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Gordon Smith
(swearingen) - MLife

Locale: Portland, Oregon
Steak! on 08/20/2009 10:05:41 MDT Print View

Recently I read a post where someone mentioned taking a frozen steak for dinner on the first night of a backpack trip. If wrapped well the steak apparently is just about thawed by dinner time. Sounds pretty tasty, I think I'll give this a try on my next trip. Has anyone here done this? What method did you use to cook your steak? Does cooking steak in foil work very well? I'll be using a Bushbuddy stove.



James D Buch
(rocketman) - F

Locale: Midwest
Frozen Hanmburger on 08/20/2009 10:32:58 MDT Print View

Call it chopped steak.

On some bike trips, I stop in the AM at a small town butcher shop and buy frozen hamburger. It goes in the trailer with just a double wrapping of plastic.

By dinnertime, it is pretty well thawed and ready to cook. I carry a small skillet, oil, and a white gas stove. Not exactly that weight critical since I have a trailer.

I have never done hamburger in foil since boy scouts in the 1950's. Then we did the hamburger, onions, sliced potatoes and carrots things wrapped in foil and buried in coals for what seemed forever.

Steak will cook in foil, but guessing the time is beyond me.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Frozen meals on 08/20/2009 11:22:01 MDT Print View

I do something similar. I make myself a couple of thick, loaded bagel sandwiches with smoked meats and cheeses, cut them in half, freeze them, and put them in a cooler in my car until I reach the trailhead.

They will last at least a couple of days+, require no cooking, and there's nothing like "fresh" food on the trail. Add a couple of apples and the usual dried foods (trail mix, jerky, and dried fruits and veggies), and I can do a three-day, two-night hike without my danged cooking equipment -- UL and tasty, too.

I once met a gent (a newbie) at a campsite at Shawnee State Forest who practically wept when I pulled a half sandwich out and offered it to him. There's nothing like "real" food to lift your spirits after a long day's hike.


Edited by nerdboy52 on 08/20/2009 11:23:53 MDT.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
steak on 08/20/2009 14:55:48 MDT Print View

we used to do this a decade or so ago and we'd cook it over a campfire - usually on a stick or with a backpacker grid

now I just do the home cooked and dehydrated fare unless we are car camping - it's much easier to deal with

edited to add... out of the 208 or so recipes in Fork - I did include a handful of elaborate dishes for car camping and those crazy enough to carry a cooler... here is Bryan's favorite car camping steak recipe...

you'll need to jump to page 32

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 08/20/2009 15:00:04 MDT.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Steak! on 08/20/2009 22:23:27 MDT Print View

Hi Gordon. Like James I, too, used to foil cook in the 50s and 60s, back in the day before freeze-dried was invented. Usually it was a cube steak, which was a tenderized round steak, I think, to which I'd add chopped up potatoes, carrots, onions, salt, pepper, butter and spices. Wrap it all up in foil, freeze it, and it would be ready to go the next morning. At evening camp I'd throw it on the coals and listen to it sizzle and steam for maybe 20 minutes and then chow down with famished gusto. Man, I can taste it now!

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
mountain house rib-eye on 08/22/2009 11:34:25 MDT Print View

Just a trip down memory lane but I remember a freeze dried rib-eye steak from, I think, Mountain House.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: mountain house rib-eye on 08/22/2009 12:00:51 MDT Print View

I remember those too. In fact, I actually tried them (along with the similar pork chops). They had to be rehydrated in an enzyme/water solution, and then cooked. I only tried them once - the results weren't worth the expense and effort..

Mary Simpson
(maryphyl) - F
steaks on 08/22/2009 13:10:07 MDT Print View

For an overnighter I used to take 8 oz boneless fillets and a package of frozen asparagus and some boiled red potatoes. The frozen asparagus kept the meat and potatoes cold enough to last until suppertime. We also had a lot of other heavy things we took in in those days.

Reginald Donaldson
(worth) - MLife

Locale: Wind River Range
Frozen steak on 08/25/2009 06:50:27 MDT Print View

I have done it several times on fall trips. You need to wrap the steak in plastic wrap then in multiple layers of newspaper. Stash it in the center of your pack and keep the pack out of the sun as much as possible. Sometimes it is not quite thawed out. Supposedly you can do chicken and lobster the same way.

If I am going to that much trouble, I make my buddy carry an acorn squash. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side down in a pan of water and bring it to a boil. Once soft, smother it in butter and sprinkle some brown sugar on it. I guess you could roast it in a fire or dice an boil.

Tom Coston
(Tomwc) - F
Right on the coals on 08/26/2009 11:50:52 MDT Print View

No need for any kind of grill if you have a campfire. Just clear a nice area of clean hot coals and lay the steak right on them. It comes out great, especially in the thinner cuts like flank or skirt. Flames from a stove are no good for grilling.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
RE: right on the coals on 08/26/2009 13:54:47 MDT Print View

This reminds me of a car camping trip I took in college where we all cooked steaks on skewers over an open fire. My steak must have fallen into the fire 4 or 5 times. The best steak I've ever eaten in my life.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
steak on 09/02/2009 08:33:09 MDT Print View

Just a note - we found it better to wrap the steak in freezer paper (you buy this in a roll at most grocery stores)... then put it in a ziploc... then wrap it in newspaper and put it in a plastic bag. Put the works in the freezer for several days before your trip so it's good a frozen.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: steak on 09/08/2009 16:19:40 MDT Print View

I do this often. Using a Bushbuddy will be ideal. I have a BB knockoff that I use to facilitate a slow-cook method. Here's what I do-

I buy a good cut of steak, like filet or strip steak...something nice and tender so you don't have to simmer it for hours. I pre-cut the meat into bite sized pieces...cutting up a stead with a little pocket knife in the bottom of a pot is difficult. I apply a marinade or rub to amp up the flavor. At the very least, salt and pepper! Pop in a quart freezer bag overnight. For cookware, when I bring my wood stove, I bring a tall 1L pot that the stove nests in (older model GSI double boiler). Of course, you can go smaller but the 1L pot is nice and easy to use.

I also pack along a little bottle of canola, veggie, or olive oil. This is essential to cook the meat with in my opinion. Often, I will take diced potatoes, chopped mushrooms, and/or onions. Might as well go all out right?

So, when you're ready to cook, get that wood stove nice and hot. Pour a decent amount of oil in the bottom and sear the steak, tossing the pieces to brown all sides. Keep feeding that stove to keep the flame roaring while you sear the meat. When you have a nice crust on the steak, add in the other 'goodies' and a little more oil, and a little water if you want to build a sauce in the pot. At this point, you can back off feeding the stove to keep the coals lit. The meat drippings and the oil can be doctored to create a stew-like consistency if you simmer for 10-15 minutes, which is where a wood stove really shines.

You can use just about any steak recipe to cook the meat. Here's a variation of a Bobby Flay rub that I find works well with a slice of onion and some chopped fingerling potatoes-

1 tbsp ancho (mild) or chipotle (hot) chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground espresso beans (optional, but really adds depth)
1 tsp Spanish paprika (or regular paprika)
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper, more to taste

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: steak on 09/08/2009 19:37:14 MDT Print View

> I pre-cut the meat into bite sized pieces...
Be aware that cutting the meat up like this (at home) leaves it far more open to contamination (at home) and at greater risk of going off while you are carrying it.
However, simmering (at a gentle boil) for a few minutes should normally handle that. Hopefully.


Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Re: Re: steak on 09/09/2009 13:29:35 MDT Print View


The meat gets chopped, seasoned, goes into a freezer bag, and is frozen almost immediately. This is usually done the night before I leave while I am packing my other food items. Because the fibers stay largely intact, bacterial contamination would still be limited to the surface of the meat and will be destroyed by the initial searing and subsequent simmering, unlike ground meat where there is a greater possibility of contamination due to surface bacteria ending up inside of a formed patty that isn't cooked well through. That's why I usually order my burger cooked at least medium...which usually means medium-well at most restaurants...

This is always a first-night meal; I don't carry raw meat around for several days. 6 ounces of meat frozen this way is usually still cool after a day of hiking, even in the summer. Any small amount of bacteria that would grow while the meat is thawing during the day's hike are almost certainly destroyed in the cooking process. I heat the oil I put in the pot to a very high temperature to facilitate the formation of a good crust when I begin to cook it. I used to carry just a whole cut, frozen solid, but as I stated in my first post, its a real challenge to get the small knife I carry down in that deep pot to cut the meat.

And, there's always dry-aged beef, if your budget allows :)

Edited by rswanson on 09/09/2009 13:35:35 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: steak on 09/09/2009 16:03:22 MDT Print View

Hi Russell

Yes, I assumed you knew what you were doing. :-)

My comment was really meant for others who might not know as much about meat.

PS: tried a bottle of pomodoro tomato mix? Heavy, I know, but ...

Edited by rcaffin on 10/07/2009 14:44:42 MDT.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: steak on 09/10/2009 08:11:06 MDT Print View

No, I haven't. I just Googled it and didn't get a result. Got a link? Always on the lookout for tasty new ideas!

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
pomodoro on 09/10/2009 12:10:52 MDT Print View

you can easily make your own pomodoro sauce and dehydrate it.... then it's not so heavy... mmm Pappa al Pomodoro

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 09/10/2009 12:11:32 MDT.

Justin Chaussee
(judach) - F

Locale: Earth
Re: Steak! on 09/26/2009 08:25:29 MDT Print View

I recently went camping with my brother in law. He employed this technique for steak and it came out very good. He had the steak marinating in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salsa. He served it with some salsa, cilantro, and fresh avocado slices on top. It was uber tasty. He used a small weber grill this time since we were just car-type camping, but on backpacking trips be cooks it right over the fire with a makeshift grill.

Adam Lockyer
(jurdley79) - F

Locale: Southern AZ
Steak on 10/07/2009 14:25:17 MDT Print View

Hey Gordon,

Me and a buddy have a tradition of bringing steak for the first night of our backpacking trips. We did it the first time and forgot to bring anything to cook/skewer the meat with. We ended up sharpenning some sticks and cooking them caveman style over the campfire. Now we do this everytime. There's nothing like a steak after a long day of hiking! I just put it in my pack frozen and wrapped in plastic. It stays cold until problem.