Therese Elgquist
Food hacks

Outdoor cooking - more than just grilled food

Whether you’re on a hike, driving around in your campervan or setting up for dinner in a beautiful spot close to home, there’s an outdoor kitchen to suit you. And remember - cooking outside can be more than just grilling!

Which stove should I choose?

Where you are, how much you can and want to carry and what you want to cook will determine which stove is best for you.

Trekking and expedition stoves
For the longer hike, where less weight is an important factor, the smaller gas stoves are best suited as they are easy to carry with you and at the same time offer many options. Gas is your source of heat here and you are not dependent on finding wood for a fire. Stews, soups and simple pasta dishes are best suited to these stoves. If you’re going on an extra long trip and want to minimise weight, it may be a good idea to dry your cooking ingredients.

Camping stoves
As the name suggests, the camping kitchen is your obvious choice when camping. But shorter and more spontaneous outings are also opportunities to take out your portable stove. Do you want to gather your friends or family for a weekend brunch on the rocks by the sea or by a lake? Then the camping stove is your best friend! It comes with two gas cylinders and you can therefore cook two different things at the same time; perhaps you want to fry while boiling something for your meal.

Open fire
Cooking over an open fire is great when you want to prepare your food in different ways - maybe you want to grill as well as boil and fry? No problem! A sizzling way to do this is to use an open fire pan on legs that is placed over the fire and becomes like a frying table. In addition, an open fire is, in itself, both atmospheric and very warming when the temperature drops.

Open fires require that you either have wood (or charcoal) with you, or are in a place with a woodshed. Remember to double-check to make sure that it’s okay to have a fire where you are. Even more flexibility comes when you have an open fire pit that leaves no trace on the ground.

Once you’ve chosen your stove, it’s time to plan your cooking - here are my favourite dishes to cook outdoors!

Best dishes for outdoor cooking

During the colder seasons, hot food is a great way to warm up - rich and hearty stews are a favourite. I often include lentils in my stews as they weigh little in dried form but cooked they swell and saturate well. In addition, stews are an all-in-one dish where you really only need a saucepan. Serve with some good bread! Here is a recipe for my best lentil stew for the outdoor kitchen (LINK)

The great thing about wraps is that they can be filled with just about anything. And also you eat them with your hands, so you don't have to use cutlery and plates. Roasting different vegetables in season and mixing with some kind of cooked legume makes for a tasty, nutritious filling. Mix with some herbs and drizzle over a delicious dressing and you're there. Use thin store-bought wraps - or easily make your own from just two ingredients; see my Thin potato bread (LINK)

Partly for the same reason as wraps - food eaten with your hands means you don't have to pack plates and cutlery - burgers are a favourite for eating outdoors. And burgers are always a good idea - especially if they’re grilled over an open fire! The accessories can be prepared at home, so all you have to do is fry your plant-based patty. Here's a favourite recipe for an outdoors burger (LINK).

Pancakes are easy to whip up (prepare the batter at home!) and can be topped with both sweet and savoury treats - depending on what you’re in the mood for!

February 07 2022