Posted July 17, 2014
Summer camping season is upon us, and nature is calling. But this year, instead of heading to the hills with the usual wimpy hot dogs and boring burgers, check out our secrets for Tender Belly-style summer camping. Gourmet Camping Fare Sure, grilling burgers or roasting hot dogs on an open fire is fun and functional; but no one would ever call it gourmet. Rethink your typical camping fare with Tender Belly bacon and smoked franks. Simply build a campfire (Sound not-so-simple? Let a Scout Master tell you how to do it.), cover it with a grill top or grate, and arrange your Tender Belly bacon and franks. Keep a close eye on your dinner; cooking time will depend on the heat of the fire, as well as the strength of the wind or breeze. Go Beyond the Grill To achieve a delicious, mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone pork feast from the comfort of your campsite, you want to recreate the intense heat of an oven. That requires just a little creativity: Foil Cooking: The classic Boy Scout cooking method can be used to make an entire pork ‘n’ veggies meal in one foil pouch. Use heavy-duty foil to make a “packet.” Put your meat in first (since it cooks the longest), followed by tomatoes, onions, potatoes, carrots, etc. Place the foil packed in the coals—not the fire itself. We love foil cooking Tender Belly ham, ribs and tenderloin—and, pretty much anything else. Dutch Oven Cooking: A cast-iron Dutch oven helps pork and veggies to cook slowly and thoroughly. The result is pork so tender that you can leave your knives at home. Try this Dutch Oven Pork Roast for a classic camping meal with Tender Belly pork, or simply combine our Berkshire Ribs with a hearty pour of your favorite BBQ sauce and slow-cook your way to finger-food heaven. Solar Ovens: (Yes, these exist.) A quick Google search will introduce you to the wonders of solar ovens, which bake, broil or steam food using solar power. This might be your best bet if you happen to find yourself at a park where fires are prohibited due to drought. Get Steamy As summer gives way to fall, we love cool-weather camping too. Bring along a few lightweight pots and pans, and you’ll be all set to make hearty soups and stews. In this case, you’ll want to build a strong fire and let it die down to hot coals. Place your pot or pan over the coals, and then do your best to keep the coals hot and concentrated; you want the heat under the pot to stay as consistent as possible. Looking for a good recipe? We recommend Tender Belly pork tenderloin or Boston butt as the star of this Southwestern Pork and Vegetable Stew. Go Whole Hog If you want to get really daring, host your own campside pig roast! Perfect for big groups, family reunions and roughin’ it bachelor parties, you can rotisserie or grill a whole hog, or cook it in a rock-lined pit. Click here to find out how. Happy cooking, and happy camping!