Whether you’re roughing it in the wilderness or want to recreate the camping vibe with a campfire in your backyard, there’s nothing like cooking your food over open flames. Campfire cooking results in delicious food and gives you many opportunities for fun memories around the fire.

But your dinner plans can go up in smoke if you commit campfire cooking mistakes. Unlike gas grills and kitchen stoves, campfires don’t have easy temperature controls and can be unpredictable, which can make cooking a challenge.

Keep reading to learn about five campfire cooking mistakes to avoid.

1. Failing to Plan Your Meals

Not all food is easy to cook over a campfire. If you don’t plan your meals, you might realize the things you planned to cook aren’t as easy as you thought. You could also end up missing ingredients you need.

Planning your meals ahead of time and looking for campfire cooking recipes can increase your chances of success. Prep the ingredients before you go camping with friends or family to make mealtimes easier.

2. Handling the Fire Incorrectly

Building a fire that’s too large or hot can ruin your camping dinner plans. Putting all of your wood in the fire at once creates large flames at first, but they quickly die down and leave you with hot coals and no direct flames.

Failing to add more wood to keep the fire steady is another common mistake. Your food can take longer to cook if the fire keeps going out or if the flames get too low.

Brushing up on your campfire building skills can help you cook over open flames more successfully. Watch the fire closely and add more wood as needed to keep it burning.

3. Being Impatience

You might be drooling over your campfire meal, but don’t get too impatient. Putting your food over a newly started fire can increase the chances of it burning. Be patient enough to let the fire reach the perfect temperature and size for cooking before you put your food over the flames.

4. Cooking Directly Over Flames

Forget the hot dogs on a stick you roasted over open flames as a kid. Cooking your camping meals directly over the flames almost guarantees uneven cooking and burnt food. You can’t control the flames completely, and you often can’t predict when they’ll flare up.

Using a barrier between your food and the flames reduces the chances of charring your meal. A campfire grate, cast iron pans, and extras like camping dutch oven accessories give you the tools to cook your food over a campfire without burning it.

5. Not Watching Your Food

It’s easy to get caught up in conversation around the campfire, but keeping an eye on your food is crucial to having it turn out just right. Even a few extra minutes over the campfire can dry out your meat or turn your meal into a charred mess.

Use a meat thermometer to check for the correct internal temperatures when cooking meat. Watch the food closely to avoid burning it.

Read More: 5 Common Baking Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Make Campfire Cooking Easier

Campfire cooking is a fun way to enjoy meals while camping and enjoying the great outdoors. By avoiding common campfire cooking mistakes, you can create deliciously cooked meals over an open flame every time.

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