Meals premade at home, no cooking required?

Discussion in 'I Smell Something Cooking!' started by RockiesCamper, May 21, 2009.

  1. becasunshine

    becasunshine New Member

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Oh yeah. At home I try to double my meals when I cook, eat one and freeze the other. In this way we can reach into the freezer and grab foods for an impromtu or even a planned trip. Sure makes life easy. Cooking on the grill is fun but sometimes it's nice to have a lot or even most of the cooking done.

    For packaging, it depends on what I have available/empty. I use freezer-grade gallon Ziplock bags for some stuff. For other stuff I use the snap-lock lid plastic containers that have the silicon seal in the lid. They work well for us: they really are leak-proof and they freeze well. Value added they are various configurations of square/rectangular, which means they pack most efficiently in the fridge, in the Power Chill and even in the traditional cooler.

    Especially for camping with little kids, I applaud your desire to cook ahead of time. It will make your life so much easier, and your camping so much more relaxing!
  2. CampinCarol

    CampinCarol New Member

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    Jul 29, 2009
    Essex County, NJ
    Will it work to saute some peppers, onions and maybe sausage and then freeze it to use in omelets when we get there?

    What else can I make ahead and freeze? Could I make up the tin foil packets of marinated chicken or whatever ahead and freeze? We are going for 12 nights in the Adirondacks, no electric and grocery stores are far away, expensive and somewhat lacking in choices. DH doesn't want to bring much food with us and freaks out at trying to bring meat along and keep it cold. I hate spending half a vacation day getting to the grocery store to purchase expensive food that may not be great quality. suggestions?

    Reality is we will eat alot of boxed mac and cheese and hot dogs, but I would like some variety.


  3. zjrog

    zjrog Member

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    Aug 9, 2008
    Tooele, UT
    I've been looking at this site for some time and it seems to be more geared for hiking.

    My wife and I have been planning ahead and working with dehydrated foods (not meals) for our camp cooking needs. Doesn't require freezing or chilling. Great for the "dry" camping we intend to do. Survival and food storage sites abound with freeze dried ingredients in bulk. DW has made some pretty good meals that she can throw in a baggy and later add water and heat. And of course, there have been a few we won't try again.
  4. binky

    binky New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007
    :) Great ideas folks......thanks. DW and I are discussing the pre-cooked meals now. The idea of freezing at home and serving later will make it much easier to camp.

    Happy Camping!
  5. JamesRL

    JamesRL New Member

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    Nov 1, 2007
    Brampton, Ontario
    When we go canoe camping at provincial parks (canoe in sites), there is a strict no bottle no can policy. That and the fact that I don't bring a full size hard sided cooler with me. Instead its a smaller soft sided cooler that is easier to cache up in the tree (away from bears). So I have to get creative. I could take things out of cans and put them into plastic reusable containers and freeze them before the trip, but I try to be more creative. So I do some no cooking items, and some things that will keep.

    For breakfast, I like packets of instant oatmeal and fresh fruit. That way all I have to do is heat water. I also substitute hot chocolate for coffee, as then I don't have to bring milk/cream/sugar. Eggs are a pain to put in a backpack.

    For lunch its usually sandwiches. Cheese travels well, as do cold cuts that are smoked. I prefer rye breads as they don't get squished. I don't bring mayo, I try to save up mustard packets.

    Snacks can be fig newtons (great for snacking while canoeing), fruit, trail mix, peanuts.

    For dinner, I often cook smoked sausages on the campfire, the kind that are pretty dry to start with - they keep longer. There are pre-cooked brats as well. I serve something like Goya beans and rice on the side, cooked on my one burner stove.

    Probably doesn't have enough veggies for long term, but for a weekender trip, we'll survive.

    For PUP camping, we precook things like chili so they can be reheated as opposed to cooked. We also bake muffins in advance, which along with fresh fruit could be a good first day breakfast.

  6. kiteri

    kiteri Just a Happy Girl!

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Altoona, PA
    Rockies Camper (and all other posters too) have you considered crock pot cooking (assuming you camp on electric sites)? If you use those crock pot liners they take very little clean up and no tending.

    You can brown a bunch of hamburger at home before you go (and I know this doesn't help our States bound Canadian members... sorry) and have several options that are young kid friendly.

    1. Dump some ground beef and a can of Manwich in the crock pot and in a couple hours you have sloppy joes.

    2. Stir some taco seasoning into some ground beef and let it simmer in the crock pot for a while to have tacos.

    3. Stir a jar or two of spaghetti sauce on some ground beef with some of those mini lasagna noodles (called mafalda) and let it simmer for a few hours to cook the noodles. Then sprinkle grated/shredded mozzerella and parmesan cheeses on each serving for a "camp lasagna".

    4. You can't really use the liner for this one... but my kids love it. Bring a couple of those boxes of beef broth and pour it over some ground beef in the crock pot. Pour in those little alphabet pasta pieces and let them simmer till the pasta is cooked. Beef noodle soup. (you can add thin sliced carrots for color if you want, but make sure the slices are thin [which you can slice at home before you go] because veggies take a while to cook in a crock pot).

    Hope these can help. I know they still take "a little" prep time...but even a precooked meal would need re-heated and it would take as long to re-heat a meal as it would to dump some ingredients in a crock pot.
  7. MCronin

    MCronin New Member

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    Apr 14, 2008
    Having been camping with twins, sometimes there isn't a lot of time for prep work 'on site'. What works for us is pretty much what has been mentioned previously. Prep work at home.

    First night dinner for us is ALWAYS a crockpot meal. For our family, it takes away from the rush trying to get set up, a fire, coals, food cooked all before the boys are 'starbin to def'. haha I also pre cook hamburger and sausage at home, and freeze in ziplock bags. I was also going to make french toast at home, then freeze, and pop in toaster for breakfast.

    This being our second season camping, we have changed our whole mindset. My kids are on a schedule, always have been. We stick to that pretty much while camping but sometimes its ok to stray from it. Take things with a grain of salt. Relax. Don't get too stressed out. Your there to have fun!


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