Camping and Outdoor Cooking Safety

There’s nothing better than venturing into the great outdoors and cooking traditional food filled with authenticity and natural flavor. It’s a chance to get back to the basics while achieving tastes that you can’t get in any fancy kitchen. Camping trips are simply incomplete without great food, and it’s your responsibility to explore as many tasty options as possible. While enjoying yourself should be a priority, you have to remember that it’s not all fun and games. There are basic elements you need to address in order to preserve the safety of your entire family. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to anything camping related, and this fully applies to outdoor cooking as well. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind the next time you go camping.

Set up a Safe Cooking Space – it’s absolutely essential to finding a good place for your gas or charcoal grill. You should have a firm surface that limits the likelihood of tipping. Some smaller grills don’t handle weight well so you have to be careful about where you put them. It’s far better to find a sturdy model anyways so that you get a full barbecue that can accommodate your entire family. Most importantly, don’t make the drastic mistake of attempting to barbecue inside your tent!

Clean Your Equipment – it’s important to be familiar with your equipment and maintain it properly in an outdoor environment. Make sure to read instructions carefully and ensure there are no loose bits and pieces, especially if you’re working with a gas model. Keep it well stored at all times and make sure that you clean it after each cooking session so that you don’t get unwanted leftovers in your next meal.

Food Safety – you won’t have the luxury of working with modern refrigerators so that means you have to be more diligent with basic food safety. Keep your coolers separated and well-stocked while teaching your kids about basic food handling practices. There’s nothing worse than catching a bout of food poisoning while camping, so you have to make sure to keep uncooked meat separate from everything else. And if you have thawed anything from your cooler, make sure that you cook it right away rather than putting it back inside.

Cook your Food Thoroughly – you might be tempted to rush the process because everything smells so good. Just make sure that you have patience with your grill so that all of your food is cooked evenly. Barbecuing is actually a pretty simple process and thanks to modern gas grills, all you really have to do is let your meat sit until it’s done. You might even want to bring along a meat thermometer if you’re cooking larger cuts of beef or chicken.

Careful Precautions – common sense always wins out in any camping environment. Something should go without saying, but it’s always good to remind yourself of basic safety practices. For example, keep your barbecue well away from dry areas and always be aware of the danger of forest fires. Keep water or a fire extinguisher handy in case things get out of control. Also ensure that when you’re done, your coals have died and there are no errant sparks that can cause potential problems.

Keep the Kids Away – a campsite can get pretty chaotic if you happen to bring your children. This is why you need to know where they are at all times. Designate a cooking area and tell your kids to stay away until you’re done. The last thing you need is one of your children running into your portable charcoal grill and potentially harming themselves. Don’t worry, they’ll get their chance to participate as they grow older but for now keep them away from the grill.

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