Cast-iron cookware can be one of the greatest tools in your camping toolkit, as the cookware’s versatility and durability allow you to cook many old camping food favorites with the same skillet or Dutch oven for years and years — and all with very little hassle. With only a cast-iron skillet, a few utensils, some tasty ingredients, and a campfire, you’ll be well on your way to serving up biscuits, breakfast hash, pot pies, potatoes, apple pie or any of your other favorite cast iron skillet recipes!
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For the campers and outdoorsmen, who want to “rough it” with a basic iron skillet, this low-maintenance camp cooking is usually a big part of every camping trip. Here are a few tips to add to your arsenal of pioneering skills to make the job of the camp cook a lot easier.
Let’s start with the seasoning.
Before you take your cast-iron skillet into the outdoors, it needs to be seasoned in order to resist sticking and eliminate the need to cook with extra oils. This is done by baking several thin layers of food-grade oil onto the surface of the pan.
According to What’s Cooking America, you need to follow these steps:
#1 — Rub the cast-iron skillet with a thin coat of oil. Then use a paper towel to rub away the oil until the skillet looks dry.
#2 — Heat your home oven to 450 degrees F. Set the upside-down skillet on the oven rack. Bake for 30 minutes.
#3 — When the 30 minutes has elapsed, turn off the oven. Do not, however, remove the skillet. Allow it to cool slowly to room temperature from within the oven.
# 4 — Repeat the process three to four times for best results.
Tip: Place a sheet of foil at the bottom of the oven while seasoning to catch any oil drippings from the skillet.
Once your skillet is well seasoned, it’s ready to be taken on your next camping trip! But what’s the best way to care for it while you’re out in the woods?
Here are some rules of thumb, according to Real Simple magazine:
- Begin cleaning the skillet with the hottest water you have and a sponge immediately after cooking. Note: We suggest putting a pot of water on the fire and getting it hot and ready as you’re cooking your meal. That way, it’ll be easier to clean your skillet in a more timely manner.
- To remove stubborn food sticking to the skillet, scrub it with a paste of coarse salt and water, using your sponge or a stiff, non-metal brush.
- Dry off the skillet. Then, if you’ve got the time and the supplies, apply a light layer of oil. Rub away the oil until the pan looks dry, just as you would when seasoning it.
- Add cooking gloves or Dutch oven gloves for campfire and tin-foil cooking to your list of camping equipment.
Share your favorite cast iron recipe with us, whether you’re a home cooker or a campfire chef.