To steam foods in camp is to enable better nutrition for those dining, without the loss of vitamins and minerals that can be the result of overcooking when boiling or broiling foods. In the best of circumstances to steam foods in camp is a simple task, that is, when the proper cooking tools for steaming are present. In most camping endeavors however, it is not logistically practical to take the necessary items along to facilitate a steam cooked meal. It is on these occasions that a camper's imagination and resourcefulness come into play to steam foods in camp using the materials that are at hand.
The most basic way of how to steam food in camp is to utilize a large pot, 10 to 12 thin sticks of wood (about the diameter of a pencil) and when possible, a pot lid. Fill the pot about two-thirds of the way with salted water and place it over a camp fire until it begins to boil. Next, strip the wooden sticks of their bark and place them across the top of the pot in tight formation. The wooden sticks serve as a cooking platform to steam foods in camp, as the steam will rise between and around them to cook the food that is placed on top of them. If a pot lid is present, place it over the food being steamed, resting on the edges of the wooden sticks to enable faster steaming at a higher temperature.
Another excellent way to steam foods in camp is to incorporate the use of a pot or pan, a flat rock about 2 inches in thickness and a piece of aluminum foil. In this method of steaming foods in camp, a rock that is about one-half the size of the pot or pan being used is washed and placed into the center of the cooking vessel. The food that is to be steamed is placed in a piece of aluminum foil and wrapped tightly, with a number of holes poked into it to allow steam to enter. This is then placed upon the rock and turned every fifteen minutes until the food is cooked to completion.
The ability to steam foods in camp is a wonderful addition to the enjoyment of meals in every outdoor setting. Entire meals can be prepared easily together at the same time with little if any clean up necessary, and better yet, little chance of overcooking or burning meals.