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Having a baked potato bar while camping is super easy, but takes some time, so plan ahead.
The first time I made one, it was purely a desperate idea for “What am I going to take?!” I didn’t even know how to cook baked potatoes over a campfire. But really, how hard could it be? I figured I’d just wing it. (Haha, don’t make that mistake.) First I tried cooking them on the fire pit’s grate. After 30 minutes, the potatoes were rock hard and COLD. Then I put them on the edges of the fire. Nope. Finally, I shoved them way into the coals, under the logs that were burning. Success! In the end, that first night, we all managed to eat, and it was delicious.
A baked potato bar was such a hit that my kids begged for us to do it again and now we do it for nearly every camping trip. The beauty of it is that every ingredient can be used in a different meal or even saved until we get home, so nothing goes to waste, and each person could have their favorite toppings. Once you’re at your campsite, this will probably take 30-60 minutes to cook, so be sure you have plenty of time and no one is starving! This is a great time to pull out an activity to keep kids occupied.
10 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- Shredded Cheese
- Chili (I took a couple of cans of chili)
- Sour Cream
- Bacon (cooked)
- Onions (chopped)
- Chives (chopped)
- Before you leave, wash each potato, pierce with a fork, and wrap twice with aluminum foil.
- Prep the toppings before you go. Chop the onions, shred the cheese, cook the bacon, etc.
- At the campfire, carefully place the potatoes among the coals. Seriously, IN the fire. Not on the grate, they'll never cook that way (I know, I tried.) Every 10 minutes or so, turn or rearrange the potatoes so they cook evenly.
- Meanwhile, finish prepping your toppings. If you took chili, warm it over the fire until it's bubbling. Remember the butter and sour cream out of your cooler!
- How long this takes will depend on how hot your fire is. Ours was "medium" heat, in that the initial "whoosh" fire had died down but there were still steady flames. Does that make any sense?! Cooking over a fire is an art! For ours, it took about 30 minutes for the potatoes to be completely cooked through.
- Split each potato open and top with whatever you like.
**A big note: I’m not a chef or even a great cook. I find recipes and adapt them to camping, but every campfire is different. If you think you have a better way of doing something, do it! After all, camping with kids is allllll about adapting and being flexible!