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Packing up your tent this summer? Then it might interest you to know how best to cook bacon while camping.

There are lots of great foods to cook on a camping trip. While you might be accustomed to your typical meal of hot dogs on a stick with a side of s’mores for dessert, it’s actually possible to up your culinary game during an overnight trip in the great outdoors. Breakfast might seem like the trickiest meal to pull off, especially if you’re craving bacon. But we’re here to prove you wrong. It’s really not all that difficult to cook up those long, slinky strips of meat in the middle of the woods after all.

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Related Reading on CNET: The Best Meat Delivery Options for 2020

Our pick for the very best way to cook bacon is in the oven, but obviously that’s not an option in camp. Still, we rely on specific equipment to get the job done right.

Always Use a Cast Iron Skillet

Care & CleaningHow to Clean Cast IronIf you have a camping stove powered by propane or butane, you can fry up bacon just like you would at home. This seems like kind of a no-brainer! But even so, you should still use a cast iron skillet for the most ideal results. Because it conducts heat strongly and evenly, it’s one of the most dependable pieces of cookware around and transitions well from stovetops, to ovens, to campfires alike.

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But what if you’re without fancy camp stoves and need to make bacon like your cavemen ancestors? (OK, so cavemen probably didn’t have bacon or skillets or whatever, so just ignore this ill-conceived comparison.) They also for sure didn’t have Doritos, but if you do, you can use them to start your fire:

When Cooking Over an Open Fire, a Grilling Grate Is Your Best Friend

When cooking bacon over an open fire, a cast iron skillet is still the way to go. However be sure to put a grilling grate over the campfire first. By using a grate, you create an even surface for the skillet to lie on. This makes it much easier to cook anything, especially foods not suited for skewers and sticks.

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While you can set the skillet directly on the grate, it’s best to monitor it at all times, since the flames will vary in heat and size. Because of the uneven heat levels, it may take a few tries to get the bacon just right, especially if you’re looking for sizzling results. Be sure to flip the strips frequently and move them around in the pan, as well. Monitor closely to make sure they’re cooked properly and to your liking on all sides.

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Save That Grease for Cooking Other Foods!

how to cook camping

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Once the bacon is cooked, don’t empty the grease from the pan. You can use the excess bacon fat to help cook eggs (unless you’re going the omelette in a bag route) or fry potatoes. That way they’ll be less likely to stick to the skillet and they’ll have an additional savory flavor. Besides, it’s easier than trying to dispose of bacon grease in the wilderness.

If you’re looking for a caffeine boost, read our guide to making coffee while camping. Before you know it, you’ll have a complete breakfast to start off a day full of hikes, swims, and whatever else you nature lovers tend to do.

Just be sure you clean up properly, because humans are not the only ones who are enticed by the smell of bacon…

Safety First

COVID-19 Camping Tips: What You Need to Know This Summer

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jessica is a former Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
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