Motocamp Cooking

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by dwtwp, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. kingbee

    kingbee Been here awhile

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    When my wife and I were riding dual sports into the backcountry we had to keep things simple and compact, so it was granola and tuna packs and spam and ramen bombs. Now that we’re on street bikes we have more space, and more opportunities to resupply. We’re also closer to being decrepit old farts, so we don’t rough it like we used to.
    We just got back from circling Lake Superior and before the trip we spent some time perusing the shelves at Walmart for grocery items that would travel well, be easy to prepare, and be cheaper than dehydrated backpacker food.
    We were happy with all the foods we brought. Here are some of them:

    Pizza made in the Ridge Monkey. We used precooked crusts, and we had a small soft cooler for some of the other ingredients. We froze the sauce in a ziplock, and it was thawed by our second night.
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    Yes, that’s hamburger meat. Don’t judge me, we meant to have it with stroganoff noodles another night, but we forgot the package of pepperoni. It was still tasty, and olive our other toppings were good.

    We also really liked this chicken tikka masala- again, super easy to prepare, and with the chicken already cooked it didn’t take much fuel. As mentioned above, naan packs well. We took another one, a coconut curry chicken, but we liked this one better.

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    We also took a box of gnocchi with alfredo sauce that was great, even without meat.
    For breakfast we took eggs- they survived but we’re not off-roading- and precooked bacon that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Also corned beef hash- a camping staple for us for 40+ years. And granola for the times we didn’t feel like cooking breakfast.

    Lots of low-cost options in grocery stores. Poke around, use your imagination, try them out at home first.

    Cheers,
    Dave
    #21
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  2. Jeff Sichoe

    Jeff Sichoe ruddy bastard

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    Recently i've been cooking stuff up at home, freezing and then re-heating at camp. For example you chuck a frozen brick of Beef Chili, some flour tortillas and hot sauce in your pannier, then at your beer stop before camp grab whatever fresh stuff they may or may not have. Cheeses, veges, pickles / relishes, whatever!
    #22
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  3. Argus16

    Argus16 Long timer

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    I usually make oatmeal w/apple and a banana (and Starbucks Via instant) for breaky, a Mom and Pop diner for lunch and one of these
    bad boys on the Grilliput over a fire. Throw some potatoes in foil (with that butter you stole from the diner at lunch) and you're golden.
    Big fan of the Mountain House dehydrated/prepare in the bag meals. Them and Backpacker's Pantry have come a long way. Good to have around the house for End Times too lol
    #23
  4. kingbee

    kingbee Been here awhile

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    Wish I could learn to like oatmeal, it would simplify breakfast a lot. Just can’t seem to choke it down. Probably should try again.
    Agree on restaurants for lunch- we love trying out the local eateries and we’ve had some amazing meals. We always ask a local where they eat.
    Your dinner looks good but we rarely have a fire. Cooking on a campfire could be (and probably is) the subject of a whole thread by itself.
    Regarding butter, we bring a tub of clarified butter that we make at home, we use it in all our cooking, and it lasts for weeks without refrigeration. Easy to make, or you can buy ghee at the grocery store. Almost the same, but pretty expensive compared to making your own.
    Cheers,
    Dave
    #24
  5. Argus16

    Argus16 Long timer

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    Drop a cut apple with 2 minutes left, and a sliced banana with 1 minute left, add a few canned mandarins to the top, a dob of your clarified butter,
    tsp. of brown sugar and a splash of cream. Oatmeal Supreme, thank me later lol.

    I never considered clarified butter, even when on longer kayak trips or backpacking. Good to know, thanks!
    #25
  6. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    Ever try the flavored instant oatmeals? Apple/cinnamon, maple/walnut and others. Plain oatmeal....No. But I can do the flavored ones, and boiling water in a cup doesn't stretch my culinary abilities!!!
    :D
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  7. kingbee

    kingbee Been here awhile

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    Argus & Scoot-
    I’m going to give oatmeal another try, with some of the enhancements you’ve suggested. My wife loves all kinds of hot cereals so it would sure simplify breakfast. Sometimes we just don’t want to take the time to do eggs etc.
    If she asks why I’m suddenly trying oatmeal again I’ll tell her that some people on the internet told me to.
    Cheers,
    Dave
    #27
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  8. Menhir

    Menhir Been here awhile

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    When I'm camping overnight along the way I like to get a very early start on the road while it's nice and cool, so I don't tend to fuss over complicated breakfasts. If I just want to pack and go, Pop Tarts will do. They don't travel well though and tend to break up, so I often substitute fruit bars.

    But when I want to make a hot breakfast...

    The oatmeal thing:
    It's great because it packs small, is quick and easy to prepare, and is easy to clean up afterwards.
    I can happily eat it plain, but there are a couple of things to make it better...
    I sometimes pack a small bottle of maple syrup, or
    Add the contents of one of those little fruit cups to it.

    On my last trip, I picked up a few of those plastic oatmeal cups....just add hot water. They pack larger, and are more expensive, but I can boil water while I'm breaking camp, have a hot oatmeal breakfast, and since you eat it right out of the disposable cup, there are no pots or dishes to wash.

    When there's time, I'll often make scrambled eggs using the Ova Easy product I mentioned in a previous post. It doesn't have to be refrigerated, just mixed with water and fried. They taste just fine. The only problem I have is that they stick mercilessly to my aluminum cookware, so I carry a very small teflon pan in my kit just for them.

    Instant Folgers coffee packets because I just gotta hava cuppa joe and orange juice, which I usually pick up at some gas station the previous evening, rounds it up. Those Pop Tarts or fruit bars are my toast substitute.

    I dine simply on my solo camping trips. If something has to be refrigerated or spoils quickly, I don't bring it. Anyway, having a lot of that stuff on board isn't a good idea in bear country unless one likes their furry company. I'd prefer to avoid that sort of thing. :-)
    Some campgrounds have bear lockers, but they ain't refrigerated.
    #28
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  9. CPORet

    CPORet I Am Kirok!

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    The flavored ones are my go to every time I'm on the road. Just boil enough water for coffee & oatmeal and I'm set for the day.
    #29
  10. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Make a curry, veg ones only really need heating through. Here you can pick these ingredients up at almost any store. A small container of your favourite curry mix - bought or your own blend. I guess even some of that gloopy curry sauce with lots of corn starch in it, if that is what you are used to.
    Frozen (here we can get small blocks) or tinned spinach, tinned chickpeas (non-salted ones are best). Tip everything into a pan and heat until warm enough. If the shop has them or you brought one from home, a fresh chilli will add that zingy something.
    A pack of feta or paneer can be substituted for the chickpeas, but add at the end.
    Fresh or frozen cauliflower can be substituted for the spinach. As can potatoes, but I hate the ones in tins, fresh ones are not rocket science - cook them first.
    Peas and potatoes, not much without the spices, but a real treat with some chilli kick. As much or as little as you like.
    #30
  11. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    This is a simple dish I make at home a lot. Needs very little effort to make at camp, just some shopping along the way or brought from home.
    For two, I use half a link of choritzo, cut into chunks. The "picante" version means you can get away without adding extra paprika. I usually saute off some left over potatoes, but cooking spuds is easy enough, as always, do this first. You can finish that second beer while they cook.
    Set them aside, and gently heat the chorizo to release the fats and spice. Too much and the sausage goes tough unless you have found cooking chorizo. Then add the potatoes and continue to saute together. The spuds will absorb the oil and paprika. Add some tomatoes, either fresh cherries or a tin, what ever you can get hold of.
    If you are hungry, you can add a tin of chickpeas - goes really well together. Don't forget to season well, and don't be afraid to add extra paprika if you can remember/have space to pack some along.
    Don't begrudge having to stop and buy stuff for this. It justifies getting more beer.
    #31
  12. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    To me, oatmeal with walnuts is something to look forward to where oatmeal without nuts is something to endure.

    In a pinch, any bag of mixed nuts from a convenience store will work.

    Oatmeal is so low-fat and I think that's why I don't find it satisfying. The apple-honey-cinnamon-raisin versions are still low-fat.

    Just thought I'd post for those that have trouble with oatmeal.
    #32
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  13. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    Great suggestion.

    I sometimes eat oatmeal for breakfast, but after the second or third morning of oatmeal, I no longer look forward to breakfast.

    Walnuts would make a great addition.

    Jamie
    #33
  14. CPORet

    CPORet I Am Kirok!

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    Couple of years ago, in order to lighten the load and be more self-sufficient on the road, I got ahold of this book: https://www.amazon.com/Lipsmackin-Backpackin-Lightweight-Trail-tested-Backcountry/dp/1560448814.
    It's primarily written for backpackers, but work pretty well for motocamping. There are some interesting recipes, and since I already had a food dehydrator it seemed like a good idea. Haven't done any for a while, but the
    Tortellini recipe on page 169 has proven to be a winner for me.

    I've tried the Mountain House and other freeze-dried meals before. Some of them tasted flat out awful, but what turned me off was the sodium levels. After eating one, I feel myself being slowly preserved. I'd rather
    eat an MRE over Mountain House anyday. At least I already know what an MRE tastes like...
    #34
  15. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

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    Dehydrated meal in a bag have gotten much tastier. Boil water for that & coffee. Lunch or dinner on the road or to go. 20190922_145622.jpg
    #35
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  16. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    The trick to packing eggs: bring a Nalgene bottle and crack all 12 eggs into it. Dispose of the shells and carton, tightly close the Nalgene bottle, stow, and enjoy delicious scrambled real eggs in camp the next morning.

    In theory I like to cook the occasional real meal in camp, when circumstances are right. One pretty epic camp dinner seven years ago in Newfoundland stands out, which included super-fresh cod, Screech rum, rice, asparagus, and mushrooms.

    But the truth of the matter is that I also like to experience food cooked by locals, so the first preference is always to find a restaurant nearby. As such I don't even bother to bring cooking gear on shorter trips anymore. I brought an assortment of gear on the repeat Labrador/Newfoundland trip I just completed, but used almost none of it because that trip spectacularly failed to go according to plan (ride report will be forthcoming, but it involved two crashes, neither of them mine, a two-day ferry delay, and a hurricane). I've come to the conclusion that even on longer trips, I think I'll only bring minimal cooking gear from now on -- it's rare that I find myself someplace I can't grab dinner or breakfast on the way to/from.

    That said, the Nalgene full of eggs makes for an easy breakfast even with minimal gear. Throw a pat or two of butter in a Jetboil/whatever, add some chopped veggies or bacon or sausage or something, add eggs, stir until cooked to the right consistency.

    --mark
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  17. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    How long will the eggs last w/o refrigeration? Especially in a closed bag during the summer.
    #37
  18. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    They'll be fine till you cook breakfast the next morning.

    Also, keep in mind that the US and Canada are pretty much the only countries that refrigerate eggs, so...

    --mark
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  19. Gunerdo

    Gunerdo fromwanerbe

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  20. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Re the eggs, and their longevity. In the EU, eggs for sale are not allowed to be washed - the shells are porous, so dirt and bird shit are washed in as much as off. Production methods help keep the eggs clean. Those that are soiled are used for something else or dumped.
    Shelf life is at least three to five weeks, unrefrigerated.

    Salmonella, it seems comes from infected flocks, not from a lack of refrigeration. Infected flocks are culled. In 70+ years I am yet to have salmonella, and I eat a lot of eggs.
    #40
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