Cooking Over an Open Fire: A Dying Art Among Campers

Camping and campfires go together like baseball and hot dogs. It is hard to have one without the other. Be that as it may, campfires used to be for more than just roasting marshmallows and telling scary stories. Campers used to actually cook over them. We’ve kind of lost that skill thanks to RVs and motorhomes with built-in kitchens. In fact, you could say cooking over an open fire is a dying art.

Today, modern RVs come with gas stoves. And even campers who prefer to keep cooking outdoors are more likely to use propane grills. Part of it is due to campgrounds not being all that enthusiastic about open fires. But much of it is a matter of convenience. That is really too bad. When camping becomes more about convenience than anything else, you lose part of the experience.

Yes, one of the reasons we think AirSkirts is the best RV skirting solution in the industry is the convenience factor. AirSkirts can be deployed in 20 minutes or less. They are easy to use and quite effective. But we see it as offering a convenient RV skirting solution so that our customers can spend more time enjoying what they love most about camping. But enough about AirSkirts; let us get back to cooking over an open fire.

It’s Not About the Flame

The secret to cooking over an open fire is to not obsess over the flame. That’s hard to do in these modern times because we are so used to having everything on demand. We hit the drive-through and have dinner in under five minutes. We pull up an app and pay all the bills in less time than it takes to write a single check, stuff it in an envelope, and put a stamp on it. So it’s natural that we try to produce as much flame as possible and then attempt to cook over it.

Campfire cooking produces the best results when it’s done over hot coals. A good bed of coals offers consistent heat similar to what you get from your stove and oven at home. Consistent heat is the key to thorough cooking without burning food to your pots and pans.

You still need flame in order to produce the coals. So yes, having the ability to build a roaring fire does help. But when it comes time to actually fry that fish or bake that bread, flame is the enemy. You want hot coals instead.

The Keyhole Fire

A traditional fire for cooking is known as the keyhole fire. It takes its name from the shape of the fire pit itself. When you dig your fire pit you dig a circle along with a narrow trench that goes off to one side. It ends up looking like an old skeleton keyhole from the Victorian era.

The main circle is where you keep your fire going. As you produce coals, you move them down into the trench with a stick or shovel. That way, you can cook over the coals while continuing to feed the fire with fuel. A skilled cook can keep a keyhole fire going all day long so that hot coals are always available for cooking.

Cooking over an open fire may not be your thing. That’s okay. But if you are looking to learn a new skill and you’re not afraid of campfires, learning open-fire cooking is a fantastic way to enhance an already great camping experience. Just keep your AirSkirts RV skirting away from open flame. They really don’t play well together.