Best Campfire Baked Potatoes

Why are baked potatoes a great choice when camping?

Baked potatoes are a popular food choice for camping for several reasons:

Easy to prepare: Baked potatoes are easy to prepare over a campfire or on a camping stove. All you need to do is wrap them in aluminum foil and place them over the heat source.

Portable: Potatoes are easy to transport and can be stored in a cooler or a dry storage container.

Nutritious: Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins. They can provide energy for a long day of hiking or outdoor activities.

Filling: Baked potatoes are filling and can be paired with a variety of toppings, such as butter, cheese, sour cream, or bacon bits.

Budget-friendly: Potatoes are an affordable food option, making them a great choice for camping trips where you may be trying to save money on food expenses.

How do you bake potatoes when camping?

It’s surprisingly easy and suitable for RVers, car campers, and backcountry adventurers. You might also want to check out how to build a campfire.

Can you pre-cook baked potatoes for camping?

Absolutely yes, and it’s a great option if you’re catering to large numbers of hungry campers or simply want to save time at the campsite. A few minutes in the microwave should do the trick.

Do you wrap potatoes in foil?

Foil-wrapped or not are both options when it comes to campfire baked potatoes. Foil-wrapped will keep the natural moisture in the potato will be steamed, and some people think it gives the flesh a boiled taste. Also, the skin may not get the super crispiness some people love.

Camp Fire Baked Potatoes

Campfire baked potatoes are a delicious and easy-to-make camping meal. You can easily prepare them before leaving home and all you need is a camp fire. Here's how you can make them:
Prep Time10 minutes
Active Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Camping
Keyword: Baked Potato

Equipment

  • aluminum foil
  • Cast iron crockpot
  • Campfire
  • Metal tongs These make turning and removing potatoes from the fire so much easier and less need for the first aid kit.

Materials

  • 4 medium Russet or Idaho potatoes
  • Salted butter or olive oil
  • Salt, pepper & herbs

Instructions

Potato Preparation

  • It's easy to prepare baked potatoes at home. With a little care they are easy to transport in a backpack when backcountry camping.
  • Poke each potato a few times with a fork to help prevent them exploding in the fire.
  • Rub salted butter or oil over the potato. You can sprinkle salt, pepper & herbs over the potato for a change of taste.
  • Wrap the potato in a double layer of aluminum foil and make sure it is completely sealed.

Cooking Method 1

  • Build a good, solid campfire and allow the flames to die down.
  • Bury the potatoes in the fire and cover with hot coals.
  • You should be aiming for crispy on the outside and tender inside. The potato should be cooked when you can easily poke a knife, fork or wooden kebab stake into the potato.
  • Cooking time depends on the size of the potato and how hot the fire embers are. Cooking time can be anything between 300 and 60 minutes.

Cooking Method 2

  • In this method I use a cast iron crockpot that can be hung over the fire. Given the weight this is one for RVers and car campers. Not sure anyone will want to lug around the equipment in a backpack.
  • Potatoes can be cooked unwrapped but if coating with butter, salt, pepper and/or herbs I'd still wrap in single layer of cooking foil.
  • With this method you can start cooking earlier especially if you hang the cast iron pot on a tripod above the fire. Just make sure you turn the potatoes over every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning.
  • Let the fire die down and place to cooking pot directly on the fire.
  • Cooking time is similar to method 1 but with this method there's no messing around removing ash from the outside.

Notes

If you have a fire pit at home, practice before going camping. This way, you’ll get a feel for how long it takes to cook your potatoes.
Although Russet or Idaho potatoes are best for baked potatoes, you can use any old potato variety if they are not available.
Want to save time? If they are going to be cooked the same day, there’s nothing wrong with partially cooking the potatoes in an oven or microwave before leaving home. Great idea if it’s a big group and a lot of potatoes to cook. If you use a microwave, wait until after cooking before wrapping them with foil. 
If you don’t have any foil, you can still cook the potatoes directly in the fire. No one will want to eat the skin but scrape out the soft inside, and it’s still a tasty addition to your meal.
IMPORTANT
Be careful around campfires. Everyone’s personal safety is important, and no one wants to start a forest fire.
Practice “Leave No Trace” principles for whatever type of camping you enjoy. Clear up and take home your garbage. Tidy up and make sure the campfire really is out.