Are you planning on going camping this Christmas? Just because you are going to be in the great outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t have a fantastic Christmas dinner. Here’s how you do it.
The trick to a successful campfire cooked Christmas dinner is the preparation. This is done at home long before you leave.
Our tip here is to use foil packets to cook everything. It is easy to cook, and you don’t have to worry about pots or pans or any other utensils. It works by putting all the ingredients for you Christmas dinner into a foil packet, and then placing that packet onto the hot coals of your campfire until it is cooked.
You will need to make a different packet for each person at the dinner. This is what you will need for each one:
- 1 turkey breast
- 1 cup of stuffing
- Half a cup of gravy
- Half a cup of green beans and carrots (or another choice of vegetable)
- Some dried cranberries
- Salt, pepper and thyme
Next you need to get a sheet of heavy duty foil and lay it out on your kitchen worktop. Make sure you have enough – be generous. Spray it with cooking oil and then place the turkey in the centre. Put the stuffing on top of this, and then put your vegetables around it. Pour on the gravy and then add the salt and pepper to taste. Finally add the cranberries and thyme on top.
Now you have to make your packet. Bring the two longest sides of the foil together and fold them over repeatedly and tightly until the food is covered snuggly. Then roll up the other two sides, again until it is tight. The food inside should be completely covered and securely enclosed in the foil.
Repeat this for each person who is going to be at your Sunday dinner and then put all the packets into a cool box.
Building The Fire
When you are at the campsite you will need to build your fire. Always adopt a safety first attitude, and never take risks. Ask yourself is it safe to build a fire in this location? Do I know the rules of the campsite? Have I read up on the latest safety guidance on open fires?
Next, make sure you start building the fire a long time before you want to start eating. The foil packets you prepared earlier do not actually get cooked on the flames of the fire. Instead they are placed on the hot coals, so you need to give the fire enough time so that the logs turn to hot, black coals.
The usual advice for building a campfire then applies. Start with kindling such as twigs and small branches to get the fire going, then add logs slowly, allowing the fire to build up.
This is actually the easiest part of the process. All you have to do is get your foil packets and place them on the hot coals. Ideally the bed of coals should be about five centimetres think. You will need to leave the packets there for about 20 minutes. Exact cooking times will vary because it depends on your fire, so always err on the side of caution and cook for longer than strictly necessary.
Once the 20 minutes-plus is up remove the packets from the fire and open the foil carefully – there will be steam. Check the meat is cooked properly and serve for the perfect campfire Christmas dinner.
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