If you’re like me, you spend more time outside than inside as soon as the weather warms. Whether traveling by RV, airstream, Amtrak, plane, or most usually, in my 2011 Honda Pilot, I cannot wait to camp under the stars, lace up my hiking boots, unpack the Tommy Bahama cooler chairs, and get going! And, one of the most important parts of my adventures is bacon! You heard me. BACON! Clearly, there are a number of delicious foods to cook while adventuring, such as: hot dogs, a pot of chili, cornbread, etc., but, on your next trip, why not level up your culinary and outdoor experience with bacon meals?!
During the Covid19 shutdown, road trips, campgrounds and national parks provided me with a wonderful opportunity to test out some great dishes while also helping to lift my spirits. I traveled up and down the CA coast, made several visits to Yosemite, and even managed to get to Hawaii. Bacon was THE item that tied everything together.
If you are ready to hit the trail, here are a few of my favorite recipes to explore during your next trip to the great outdoors!
Bacon-Wrapped Peaches & Rose’
If you want to “chef to impress” on your next excursion, this recipe is it! Fully tested on an RV trip to Big Sur/Pfeiffer State Park, This family-favorite is best served as an appetizer with a bottle of Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé 2019 (we love this one because it’s deeeelicious and budget-friendly). If you wanna get fancy and splurge, we absolutely love the 2020 Journeyman Rose’. Cool fact about this wine is that it’s produced 100% with a unique concrete fermentation Egg vessel, which allows for suspension of the lees (yeast) so that the resultant wine has more palate weight and complexity. In other words, it’s a damn fine wine!
- 1 package 12 oz Small Batch Maple Sugar Bacon Strips
- 2 ripe peaches (white, yellow, or 1 of each) or, if you prefer, you can also use nectarines (white, yellow, or 1 of each)
- Balsamic glaze
- Fresh basil, chopped
- Fire up your grill to medium heat—my favorite is the Smokey Joe Portable Charcoal Grill. Note: you can also do this on an outdoor cooking stove or in an RV oven—preheat to 450 degrees F
- Cut each peach / nectarine into 8 wedges.
- Cut each bacon strip in half
- Wrap each wedge with a half strip of bacon, secure with a toothpick (we recommend you soak the toothpicks in water prior to using)
- Place wrapped peaches / nectarine on the grill, cooking first side until bacon is crisped to your liking and the peach / nectarine flesh has browned and started to caramelize
- Flip wedges and cook other side
- Remove from grill and let rest 2-3 minutes
- Arrange on serving platter, drizzle with balsamic glaze and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil
- Best enjoyed with with a glass (or two) of Rose’
The number one question I get from bacon family, friends and fans is: “What do you do with Ground Bacon?” My number one answer: “What DON’T you do with the Ground Bacon!?!” And, the number one recipe I recommend with Ground Bacon is The Baconer’s SmashBurger! When I’m assigned one of the dinner nights on a camping or RV trip, I serve this! I’ve found the best way to make this decadent burger is by mixing the ground bacon right in with the ground beef (or ground turkey, you choose) and using a “smashingly'' fun cooking technique that’ll have you sending all of your friends to bed as full and happy campers ;)!
Now, it’s true that almost anyone can cook up a burger when camping, right? Burgers are classic because they are easy to bring and make and always a crowd pleaser. But not all burgers are created the same. Finding the perfect blend of ground meats, a fail-proof cooking technique, and all the right trimmings make the difference between just another burger and something truly SENSATIONAL! So, grab pack your Ground Bacon, a few napkins (or maybe a whole roll of paper towels), and get thee to a grill. (Again, I highly recommend the Smokey Joe Portable Charcoal Grill because you can port this in your car or RV. I actually own two—one I keep at home, and one for on-the-go-anywhere adventures). When assembling the burger, remember to add the sauce & fixins to the bottom bun, priming your taste buds with a tangy flavor.
- 1.5 lbs ground beef (or turkey if preferred)
- 1 8-oz pack Ground Bacon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- White onion, sliced very thin
- Buns & fixins (cheese, pickles, tomato slices …)
- 1/2 c. mayo
- 1tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. Heinz ketchup
- 1/4 tsp. pickle brine
- a pinch of cayenne
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients and set aside.
- Gently combine beef (or turkey), Ground Bacon, salt and pepper, ensuring the meats are well incorporated and evenly distributed (breaking up the bacon first is helpful). A light touch is important so the mixture doesn’t become overly compressed and dense.
- Fire up your grill and put a cast iron skillet on the grates.
- Spread mayo on the buns and toast them butter side down on the skillet. Once removed, prep the bottoms with a smear of special sauce, tomato and pickle slices
- Working in batches, form the meat mixture into 2” balls and place them on the hot skillet
- With a griddle press, a strong metal spatula, or even the bottom of a small pot, smash each ball flat into a 4” patty
- If including onions, add a small pile atop each patty and press them in
- When the edges are browned, about 2 mins, flip patties (now onion side down)
- Add cheese and cook second side until medium rare and cheese is getting melt-y, about 1 minute
- Transfer patties to prepped buns, laying them directly on top of the fixin's. Double up the patties for extra indulgence—your tummy and taste buds will thank you.
Is there anything better than waking up to the smell of bacon when you are having a great outdoor adventure? I think not. And, there’s really nothing better than also ending the evening with that same amazing smell of bacon at the campfire. I know I am not alone when I proclaim that my favorite camping treats are s’mores, but since I am gluten free, I wanted a way to satisfy my s’mores’ craving without the graham crackers. So, for a GF twist, I adapted a recipe I first saw on Delish during the pandemic—which ditches the graham crackers and instead uses a bacon weave. I’ve made these several times in my BFF’s RV oven, but I have also included instructions for making these at the campfire or over, yes, once again, my Portable Smokey Joe.
- 1 package (12 oz) of Small Batch Maple Sugar Bacon Strips, cut strips in thirds (you'll have about 21 short strips), and then cut each down the center (you'll have about 42 in total)
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar (or 2 tbs of The Baconer’s Original Candied Bacon Rub)
- 6 large marshmallows (or more, depending on the size of your group)
- 2 bars chocolate, or my favorite spread: Nutella!
Making the Bacon Weave in an Oven or Camping Stove:
- Preheat the oven to 400º and place a baking rack inside of a baking sheet (to help catch grease).
- On the baking rack, line 3 bacon halves side-by-side. Lift one end of the middle bacon slice and place a fourth bacon half on top of the side pieces and underneath the middle slice. Lay the middle slice back down. Next, lift the two side strips of bacon and place a 5th bacon half on top of the middle piece and underneath the sides. Lay the side slices back down. Finally, lift the other end of the middle slice and place a 6th slice on top of the side pieces and underneath the middle slice. Repeat to make three more weaves.
- Sprinkle bacon weaves with brown sugar (or with The Baconer's Original Candied Bacon Rub if you want a sweet treat with a lil’ heat) and bake until bacon is crispy, approx. 25 to 35 minutes.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to blot grease.
Making the Bacon Weave over the Campfire:
- On a greased cast-iron skillet, line 3 bacon halves side-by-side. Lift one end of the middle bacon slice and place a fourth bacon half on top of the side pieces and underneath the middle slice. Lay the middle slice back down. Next, lift the two side strips of bacon and place a 5th bacon half on top of the middle piece and underneath the sides. Lay the side slices back down. Finally, lift the other end of the middle slice and place a 6th slice on top of the side pieces and underneath the middle slice. Repeat to make three more weaves.
- Sprinkle bacon weaves with brown sugar (or with The Baconer's Original Candied Bacon Rub if you want a sweet treat with a lil’ heat) and heat in the skillet until bacon is crispy, approx. 25 to 35 minutes. Note: If you have a dutch oven or skillet lid, this will help create the “oven-type” cooking atmosphere. And, I have found that using a cast-iron bacon press will help the bacon cook evenly and keep its shape.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to blot grease.
At the Campfire:
- Pierce 3 marshmallows onto each skewer and roast until marshmallows are golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Sandwich chocolate (and/or Nutella) and marshmallows in between two bacon weaves, just like you would if using graham crackers.
Going on an adventure? We’d love to hear your favorite way to enjoy bacon in the great outdoors. Share your dish and tag us @the.baconer on Instagram or @thebaconer-eastbay on Facebook so we can try it, like it and share it!