These campfire baked potatoes are one of our favorite camping dishes. We use open fire cooking with coals to make these easy and delicious campfire potatoes.
A longtime favorite to campers, campfire potatoes are almost as easy as they are delicious. Plus they are also a natural complement to the entire camping experience. But best of all, they are far easier than most people would think if they haven’t tried it yet.
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For basic cooking, the potato can then be wrapped in foil, shiny side inward, and gently placed in the coals. And there is nothing wrong with basic campfire baked potatoes at all. However, you can do it even better.
The basic baked potato in the campfire is great with butter and a bit of salt and pepper, but it won’t be a great deal different than a baked potato cooked at home and prepared the same way.
So we are not just making campfire potatoes with basic open flame cooking options today. We are bringing them up a notch!
How to prepare Campfire Potatoes:
To start, you need potatoes, of course, some foil, and a fire with a bed of coals. See our DIY Firestarters from recycled materials and make them before your trip.
Also, remember to add plenty of salt and pepper. Don’t forget that potatoes absorb salt to the extent that they require a good deal of salt while cooking, to actually taste salty.
Larger potatoes such as number threes are better to use than the store run number twos, as they take a little longer to cook and have more food per potato. Once they are done, you’ll be glad you opted for larger potatoes. Russets are a great choice for this camping dish recipe.
The difference in these campfire potatoes is in the preparation stage. Instead of piercing the potato, you need to cut it about halfway through in a deep lengthwise slit.
Cut an onion into thin slices and mince a couple of cloves of garlic, more or less according to your family’s tastes. We used 1/2 onion for two potatoes and two cloves of garlic, one for each potato.
Add the garlic and onion or, in a pinch, substitute with garlic and onion powder. Just remember that fresh garlic and onion simply have more flavors than the powdered versions. Note that diced onions and garlic are likely to caramelize during cooking and they will impart more flavor to the potatoes.
You can also add sliced peppers, though this is optional. You can also vary the flavor a bit by adding oregano, basil, or bacon.
Wrap the potatoes and onion-garlic mixture in the foil, sealing as tightly as possible to retain the flavors.
How to bake potatoes in open fire cooking campfire:
Check to make sure that your campfire has a good bed of coals. It is best to let the coals die down a little before adding the potatoes. If the coals are too hot the outside of the potatoes may cook far quicker than the inside, leaving you with a charred outside and a nearly raw inside. Also cooler coals allow more time for the flavors to permeate the potatoes.
Add potatoes to the coals and watch carefully. Long Handled Tongs are ideal for the placement, turning, and removal of the spuds from the coals. Each campfire potato should be turned every 10 minutes or so about a quarter turn each time for about 40 minutes total.
While the potatoes are cooking, you could also grate 1/4 cup of cheese per potato. Any cheese will do, however cheddar, Colby, Swiss, or jack cheeses are terrific.
Remove the baked potatoes from the campfire and allow them to sit for several minutes. Caution: The potatoes will still be very hot, even after they have been removed from the coals for a few minutes. Care should be taken when handling them.
Carefully unwrap the campfire potatoes and use a fork to open the deep cut. Into this, immediately put a pat of butter and the cheese, allowing both to melt. You could also add oregano, basil, or cooked bacon if you didn’t prior to cooking. Also, these additional flavors are best by adding them after the butter but before the cheese.
You will be left with an exquisite, slightly smoked baked potato right from your own campfire that will go with many camping dishes. Be sure and use heavy weight plates or better yet Tin Metal Plates to handle this delicious load.
These campfire baked potatoes are good enough to give a reason to go camping in the first place. The flavor can’t quite be duplicated at home, so camp may be the only place you have the opportunity to have such delicately smoked and flavorful baked spuds. They aren’t hard to make and they aren’t very expensive, but they are quite filling.
Other Camping Dishes and Helps:
(See below for a printable Camping List)
Campfire Baked Potatoes
- Fire tongs
- Build a campfire and allow to burn down to coals
- Place each clean washed potato onto a separate piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to wrap each potato
- Apply plenty of salt and pepper to the potatoes. Don’t forget that potatoes absorb salt to the extent that they require a good deal of salt while cooking, to actually taste salty.
- Cut the onion into slices and mince garlic cloves. Slice each potato lengthwise 3/4 of the way through.
- Pile the onion and garlic mixture into the cut part of the potato adding the excess on top.
- Optional: Add sliced peppers or/and oregano, basil, or cooked bacon pieces. And/or grate cheese and set aside.
- Wrap the potato with the foil sealing completely. Place in campfire coals using Long camping tongs for safety.
- Each campfire potato should be turned every 10 minutes or so about a quarter turn each time for about 40 minutes total. Remove from the fire with tongs and allow to cool slightly prior to carefully opening up the foil.
- Drop sliced butter onto the meat of the potato. And at this time you could also add cheese, bacon, oregano, basil if you didn't prior to baking.
- Serve on camping tin plates strong enough to hold these potatoes