Three options for outdoor cooking

Recommendations from the experts at GO Outdoors

13 December 2022

Last month, lots of young members at Foxlease and Waddow Hall for Sparkle and Ice found a great way to keep warm in the outdoors.

GO Outdoors, sponsors of the Camp Skills builder, were on hand with a hot chocolate station, featuring three different outdoor cooking methods to try and test.  

Sparkle and Ice is all about trying out adventure activities and learning new survival skills in wintery conditions. We all love roasting marshmallows over a log fire, but when you’re hungry and cold, sometimes backwoods cooking just doesn’t cut it when you’re waiting for your dinner to be ready at the end of a long day outdoors. 

So, if you’re planning any wintery camping excursions over the colder months, here’s three ways to cook up a storm straight from the experts at GO Outdoors, tested by girls at Sparkle at Ice.  

Please make sure you follow all relevant safety instructions and guidance when cooking outdoors. Check out GO Outdoors' guide to cooking outdoors, along with some safety tips it's worth remembering.

1) For a fuss-free experience 

If you need something that’s no fuss and easy to use, a small cartridge-powered camping stove is a great fit for all kinds of situations. With a flat base, you can set it up pretty much anywhere, it’s easy to use, and very lightweight. Convenient, and easy on the budget, this is a great tool to have as a back-up plan in case your campfire isn’t behaving, or as your first choice if you want dinner to be quick and simple.  

2) For the frequent camper

If you did your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), you might remember this one! Developed to deal with the worst that the outdoors can throw at you, trangias are used by outdoor adventurers all over the world, and they’re still on recommended DofE of expedition kit lists today. Trangia stoves are light, hardwearing and simple, without any unnecessary parts that might be affected by the cold. They’re compact too, so they’re a great option to fit into a rucksack if you’re on the move.  

3) For the outdoor chef

Just because you’re in the outdoors, doesn’t mean you can’t have a gourmet experience! For the campers who are serious about their cooking, this third option might be the one for you. A flexible, integrated cooking kit means you can grill, boil or make a brew, all while generating electricity to power your devices. With all the bells and whistles, this isn’t a budget choice, but it will see you through any outdoor cooking scenario.  

Whatever you need for your outdoor cooking experience, girls at Sparkle and Ice can confirm that all these options work brilliantly for hot chocolate. And, as the snow settles in, here’s a festive twist on a classic homemade hot chocolate recipe for anyone to try (no outdoor cooking equipment required!) 

Spiced hot chocolate recipe

Ingredients  (makes enough for four)

  • 1 litre milk 
  • 200 g milk chocolate 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 3 tablespoons good quality unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 120 g brown sugar 
  • pinch of salt 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • Toppings – whipped cream, marshmallows, candy canes or sprinkles, to your taste 
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat, and let it come to a gentle simmer. Stir until the chocolate has melted, and the sugar has dissolved. 
  2. Serve in mugs with toppings of your choice.