Rare Or Well Done: What Is The Best Meat For A Camping Grill?

So you’ve bought yourself a camping grill, and you’re excited to put it to good use. Your mouth waters as you think about cooking up a thick cut of steak or some freshly caught fish. Now that you have a grill, you won’t have to sacrifice your food to a hard-to-control fire.

Meat on a grill.

Although a grill allows you to cook almost anything that you would make on a stovetop at home, the best meat for camping is easy to prepare and doesn’t require a lot of babysitting while it cooks.

The Best Meat For Camping: Do’s And Don’ts           

Even if you have the tools, you don’t want to spend all night tending to your dinner while you’re camping, do you? Good camping meals involve using meats that provide good flavor and texture without needing complex sauces or spice mixes. You might also want to stay away from meats that need to be cooked low and slow unless that’s your thing.

  • DO bring cuts that cook through easily – It’s easier to tell when thin chicken tenders are done compared with bone-in thighs.
  • DO bring meat that tastes great with minimal seasoning – A steak that is seared to perfection on a camping grill needs nothing more than salt and maybe some pepper.
  • DO cut the meat into smaller chunks – You can always sauté it in a pan over a burner and add it to vegetables to make a salad or fajitas.
  • DON’T bring large roasts or whole chickens – It’s not always easy to finely control the grill temperature, and you don’t want to get a food-borne illness from undercooked meat.
  • DON’T bring cuts with a lot of fat on them – The fat can collect below the grill and catch fire.
  • DON’T bring items that only taste good after complex preparation – There is something to be said about cooking good old hot dogs and hamburgers on a camping trip.

How To Prepare Meat For Camping

Because you may not have access to soap and running water, you don’t want to handle raw meat more than you have to. Therefore, it can help to prepare the food as much as possible at home.

Trim excess fat and chop or slice the meat before you leave for your trip. You can even marinate chicken, pork or fish before you hit the road. Steak often tastes better when it’s salted up to an hour before you cook it.

If you’re not planning to cook it that night, freeze the meat that you bring on your trip. Make sure that you freeze the pieces separately; it can be hard to defrost meat that has frozen into a solid chunk of ice. Wrap the meat in more than one plastic bag to prevent leakage.

Raw meat on a wooden board.

During your trip, the meat will thaw slowly in your cooler. According to Foodsafety.gov, it should be safe to cook and eat if it remained at a temperature of less than 40 degrees until you cooked it. If you need to thaw meat quickly, submerge it in a bowl of cold water.

Cold food that has stayed at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees for more than two hours can breed bacteria. Try to avoid letting meat sit out.

A cooking thermometer can come in handy when you’re camping. Use it to make sure that your meat is cooked through.

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