In 2018, there was a 64% increase in the number of Americans going camping. This means there are tons of people completely new to cooking outdoors that are tackling outdoor meal preparation for the first time.
But it’s also a shame to waste a beautiful, big backyard when summer rolls around. There is nothing better than the smell of a BBQ cooking on the deck while you enjoy the sunshine with friends and family.
No matter where you are cooking, are you ready to be the best outdoor cook you can be? Read this guide for the best alfresco meal prep tips.
1. Food Safety First
You cannot throw out the food hygiene manual because you are cooking outdoors. Everything that applies in an indoor kitchen is as important (if not more so) out in the open.
Always have a good supply of water and soap nearby so you can wash your hands before and during cooking. And, so you can wash your pans and dishware afterward if you need to.
Keep meat in a cooler below 40°F until you are ready to cook. Then, make sure you cook your food to at least 75°F. Use a thermometer if you are not a confident cook.
Use plastic containers to separate your food and make sure it does not get contaminated before or after cooking.
2. Use the Right Cooking Equipment
Whether you are using a camping stove or cooking in the backyard, you need the right equipment. Here are some suggestions of what you might need for your outdoor meal:
- BBQ or iron grill
- Camping stove
- Fuel for your stove or grill
- Camping lighter or matches
- Pots and pans
- Cooking utensils
There are lots of other equipment you could invest in for outdoor meal preparation, but these are some of the basics. If you need to buy some new cooking tools, check out Barebones Living or Barbeques Galore.
3. Use the Right Eating Equipment
Meal preparation applies to the eating as well as the cooking of the meal. So, it’s time to invest in some outdoor crockery too.
If you’re camping, invest in a robust picnic blanket and some collapsable dishware. You might also need some washable napkins, Tupperware, or beeswax wraps for leftovers too.
And if you are cooking outdoors in a yard or for a picnic, invest in some reusable bamboo dishware in eye-catching, colorful patterns. You will also need to pack cutlery and napkins in a picnic basket, but they can be the regular kind you use at home.
4. Proper Disposal of Waste
If you are camping in bear country, you need to secure your food and food waste to a tree around 20-30 feet away from your campsite.
But no matter where you are, it would be super uncool of you to leave any litter, so bring waste and recycling bags for your mess. Dispose of them at home or your campgrounds if the facilities are there.
Get Prepared for Outdoor Meal Preparation
Outdoor meal preparation doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. And if you follow these tips, you will be able to prepare, cook, and enjoy delicious meals no matter where you are.
Want to learn more food and drink preparation tips? Browse our website for tons of helpful guides