Damper is an Australian version of bread cooked over an open flame that was used by the stockmen when out tending to the herds of cattle or flocks of sheep on massive stations – the Australian equivalent of large ranches.
Some recipes use self-rising flour, like this one, but in the early days flour salt and water was all that was needed to make damper. Sugar is not necessary, but because children love grilling their damper over an open flame – it’s as much fun as ‘smores – they often prefer a sweeter version that they can eat with jam or syrup.
Traditionally the children make their own damper on a stick when camping. Bread on a stick is nothing new however and you get versions from all over the world. Get the recipe here.
Stok Brood translates to stick bread. This South African recipe uses butter rubbed into the flour, salt and baking soda mix, and is then moistened with buttermilk. The combination of butter and buttermilk gives these a lighter texture.
Kids these days enjoy spreading them with Nutella, or folding choc chips into the mix before threading the dough onto a skewer. Adults will probably prefer them plain as an accompaniment to the meat. Get the recipe here.
Flatbread cooked on the coals
Yes, these are cooked straight on the coals – no need for a grid or a skillet even – although you can use these if you prefer, however the wood gives a great taste and char to the bread.
Create these quickly to mop up the delicious juices from a venison stew cooked in a Dutch oven over a small fire. Get the recipe here.
Oats form the basis of this quick bread made into small ‘cakes’ that were carried by the Scots on their travels in the Highlands.
However, once the recipe crossed the Atlantic to the USA and Canada, somehow the oats as an ingredient got lost. Get the recipe here.
Adopted by native peoples after its introduction in the 18th Century, the bannock became a fried bread made from flour, baking powder, oil and water
This version is best eaten hot off the skillet. Get the recipe here.
Braai Broodjies aka Barbeque Toasties
For this the standard loaf of white bread is used, but substitute whole wheat or sourdough bread if you prefer. Slices of cheese, onion and tomato form the filling. When making these, the buttered side of the bread goes outside – in contact with the grill, so it can toast to golden perfection.
If you don’t have a grid that can close you may need to tie the sandwiches together with some natural hemp string, so the filling stays inside the toasties during grilling. Melted cheese and crisp butter-grilled bread make these a huge hit to accompany the barbecued meat. Get the recipe here.
Cajun Alligator with Comeback Sauce
Caught an alligator? No reason it shouldn’t go on the barbeque! Alligator meat is delicious – somewhere between chicken and lobster in both taste and texture.
The seasonings on the meat add to the flavor and when you dip it in the Comeback sauce, which is similar to Thousand Islands sauce but with more of a hit to it, the flavor will pop in your mouth. Get the recipe here.
Ostrich Steak on the Grill
Once you have eaten a quality ostrich steak you may not want to go back to eating beef. For me a quality ostrich steak is far superior. The mean is lean, takes on the flavor of the seasonings as it’s not as strong as beef, is tender, and tastes delicious.
It’s low on calories, and fat, and high in iron, calcium and protein. Ostrich is commercially farmed in various places around the world, so you should be able to find ostrich steaks quite easily. Get the recipe here.
Venison or Beef Stew
You can use either venison or beef in this recipe that calls for the usual easy to obtain vegetables like onion, carrots and potatoes. Either cook over an open flame, or seat the Dutch oven on a bed of coals for more even cooking.
Serve with one of the campfire bread recipes listed in this article to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the delicious gravy. Get the recipe here.
Fish on the Fire
Whole fish with lemongrass and turmeric
The recipe calls for red snapper but you can substitute any firm mid flavoured white fleshed fish that the fisherfolk in the family have managed to catch.
The fish is rubbed with the marinade and later placed on the grill or into a chargrill frypan. It is served on a bed of warrigal greens, the Australian native version of spinach – feel free to substitute baby spinach as the bed on which to serve the fish.
The ginger is finely shredded, and the garlic thinly sliced, and both are fried until golden, then used to garnish the whole fish. Get the recipe here.
Fish Grilled in a Banana Leaf – Thai Style
To avoid fish sticking to the grill when you barbecue it, wrap it in banana leaves or lay a banana leaf down on the grill. It will give a sweet smoky flavor to the fish. Fresh banana leaves can be bought at most Asian food stores, if you don’t live in a warm enough area to grow bananas.
Any white fish can be used for this recipe or you can substitute with ground pork or chicken. The aroma of the herbs and spices used to season the fish will blow you away when you open up your little parcel of goodness. Get the recipe here.
Cured Bacon, Peach and Marshmallow Kebabs
You haven’t lived until you have tried this – the saltiness of the bacon and softness of the peach combined with the sweetness of the marshmallow will blow your mind.
Ginger, coriander, cumin, rosemary and a little chill add to the tap dance of tastes. Enjoy with a glass of quality white wine. Get the recipe here.
Campfire Baby Back Ribs
The simplest recipes are often the best. Start with quality baby back ribs, add seasoning and barbecue sauce, then grill to a perfectly moist succulent finish. You might have to prepare more than you guesstimate people will eat as these are very moreish! Get the recipe here.
Grilled Pork Chops
The marinade for the pork includes Dijon mustard and various herbs and spices to ensure they will remain moist when placed on the grill.
Grilled to perfection they can be served with some chopped parsley or cilantro straight from the garden. Get the recipe here.
Grilled Pork Belly
This is rich, so a little goes a long way, but it tastes so good! The marinade is Filipino inspired. In the Philippines pork is a very popular choice and the spices and herbs that go with pork are carefully chosen to enhance the flavor.
Try the atcharang chutney consisting of shredded green papaya and carrots, raisins, and thinly sliced garlic to complement the pork. Get the recipe here.
This blueberry Crisp recipe can be adjusted to use apples, apricots or peaches instead, but the fragrance of the cinnamon and nutmeg will remain, as will the healthy oats this recipe calls for. Get the recipe here.
Blueberry Pancakes in a Skillet over the Campfire
These are thick, fluffy and bursting with blueberries. Not a fan of blueberries? Well how about substituting raspberries, strawberries, or go decadent with chocolate chips. There is something special about pancakes made over a campfire.
Years later, people will reminisce saying, “Remember when we had those blueberry pancakes at Lake Tahoe? Get the recipe here.
Forget any thoughts of heavy gritty pancakes – these are thick, and fluffy as they use a combination of fine ground white corn meal and flour. If you want to, you can add chopped walnuts or pecans, or even some cranberries to the mix. Get the recipe here.
No particular type of peach is called for in the recipe, but it works well with Yellow Cling peaches and firm white fleshed peaches as well as nectarines. The cinnamon sugar and butter makes them quite irresistible.
Just remember when you have finished cooking the meat to clean the grill before putting the peaches directly onto it otherwise you may have something of a spicy, meaty flavor. Serve with some quality vanilla or coconut ice cream. Get the recipe here.
Campfire ‘Smores Banana Boats
Fresh bananas cooked in aluminum foil – you don’t even need to peel them – just spilt lengthwise so you can insert the ‘smores and choc chips..
When you unwrap the foil the skins will be black – don’t let this put you off – the inside will be full of banana-ery ooey gooey sweetness Some people serve the banana boats with ice cream.
Others leave out the ‘smores and add only Nutella. Whichever way you do it, they are delicious and have people clamouring for a repeat performance of open flame magic. Get the recipe here.
Blueberry Muffins Baked in Half Orange Peels
I’d love to know how this recipe came about. Perhaps someone was preparing oranges for breakfast, and someone else was craving blueberry muffins. They have the muffin mix but no muffin tray and only an open flame…
Necessity is the mother of invention as the saying goes – so someone came up with the idea of using the half orange peels as cups and putting the muffin mix inside, wrapping in foil and letting the fire do the work.
We have given two recipes here. This first one requires the muffin mix to be placed in half an orange and kept upright on the grill during baking, but the one below uses a different method. Get the first recipe here.
Blueberry Muffins Baked in an Orange
This recipe in contrast to the one above requires you to use two orange halves, place the muffin mix inside, then place the halves to form a whole orange with the mix inside.
They are then securely wrapped in foil and tossed into the hot coals of the fire, where they are turned with tongs every minute for around 6 to 8 minutes before being hauled out and unwrapped. Get the recipe here.
There should be plenty in the above collection to inspire your open flame grilling in the coming months.
If you found any of the above to be particularly good or have any adaptation you have successfully tried, then please feel free to share your cooking tips in a comment below.