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Wellness / April 11, 2016

Campfire Gourmet: Citrus Salmon a la Moab

Written by: Eric Hockman

The weekend is fast approaching and your plans to camp and play in the mountains, valleys, forests, and deserts are set… but what’s cookin’ for dinner? It can seem impossible to dream up a shopping list for your weekend meals when the excitement of getting out and finding the perfect camp site is nearly unbearable. It’s not all that difficult however, and it can be quite simple to prepare a campfire gourmet meal to replenish your day’s spent energy and fuel you up for what the next day holds in store.

There are a few main classifications of cooking in the great outdoors; there’s the full blown bbq in the park, campfire gourmet while car camping, and backcountry deluxe where just about any meal tastes exponentially better.

While recently riding mountain bikes and camping in Moab with some friends, we were able to whip up a top-shelf meal, which was appropriately coined “Citrus Salmon a la Moab.” Sounds like something you’d order off the menu at your local fancy digs? Not this dish. This dish was prepared in a campsite and cooked over an open flame.

When it comes to campfire gourmet, preparing a meal is as simple as transporting the required ingredients and cooking tools to your campsite and busting them out come dinner time. Here are a few pointers on how to make your very own top-shelf campfire meal.

Bring the appropriate tools: A cutting board, kitchen knife, utensils, full size spatula, paper towels, and plates or bowls for prep and meal time are a good start.



Starting with the right tools is the first step to a successful campfire gourmet meal.

When camping, having your cooking supplies in smaller containers can save a lot of space.

What do I cook with?: Skillets and aluminum foil go with camp fires like peanut butter goes with jelly. They work very well together for a wide range of meal options. Plus, skillets instill nostalgia of the frontier days, when pretty much all meals were cooked over a campfire and followed by ghost stories.

Don’t forget the ingredients: Once you’ve armed yourself with all of the correct tools, make sure you’ve got the right ingredients in your cooler. Some things to consider are small containers to house olive oil, salt and pepper or spices, and food that keeps well in a cooler.


“Citrus Salmon a la Moab ”

When cooking a meal over a fire, preparing your fire is equally important as your ingredients. Get a nice hot fire going and allow the logs to burn down a little until you have a nice collection of hot coals. Pile these coals up under your grill.


Donna stages the salmon and veggies while Devon strategically stokes the fire.

Behind every great meal is a great chef. Donna prepares the veggies for Citrus Salmon a la Moab.

Start with a hearty piece of salmon. Slice up some lemon and orange, then lay across the fish with cilantro on top. Season with salt & pepper, and add a splash of olive oil for good measure. Wrap this all in tin foil to keep the campfire ash to a minimum and place on a grill over your fire. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes per side or until cooked to your liking. Be sure when folding tin foil closed you leave an easy access point to check readiness of food.

To add to the roundness of our meal, we cooked up some quinoa on a small camp stove and used the skillet to sauté some cut up peppers, onions, and spinach for some added color and nutrients. Once all is ready layer in a bowl and top with your favorite hot sauce or omega 3 oil.

Trust me when I say, this meal was worthy of any food critic’s most discerning taste buds. Once you’ve finished devouring your favorite campfire creation, grab a seat by the fire, kick up your feet, and tell a few stories. After all, you’re relaxing in the great outdoors.


about the author

Eric Hockman

From epic backcountry journeys on the mountain bike to splitboarding tours through snow-covered peaks, Eric constantly craves what’s just around the bend. A professional ski tuner and cycling mechanic by trade, he now works for a local cycling company in Golden, where he takes off on the weekends and maxes out his vacation schedule, seeking adventures around the mountains of Colorado and other regions of the country.

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