Campfire cooking is brilliant fun. If you’ve never tried it before, Wild Night Out is the perfect time to give it a go. With the right equipment you can cook just about anything on a campfire, but for those who like to keep it simple here are a few foods you can cook on a stick.
It is best to use a freshly cut stick for cooking over a campfire. Not only will you then know what wood you are using, but the greenness of the wood will reduce the risk of it catching fire. Hazel and Ash are excellent choices, whereas Yew, Elder, Holly, Elm and Rhododendron are all toxic and should be avoided. You should remove the bark from the area of the stick that you will be cooking on and for most of these ideas, you will need to shape the end into a point.
Making bread on a stick couldn't be simpler. Measure out the dry ingredients into bags before you leave the house then mix in the water when you are ready to cook. Roll the dough into a sausage shape about as thick as an adult thumb. Twist around the end of a freshly cut stick where you have removed the bark, leaving space between the coils for the bread to expand as it cooks. Cook over the embers of a fire, frequently turning until golden brown and the bread has a hollow sound when you tap it. Once cooked, it should be easy to remove from the stick by twisting it and pulling it off.
To make one portion of bread.
• 1/2 Cup Self-Raising Flour
• 1 Tbsp Dried Milk
• 1 Tsp Sugar
• 1/4 Cup Water (Approx)
Optional extras include Salt, Herbs, Cinnamon and dried fruit and nuts.
2. Fish and Meat
Pretty much anything you can get to stay on a stick can be cooked on one. Having a decent point to your stick and choosing one that’s not too chunky definitely helps with both meat and fish. If you are worried about being able to cook it properly opt for meat such as steak which is fine served a little rare. Fish are best-cooked whole – push the stick into the mouth and aim to get the whole fish skewered along the length.
Apples roasted on a stick are delicious. Push the end of a freshly cut stick firmly into the apple making sure the stick is robust enough to take the apple's weight. Roast over the embers of the fire turning regularly until the skin becomes loose. Allow to cool for a minute and then peel off the skin before dipping into a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
Take a reasonable length of heavy duty silver foil, fold in half along the longer length and turn the sides in a couple of times to make a pouch. Drop in two tablespoons of popcorn and a tablespoon of oil and fold the open end around your stick, scrunching the foil to encourage it to hold on tight. Make sure you leave enough room for the popcorn to expand. Hold over the embers of a fire until the popping stops. Open the pouch carefully as there will be steam inside and sprinkle with salt or sugar (or both!). You can also place the foil pouch straight on the embers without using a stick if you prefer.
5. Marshmallows and S’mores
Marshmallows are the ultimate campfire treat. Try sandwiching between two chocolate digestives with the chocolate facing inwards to make S’mores or opt for a savoury option by toasting mozzarella balls before sandwiching between two crackers.
Top Tips for cooking on a stick over a campfire
Remember that food prepared on a fire is very hot particularly marshmallows so give everything a minute to cool before tucking in. You want to cook your food over the hot embers rather than flames so your fire will need to be burning for about 45-60 minutes before it is ready to cook on. Angling your stick slightly upwards makes it much harder for food to fall off! Never leave your campfire unattended and make sure the flames are fully extinguished and the coals are cold before going home.
By Sarah, an Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion and founder of About Getting Out.
About Getting Out is a collaborative online space for families to share their practical ideas, real experiences and views on getting kids outside. Anyone can be a contributor, and everyone is welcome. If you’ve got an idea, an opinion or an activity to share then drop them a line.