I’m passionate about a lot of things in life, but overlanding, cooking, and photography are definitely at the top of the list.
My love of overlanding and cooking comes from growing up in Upstate New York, where my family would spend a lot of time outdoors. We’d camp and fish, my brother and I would play in the woods, and we’d come back to camp completely exhausted and ready to eat whatever incredible meal my parents cooked up for us over the fire.
Today, my camping and overlanding adventures are a little different. I don’t sleep in a ground tent with my brother anymore (thankfully!), and instead I have what I think is a really great setup with my Turtleback Expedition trailer and my Torro Offroad Skylux rooftop tent (shown above). I also have far more advanced cooking implements than my folks had back in the day.
However, despite how much has changed in the last 30 or so years, the experience of cooking while overlanding still brings me a ton of joy. I want to share some of that joy with one of my favorite overlanding recipes: a killer Kobe burger with cast iron fried potatoes. Let’s get to it!
My Overlanding Cooking Setup
As I just mentioned, my overlanding cooking setup is a lot different than the open campfire and skillet we had back in the day. Here’s my setup:
- Fireflower Original portable fire pit and grill, shown above cradling the hot coals
- MC Ranch Overland Original Fire Reflector, shown above in the background shielding the fire from the wind
- The Schenk, shown above with the grill attachment
- Natural Lump Mesquite Charcoal
A few notes on this setup…
The Fireflower Original is a fantastic tool because it gives you a quick-setup fire pit and grill. It folds down flat for easy transport and is made of stainless steel so it’s ultra-durable.
The Original Fire Reflector is a handy addition to your overlanding cooking setup because it’s ideal for fire control (which was necessary because of the high winds I was dealing with when making this meal). You can read more about it and the Fireflower Original in my review of the best campfire accessories.
The Schenk is a multi-configuration cooking tool that gives you a place to hang pots for cooking things like stews, a grill for hot dogs, hamburgers, and the like, and a steel cooking ring (which is what the cast iron skillet is sitting on, shown above).
The Schenk also comes with an adjustable ground rod and a foot stabilizer so you can customize the cooking experience to your specific needs. For me, it’s one of my favorite overland cooking apparatuses because I can cook on it with a cast iron skillet and then add a grill to it for cooking additional food. That flexibility is awesome when you’re making multiple dishes!
Overlanding Recipe: Cast Iron Fried Seasoned Crispy Potatoes
This simple-to-cook dish will complement any overland main meat dish. You have crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside potatoes with the classic taste of mesquite and campfire smoke that makes food all the better when you’re overlanding.
Here’s the ingredient list for this overlanding recipe:
- 6 medium-sized potatoes, cubed, with the skin on
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- Avocado oil
With a 12-inch cast iron pan good and hot on The Schenk, add enough avocado oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
Next, add potatoes and cover for 20 minutes, flipping every few minutes.
About five minutes into cooking, stir the garlic into potatoes and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Poke the potatoes with a fork. If soft, keep the lid off and cook for 10 more minutes.
At this point we are cooking to add the golden brown crisp that makes these potatoes so awesome.
Once the potatoes have a nice golden color, remove from heat, allow to cool for a minute, and serve.
Overlanding Recipe: The Ultimate Overland Kobe Burger
This burger has so much flavor and inviting textures that you’ll be left wanting more! Cooking over mesquite natural charcoal floods these burgers with tasty smoke, and combined with the Kobe beef and onion, these burgers will be a welcome meal for you after a long day’s drive or time spent out exploring the beauty around you.
Here’s the ingredient list for this overlanding recipe:
- 1 pound Kobe beef
- ½ white onion, chopped
- Sliced sharp cheddar cheese
- Sliced Havarti cheese
- ½ avocado, sliced
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Fresh basil leaves
- 1 egg
- Sriracha sauce
- Sea salt
- Brioche buns
- Non-stick cooking spray
Add the grill attachment to The Schenk, positioning it about six inches away from hot coals. Allow the grill to heat up.
Combine the Kobe beef with chopped onion, and one egg, salt, and pepper.
Form patties to your liking, keeping in mind that thicker patties will be more challenging to cook evenly (my patties were about five inches in diameter and one inch thick).
Spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray and add the patties. Don’t touch the patties for four minutes, then flip and let them cook on the other side.
Depending on how you like your burgers, you’ll want an internal temperature of around 145 for medium-rare and around 160 for medium. Personally, when a burger gets about 140 or 155 (depending on desired temperature), I’ll remove it from the heat and let it rest.
During the last couple minutes that the burgers are cooking, add brioche buns face down on the grill to lightly toast. Add one slice of sharp cheddar and one slice of Havarti to each burger. Allow the cheese to melt over the sides of the burgers, then remove from heat.
While the burgers are resting, mix four heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise and one tablespoon of sriracha in a bowl.
On the bottom of the brioche bun (the heel), spread the mayonnaise and sriracha sauce, then add a burger on top of that. Next, add sun-dried tomatoes. The heat from the burger will liquefy the oils from sun-dried tomatoes. Finish off with sliced avocados and a few basil leaves along with some salt and pepper.
I don’t know about you, but having food like this while I’m overlanding just caps off a great experience. The ability to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, have some peace and quiet out in the wilderness, and explore the world’s beauty with my camera is a huge blessing. So is coming back to camp and eating food like this!
I’ll be sharing more of my favorite overlanding recipes in the coming months, so stay tuned for some more delicious ideas for cooking while overlanding.