Campfire Dinner Guide: Thanksgiving Edition - ROAM

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Campfire Dinner Guide: Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving is hands down the greatest American holiday. When the only expectation is to cook and eat delicious food, few are left disappointed. With more families looking to gather in open-air spaces, and some families not gathering at all – it’s a good time to take the RV down south, ditch the crowded kitchen and light the campfire for an all-day, slow-burning thanksgiving feast. Read on for your step-by-step campfire thanksgiving dinner guide…

What supplies you’ll need from the kitchen

Getting Started

If you plan to eat around 5PM, light your campfire before noon so the logs have time to burn down to smoldering coals. Depending on how dry the air is and how big your logs are, this could take over an hour. Your fire will be hot enough to start cooking when the logs turn to coals and those coals are about 1-2 inches deep and partially white. You can control your heat by moving your dish closer or further away from the hottest part of the coals (see guide below). An adjustable campfire grill like this is great for heat control, but not a necessity. Keep wood on hand and slowly add small logs and kindling throughout the day to keep your cooking surface hot.

High heat = directly over the center of your fire

Medium heat = just outside the the center of your fire

Low heat = the outskirts of your grill

Turkey Legs

If you’ve ever been to a state fair where a vendor is smoking turkey legs, you know how tantalizing the smell is. While the aroma is a huge bonus, turkey legs are best for a campfire dinner because of their size. A whole turkey on a campfire can take over 5 hours and requires close supervision to maintain the proper temperature. Plus, there’s no forks, knives or plates to clean when you’re eating these drumsticks straight off the bone! Turkey legs aren’t always stocked in grocery stores, plan ahead by finding a local butcher in your state or ordering them online.

Ingredients

  • 4 turkey legs (1.5-2lbs each)
  • 4 tablespoons honey (about 1 TBS per leg)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons steak seasoning (.5 TBS per leg)

Directions

  1. Put your turkey legs in a large pot of water, making sure all the meat is completely submerged. Toss the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper into the pot
  2. Place the pot on your campfire grill and boil the turkey for about 30-45 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165℉
  3. You’ll need the fire to be very hot to get the water boiling, several pieces of flaming kindling directly underneath the pot will help. Be sure to cover the pot to avoid campfire debris getting in your dish
  4. Remove turkey from the water and brush each leg with honey, then sprinkle with steak seasoning
  5. Place turkey legs on the grill for about 15 minutes on medium heat, flipping halfway through
  6. Once the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 175℉, remove from the grill and wrap each leg individually in aluminum foil
  7. Set wrapped turkey legs aside while other dishes are cooking, throw them back on the grill about 10 minutes before meal time to heat them up

Jalapeno Cornbread with Honey Butter

There are lots of delicious homemade cornbread recipes out there that, while very tasty, require lots of specific measurements and ingredients. When enjoying Thanksgiving day at camp, keeping things simple makes everything more relaxing. So, for this campfire thanksgiving dinner, we’re using Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix and adding our own twist. Serve with homemade honey butter for the most decadent side dish. Raw, local honey has unmatched flavor and health benefits. Read more about why using raw honey can help you fight off colds and keep you on the road longer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter, plus more to grease pan
  • 1 jalapeno
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ⅓ cup raw honey

Directions:

  1. Deseed and dice the jalapeno and set aside
  2. Grease your dutch oven with butter and place on medium heat for about 3 minutes
  3. Combine dry cornbread mix, egg, water and oil according to instructions
  4. Add in diced jalapeno to the mixture and stir
  5. Pour mixture into your skillet and cover with foil
  6. Place skillet on campfire for about 30 minutes
  7. Stick your (clean) meat thermometer or a toothpick into the center of your skillet. If it comes out clean, your dish is done. If there’s batter on it, throw it back on the fire for a few minutes

While the cornbread is baking, take 1 stick of softened butter and combine with ¼ cup honey. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt if you’re working with unsalted butter. Cover and set aside to serve with cornbread.

Better-than-Canned Cranberry Sauce

Canned goods are great to keep on hand in your RV. They save space in your cooler and often require zero prep. The problem? Canned fruits and veggies lack the flavor and texture of a homemade dish. With a bit of doctoring, canned food can go from average to appetizing in a few minutes. Here’s how to make a can of cranberry sauce taste fresh for turkey day.

Ingredients:

  • 14oz can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

  1. Make an aluminum foil boat and place your pecans in it
  2. Place aluminum wrapped pecans on the heat for 4-5 minutes to toast
  3. Add all other ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir to combine
  4. Sprinkle the toasted pecans on top and serve

Campfire Baked Potatoes with Scallion Sour Cream

A baked potato slow cooked on an open flame is one of the most underrated camping dishes out there. The potatoes take on the smoky flavor of the fire and taste great paired with any entree. Compared to the traditional thanksgiving mashed potato dish, baking the potatoes on the grill takes just a fraction of the prep and cleanup time. Top with scallion sour cream (or the cranberry sauce if you’re into that kinda thing…)

Ingredients:

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • ½ stick softened butter (or sub oil)
  • Kosher salt
  • Sour cream and sliced scallions for topping

Directions:

  1. Coat your potatoes with a layer of butter or oil
  2. Sprinkle them with kosher salt
  3. Wrap each potato individually in aluminum foil making sure none of the potato skin is exposed
  4. Put them on medium heat for about 90 minutes turning halfway through
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, open up your sour cream and use scissors to cut the chives directly into the sour cream tub. Stir in the chives and add a teaspoon of salt
  6. The potatoes are done when you can stick a paring knife through the center without resistance
  7. Top with the sour cream mixture and serve hot

Dutch Oven Blackberry Cobbler

Is it just my family, or does no one ever really eat the pumpkin pie? This is a simple recipe that’ll blow your grandma’s pie out of the water (sorry granny). Pair it with some whipped cream and hot cocoa before the tryptophan sets in. It’s the perfect night cap to a hearty thanksgiving dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 box white-cake mix
  • 1 can lemon soda
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Grease your dutch oven and pour in the berries
  2. Sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly over the berries
  3. Combine the cake mix and lemon soda in a separate bowl, then pour over the berry mixture
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar, salt and 5 tablespoons of butter (cut into ½ inch pieces) on top
  5. Cover the dutch oven and place on high heat
  6. Use your tongs to move hot coals (or logs) onto the top of the dutch oven, making sure they are evenly distributed
  7. Cook for 30 minutes, then serve with whipped cream

We hope you and your family have a safe, happy and delicious thanksgiving. If you make any of these recipes on turkey day, tag @roamcampgrounds in a photo of the dish on Instagram to win a free nights stay at our first campground. Let us know your thoughts and feedback below!

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