Cooking for whole family

10:12 a.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Doing a family camping trip next weekend. We're going to have a few kids and of course the parents. I have a Coleman 2 burner dual fuel stove, and I was thinking of getting another 2 burner propane stove to do all the cooking on. Looking for some suggestions or tips though, this is new territory for me. I want to make it fun for the kids and keep them happy, which means getting food out fast when it's meal time, any parents probably know where my concerns are on all this.

10:23 a.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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My number one suggestion is to get the kids involved in food prep and cooking.  Even if a little dirt ends up in the final product, they will get more out of the camping trip if they are actively involved in all parts.

If you are allowed to have open fires where you are camping, cooking hot dogs on skewers followed by smores makes for a great evening.

About the fastest thing to cook in the morning is instant oatmeal - just boil water.  instant oatmeal comes in enough flavors to keep most kids happy.

Another suggestion is what my family calls "Taco Bell noodles."  Cook your favorite type of noodles in one pot, and grill some chicken breasts on the next burner.  When both are done, cut up the chicken and put it into the noodles.  Lastly, add cheese, we use taco bell brand cheese dip, heat up, and serve.  Kids love it.

Mike

10:34 a.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Some good ideas... Thanks Mike.

Breakfast and lunch was my biggest concern. Like you mentioned, dinner you can always do hotdogs and things like that, and I have those pie irons which make awesome grilled cheese and whatever else you want to put between 2 pieces of bread. The park has fire rings, so we'll be able to do open fire at dinner time.

I wanted to do hotcakes and eggs for breakfast, I have a cast iron griddle. I might be thinking too elaborate though for the number of people we're going to have. When it was just the wife and I in the past, it was pretty simple.

10:49 a.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Hotcakes are easy, and get the type of mix that only needs water.  Makes things easier.  One fun things for kids is cook the eggs in a bag.

Bascially, take a freezer bag, put in 2 eggs, kneed them until the eggs are scrambled, add in peppers, ham, cheese, or other stuff, then seal the freezer bag.  Next put the freezer bag in a pot of boiling water.  Pull out when the eggs are firm.  My Scouts do this quite often, and can cook a patrol's worth of eggs in 15 min or so.

Mike

10:57 a.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Awesome !!! I heard of eggs like that but forgot all about it, thanks !!! I can have them doing their own eggs (well, most of them) while I'm doing hotcakes on the griddle..... I might do homefried potatoes in a cast skillet, but if I do that I'll start them before everyone gets up..... Some instant oatmeal pouches just as a backup, and I think I'll be covered.

Lunch is still baffling me... What do you guys usually do in the scouts ?

I have a cast dutch oven and good sized skillet.

 

11:05 a.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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For car-camping, I'm a big fan of "tin foil dinners."

Cut up a variety of veggies (I like onions, peppers, garlic and carrots) with a healthy quantity of diced potatoes, some chicken or beef, a bit of olive oil and spices, and fold 2-cup portions into a triple-thickness of heavy-weight aluminum foil.

If you make them the day of, you can keep them cold in a cooler and cook fresh.

You can freeze them too, and cook them straight from frozen.

The advantage is that you get to do the prep at home, and the cooking outside, and the clean-up is simple.

11:59 a.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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I'm all about prepping at home as much as possible.

The Tin Foil sounds like a good idea too, would make a quick lunch.

2:07 p.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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do as much of your prep in advance as possible. just put everything into ziplocs and keep in the cooler. you will find it is a lot less messy when cooking time comes.

5:27 p.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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How many kids you feeding?

I'm thinking it must be plenty to want two double burner stoves!

We call those "foil meals"  Silver Turtles and have had lots of fun with them. They could be made up in advance and frozen, then kept in a cooler ( I gather your car camping).

Deserts can be made the same ay too. Make sure you have plenty of ashes!

Here you can see what we've done with them.   

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/camp-kitchen/topics/120074.html

 

5:42 p.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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My experience is the most cranky campers are those waiting for that first morning cup of Joe!  That would be a good reason for the third burner you mention.  As for breakfast foods, a skillet that covers both burners of the Coleman will have enough production capacity to feed ten without undue waiting.  One way to increase cooking speed is covering the griddle with a foil lid to keep heat from dissipating in the breeze.  Do pancakes first as they are fast and will take the edge off morning hunger pangs, buying some time to make eggs, sausage and other traditional items.  Cold cereals are also totally appropriate if that is what the kids eat back home.

As for dinner, car camping is a great opportunity to show off grilling skills.  We always roast dinner over (and in) the fire when car camping, and use the Coleman to steam veggies, make hot chocolate, and such.  So what if it takes two hours to do Peruvian style roasted chicken in the fire pit, the kids can play while the adults get some down time around the fire.  Grilling doesn't require undivided attention anyway, so you are still free to participate in other camp side activities.  While the grate that often is part of the camp site fire ring is fine for grilling, we bring our own grate so the height above the coals can be controlled.  Again a foil lid covering what’s cooking over the coals can modulate the heat and trap smoke around the food, adding to its flavor.

Ed

3:07 p.m. on June 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I'm getting hungry for some camp food!

July 28, 2014
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