Camping offers some unique challenges, one of the most notable is the task of creating a hot meal.
If you're a novice to camp cooking, cooking over your propane stove or propane campfire might be a little tricky. However, cooking with a camping stove or propane campfire is much simpler than cooking over a campfire, as they produce irregular amounts of heat and are hard to control. Many of the propane campfires available today come with a cooking rack where you can place a pan or pot.
When using you propane campfire (or stove) to cook, be sure to follow these tips to get the best results.
Just like you'd never even consider using a propane BBQ inside your home, make sure that your propane camping appliances stay outdoors. Your propane campfire requires a well ventilated area, with proper clearances, so ever use your propane campfire inside a tent or RV. If you are thinking that you're in for some nasty weather, set up your campfire under a tarp or awning that is hung high up above the flames and adjust the flame height as required (your campfire manual will let you know how much clearance you need).
When you use your gas stove at home, you never have to worry about a gust of wind coming through your kitchen and making the burner flicker or even go out. Fortunately, your propane campfire is portable, and can be moved to a less windy spot. If the wind seems to be coming from a consistent direction, you can use a tarp or your tent/camper to help block wind gusts.
With smaller stoves, it can be beneficial to use a provided wind guard, or fashion one out of aluminum foil to keep the wind away from your flames.
Whether you use a dutch oven to bake a loaf of bread, cook up a tasty foil packet meal, or roast hot dogs for dinner over the open flames, be open to trying a new method of cooking using your propane campfire! Ensure that you are not dripping anything onto the fire feature or burner, though!
Are you bringing a standard 20 lb / 5 gal tank, or are you looking to use the small canisters? When using a propane campfire, consider that you will use much more propane than with a dedicated camp stove as you will be most likely using the campfire for heat in the evenings as well. Whatever size tank you bring, always remember to store them upright in well ventilated areas away from open flames.
While you've got your propane campfire lit, whether you are cooking on it or not, don't leave it unattended - especially when camping with children. As with any fire, keep any sort of flammable materials away from the flames, which might include clothing, newspapers, or other camping gear.
Want to limit the amount of actual cooking you need to do? Do some pre-cooking and prep at home and your time at camp will be a snap over the propane campfire. If you decide you want to do a soup that contains meat and you're worried about it being underdone - cook it at home. Pack it up in a cooler and then you can heat it up on a pot over the fire at the site.
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