Potatoes make it’s way to our plates at least 2 times a week or sometimes even 4-5 days a week. What is a more versatile vegetable other than potatoes? The answer would be more potatoes.
If we all love potatoes so much why restrain ourselves from enjoying nature and our favorite potatoes dishes at the same time. Imagine having a scenic landscape in from of you and having mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, potato dumplings, twice-baked potatoes, potato soup, potato salad, and whatnot. Sounds surreal right?
Cooking potatoes is a task while camping, and that is why pre-cooking your potatoes will help you save a lot of time and labor of cooking potatoes from zero on the camp.
Are you worried about the potatoes going brown after being prepared and stored for too long? Well, there is nothing to worry about since we have all possible hacks for pre-cooking your potatoes.
The brown coloration is just the result of oxidation in potatoes because of the starch, it does not mean the potatoes are ruined.
We have got you covered on how to pre-cook your potatoes for camping, what not to do while baking potatoes on a campfire, and some simple recipes to make with pre-cooked potatoes.
Let’s get started, shall we?
How To Pre-Cook Potatoes?
These fantastic ways will help you get through your camping trip without missing potatoes and in the right way.
FUN FACT: Americans consume around 100 pounds of potatoes every year.(view source)
1. Parboil The Potatoes
This term means to partially boil the potatoes instead of blanching them completely. This technique of preparing potatoes helps to cook potatoes faster and keeps them crispier for any fried recipes.
How is parboiling different from boiling?
- While boiling you take out the potatoes after the water is completely boiled and the potatoes are fully cooked.
On the other hand, parboiling is carried out by slow cooking the potatoes with cold water.
We do not boil the water while parboiling, the potatoes are not completely cooked in this process.
- After boiling we run the boiled potatoes under cold water to stop the cooking process right away.
While when parboiling we do not stop the cooking process after we drain the water.
Steps For Parboiling Potatoes:
- Keep the potatoes in cold water and put it on the stove on medium-high heat. Let them cook slowly and keep checking from time to time.
- Continue cooking the potatoes for 5-10 mins.
- You can put whole potatoes or you can dice them to make them cook faster. Dicing will speed up the process because the size is smaller to be cooked.
- Don’t forget to check with a fork before draining water. If the fork enters with slight resistance, it is done.
- Remove from the heat, drain out the potatoes from the water.
- Let it cool a bit or put it in the freezer to store them longer.
- You can either cook them right away or you can use them after 2 days you parboiled them.
And you are good to go!
2. Microwave It
Microwaving the potatoes beforehand is also a very easy alternative to pre-cook them. Wrap them in heavy-duty foil and keep them in the cooler.
This method is very easy as you can just reheat these potatoes on the grill or in the coal.
3. Boil And Freeze Them
Simply boiling the potatoes and keeping them in the freezer overnight or more than that will also come in handy for later use. This process keeps the potatoes fresh for a day longer.
What about the browning of potatoes after boiling? To solve this problem just squeeze the lemon juice into the boiling water.
You can store the frozen potatoes in any insulating bag or freezer or a cooler would be a much better option. The pizza bags on pizza delivery motors also work well. You can easily find these bags in any camping store like Cabela’s.
4. Prepare Ahead Mashed Potatoes
This is pre-cooking a complete dish and carry them along in air-tight containers. Mashed potatoes is a famous dish or it can be used as a side dish with meat.
This can be prepared entirely ahead and can be reheated and served hot later.
- You can do nearly everything in advance like boil, peel, mash, stir in milk, or butter.
- Boil the potatoes for 30 mins, and check with a knife or a fork.
- Heat half and a half in the microwave.
- Process the boiled potatoes or mix in a food processor in very finely mashed without any lumps. Add half and half and sprinkle salt to taste.
- Mix until it is smooth and fluffy.
- This mixture can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- Heat before serving
5. Prepare Potato Pockets Beforehand
This is the favorite dish for many campers, just so it is so easy to cook on the campsite and tastes so good. You can prepare these pockets as many as possible and enjoy them at your convenience.
Steps to follow:
- Place potato in a medium saucepan.
- Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch.
- Sprinkle 3 tablespoon coarse salt. Boil it and reduce the flame to simmer.
- Cook potatoes until tender, about 20-30 minutes.
- Drain the water and, return it to the saucepan. Add remaining ingredients to potatoes.
- Toss to cool. Tossing seems to cool them faster.
- Arrange it in square aluminum foil on the work surface.
- Put potatoes inside the foil and place 1 garlic clove on the top of each square.
- Crimp to seal. Store in the refrigerator for 2 hours or in a cooler for 2 days.
How to cook the potato pockets?
- Prepare barbeque. Place the packets on the grill and cook until heated through and sizzling.
- Turn occasionally for about 15 minutes.
- Puncture the foil with a fork to release steam.
- Steam will cause burns so stay careful.
6. Potato Ice Packs To The Rescue
This may sound weird but it is effective in keeping the potato and other ingredients cold and fresh. You can pack your cooler with frozen twice-baked potatoes.
They should be wrapped in foil.
You just have to toss them in the coals of the campfire to defrost and reheat them.
Here Is What Not To Do While Cooking A Baked Potato On A Campfire
Yes, potatoes are versatile but that does tell us that they cannot go wrong while cooking. There are some things to remember while cooking potatoes on a campfire.
Baked potatoes or Jacket potatoes are some of the famous camping dishes. They do not always turn out to be great. Here is what could go wrong.
- Do not simply hang it on a stick and let it roast over the fire. This will give you a burnt but uncooked potato.
- Cut the potato along the length side and add butter to it to prevent it from drying. You can also add flavors to it at this step.
- Do not directly throw the potatoes in the fire. Always cover with a foil with the shiny side inside.
- Do not put your potatoes in the flame even after wrapping them in foil. Spread coal from the campfire and then lay those potatoes on them.
- Don’t just cook from one side. Ensure keeping coal above and below the potatoes to evenly cook the potatoes.
- Baked potatoes take around 45 minutes to cook if kept in whole potatoes. Don’t hurry and end up with a bad jacket potato.
- Do not leave them unattended. Toast them now and then or reposition them from time to time.
- Do not unwrap the potato to check if it’s cooked or not. You can get ashes inside of the foil. Check with a knife or fingers with hot gloves(enter link) on.
Super Simple Potato Recipe For Camping
1. Cheesy Campfire Potatoes
- Prepare foil pockets with parboiled diced potatoes in them. Add olive oil, garlic powder, dried oregano, kosher salt, freshly crushed black pepper, and carry them along.
- Put these pockets on the grill and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side. Open the pockets and add shredded mozzarella or grated parmesan/parmesan powder, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with freshly chopped parsley and red chilly flakes.
2. Campfire Baked Potatoes
- You only require pre-baked potatoes, butter, salt, and pepper.
- Smash the potatoes roughly with a fork and smear each of them with butter.
- Cover in double-layer foil and toss in the coals.
- Cook for 30-60 minutes until soft.
- Serve hot with salt and pepper.
3. Breakfast Hash
- Dice the pre-cooked potatoes into small pieces.
- Cook these into your choice of oil on a cast iron.
- Once they are soft and cooked to brown, add any source of protein like ham, sausage, bacon, tofu, and veggies as much you want.
- When everything is cooked, add eggs and mix to scramble.
- Add cheese on top if you want.
- A complete breakfast on the go.
Try out these recipes and let us know.
Don’t you feel like trying out these amazing yet easy recipes and hacks while you go camping? I think I can plan a camping trip to just enjoy potatoes outdoors.
Speaking of cooking at camp we have some other guides and cooking advice for camping on our website.
I hope you can find them useful for next time you go camping. If you have any more ways to share, feel free to use the comment section. Also, let us know if you tried any of these ways.
Until then happy camping!