Celebrity chef Curtis Stone embarked on an Outdoorsy RV road trip with his family. While on this journey, he had a thing or two to teach us:
- How to Build the Perfect Fire
- How to Cook the Best Steak
Building a Fire
Curtis taught his kids, and his Instagram followers, how to build a “Birds Nest Fire.” Turns out, building the perfect fire is pretty easy — at least, he made it look that way!
To build a campfire, you’ll need:
- Tinder (paper, cardboard, pine cones)
Then, get the campfire started in 5 easy steps:
- Build a Fire Pit
- Gather Sticks
- Stack Firewood
- Make a Nest
- Start the Fire
1. Build a Fire Pit
First, you need to build up a bed of rocks to make your fire pit. Stack some rocks in a circular formation to make a wall around the fire. You’ll then add your other materials to the middle, so make sure to make your pit the right size for your logs!
2. Gather Sticks
Next, you’ll need some smaller sticks for your fire. No need to go beyond your campsite for this. You can usually find some small sticks around. Thank you, Mother Nature. Gather your sticks in a pile to add to your fire later on!
3. Stack Firewood
The best way to stack the wood is in a square formation. Add two logs parallel to each other and then stack to others on top to form a square. Continue stacking as high as you wish. You can stack your firewood as high as the pit allows, but typically two or three layers are plenty.
4. Make a Nest
Add fire tinder, like paper, cardboard, and pinecones, to make your bird nest and help start the fire. The paper should be added first, as it burns more quickly. Put a little twist in your pieces of paper so that they burn quickly on the outside but slower through the middle.
Then, add some cardboard. The paper will catch fire and build quickly, while the cardboard will take a little longer. Next, add some pinecones around the sides, in between your firewood stacks, and in the middle. This will help kindle your fire.
The finishing touch is your bundle of sticks. Put these in the middle and on top, and you’re ready to get the fire started!
6. Start the Fire
Light a few matches and place them at the bottom of your nest. Wait for it to catch, and voila! You’ve got the perfect fire!
Cooking Campfire Steak
Who says you have to go to a restaurant for a five-star meal? With Curtis’ instruction, you can have all the luxurious flavors of a Michelin star restaurant right at your campsite! So, grab yourself a Wagyu ribeye, and let’s get cooking!
Set Up Your Grill
Before you start cooking your steak, you want to let the fire burn down until you see nearly no flame. Then set your grill on top of the pit, and let it heat up while you season your steak.
Season Your Steak
When you salt your steak, you want to make sure it’s nice and even. To do this, grab some salt, hold your hand a good distance away from your steak, and throw the salt onto the meat. If you hold your hand to close, some parts of the meat will be more heavily salted than the others. Salt both sides the same way, and you’re ready to grill.
Grill the Meat
Once you’ve perfectly seasoned your meat on both sides, toss it on the grill. Keep a careful eye while it’s cooking as the high-fat content of the ribeye can cause a flare-up — a sudden increase in the intensity of the flames. If a flare-up occurs, simply move your steak to a different part of the grill where the flames are calmer.
Sear one side of the meat until it has a golden brown color, then turn it over. Do the same on the other side.
Let It Rest
With a thick piece of meat like a ribeye, once you’ve seared both sides for two or three minutes, you want to let it rest for a few minutes before tossing it back on the grill. Do this two times before putting it back on the grill for the last time.
Once both sides have cooked for about five or six minutes, you’re going to take the meat off the grill again and let it rest. In true Australian fashion, you can use these resting times to drink a beer — if you’re of legal age, of course!
Carve and Serve
Now that your steak is cooked and rested, you can cut out the bone and slice the meat into pieces. Serve it up with some campfire brussel sprouts and a glass of wine, and you’ve got yourself a five-star meal!
Get Campfire Ready
Now that you know how to build the perfect fire and cook the best steak, all you need is an Outdoorsy rental RV! Curtis and his family took a Mercedes Winnebago, but there are plenty of RVs, from vintage Volkswagen vans to Airstream trailers to choose from. Time to start cooking up an RV road trip and some steak, don’t you think?
For more tips and tricks for Curtis Stone, check out his Outdoorsy story highlight!