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In Defense of the Campfire Classics

These days, it seems as if cooks are determined to take all sorts of recipes to the next level. Maybe it's motivated by the insatiable need for the next cool, share-worthy photo on social media, or fueled by a desire to add delicious twists to old-fashioned dishes. Yes, I totally get the need to be creative and fancy. That's cool, but, please don't mess with these campfire classics. There's a reason why they've stuck around for so long. Because they work! And they taste incredible after a day of hiking, fishing, lazing around the lake or on the beach. Don't you agree?

Grilled Corn

Summertime and the living is easy, especially when you score some fresh ears. The hint of smoke from the campfire only makes the whole thing sweeter. Bonus points: It's perfectly acceptable to cook the cobs in the husks, shucking them and adding the seasoning after.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Photo by Meredith

Grilled Burgers

Let the coals of the campfire kiss those patties, making for magical grill marks. The greatest thing about this satisfying, hand-held meal is that there are so many ways to go on the meat front. On a recent camp out, I loved my lean, super flavorful bison burger, but you could also go for turkey burgers or a Portobello Mushroom Burger.

Cheddar Bacon Hamburgers with Horseradish

Photo by Allrecipes

Campfire Trout

What are you gonna do with all those fish you've reeled in? Cook them over the fire, of course! This timeless treasure involves seasoning and wrapping the trout in foil. Serve some Campfire Onions on the side.

Grilled Trout

Photo by Meredith

Papa Funk's Campfire Chili

This make-ahead, slow cooker preparation is brilliant for feeding a crowd. The crew's gonna love the hearty bean stew, which can be topped with shredded cheese and chopped onions, or drizzled over those juicy burgers.


Resist the urge to make an over-the-top gourmet s'more and stick with a tradition that dates back to the 1920s. ("Some More" first appeared in a Girl Scouts cookbook in 1927.) Taking the marshmallow to a golden brown is tricky, but it's an essential step for melting the chocolate in this irresistible cookie sandwich.

Campfire S'mores

Photo by Meredith

Please explore more than 200 Campfire Recipes and check out our special Camp Out guide.

About Leslie Kelly

Always hungry to learn, never had my fill of oysters, Memphis dry rub ribs, wild salmon, chocolate chip cookies or a well-rolled lumpia. Washington state wine lover, bourbon fan. Totally obsessed with brunch!