Choosing Better Campfire Cooking Sticks
It’s no secret that we love campfire cooking and it's often the highlight of our adventure. However, it’s not just the deliciously crispy outer and smokey flavour of food cooked over the flames, it’s the process that we enjoy more than anything - building up the hot coals, creatively preparing the food with limited means and of course, holding your food out over the fire while resisting temptation until it’s perfect and ready to eat.
There's one crucial part in this process that often leads to the ultimate failure; your long awaited treat falling into the flames to become a burnt ashy mess. We often witness this as we sit around a campfire with a group of friends and one poor soul loses their treat. All this anguish can be easily avoided by selecting and appropriately preparing your cooking stick.
Before you even get started with your campfire it's a good idea to double check that the conditions are suitable for a fire. Even if the conditions don't seem high risk, Fire and Emergency have a useful site for checking up to date fire season status.
Good stick selection is of course the foundation of any good cooking stick. Never rush it and take your time to find something perfect for whatever it is you’re cooking - be it sausages, damper, marshmallows. Firstly, try and avoid using dry dead wood. By using damp wood, your stick is a lot less likely to burn through and snap into the fire.
Find something straight and thin, about one metre in length. If you can find a stick with a fork at the end, you’ve hit the jackpot of being able to cook twice as much as everyone else. Never use saplings regardless of how perfect they are as you’re ultimately going to be destroying a whole tree. Instead look for recently broken or fallen branches.
Remove any twigs and leaves so that you’re left with a nice straight stick ready to be whittled down. You should always cook food on a stick lengthways, don’t ever think about piercing your sausage straight through the middle and expect it to stay on. Because of this, you should whittle a section of your stick to the same length of whatever it is you are cooking. Always whittle away from your body and do try not to cut yourself.