Campfire Cooking with Wood: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for Boy Scouts

By: Posted On: 2023-05-26

Cooking over a campfire is a classic outdoor tradition that can be both fun and delicious. In this article, we'll explore some tips, tricks, and recipes for cooking over a campfire with wood.

Getting Started with Campfire Cooking
Before you start cooking over a campfire, it's important to choose the right location. Look for a spot that is at least 10 feet away from any trees or other flammable materials. You should also make sure there is a clear space around the fire pit so that no one accidentally steps into the flames.

Once you have your campfire going, it's time to start cooking. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1.    Choose the right wood. Hardwoods like oak, hickory, and maple are best for campfire cooking because they burn hot and long.
2.    Let the fire burn down. Wait until the flames have died down and the wood has turned into hot coals before you start cooking. This will give you a more consistent heat source and prevent your food from burning.
3.    Use a cooking grate. A cooking grate will help you cook your food more evenly and prevent it from falling into the fire.
4.    Bring the right utensils. You'll need a long-handled spatula, tongs, and a pot lifter to safely move your food around the fire.

Campfire Cooking Recipes
Now that you know the basics of campfire cooking, let's explore a few recipes that are perfect for cooking over a campfire.

Dutch Oven Chicken and Dumplings


  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2/3 cup milk

1.    Place the chicken and onion in a Dutch oven over the campfire. Cook until the chicken is browned on all sides.
2.    Add the chicken broth, water, salt, pepper, and thyme to the Dutch oven. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
3.    In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk until a dough forms.
4.    Drop spoonfuls of the dough into the Dutch oven. Cover and let simmer for another 15 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through.

Campfire Foil Packets

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp paprika

1.    Divide the ground beef into four portions and place each portion in the center of a large sheet of foil.
2.    Top the beef with the sliced potatoes, chopped onion, chopped green pepper, and minced garlic.
3.    Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and paprika over the top of each foil packet.
4.    Wrap each foil packet tightly, making sure there are no holes or gaps.
5.    Place the foil packets over the campfire and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the beef is cooked through and the potatoes are tender.

No Utensil Cooking
If you're looking for a fun and unique way to cook over thecampfire, try "no utensil" cooking. This is a great activity for kids and can be a fun way to get them involved in the cooking process. Here are a few ideas for no utensil campfire cooking:

Campfire Quesadillas

  • Flour tortillas

  • Shredded cheese

  • Cooked chicken or ground beef

  • Salsa (optional)

1.    Lay out a large sheet of aluminum foil and place a flour tortilla on top.
2.    Add shredded cheese, cooked chicken or ground beef, and salsa (if using) to one half of the tortilla.
3.    Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling to create a half-moon shape.
4.    Fold the aluminum foil tightly around the quesadilla, making sure there are no holes or gaps.
5.    Place the foil packet over the campfire and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.

Campfire Baked Apples

  • Apples

  • Brown sugar

  • Cinnamon

  • Butter

1.    Core the apples and fill the cavity with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a small pat of butter.
2.    Wrap each apple in a piece of aluminum foil, making sure there are no holes or gaps.
3.    Place the foil packets over the campfire and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Inspiring Kids to Campfire Cook
Campfire cooking can be a great way to get kids excited about camping and outdoor activities. Here are a few tips to inspire kids to campfire cook:
1.    Get them involved in meal planning. Let kids help choose the menu for the trip and give them a say in what they will be cooking.
2.    Give them age-appropriate tasks. Even young kids can help gather firewood or wash vegetables, while older kids can help chop ingredients or stir the pot.
3.    Make it fun! Encourage kids to get creative with their cooking and experiment with new recipes and flavors.
4.    Teach them about fire safety. Before you start cooking over the campfire, take some time to review fire safety tips with your kids, such as staying a safe distance from the fire and never leaving it unattended.

Campfire cooking with wood is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and create delicious meals with the Boy Scouts. Whether you're cooking with a Dutch oven, foil packets, or using no utensils at all, the key to success is to choose the right wood, let the fire burn down, and have the right tools on hand. With a little practice and some creative recipe ideas, you and your scouts can have a memorable and delicious camping trip.


Materials found on InsaneScouter'.org is © 1998 - 2024, but may be reproduced and used for anything consistent with the Scouting and Guiding programs. Unless otherwise noted on the page. If you believe we are republishing your copyrighted material without permission, please Contact Us including the url to have it removed or your copyright information added. All opinions expressed on these pages are those of the original authors. All holdings are subject to this Disclaimer.

Please be advised that InsaneScouter is NOT affiliated with any Scouting or Guiding Organization including Boy Scouts of America.

Scouting resources for Den Leaders, Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Girl Guides, Girl Scout, Cub Scout, Venturing, Exploring, Beavers, Joey, Boy Scout Leaders