One of the best things about camping is getting to cook in a rustic manner. Even if you don't overly enjoy cooking when you're at home, there's something special about preparing food over the open fire. When you're packing in advance of a camping trip, you'll likely be gathering up a number of pieces of cooking equipment, including a cast-iron pan, knives, pots, and more. It's easy, however, once you get into the woods, to realize that you've forgotten a simple item that you make take for granted when you're at home. Here are some simple cooking preparation items that you want to make sure to pack.
While you'd probably remember to pack a knife or two in advance of your cooking trip, it can be easy to forget the cutting board. Whether you're slicing potatoes to cook in aluminum foil in the fire's coals or dicing an onion to stir into a skillet-style meal in your cast-iron pan, a cutting board will make the job significantly easier. If you're backpacking and space it at a premium, opt for the smallest and lightest cutting board that you own.
When you've got a cast-iron pan full of food sitting above your open fire, you need a way to remove the pan. And, unless you've remembered to pack oven mitts, you may find yourself rigging up some sticks to lift the pan — and potentially risk spilling the food. Oven mitts are an easily overlooked piece of cooking gear to include when you're camping. In addition to being highly useful during food prep, they're also valuable because they don't weigh much. One alternative to traditional oven mitts is a pair of welding gloves. Made of thick leather, they heat-resistant nature means that you can quickly reach into the fire to retrieve veggies wrapped in foil, for example.
It can certainly be fun to skewer food over a sharpened stick and cook it over the fire, but it's worthwhile to have some metal skewers from home as a backup plan. Whereas things such as hot dogs cook quickly over the fire, the same isn't always true if you're cooking other foods. Pieces of chicken and vegetables, for example, can take long enough to cook in this manner that your sharpened stick will burn all the way through, potentially causing the food to fall into the fire. A long metal skewer — held with your oven mitts, of course — will help to cook your food right.
Contact a camping supply store, like Peace Surplus, for more help.