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Fall – Perfect for Outdoor Cooking

The fall season is here and the holidays are just around corner.  Don’t let the chill in the air keep you from cooking outdoors.  From cooler temperatures and colorful leaves, fall is an excellent time to cook outdoors and here’s why:

Scenes from Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop
Scenes from Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop
  1. Enjoy the warmth

No sweat, preparing a meal over hot coals or wood logs is more comfortable in cooler weather. Also as the days get shorter, the warmth of the fire’s glow is simply relaxing.

  1. No Bugs

The cooler temperature means preparing and eating outside without pesky flies, wasps or other insects swarming your food.  Enjoy your meal with less bug bites and no need for bug spray.

  1. Don’t let summer own the grill

There is no reason you can’t grill a pork chop or brats on the grill in the fall.  Burgers and steaks are typical summer entrees but summer doesn’t own them.  Don’t cover the grill and put away the flippers just yet, continue the summer tradition into the autumn season.

  1. It’s a busy season

We tend to be busy in the fall, whether it is hunting, raking leaves, harvesting or attending sporting events, our time to prepare a meal may be limited.  Outdoor cooking doesn’t have to be complicated and timely.  Prepare a simple hobo foil dinners over a fire or toss together quick soup into the Dutch oven.

  1. Fall Flavors

Fall tends to spark the taste buds for soups.  Soup prepared in a Dutch oven is delightful.    Consider making Dutch oven chili for the next tailgate party or chicken noodle soup for a holiday gathering.  This Thanksgiving, free up your oven and make a pumpkin dessert in the Dutch oven.   Here are a couple yummy recipes to try this fall.

Julia Plugge, NGPC
Outdoor Education Specialist

Pumpkin Dessert
1 (29oz) can pumpkin
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
3 C evaporated milk
½ tsp nutmeg
1 yellow cake mix
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
1 ½ C butter, melted
1 ½ C sugar
1 tsp ginger
1 C chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix together pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger and cloves.  Pour pumpkin mixture in foil lined Dutch oven.  Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin mixture.  Sprinkle nuts on top and drizzle with melted butter.  Bake at 350°F degree for 50 – 60 Minutes

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
2 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
1 12 oz. can chunk chicken, drained
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder

Garnishes
tortilla chips
diced avocado
sour cream
chopped cilantro
shredded Cheddar cheese

Lightly oil or spray Dutch oven.  Open cans of corn, chicken broth, chunk chicken, black beans and diced tomatoes with green chilies.  Pour all ingredients into prepared Dutch oven.  Add cumin and chili powder; stir well.   Simmer at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until bubbling and heated through.  Garnish with your favorite toppings.

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