Whether your fire pit is in the backyard of your home or you’re away on a camping trip, you have the exciting prospect of being able to create delicious meals to wow your family and friends. Don’t be limited by the typical campfire foods such as sausages, baked potatoes and s’mores (although I’m a firm believer no outdoor campfire gathering is complete without a bag of marshmallows!). I’m going to tell you about some of the best foods to cook over a firepit (in my opinion). Once you realise just what you can create when cooking outdoors, you’ll start to get really creative!
16 of the best foods you can cook over a fire pit:
Here are some of my favorite recipes that I’ve been able to produce cooking over a fire pit. They’re all an unusual take on a traditional recipe and super easy to make, so perfect for cooking with kids too.
Orange Surprise Fire Pit Muffins
Ok, this one might sound a bit weird, but trust me…
For the sake of simplicity, I often use a pre-packaged muffin mix for this recipe, but you can make your muffin batter from scratch if you’re so inclined. I find a blueberry or a choc chip muffin mix works really well, but you really are only limited by your imagination! These muffins look pretty cool when you unwrap the foil and they also take on the flavor of the orange as they cook. Amazing!
- Oranges (1 orange per muffin)
- Pre packaged muffin mix (I like using blueberry or chocolate chip)
- Aluminium foil
- Prepare the Blueberry Muffin Mix according to its package direction.
- Cut a couple of oranges in half.
- Scoop the flesh out and discard it. I hate waste, so I juice the oranges on a hand juicer and save the juice for breakfast.
- Fill one-half of one of the orange peels with the blueberry muffin mix, as prepared.
- Put the other half of the orange on the top.
- Wrap the whole mixture in tin foil.
- Place another layer of tin foil around outside for good measure.
- Now, place the wrapped orange on a grate over hot coals in the fire pit. Make sure to turn it every few minutes to make sure the muffin bakes evenly on two sides.
- After 8-10 minutes, unwrap all the oranges from the oil and check the muffins if they’re done. Your muffins should be a little springy and golden.
- Once you get that, the centre is cooked enough and perfectly, assume they’re done! You can break them in half and add some butter if you like and chow down!
2. Cheesy Pull-apart Loaf
If you’re a carb lover like me, you know there’s few things in life more satisfying that warm bread and gooey cheese! This recipe is a great way to breathe new life into bread that’s a day or two old and getting a little dry or stale. It can be modified to suit your preferences – I’ve included a few of my favorite flavor combinations below:
- 1 large loaf of crusty bread. An Italian style loaf of sourdough works well.
- Cheese (I prefer a melty variety like mozarella, but honestly any cheese will do)
- Option 1: Ham, dijon mustard, pickles
- Option 2: Crushed garlic, chopped spinach, fetta
- Option 3: Semi/sun-dried tomatoes and olives
- Aluminium foil.
- Prepare the fire pit for low heat, using 16-18 large wood chips or charcoal briquettes.
- Slice your bread with deep criss-cross patterns about 2/3 of the depth of the loaf. If your bread is pre-sliced, don’t worry, you can just layer the other ingredients between the slices.
- Use a knife to stuff plenty of butter in the incisions / between the slices and fill the gaps with your chosen ingredients and the cheese.
- Coat the outside with a little more butter and wrap the while loaf in aluminium foil.
- Your bread shouldn’t take long to cook, after all you’re only really melting the ingredients through it. Take a sneaky peak every few minutes and enjoy the ooh and ahh sounds when you break that baby apart!
3. Chicken & Black Bean Nachos
Mexican is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I find nachos is a great way to use up leftover chicken or even beef from the previous night’s dinner. If there isn’t quite enough leftover meat to make a whole other meal, you can bulk it our=t with the black beans and tortilla chips to make sure there’s enough to go around!
- 3 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (or leftover mince meat, pulled pork (whatever!)
- 1 cup red enchilada sauce or salsa
- 1/2 small finely chopped onion
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 ears corn)
- 1 (15-ounce) can black rinsed beans
- 12 ounces cheese (about 3 cups)
- 8 ounces tortilla chips
- Fresh cilantro, sour cream and lime wedges, for serving
- Set up the fire pit heat to medium for indirect cooking.
- Toss together meat, onion, enchilada sauce, beans, corn, and about two thirds of the cheese in a bowl. Season with pepper and salt.
- Tear six 12-inch squares of aluminium foil to wrap it.
- Place one-sixth of chips, remaining cheese, and chicken mixture on one end of a piece of foil, leaving around a 3-inch border.
- Fold aluminum foil over the filling to create a packet and crimp the edges to seal.
- Repeat with remaining foil, chicken mixture, chips, and cheese.
- Grill the packets over indirect fire pit heat until cheese is melted and chicken is warmed through. It may take around 6 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer packets to plates and carefully open them.
- Top with cilantro, sour cream or other seasoning and serve with lime wedges alongside.
4. Campfire Popcorn
Making popcorn at home is fun for all ages – there’s just something satisfying about hearing the kernels popping away and then seeing the transformation from a few handfuls of hard corn kernels to a whopping pile of fluffy popcorn!!
- 1 cup popcorn kernels
- Olive oil
- I like to create a massive pouch of aluminium foil to make campfire popcorn, but another easy way of doing this is by using a disposable aluminium pie tin and creating a domed lid for it with a sheet of foil. Gently toss your kernels with a little oil so they are lightly coated in the foil dish.
- Seat your foil pouch in a cast iron pot or place your foil dish over a grate that is above the campfire heat, but not directly in the flames.
- Seal the top of your pouch/lid and wait for the magic to happen
5. Beer Can Chicken
Beer can chicken is simple, tasty and always looks effective for that “wow” factor. This recipe takes a few hours for a good result, so get yourself organized early and settle in around the camp fire.
- 1 whole chicken, cleaned and rinsed.
- 1 12oz can of beer.
- 1 lemon, cut into halves.
- Whole bulb of garlic, cut into halves.
- 10 teaspoons of spice rub. (You can use a pre-packaged rub for simplicity, or make your own. I use a combination of paprika, ground coriander, cumin, salt and pepper)
- Olive oil
- Start your fire pit about an hour before you want to start cooking so you have lots of nice hot coals to work with.
- Drink about half the can of beer while you prepare your chicken.
- Rub half your garlic, half the lemon and olive oil all over the chicken as well as salt and pepper.
- Put about a third of your spice rub all over the chicken and pour the remaining spice rub into the can with the remaining beer. Punch a couple more holes in the top of the beer can.
- Insert the beer can (mouth end first) into the chicken, so it sits upright on a grilling plate. I chock my grill plate up over the coals with a couple of bricks at each end, but do whatever works for you.
- Cover your bird with aluminium foil to help keep the heat in and allow it to cook more evenly
- Keep adding more hot coals below your chicken, to maintain a good heat source. I don’t rotate my bird while it’s cooking. If the skin starts to blacken a little too much, just pour some more beer over it. The outside of the bird will be blackened when it’s done , but this process will have sealed in the juices beautifully. If you’re a savvy outdoor cook and have a meat thermometer on hand, the internal thigh temperature should be reading 180 degrees when it’s cooked.
- Allow your chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving, to retain the juices.
6. Fire Pit Dessert Cones
Ice cream is one of those treats that can be tricky to create when you’re living outdoors. Instead, why not give these dessert cones a try? My nieces and nephews loved these when we made them on a recent weekend away. The ingredients travel well, so no need to keep things refrigerated!
- 8 ice cream sugar cones
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate M&M’s
- 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts
- 1/2 cup white baking chips
- Prepare the fire pit for medium heat.
- Fill cones with M&M’s, marshmallows, peanuts, and white chips.
- Fully wrap each cone with foil, sealing tightly.
- Place packets over campfire or grill; cook until heated through, 7-10 minutes. Open foil carefully.
- Use your favorite candies to fill up the cones.
7. Soup-in-a-Roll Bowls
If you love a thick, chunky soup, you’re going to enjoy this mish-mash of soup and a damn good sandwich! This recipe goes well with a thick soup that has been reduced so that there isn’t too much liquid left – french onion or ham and pea are excellent soup choices.
- Super crusty dinner rolls, with the tops sliced off and the soft filling removed.
- Leftover chucky soup, with most of the liquid absorbed or reduced off.
- Fill the inside of the rolls with the thick soup.
- Place the bread roll “lid” on top and smear a little butter over the outside of the roll.
- Individually wrap the rolls in foil and allow to sit among the hot coals on the edge of the fire pit until the filling is heated through.
8. Pizza Mountain Pies
This pudgy pie recipe cooked over a fire pit is really delicious to eat. It’s a hassle free recipe, so you can just cook it anytime you want!
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 2 slices white bread
- 1 tablespoon pizza sauce
- 4 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 4 slices pepperoni
- 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper, optional
- Spread butter properly over bread slices.
- Place one bread slice in a sandwich iron, putting buttered side down.
- Spread with pizza sauce; sprinkle with two tablespoons pepperoni, cheese, and, if desired, green pepper. Top with the remaining bread slice and cheese, putting the buttered side up. Close iron.
- Cook over a hot fire pit until golden brown and cheese are melted, 3-6 minutes, turning occasionally.
9. Fire Pit peach Cobbler
This fire pit peach cobbler recipe has been a family classic for around 60 years. You can include stewed apples, fresh cherries and berries instead of the peaches, depending on what’s seasonal and what your taste buds prefer… Almost any fruit would work. Mix-match-love!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
For the filling
- 2 cans sliced peaches, (15-1/4 ounces each)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, if desired
- Prepare the fire pit for low heat, using 32-40 charcoal briquettes.
- Line the inside of a 10-in. dutch oven with heavy-duty foil.
- In a bowl, whisk the first four ingredients together. Add melted butter and milk; continue to stir just until moistened. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Drain peaches by reserving 1 cup syrup. Arrange peaches over batter; sprinkle properly with sugar and, if desired, cinnamon. Pour the reserved syrup over the peaches. Place the lid on the Dutch oven of the fire pit.
- When briquettes are covered with white ash of the fire pit, place Dutch oven directly on half of the briquettes.
- By using long-handled tongs, place the remaining briquettes on top of the pan lid.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the cobbler is set and beginning to brown, using tongs to lift the lid carefully while checking.
- Cook 5 minutes longer if you think it’s necessary. Remove from heat; let stand, uncovered, 15 minutes before serving.
10. Campfire Banana Fritters
This is so simple and soooo satisfying! You can modify the recipe depending on your taste preferences or what ingredients you have available. I’ve written out my favorite combination below, but you can get creative with these campfire bananas. I’ve even eaten them topped with jalapenos and cheese!
- Bananas, split lengthways, still in their skin.
- Salted peanuts
- Squares of chocolate
- Stuff the nuts and chocolate into the banana flesh, with the opening split facing upwards.
- Place the bananas in a square of foil (to catch any overflow), or if you don’t have foil handy, just skip this step.
- Lay your bananas in the coals, so they get radiant heat, but away from direct flame.
- Once your banana insides are all warm and gooey, get a spoon into that baby and tuck in!
11. Damper on a stick
I was introduced to this campfire damper recipe by an Australian friend, who first learned this at a school camp. It’s fun to make the dough with kids and the end result is absolutely delicious.
- 2 cups self raising flour
- 2 tbsp butter (softened)
- A splash of water or milk
- 1 – 2 tsp salt
- Maple syrup
- In a bowl, combine the flour, butter, salt and liquid to make a nice dough. You should be able to stretch it slightly, without it being too wet, so adjust your wet and dry ingredients as needed.
- Roll the dough in to a long sausage, then wrap around the end of a long stick. Cap of the end with the dough so you are in effect creating a long, hollow cylinder.
- Hold the stick to the fire, until it’s a lovely golden brown color, then remove from heat until it’s cooled enough to handle.
- Gently remove from the end of the stick, then fill the hole with maple syrup and eat!
12. Firepit Cheese Fondue
A fondue makes for a great environment when you’re socialising around the fire pit. You can dip vegetable crudites, sliced chorizo or chucks of bread in this cheesy deliciousness.
- 1 can of beer
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
- 1 cup swiss or gruyere cheese (grated)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped or crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp mustard (any variety)
- Whatever food you’d like to use for dipping.
- Combine cheeses and corn starch.
- Pour beer, mustard and garlic in a saucepan and heat and bring to a simmer while stirring.
- Add the cheese mixture to the saucepan gradually, stirring as you go until the cheese melts completely.
- Dip your foods of choice in a enjoy! If your cheese mixture gets too thick, just warm it up more again.
13. Marinated Chicken and Onion Kebabs
Cooking this Indian inspired dish over a fire pit will definitely charm your guests. You can offer kebabs with naans or in flatbreads and enjoy the delicious tadka flavor. For more ideas on skewer recipes, check out my other article about cooking with skewers on the campfire!
- 1/2 c. plain yogurt
- 2 plain yogurt 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Canola oil, for grill grates
- 1 medium-size red onion
- 4 pieces flatbread or naan
- Cucumber and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
- Cut the chicken breasts into 11/2-inch pieces. Cut the onion cut into 1-inch wedges, then halved crosswise.
- Combine yogurt, ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, lemon zest and juice, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. Add chicken and stir to combine. Let marinate 15 minutes.
- Heat the fire pit to medium. Once clean, hot and lightly oil the grill grates. Thread onions and chickens onto six large skewers.
- Grill for 8 to 10 minutes around, turning occasionally until chicken is cooked correctly, and onion is just tender—Grill the naans/flatbread until lightly toasted, about 1 minute per side.
- Serve kebabs and naans/flatbread with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce and Cucumber alongside.
14. Eclairs on the Grill
One of the best camping treats can be an easy eclair on a stick. On any joyous occasion, this is the one that makes people watch what you’re doing and beg to be included. Just see what deliciousness your fire pit can help you create!!
- Stick or wooden dowel (around 5/8-inch diameter and 24 inches long)
- 3 snack-size (3-1/4 ounces each)cups vanilla or chocolate pudding
- 1 tube (around 8 ounces) refrigerated seamless crescent dough sheet
- 1/2 cup chocolate frosting
- Whipped cream in a can
- Prepare the fire pit for high heat.
- Wrap one end of a wooden dowel or stick with foil.
- Unroll crescent dough and cut it into six 4-in. squares.
- Wrap one piece of dough around the prepared stick; pinch end and seam to seal.
- Cook over the fire pit 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally.
- When you think the dough is cool enough to handle, remove from the stick. Let it cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Place the pudding in a resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in one corner. Squeeze bag to press mixture into each shell. Spread with frosting; top with whipped cream.
15. Tomato-Herb Grilled Tilapia
Trust me on this, This super tilapia with lemon and ginger takes dinner over the top with minimal preparation. Grilling the fish in foil is as easy as it gets in a fire pit.
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh ginger root
- 3/4 teaspoon divided sea salt or kosher salt
- 2 cups halved lengthwise grape tomatoes
- 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen-thawed corn (about 8 ounces)
- 4 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each)
- Place the first six ingredients in a food processor; add 1/2 teaspoon salt with the mixture. Pulse until the mixture is nicely chopped.
- In a bowl, combine corn and tomatoes; stir in 1 tablespoon herb mixture and the remaining salt.
- Put each fillet on a piece of heavy-duty(about 12 in. square) foil. Top them with herb mixture; spoon tomato mixture alongside the fish. Fold foil around the fish and vegetables and seal tightly.
- Grill and cover, over medium-high heat 6-8 minutes or until fish just begin to flake easily with a fork. Open foil carefully so that steam can escape.
16. Buttery Horseradish Corn On The Cob
Buttered corn on the cob – yeah, I bet you’ve tried that before. Now throw this horseradish combo in for a try and you won’t look back!
- 3/4 cup softened butter
- 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 12 medium ears sweet corn, husks removed
- Mix the first eight ingredients together in a bowl until they’re adequately blended; spread the mixture over corn.
- Wrap each corn with a piece of heavy-duty foil (about 14 in. square), sealing tightly.
- Grill corn, covered, over medium heat 15-20 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Open the foil carefully so that steam can escape.
Cooking over a fire pit feels really exciting and challenging. Because it doesn’t only help you prepare tasty dishes, but also it gives the ashy flavor to every dish, which makes them even more signature and appealing. So what are you thinking? Go and amuse everyone by cooking these savory dishes over your fire pit!