How to cook a turkey on a campfire

Thanksgiving is a great time to go camping.   You have extra time off of work, the kids are out of school, and the fall air is cool and crisp.   The only downside to camping may be that you risk missing out on the Thanksgiving feast.  But as you well know,  at PahaQue we love cooking outdoors, and we think that a Thanksgiving meal is even better when enjoyed  outdoors on a camping trip with family.   Of course camping out of a tent , or even camping out of your trailer provides a unique set of challenges when preparing Thanksgiving dinner.    The primary one being: How to cook a Turkey when  when you are camping?  If you have a a large motorhome, you  may not have any issues, but even  a large R-pod doesn’t have enough space to roast a 12lb bird, so we prefer to head straight to the campfire.   Of course there is always the option of deep frying your Turkey when you are camping, but the gear and oil  required for that job is bulky, and can take up a ton of space in your car or your  teardrop trailer.  Not to mention that fact that all of that hot oil can be dangerous.  So we prefer this alternative to  deep frying a turkey, one that is  healthier and less dangerous to boot.  We learned this method from Little Guy Trailers a few years ago.  How to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey on a campfire:

1024px-RoastTurkey.jpg

Supplies you will need:

  • A shovel and rake ( rake optional)
  • A turkey of course
  • Olive oil
  • Your preferred spices ( rosemary, salt, etc)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cheesecloth
  •  A nice big fire

Step 1: Start the Fire

The first step to cooking a turkey on a campfire is planning ahead with plenty of fuel for the fire.  Have a big pile of wood ready to go, and get that fire going enough to create plenty of hot coals.   You’ll need to dig a 2X2 foot hole next to your campfire, as that’s where you’ll cook your bird.

STEP 2: Prep Your Bird

While that  campfire is burning, you can clean and prepare your turkey.   Just clean it up and rub it down with the same spice mix you would use if you cooked your turkey at home.   If you love stuffing, just stuff the turkey as you normally would, and then get ready to protect it from  direct contact with the coals.

Step 3:  Protect Your Bird

Once the bird is rubbed and stuffed, you’ll need to wrap the turkey entirely in the cheesecloth, and then wrap the turkey in three to four layers of aluminum foil.  This step is important, as it will protect your bird from the coals.   We’ve always wanted to try getting rid of the cheesecloth, and wrapping it in cabbage leaves.   This is how we cooked our “trail burgers”  back in our boy scout days.  We like the idea, but haven’t been brave enough to try it.  If you decide to try the cabbage leaves, let us know how it goes!

Step 4: Move your bird

Once your coals are ready, take your shovel or rake and put about half the coals in the bottom of the whole you dug earlier.  You’ll want a couple of inches of coals, and you’ll want to spread them evenly across the bottom of the hole.   Then use the shovel to carefully place the turkey on top of the coals, and follow up the turkey with the rest of the coals.   Try to gently cover it as completely as possible, and  its ok to use some of the dirt to build up a little wall around the edges.

Step 5: Wait

Since a 10-12 lb turkey takes around 3 hours too cook, you’ll have some time to relax before you start preparing the rest of your meal.  For anything over 12 lbs, just add 15 minutes per lb to the cooking time.    After you have relaxed and recovered from all that digging, campfire building, and rubbing, you can start preparing the rest of your meal.  Fans of the blog know that Cooky Jason’s  grilles, scalloped potatoes will go great with a campfire cooked turkey.

Step 6: Chow down

When the time is up, use your shovel to carefully remove your bird from the coals.  You won’t want to set it down  directly on the table, as the  bird and the coals will be extremely hot.   We like to set it down on a nice tree stump or flat rock.   Unwrap the turkey, using great care to watch our for steam and hot air escaping from the foil.  Then transfer to a carving board, carve it up, and enjoy!

Thank You To All Our Awesome Customers!

Just wanted to let you know I received the repaired (they look new to me) poles for my 12×12 screen room yesterday,   After sell support just doesn’t get any better than this.  You folks have great products (two screen rooms and two cabanas here) that is exceeded only by your support.
Thanks,
J. Killebrew
Tarboro, NC

We had it up in a storm at a rally in Iowa and ended up with split poles which PahaQue Wilderness promptly replaced, it’s so nice to have such a great product and company.

M. Darrow

When I spend $15 to $20K on the highest quality trailer out there, I don’t mind spending $500 for a quality product to protect it, rather than some cheap tarp that lasts a couple of years. Plus, supporting PahaQue Wilderness is the right thing to do – they provide us with lots of great products.

L. Tylee

January 2017 Recipe

grilled-scalloped-potatoes1

Chef Jason’s World Famous Grilled Scalloped Potatoes

 

Chef Jason’s World Famous Grilled Scalloped Potatoes

I love these. And they’re quite simple to make, even with the extra step of grilling the potatoes first. But that’s important here. Grilling the potatoes takes an ordinary batch of scalloped potatoes to a new level with that coveted grilled/smoked flavor we all love. And while I don’t usually use ANYTHING out of a can, making cream of mushroom soup from scratch is a bit of a long process, so taking some help from the store here is OK every once in a while in my book.

Major players:

  • 6-7 medium-sized potatoes. Russets, or Yukon Golds if you can get them
  • 8-9 green onions, chopped. Or 1 cup chopped chives
  • 1 10oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus 1 cup for topping (Feel free to use multiple cheeses. Jack, Colby, white cheddar, etc…)
  • 1 cup crumbled (cooked) bacon
  • ½ cup butter
  • 6 to 7 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To start, slice the potatoes into about 1/8 inch slices. Toss them with a little olive oil and salt and grill them over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side. They don’t need to be cooked through at this point. Remove from grill and set aside.

Combine the soup, cheese, green onions/chives, garlic, bacon, and salt/pepper in a bowl. Now at this point you go can go a couple ways. What I like to do is use a disposable aluminum roasting pan. (Dutch oven is great, too.) Select the appropriate size. Spread the potatoes in an even layer on the bottom and cover with the soup mixture. Alternate layers of potatoes and soup mixture until all are used. Distribute some pads of butter over the top. Cover with remaining shredded cheese and place on the grill over medium heat for about 25 to 30 minutes. If doing this over an open fire instead of a grill with a lid, cover pan with foil. Be careful when removing the foil and watch for hot steam. Serve….

The other way is to make up individual foil packets. This batch size will be about 8 servings. Just tear 8 pieces of foil about 10 inches long and evenly distribute the grilled potatoes and soup mixture into each one. Top with butter and close to seal. Same cook time. Done.

*Note: If using an aluminum pan or foil packets do not place directly over flame.

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

 

Winter Camping Tips

Here are some handy cold-weather camping tips that can make camping more comfortable through the fall/winter camping season. Stay warm!

1. Keep hydrated during the day and avoid drinking lots of fluids at night, so you won’t have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

2. Eat a big dinner with lots of calories. Calories are a unit of heat, without them the furnace won’t burn hot.

3. Keep a snack with you for the middle of the night, so if you do wake up cold you can replenish lost calories and warm back up again.

4. Go to bed warm. Warm up by taking a brief hike around camp or doing some jumping jacks. If you wrap a frozen salmon in a sleeping bag, will it stay frozen? Yes, because your sleeping bag will insulate cold or heat, just like a Thermos.

4. Select a protected campsite out of the wind and off the valley floor and other low areas where cold air settles. A good rule is to be about 50 feet above the valley floor.

6. Fluff up your sleeping bag with vigor to gain maximum loft before you climb in.

7. Use a good insulating pad between you and the ground. Studies show that what you have under you is more important in keeping you warm than what is on top of you.

8. Wear a stocking hat to bed, you lose most of your body heat through your head.

9. Keep your nose and mouth outside your sleeping bag. Your breath contains a great deal of moisture that can cause dampness to collect in the bag as you sleep. To keep your face warm, wear a balaclava or wrap a scarf around your face.

10. Roll the moisture out of your bag each morning when you get up (roll from foot to head), then leave it open until it cools to air temperature. If weather permits, set it out to dry.

11. Use a layered sleeping system (i.e. sleeping bag, liner, half bag, bivy sack). A layered system helps to remove the frost buildup that naturally occurs when your body warmth meets the cold air (a concern if you’re staying out multiple nights).

12. Avoid overheating at night and make sure you go to bed dry. Being too warm produces perspiration, so vent your bag if needed or take off your stocking hat.

13. Make sure your feet are as dry as possible before going to bed. This can be done by having a pair of dry sleeping socks in your bag for sleeping only. Also, you can “dry” wash your feet with a good foot powder that contains aluminum chlorohydrate, which helps dry the skin and reduce perspiration.

14. Wear loose fitting clothing to bed so it doesn’t restrict circulation.

15. Keep your sleeping gear clean. Dirt clogs air spaces in the material and reduces insulation value making it harder to stay warm.

16. If you have cold feet, sleep with your feet together in an elephant foot or half bag. It’s a bag that uses the principle of the buddy system, where the feet share heat instead of being isolated, much like mittens are warmer than gloves. The bag slips over your feet and legs and then drawstrings pull it shut or you could just use a fleece jacket wrapped around the same area.

17. Fill a water bottle with hot water before you go to bed and then strategically place it at any cold spots in your sleeping bag. Just make sure it has a screw on lid like the Nalgene bottles. A variation of this is to use disposable heater packs or hand warmers, which costs a little extra money. Or, in the old days they would take some heated rocks from around the campfire and place them in a wool sock. Just make sure they’re not too hot. (Editor’s note: If using this old-fashioned method to keep warm, make sure that the rocks are completely dry before heating. Trapped steam may cause so much outward pressure that the rocks may explode.)

All Good Things Must Come To An End

After many, many years of faithful service, my beloved PahaQue screen room has bit the screenroomdust.  Kicked the bucket.  It was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew back in October.

I wanted y’all to know what a great tent that was.  It went on many a car camping trip.  One in particular, it rained for a whole week and if it weren’t for that screen room, I wouldn’t have been able to come out of my tent to cook food.

It used to go with me to the race track when we did track days (riding our motorcycles on the race track).  In the winter months I’d crank up a heater in there and everyone would hang out in it keeping warm.

When the hurricane came through, it served as my shed on my new retirement property.  I’ve been building fence and clearing land so it kept my tools and mowers protected from the weather.  I would not have left it out in a hurricane but I was across the country on vacation when it came through.  I had no way of getting it out of harms way.

Well, all good things must come to an end.  RIP my PahaQue screen room.  You will not be forgotten.

C. Irvin

St. Augustine, FL

New Green Mountain 6XD From PahaQue Sleeps Eight Comfortably

July 22, 2016   |   Category: Shows
New Green Mountain 6XD From PahaQue Sleeps Eight Comfortably
PahaQue, a leader in the camping and tent industry, continues its innovation with the introduction of its Green Mountain 6XD tent at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, August 3-6. It’s the largest of the Green Mountain series, designed to sleep up to eight people comfortably.

“The Green Mountain 6XD is our most versatile tent,” Jeff Basford, president of PahaQue, said. “It features two large doors, four windows, a built-in room divider and a bathtub style floor.”

With the bathtub style floor – introduced by PahaQue with their Pamo Valley tent in 1997 – groundwater stays out and gear stays dry. In addition, the floor, rainfly and sidewall are factory seam-taped for total waterproof performance. With its all-mesh roof, campers can remove the rainfly and enjoy stargazing from inside their tent on clear, warm nights.

When unzipped, the outer doors can double as awnings, while the closed no-see-um grade mesh inner doors keep even the smallest bugs out. Awning poles are included, as is a complete set of stakes and adjustable guylines.

The spacious Green Mountain 6XD tent is 12′ x 10′ x 6’6″ high, with a floor area of 120 square feet. The tent and fiberglass/steel poles all fit in the included stuff sack and weigh only 27 pounds.

For an added layer of comfort and protection, lay a PahaQue Tent Rug across the floor. The Tent Rug provides a moisture barrier on one side and creates a soft, warm and comfortable floor on the other. It’s constructed of heavy duty, stain-resistant polymer rug material with a durable waterproof fabric backing. Available in 5’x7′, 8’x8′, 10’x8′ and 12’x10′ sizes.
For more information on the Green Mountain 6XD go tohttp://www.pahaque.com/pq/subcat.asp?cid=691&ret_id=1455119. For Tent Rugs, go to http://www.pahaque.com/pq/subcat.asp?Att1=Rug&Att2=&Att3=&Att4=&Att5=&cid=685&StockStatus=&MfgName=PahaQue&ret_id=1455119.

Copyright © 2016, The Dealer Wire. All Rights Reserved.

Cooky Jason’s World Famous Apple Pork Stew

Cooky Jason’s World Famous Apple Pork Stew

Got 3 hours to kill? Find ‘em. This is worth it. At home or at the campsite, you’ll be a hero. Stews come in all shapes and sizes. But pork loves apples and we love both. It’s a match made in camping euphoria. Follow along…

Major players:

  • 1 4-5 pork roast
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large green apples, peeled/cored cut into large slices
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 12-16oz large mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced thick
  • 4 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (homemade is always best)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (no margarine)
  • Dash of chopped chives per serving

Heat your favorite Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Brown pork roast on all sides, about a minute or two per side. Toss in the onions and apples about half way through. We want them to brown, too. But the time it takes to brown all sides of the roast is too long for the onions and apples. Then add the stock, salt and pepper, butter, and herbs. Lower heat. (If cooking over a fire, move it to the side so it’s not over direct heat but still hot enough to simmer.) Cover and simmer for 2 and a half hours.

(*Take it up a notch: add 1 and a half cups red wine)

Remove lid and add mushrooms, garlic, carrots, and celery. Recover lid and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot. The herb sprigs are easy enough to fish out with tongs. Sprinkle each serving with chopped chives.

That’s how we do it, folks.

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

Cooky Jason’s World Famous Pouched Salmon

Cooky Jason’s World Famous Pouched Salmon

Alrighty, campers. I know a lot of the country is still gridlocked in a winter wonderland and most of you won’t be camping anytime soon. So with that in mind I try to FB_IMG_1451784156186write recipes that are just as easily done at home as at the campsite. Pouching is a very efficient way of cooking over a campfire or on a grill. And with fish it’s great because sticking isn’t a problem. You can very well do these in the oven. In my opinion, salmon needs very little help in the flavor department. However, in pouching you’re essentially steaming the food and not getting that charbroiled flavor from open fire. But that’s ok because steaming is much healthier than charring food anyway. And the key to countering that, especially with fish, is a combination of herbs. Follow along…

Major players:

  • 1 6oz salmon fillet per person (these will be individual servings per pouch)
  • ½ cup of 2 to 3 different chopped herbs. (Thyme, sage, tarragon, dill, marjoram, parsley, etc…)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper (I prefer white pepper here.)
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (This is about half a lemon, so you can do two per lemon.)
  • 1 foot x 1 foot square of heavy duty foil

OK, now for the fun stuff. Put the olive oil down on the foil first. (Put oil on the foil) Then sprinkle a little salt on the oil and also about half of the chopped herbs. Then place the salmon, skin side down, on top of your bed of oil and herbs. Next, place the pad of butter directly on top of the fillet and top with the remaining salt, pepper, herbs, garlic, and lemon zest. The grill heat should be medium…ish. Try to keep it to around 325 to 350 degrees. The salmon will be done in about 30 minutes or so. When you get close, you can peel one back and check by cutting one fillet open. And lastly, drizzle the lemon juice over the finished product and serve. If you’re plating, also pour all the deliciousness from the pouch over the salmon and other veggies or pasta. (See below)

I don’t like handling raw meat at the campsite. So what you can do is prepare the pouches at home and just keep them on ice until you’re ready for them. Let them sit out, out of the ice or refrigeration, for about 20 minutes before cooking to take the edge off the chill.

Also, you can throw in broccoli or asparagus right in with the salmon. You can even steam pasta the same way. Take fettuccine or linguine and break it in half so the uncooked noodles are about the length of the salmon. Just place the pasta on top of the salmon and close it up. The pasta will steam and cook just fine. A whole meal all in one pouch. Enjoy!

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.