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.
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.
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.
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.
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.