Author Topic: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road  (Read 3854 times)

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Online HikeBikeCook

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Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2020, 07:54:17 am »
I always carry fresh garlic and olive oil. Per ounce, oils, like olive oil, give you some of the highest calories per ounce of weight. Plus, when your meal prep starts with garlic sautéed in olive oil you are instantly the envy of the rest of the camp. My camp Mac and Cheese -- sauté garlic and crushed red pepper until the garlic starts to brown. Add 2 cups of water. As soon as it starts to boil (I use a Jetboil pot, so that is fast) add the pasta. When that hits boil, turn down heat, cover and simmer until the water is almost gone. Add the cheese pack and stir. The olive oil makes up for the lack of butter and is much healthier. We now make it at home almost the same way, but usually skip the garlic and pepper and put the olive oil in just before the cheese pack.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nettles

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2020, 08:57:27 am »
I agree that oil & garlic is a great start to any dinner.  As is butter and onions.  Add a chicken breast or pork chop to either and you are good to go.

The M&C sounds good except I can't stand the Kraft-style M&C so I make with real grated cheddar cheese, crackers (restaurant individual packs), butter, and salt & pepper. Not quite the same as when baked but still not too bad.



Online HikeBikeCook

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Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2020, 06:11:29 pm »
If you are lucky you can find chicken breast in a foil pack like tuna fish. I really can't stand the taste of fish for the most part so I am always so happy to find the chicken packs. Just the name "fish tacos" tends to make me gag. :)
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline froze

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2020, 07:29:23 pm »
If you are lucky you can find chicken breast in a foil pack like tuna fish. I really can't stand the taste of fish for the most part so I am always so happy to find the chicken packs. Just the name "fish tacos" tends to make me gag. :)

My main meat when camping is chicken, and I buy it in the foil pack, stays fresh with no need to refrigerate.   I also do the tuna in a foil pack too.  But I agree, fish and tacos don't seem to go well together personally.  I usually eat the tuna just straight out of the foil instead of putting it in something, the chicken I will make a taco with it, or blend it with top ramen.  Like I said before, I'm not a chef, in fact, I'm not even remotely good at cooking, so I just easy stupid stuff.

Offline WilliamJack

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2021, 07:23:44 am »
The best tip you can ever get on this is don't hurry! Patience is your friend when it comes to BBQ, because all the smoke should penetrate your meat and only then you will feel what is like to eat something amazingly good! The second, I guess, is do not overheat! Overheating your meet will make it dry and that's certainly a thing you want to avoid.

Offline froze

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2021, 07:54:40 am »
The best tip you can ever get on this is don't hurry! Patience is your friend when it comes to BBQ, because all the smoke should penetrate your meat and only then you will feel what is like to eat something amazingly good! The second, I guess, is do not overheat! Overheating your meet will make it dry and that's certainly a thing you want to avoid.

I agree completely, that's why it's very important that men wear boxers...

Offline John Nettles

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2021, 08:13:52 am »
Patience is your friend when it comes to BBQ, because all the smoke should penetrate your meat and only then you will feel what is like to eat something amazingly good!


Surely you jest!  I smoke meat about once a week so am fairly familiar with what it takes to do decent BBQ.  My question is how the heck do you smoke meat while on a bike tour?!? How do you carry the smoker, charcoal, smoking wood, etc.?  Even if you are using a portable Hasty-Bake, you are talking some serious weight. 

Unless you are absurdly serious about BBQ, why bother?  Other than that, I totally agree with slow and low.  My favorite steak is a 1.5" Ribeye smoked for for 75 minutes @ 225* then reverse seared.  Light pink all the way with a crisp exterior.  You also have 12-hour pulled pork; a 90-minute smoked cherry pork tenderloin, or a spatch-cocked chicken.


Offline TCS

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2021, 02:47:38 pm »
Dehydrated peanut butter.  I'm like the last person on the list to find out about this, right?

Note to caloric-desperate cycletourists:  per quantity this stuff has 1/2 the calories of regular peanut butter.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline misterflask

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2021, 09:02:21 am »
Like many posters here, I've been trying to up my game on the cooking front.  To that end I picked up a copy of John Rakowski's 'Cooking on the Road'.  He's dialed in on the unique aspects of cycle-touring cooking: generally an ease of daily provisioning and a little more tolerance for weight than backpackers.  It's copyright 1980, so his discussion of stoves is a bit dated and you may have to pay Guttenberg-bible prices for a used copy.  Conceptually solid though; not that much has changed in human food in 40yrs.
https://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Road-John-Rakowski/dp/0024990906

Offline staehpj1

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2021, 11:15:33 am »
Patience is your friend when it comes to BBQ, because all the smoke should penetrate your meat and only then you will feel what is like to eat something amazingly good!


Surely you jest!  I smoke meat about once a week so am fairly familiar with what it takes to do decent BBQ.  My question is how the heck do you smoke meat while on a bike tour?!? How do you carry the smoker, charcoal, smoking wood, etc.?  Even if you are using a portable Hasty-Bake, you are talking some serious weight. 

Unless you are absurdly serious about BBQ, why bother?  Other than that, I totally agree with slow and low.  My favorite steak is a 1.5" Ribeye smoked for for 75 minutes @ 225* then reverse seared.  Light pink all the way with a crisp exterior.  You also have 12-hour pulled pork; a 90-minute smoked cherry pork tenderloin, or a spatch-cocked chicken.
I suspect WilliamJack is a clever bot or a not so clever troll. Many similarities to the other bot/trolls that have been showing up here.  They try to sound semi legit so they can post irrelevant links in some of their posts.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2021, 05:07:40 pm »
This is a very interesting subject with a lot of people's good advice, great stuff.

I'm not a cook by any stretch of the imagination, and neither is a friend of mine who is an avid backpacker, and he told me just to go to YouTube and search: "cheap food for backpacking".  So I watched all of those, and basically do that type of food.  I use freeze-dried low-fat milk for my cook cereal.  I did take eggs once because I found they're good for about 24 hours not in the fridge.  I try to find stuff high in carbs for energy which that cheap Walmart method is pretty good at finding that source.

It was 1981 in Northern Ireland. 10 republican men were on hunger strike in prison. I think it was H block in her majesty's prison the Maze. The best known "blanket man" was Bobby Sands. He survived nearly 70 days without eating any food whatsoever. It was a national outcry when he died. I read 100,000 people attended his funeral. The other nine starved themselves to death in protest. Generally speaking, you can go about two months with no food at all, but after a month or so, health and strength decline greatly. It is a horrible way to die. But anyway, two months is about it for no food at all.

Yes, that freeze dried food is too expensive. I do not like it, either. One thing about the high carb foods for backpackers. That is meant for being on trails for days at a time away from sources of other food. When cycling over the road long distances there are usually always stores and restaurants. You do not need that Wal Mart stuff. You need fresh fruits and vegetables, live vitamins, minerals, enzymes and protein and more. Man cannot live on carbs alone. You will need real nutrition. Backpacker food may be good for a carb load, but be sure to get the other foods regularly.

Did you know you can starve to death if you ate nothing but protein foods like lean meat?  I watch that Surviving Alone contest show, and the people they put on are really good, and considered professionals at surviving alone in the wild.  The contest is who can last the longest, and they check your weight every week and if you lost too much weight and are in the danger zone you're pulled from the game and it's over for you.  The longest anyone has ever gone on that show was 72 days, and though they won, they had lost a lot of weight, because all they can find in the wilderness is live meat, plants and nuts are not plentiful enough to survive.  Not sure what that has to do with our discussion, I just found it fascinating that not even highly trained survivalist can last long, probably around 80 days before they would die.  The biggest problem in the wild is finding enough carbs to have energy.

Anyway, I haven't gone long enough to worry about the fruit and vegetable thing yet, but you are correct you do need that on a long tour, however, a human can live a normal life with eating very little in the way of fruits or vegetables.  Some societies have lived in areas where they never ate any fruits or vegetables, but their lives are not as long as those that do.  But if necessary even on a long tour in the backcountry away from restaurants and Walmarts and you would be just fine without fruits and veggies.

There are freeze-dried veggies you can find, like this:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039QW1HM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0039QW1HM&linkCode=as2&tag=lizthoadvhik-20&linkId=5VFIYGNR2RZQIA6B

I can't eat dark leafy veggies like Kale due to that's one of the things that produces kidney stones in me, so I avoid it, once in a blue moon I'm ok, but not eating it regularly.  Also, I have to restrict my protein level somewhat too, because too much protein can cause kidney stones in me as does nuts.

Some cheap freeze dried store-bought food like cup a noodles have dehydrated veggies like peas.  There are health and natural stores that sell veggie chips.  Also, you can buy green veggie powder supplements but those are a bit pricy but you can get a lot of veggies that take up a very small amount of space.  If a person insists on taking fresh veggies then do know this, that for some reason organic veggies tend to last longer without fridging than regular veggies, someone may want to confirm if that's true, but that's what I've heard but it doesn't make any sense to me as to why that would be the case.  Seaweed is another good source of veggie that doesn't take up much space, but I'm not sure if I can consume that due to my kidney stone issue, the last thing I want on a tour or camping trip is that mess!  The kidney stone issue is why I carry so much water, around 175 ounces, and between drinking it and using it to cook with I can go through all of that in a 24 hour period because even on a normal no riding bike day I try to drink at least 6 16 ounces of water, that's 96 ounces right there, and that's not riding a bike day!  So you can see why I need to bring so much water, which is why I try to go to places that have either a camp store or stores nearby so I can buy more water, it's also why I carry a small Sawyer water filter just in case.

So there are ways to get veggies into your diet even if there are no stores around to buy the stuff, carrying fresh veggies takes too much space in a pannier, and there is the question as to how long they'll last, and the reality is you're not going to die unless the tour is going to last 20 years or more and never be near any stores to obtain it along the way, so people would be more than fine going for 6 months out in the boondocks away from fresh veggies and fruit, which I don't think anyone either backpacking or on a long off-road bicycle trip would be anywhere near that many months without getting a hold of fresh veggies and fruit.

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2021, 07:26:33 pm »
I like couscous because it cooks so fast, saving fuel.  Regular pasta will as well, if you soak it for a few hours before boiling.  I have put it in a ziplock baggie to soak. There is a little store in Burlington called the Euro-Mart that has some Polish (I think) dried beef and pork.  They are better than jerky, and easily keep for a week without refrigeration.  Carrying some of each allows some variation.  I boil some pieces of the meat for a few minutes, then add the couscous and eat it with out draining.  At home I drink coffee, but somehow camping, I drink tea.  Just pour the boiling water through a spoonful of tea in a strainer.  Knocking the strainer out in a fire pit doesn't seem like degrading the campsite much.  Failing a fire pit, just discretely into the bushes.  I use olive oil in a plastic squirt bottle instead of butter.
Bon appetit!

Offline Galloper

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2021, 02:08:05 pm »
One of my all time favourite touring (and, indeed, any other time) food is porridge, or oatmeal as it is usually called in the USA.   It's quick and easy to prepare and I will often add any fruit I have available to the pot.   If you have good quality cooking oats, you can use them to make up a trail mix as well.

I'm also a big fan of garlic and olive oil and in that vein, I recently found black pepper and granulated garlic in a small pepper grinder type jar in my local supermarket.   These small spice jars are light and easy to carry, offering a lot of flavour for any meal.

Offline canalligators

Re: Best Tips for Cooking on the Road
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2021, 07:09:38 pm »
Different opinion follows.  I don’t especially like to cook on tour, and I don’t bore easily.

Bought breakfasts, especially at mom & pop restaurants, are inexpensive and tasty.  My lunches tend to be a sandwich and an apple; I carry english muffins, natural peanut butter and a bit of jam or honey.  For dinner, I buy something at a grocery that needs no more than no-cooking easy prep - often yogurt.  My snacks are fig bars and peanut butter sandwich crackers.

Voila, no stove, fuel, pots or utensils needed.  Eating times cut in half.  Leaves more time for swimming, journaling, socializing and playing ham radio.