You asked for it!
And I am here to give it to you!
I mentioned casually awhile back that I wanted to do a whole themed week on camp cooking. I got a lot of positive feedback and requests from you all that you wanted to hear some of those tips and see some of my camping recipes.
So this week is that week!
A whole week of recipes and tips about cooking while enjoying the great outdoors!
First, let me say I am no “expert” when it comes to camping. I did earn my ‘camping badge’ when I was in girl scouts many, many moons ago AND camping is still something I enjoy doing today!
So if camping ‘season’ is just getting started for you I hope you find these tips useful, and if it is beginning to wind down for your neck of the woods then ‘pin’ these tips and recipes for next year!
One thing I have learned from camping for so many years is to bring separate coolers; one for meat and another for drinks and other foods (cheese, condiments, fruit, etc.). Having two coolers is essential to prevent raw meat from accidently getting onto other food/drinks. Also pack meat in plastic storage containers, not plastic baggies, before placing in coolers. This will help avoid cross contamination and prevent raw meat from leaking everywhere.
The last tip/suggestion (for today) is to prepare as much food as possible before hand. Bring fresh onions already chopped, stored in plastic storage containers. Things like hamburger patties or the meatballs below can be mixed and shaped at home. Preparing as much as possible at home limits the number of supplies/utensils you need to bring as well as the amount of work needed to be done at the campgrounds (time that can be spent swimming in the lake or hiking!!).
These meatballs are a fun and simple recipe to make while grilling on your summer camping trip or on the backyard grill. Serve with some crusty bread and grilled veggies or a green salad for a complete meal!
How to make these Campfire Meatballs for camping:
For camping, these meatballs can be made ahead of time. Mix ground beef mixture as directed and shape into meatballs. Place prepared meatballs on baking sheet and place in freezer. Freeze for 4-5 hours or until frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer frozen meatballs to freezer safe packaging and freeze until ready to be placed in cooler to transfer to campsite to complete preparation and cooking. Or place frozen meatballs in foil as directed and place in plastic zip-top bag or storage container to place in cooler to transfer to campsite. Once at campsite continue with recipe as directed, making sure meatballs have thawed before cooking.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
- 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
- Grated Parmesan cheese, as desired, for serving
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup marinara sauce, egg, and seasonings; mix well. Shape into meatballs, each about 1 1/4 inches across.
- Cut pieces of aluminum foil about 18" x 12" each. Place equal amounts of the meatballs in the center of each piece of foil. Top each meatball with 3-4 tablespoons marinara sauce. Fold the short ends of the foil together over the center and seal, allowing room for expansion and circulation. Fold in the open edges, sealing each packet securely.
- Place the packets on the grill for 20 to 25 minutes, or until no pink remains in the meat, turning the packets over once during the grilling.
- Carefully open the tops of the packets to avoid steam burns and sprinkle with cheese just before serving, if desired.
Optional: Serve with garlic bread sticks for dipping into the spaghetti
sauce, if desired.
Note: See post above for tips and information about preparing these meatballs for camping.