Cooking outside can be a lot of fun – it gives you a break from having to be indoors all the time (no matter how nice your kitchen is, it can get a bit boring when you’re in it a lot), and it gives you a chance to be outside more, and that’s always a good thing for your happiness levels and even for your mental health.

Easy Camping Meals for Family Camping Trips

Whether you’re camping, hosting a backyard barbecue, or enjoying a lovely picnic, if you can cook outside, it’s a great thing to do.

However, outdoor cooking isn’t without its challenges, and there are all kinds of things to bear in mind including unpredictable weather (depending on where you live), pests, and the tools you might be able to get hold of to use, which is why it’s wise to work out how to make cooking outside easier. Read on to find out more.

Plan Ahead

One of the real keys to successful outdoor cooking is in the planning – the more effort you can put in at this stage, the better the results will be. So before starting your meal, take some time to plan your menu, taking important factors like the number of guests, dietary restrictions, and the cooking equipment you have available. On this note, the more time you give yourself, the more chance you’ll have of finding the right outdoor grills, rotisseries, and smokers if you need to buy something to make sure your outdoor cooking goes smoothly – you don’t want to rush that decision because finding good cooking equipment can take some time. 

As for the food itself, the best thing to do is to pick simple but tasty recipes that need minimal prep work and short cooking times – it’s just easier that way. Make a checklist of the ingredients and equipment you’ll need so you know you’ve got everything ahead of time and, if possible, prep the ingredients in advance – in that way, the only thing you have to think about is putting them together to cook them. 

How Will You Cook? 

Finding and investing in the right cooking equipment can really be a bonus when you want to do some outdoor cooking, and in some cases it might even speed the process up or just make it easier to manage. Whether you enjoy grilling over an open flame or you like to use a real outdoor oven, you’ll need to choose the equipment that suits your needs, cooking style, and, of course, your budget. 

On top of this, you’ll need to think about the fuel source – unless you’re at home in your backyard, you probably won’t be able to use electricity (and even then that might not be possible). So what could you use instead? One option is propane stoves because they’re easy to use and lightweight to carry (so they’re good for camping trips, for example), but then again, charcoal grills can give the food a lovely unique flavor that will instantly remind you of outdoor cooking, which is why thinking about this ahead of time is a must if you want to make outdoor cooking easier. 

Learn How To Build A Fire

Building a fire could be (depending on the options you decide on above) a crucial part of outdoor cooking because you can use it to cook food on directly, or you can use it under a portable grill – in either case, unless you get can that fire lit (and ensure it stays lit), your food isn’t going to cook and everyone will go hungry. With a good fire going, you can achieve consistent heat and great results that won’t be underdone or completely burned. 

You’ll need to source a suitable place to light the fire first, and that needs to be away from anything flammable and definitely not under a tree, for example. Once you’ve got a place to light a fire, that’s the next step – lighting the fire. To do that, it’s wise to learn different fire-building methods so you’ve got a few options, and always make sure you’ve got supplies of kindling and firelighters, as well as something to put the fire out in emergencies. 

Learn To Love One-Pot Meals 

If you want to make cooking outside easier, the simplest thing to do is choose one-pot meals for your menu. These are exactly what they sound like; you put all the ingredients into one pot and cook it all at once. What makes this a great idea is that it’s much easier to do, you’ll need less equipment, and there will be less to clean up, which is always a bonus. 

If you want to get the most out of your one-pot meal, look for recipes that include a bit of everything – some protein, vegetables, and grains – so you can have a satisfying and delicious meal. Of course, if you’re just cooking in the backyard that’s not going to be the most important thing to consider, but if you’re camping or hiking, you’ll definitely want to make sure you keep up with good nutrition. 

Take Care Of Food Safety 

Ensuring you’re taking care of food safety is vital when you’re cooking outside, especially when you think about how environmental factors can be a problem and pose some unique challenges. 

One thing you can do is prevent cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods (that’s actually something you should do when you’re cooking indoors as well, so it’s a good habit to get into). It’s also wise to keep any perishable ingredients in a fridge or cooler until you’re ready to use them, and never leave food out in the sun for long periods of time, if at all. 

When it comes to cooking, you must make sure you cook meats to the right internal temperature, and you can check that by using a meat thermometer and, of course, no matter what you’re cooking, you have to wash your hands before you start handling ingredients. Finally, when it comes to disposing of waste, you’ll need to do it safely so no pests or animals decide to stop by – double bagging can be a good option, for example.

, How To Make Cooking Outside Easier , Days of a Domestic Dad