by Josh Noesser, California Crew
Whether you are an overlander or rock crawler, after not so many trips you will see a person cook his meal the same way as they did back in the day, over or in the camp fire. In this thread, I would like to share an easy item to cook, more or less an item that can cook slowly as you socialize with friends and enjoy a cold one. That is a baked potato.
There isn’t much needed for a good ole fashion baked potato.
Large Russet Potato
2-3 feet of aluminum foil per potato
Something to handle it in the fire such as tongs, or something similar
Anything you would like to add to the potato such as butter, sour cream, cheese, chili, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, bacon, etc.
Before your trip:
Go to the store, find yourself some large Russet Potatoes. Get a few extras if this is your first time cooking in the campfire.
At home, pack the potatoes in your dry goods that do not require refrigeration, saving space.
Take between 2 and 3 feet of aluminum foil per potato. Its best to have extra. Do not wrap the potatoes at this time. Simply take the aluminum foil needed and fold it up into a small square. I like about 6×6 or so. This helps save space and increases the strength of the aluminum foil, so you don’t have to worry about tears. Pack it with your cooking items or dry goods, too.
On the trail:
Get your campfire going (note: if you use any chemical fire-starter, allow time for it to burn out or dissipate).
Rinse potatoes with clean water.
Poke each potato with a knife (or fork) in six to eight places to a depth of 1/2″ in order to aerate the potato.
Wrap each potato with 2-3 feet of aluminum foil. You will want to wrap them more than if you were at home using your BBQ or oven. This is to help protect from fluctuating heat.
Create a U shape out of the burning logs, larger than the total area of the potatoes lined up side by side. Do this to create a wraparound cooking effect. Place your potatoes in this area making sure none are actually touching the wood or fire. Keep at least 2-3 inches from the fire all time.
Now sit back and relax, open up a cold one and tell some stories. Rotate your potatoes every 30-45 minutes ensuring all sides get cooked. More potatoes might require more frequent rotation.
Continue rotating for roughly 1 – 2 Hours. Check the potatoes by squeezing them, if they are soft, they are ready. Safely remove them from the fire. They will be very hot.
Carefully remove the aluminum foil and cut across the top of the potato. Push on both sides simultaneously, opening the potato and breaking the insides apart. Add toppings and serve.
Next time you are out on the trail, show this great little cooking trick and enjoy a filling yet simple meal that will provide great energy the next day.