Having traveled all over the country in an RV years ago, we have retained a love of cooking in the great outdoors. To this day, we would rather cook outside then in, even in the winter with snow on the deck. In fact, my son is now in the process of designing a gourmet outdoor cooking area, complete with fireplace so we hardly ever need to cook inside again, even in the cold, not that I am a gourmet, but it sounds good.
But remembering back in the day when we saw the country in a travel trailer, I know it can be much more enjoyable to cook outdoors if you give it a little thought and preparation. When you are in your kitchen and need a certain utensil, just open the drawer and there it is. But if you have not planned your outdoor cooking equipment well, you are just out of luck or you have to run back inside for your outdoor cooking utensils.
So the first thing you need to do is to is try to think of everything that you could possibly need and then cross off your list anything you can do without.
Planning Will Make Cooking Outdoors More Enjoyable
Outdoor cooking equipment, can range from a fully equipped luxury outdoor kitchen with built-in barbecue equipment (you don’t have to worry too much about not having the proper utensils then), to, as we did for many years, cooking on a charcoal grill out on the deck without any fancy outdoor cooking equipment at all. In the last case, you might find it easier to do most of the preparation inside before you start to cook. This keeps what you need to a minimum.
There are some things that are a must, like tongs, long handled spatula, and of course, the charcoal, lighter fluid and matches. A nice serving plate and a chef’s apron are nice but not absolutely required.
Not Required, But Helpful
If you want to get a little fancier, you can always just add a little mesquite wood to the fire, giving whatever you are cooking a delightful, smokey flavor. And then, something a little more basic, such as aluminum foil, will make your life much easier, especially if you are cooking fish, certain vegetables, etc. Though, what I do, is make little individual packets of vegetables, potatoes and spices. A little olive oil or cooking spray on the tin foil works great. Those I can make beforehand, whether we are cooking on the deck or going for the day to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Which reminds me, a jug of water and some soap for clean up can come in really handy unless you are sure there will be running water wherever you are going. Though normally, the parks have, not only a grill, but also water to clean up. So that really cuts down on things you must take.
All in all, if I have to cook, I would rather do it outside. And it’s always nice to have the latest and greatest outdoor cooking equipment, but even if you don’t, so what? Outdoor cooking is great anyway you do it.