Did you know that more than a third of children have never been camping? To celebrate tonight’s ‘Wild Night Out’ we thought we’d share some of our campfire cooking top tips to hopefully demystify how to cook over open flames and encourage you to have a go too!
Here at The Forge, we supply all of our guests with a ‘skillet’ or flat plate that they can use to cook over their individual fire circles outside their bell tents. You just have to screw on the three legs, wipe some cooking oil over the surface with a bit of kitchen roll and voila! You're good to go!
The most important thing to remember when cooking over an open fire is that you don’t want any big flames. Ideally you should aim to light the fire at least an hour before you plan to cook over it so that the logs are well burned down and you have an even heat. If you need to add a little boost of heat you can always add some smaller pieces of kindling or twigs – don’t be tempted to add more big logs part way through cooking or you risk burning your burgers to a crisp!
If you find once you have started cooking that the flat plate is still too hot you can pick it up (using gloves or tea towels as it will be darn hot!) and put it half on/half off the fire and then move whatever you are cooking to the cooler side of the plate.
Once you are done, there is no need to wash the flat plate with water. Simply wait till it has cooled down a bit but is still warm and then just wipe it over with a piece of kitchen role. Job done!
And what should you cook? Well the world is really your oyster..... Steaks, burgers, sausages all work really well of course. But you can also fry up strips of aubergine or sweet potato, corn-on-the-cobs or sliced courgette. Halloumi fried over the fire is a personal favourite! If you're feeling wild and adventurous you can fry up rabbit loins and legs wrapped in wild garlic leaves or pigeon breasts marinated in a little oil and yarrow (tastes like rosemary and abundant on our hill fort). Just don't forget to leave some space after you're finished cooking the main event to find yourself a stick and toast some marshmallows in the embers of the fire. Yum!
It really is feast for the senses – the smell of the wood smoke, combined with the taste of food cooked in the open air, the sight of the sun setting over the mountains with the crackle of the fire, all with the feeling of a nice cold drink in one hand throughout the whole proceedings!