Kicking your camp meals up a notch.
The warm months are best spent with your family and friends exploring the mountains, rivers, and lakes across southwest Montana. No matter where you are, you’ll be eating, and while burgers and dogs are hard to beat, multi-day adventures call for something special. With the advancements in tabletop grills, your culinary creations will be so good, friends and family will find themselves asking, “Why go home?”
For elevated campsite cooking, there are several options. The main goal is to make it simple, get great results, and wow your guests. I’m a big fan of cooking for everyone and there’s nothing better then seeing the smiles on people’s faces when I bust out a rack of ribs or smoked pork butt that cooked all day while we played. The possibilities are endless and the grill that you choose should be one that caters to your cooking style.
You can get a pizza oven that sits on top of the grill—it’s easy to use and you get great results. Imagine wood-fired pizzas at the campsite after a long day bagging peaks in the Madison Range? If you’re looking for big wood-fired BBQ flavor in a portable package, Traeger has two great options, the Ranger and the Scout. The Ranger even comes with a flattop griddle for searing steaks or diner-style breakfasts. Both units need electricity, so plan accordingly.
My favorite camping dish is fresh-caught Walleye fish tacos cooked on a flat griddle with a side of brisket tacos, ribs, corn on the cob, potato salad, and hot links. Let’s just say people eat well when camping with me. The next day, I make creative burgers with the leftovers. I can tell you that a brisket–hot link burger is hard to beat.
Whatever your style, keep exploring new ideas, trying new flavors, and sharing them with others. It was only a few years ago that I tried Reese’s peanut-butter cup s’mores. I think I remember saying, “Where have these been all my life?”
If cooking intimidates you, follow the basic rules, like time and temperature, but own the final product by adding or subtracting a flavor that you think will make the dish better. Then, with a little bit of trial and error, you’ll be the hit of camp.
Troy is Heusel is the assistant store manager at Kenyon Noble in Bozeman.