Explore America's Campgrounds
When you're camping and enjoying the great outdoors, preparing meals shouldn't be hassle. In fact, with the right materials and a little know-how, you can make a wide range of treats on the campfire. For instance, camp beans. Traditional as far back as the days of cowboys on the trail, they're nutritious, too. Knowing how to make beans on a campfire using a cast-iron pot gives you the ability to present delicious, steaming-hot meals at camp without relying on propane or gas.
Items you will need
Cast-iron dutch oven
6 cups water
3 cups pinto beans
Build your campfire as you normally would during the evening. Use the firewood and matches to do this and use the provided campfire pit or structure at your campsite. If your campsite doesn't feature a fire pit, build your own by digging down 2 feet and then lining the hole with a series of rocks. Throw a few rocks in the bottom of the pit as well because they retain heat.
Let your firewood burn until the flames die down and the wood is reduced to glowing embers. Throw on some charcoal. Sit the cast-iron dutch oven over the campfire grate. Add the water to it and then the beans.
Throw in diced onion and garlic for flavor. However, you don't have to use these ingredients. Cover the pot and allow the fire to burn for one hour with the dutch oven on it. Do not stir the beans during this time.
Add some more firewood to the fire to keep it from going out. It is OK if flames lick the cast-iron pot because it is made to withstand this kind of treatment.
Check the beans after the hour is up and stir them. They should be nearly done by this point. If the beans are still firm, cover the pot and let them cook for an additional 30 to 60 minutes. Add 1 cup of water if they appear dry.
- Iowa State University: Cooking Over Campfire Coals
- "Camp Cooking: A Practical Handbook"; Fred Bouwman; 2009
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