Thanksgiving this year looks different than any other. But that doesn’t mean it has to be any less special for you and your close family.
We see this as a chance to celebrate the holiday in a whole new way. Getting outside and spending time in nature is a safe, socially-distanced, and memorable way to enjoy Thanksgiving this year.
And what’s Thanksgiving without a whole lot of delicious food? Cooking Thanksgiving dinner at camp can give you the opportunity to get creative with unique recipes (and even have the kiddos help out).
But if you’re like us, you may be craving a bit of normalcy with all the changes this year has thrown at us. That’s why we’ve put together our top 3 favorite Thanksgiving dishes you can cook at your campsite this year.
1. Campfire Turkey
You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without a turkey dinner! Unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case, you might enjoy these tasty vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes instead.
While cooking a turkey at camp might sound like quite the task, but it’s actually pretty simple and totally worth it. Besides, spending time prepping and cooking in the kitchen (or around the campfire) is what Thanksgiving is all about.
The best way to cook a turkey on the campfire is with a large cast iron dutch oven and tripod to place over the fire. Dutch ovens are made to replicate your oven at home by evenly heating everything inside.
Just make sure you bring along a meat thermometer to ensure your turkey is cooked all the way through before serving.
Your first step is to get a big fire going. Let it burn for about an hour or so to get a large number of hot embers.
Prepare your turkey by covering it in olive oil and your favorite seasonings.
Next, set up the dutch oven and tripod over the fire. Add some olive oil to the dutch oven and let it heat up for about 15 minutes before putting the bird in. Stuff your bird with your favorite herbs and it is ready to go.
The rest is pretty simple: Place the turkey in the dutch oven and cover it with a lid. Use tongs to place some hot embers on top of the lid to add even more heat, and replace these when they turn to ash.
It should take about 3 hours or so for your turkey to cook through. Once the inner breast reads at 165 degrees with your meat thermometer, you’re good to go. Take out your turkey and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving!
Now let’s get to the sides.
2. Thanksgiving Potato Foil Packs
Another super simple and effective way of cooking over the campfire is wrapping your food in tin foil. For potatoes or sweet potatoes, this is a no brainer.
Our favorite Thanksgiving side is this spiced sweet potatoes recipe.
Cut your sweet potatoes into small, thin slices. Place them on a large sheet of tin foil (one large enough to fold over the top of the potatoes).
Cover the sweet potatoes in olive or coconut oil. You can season them with whatever floats your boat, but we prefer using salt, pepper, cinnamon, brown sugar, cardamom, turmeric, onion powder, cumin, and garlic powder.
Once you’ve got them all seasoned and oiled up, fold the tin foil over the top of the potatoes and roll up the edges. Wrap it in another layer of tin foil to keep out the embers and ash and roll up the sides again.
Throw them on top of a nice bed of embers and rotate/flip every 5 minutes for 20-30 minutes (until potato is tender). It’s as easy as that, and what’s even better is that you have no dishes!
Last, you can’t have Thanksgiving without dessert!
2. No-bake Campfire Apple Crisp
No matter the occasion, an apple crisp is always a good idea.
To bake a full pie out in the woods would be harder then we’d like. So we found a recipe for a no-bake apple crisp that takes no time to make, and even less time to eat. Plus, it has bourbon in it to keep you extra toasty all night long.
Preheat your cast iron skillet over the campfire. Cut up 2-4 apples into thin slices.
Add the apple slices to the skillet and let them cook down until they get soft. Add a few tablespoons or so of brown sugar, cinnamon, and a shot of bourbon.
Stir the spices and apples together and let the liquid in the pan thicken. Then take it off the fire, sprinkle your favorite granola on top, and add a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving
At Roofnest, we’re so thankful that mother nature offers us a way to relax, recharge, and remember what’s important. What better way to show your gratitude for the great outdoors than celebrating at your favorite campsite?
Grab your kids, your dogs, or all of the above, and enjoy some time out in the woods this holiday. Just be sure you’re following the leave no trace principles — let’s keep our favorite spots looking good for decades to come. From all of us here at Roofnest, have a safe and restful Thanksgiving!