Say you’re out there under the stars or the desert sun, in those beautiful landscapes and vistas that we have all across this country, and you’re looking to enjoy some excellent food on your trip. How do you make this work well?
The idea of culinary camping has become really popular these days. People like the idea of combining food, a comfort activity, with the outdoors, which provides its own therapeutic experience. In fact, many of us would even say that food tastes better outside.
Here are three core skills that we promote as we help newcomers to experience the beauty of outdoor cooking.
Much of the outdoor cooking that gets done is done over a gas flame.
Yes, if you are a seasoned camper, you may want to do things the old-fashioned way and cook over a fire, but especially for more sophisticated menus, or a greater number of diners, a small propane stove or similar piece of gear is the way to go. Small propane stoves can fit in a backpack easily, and portable propane containers can, too.
The essential skill here is to know how to use propane safely – how to fit the stoves together, how to look for escaping gas, and how to fine-tune your heat flame. Like other outdoor cooking skills, this is something you learn by experience and trial and error. But you also learn by reading about the safety aspects and knowing these when you start out! Don’t just wing it with gas – because that can be dangerous. Safety first!
As experienced chefs know, knife skills are essential in any kitchen, but they’re extremely important in outdoor cooking.
One reason is that the ergonomics of camping food prep are different from what you experience in a traditional kitchen. You might not have that butcher block or that counter-level cutting board to work on. So it’s important that you adjust your knife skills accordingly, and don’t wind up cutting yourself and going on a white-knuckle trip to the ER.
Protecting Your Gear
This is a broader kind of skill that, again, you learn as you go. You want to protect your good cast iron or other skillets from charring, and keep all of your portable stuff in good condition, whether that means preventing rust and corrosion or breakage.
These are just some of the fundamental skills that we promote as we help provide camping/cooking trips in the beautiful, wild and wonderful Death Valley, UT area. This business is taking off! Ask us about scheduling and more.