If youâve checked out any of our stoves, youâve probably seen a BTU figure associated with each one. And if youâre here at this article, you probably looked at it and had no clue what it meant. Let us explain it to you.
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is used in North America (not in Europe, despite the name) as a way to measure energy output. A single BTU is equal to the energy released by burning one match. To put things in perspective, your household stove burners are probably around 10,000 BTUsâthatâs like burning 10,000 matches at once.
How Many BTUs Do I Need?
For basic outdoor cooking and groups of only a few people, youâll need a stove that has an output of at least 10,000 BTU per hour. Matching your kitchen stove in power, youâll be able to cook pretty much anything youâd whip up indoors. This is the minimum amount of heat you should have with your camp stove.
But why settle for the minimum? Most of our stoves feature burners with an output of 30,000 BTU/hr each. Thatâs 3 times more than your kitchen burners. Our double burner and triple burner stoves with this kind of cooking power are perfect for families and larger groups because you have the heat and surface area you need to cook a ton of food. Pro tip: these burners are also great for home canning.
We also carry a couple of high-output stoves with burners that can pump out 60,000 BTU/hr. Thatâs a ton of power. In fact, thatâs more than you would ever need for basic outdoor cooking. These stoves are best for specialty situations like home brewing, high capacity boiling, and extreme cold temperatures. You should only use heavy duty pots with a 60,000 BTU burner rather than accessories like our grill boxes, griddles, or pizza ovens. The high heat output can warp and burn out some of these more lightweight materials.
Check out our infographic for a quick look at how many BTUs you need for your outdoor adventures.
A family hunting trip is one of those ideas that sounds wonderful in theory. But then you find yourself wiping melted marshmallow out of your daughterâs hair and wrestling your son into the tent at bedtime, and you question why you ever planned this trip in the first place. Unless, of course, you have a plan. Following these four rules for family hunting trips will keep your kids happy and your sanity intactâthereâs even a chance youâll build some memories along the way.
Rule #1: Stay Warm
â Bring lots of extra warm clothes. Kids can find a way to get soaking wet in the middle of a desertâbe prepared with a replacement outfit or two.
â Cold hands and cold feet are the formula for a miserable outdoor experience. High quality footwear, gloves, and hand warmers are a must.
â Thereâs nothing better than a campfire at the end of the day. Make sure youâve got all the gear you need to have a warm fireâfirewood, lighter fluid, matches, kindling, etc. Be sure to check on your campsiteâs rules and restrictions to see if you are allowed to have a fire. A propane fire pit is a great option for fire-restricted areas.
â A good nightâs sleep starts with a warm sleeping bag. Youâll want to err on the side of being too warm with your sleeping pads and bags. That means bringing a 0Â° F sleeping bag rather than a 30Â° F bag when itâs 25Â° F outside. Cheap sleeping bags that are only meant for summer sleepovers arenât going to cut it for late season camping when itâs cold outside.
Rule #2: Stay Dry
â The forecast might say itâs supposed to be sunny all weekend; but if this hunting trip is anything like your other family outings, it will inevitably cloud over and start raining or snowing. You canât avoid it, so youâll need to prepare for it. Ponchos are inexpensive, versatile, and usefulâmore than worth the few bucks it costs to buy some for your family.
â You donât want to wait until a storm hits to realize thereâs a leak in your tent. Double or triple check that your tent is waterproof before taking off for the weekend. A high quality tent may be a little more expensive than what you can find on the bargain shelf, but youâll be glad for the investment when your kids are warm and dry during bad weather.
â If youâre tight on space inside the tent, bring a pop-up awning. This is the perfect place to wait out a passing shower without cramming together like sardinesâespecially with antsy kids on your hands.
Rule #3: Have Fun First
If you have smaller children who arenât old enough for their own hunting licenses, you need to make sure to involve them in other parts of the hunting experience. Point out game trails, animal tracks, fresh signs, and different animal noises.Â You can even ask them to help follow a trail and see where it leads. Just remember: if it is fun for them when theyâre young, they will be more interested in coming back to hunt with you in the future.
â Plan activities for the slower hours of the day. Everyone knows hunting is the best early in the morning and late in the evening, so fill those empty afternoons with something else. Bring a BB gun or sling shot for target practice with empty soda cans; take a few fishing rods if there is a pond or river nearby. Even something as simple as a pocket knife and carving stick can create turn into amazing memories.
â Kids have limited energy and limited attention spans. So keep the trip short. Donât plan a 10-day hunt for your whole family if your kids will get bored after three. Additionally, youâll want to keep the hunting hours on the short side too. Itâs okay to wake up a little later and head back to camp a little earlier if it will keep your kids happy.
â Be prepared to eat tag soup. If filling your tag is your priority, then maybe bring your family along on the next trip. Your focus should be creating a positive experience that your children will remember and want to repeat in the future. A hunter whoâs stressed about filling his or her once-in-a-lifetime tag doesnât make for the best company. Be there for the little moments that make incredible memoriesânot just the harvest at the end.
Rule #4: Eat Well
You donât have to sacrifice good food just because you are camping.Â Breakfast cereal and cold cuts arenât going to hit the spot after a long day in nature. Plan quality meals that will fill your bellies and be fun to cook. Your camp stove and other outdoor cooking gear will make or break this part of your trip. Whether you need to grill, bake, boil, fry, smoke, or barbecue something in the outdoors, Camp Chef has what you need to eat well around the campfire. Try these recipes with your whole family.
â Breakfast burritos: Breakfast doesnât get much quicker and easier than this. Tortillas, eggs, sausage, onions, salsa, cheese, hash browns, and a good griddle are all you really need.
â Pancakes, eggs, and bacon are perfect for griddle cooking and a crowd favorite. A hearty breakfast like this before a long day of hunting is just what your family needs.
â Hobo dinners: Build a fire, fill a foil pouch with whatever ingredients you want, and lay near the coals to cook. Try a combination of hamburger, carrots, onions, and potatoes, or add your own unique ingredients. Just make sure to bring some heavy duty gloves and a shovel to get your meal back out of the fire.
â Hotdogs are always great over the fire. You can bring brats for the adults and hotdogs for the kids. As a side, wrap some corn on the cob in foil and throw it in the fire.
â Sâmores: What family camping trip could be complete without sâmores? Check out some of our unique sâmore recipes or stick with the classic.
â Hot chocolate and hot coffee: A warm thermos of hot chocolate or coffee on a cold morning will warm up tiny hands and give you an extra 30 minutes of hunting while you wait for your quarry to appear.
8 Pellet Grill Recipes You Have to Try on Your SmokePro
You may have heard of pellet grills and wondered what all the hype is about. Itâs just a grill, right? What can you cook on a pellet grill that you canât on a propane grill? Plenty, my friend. In fact, there are a few foods you simply havenât experienced unless youâve cooked them on a SmokePro pellet grill. These pellet grill recipes are here to change your life. Or, at least, your taste buds.
Miracle Frozen Chicken
First on our list of what you can cook on your pellet grill is frozen, store-bought chicken. You know that cheap, rubbery kind you have to excavate from out of the frozen aisle? Yeah, thatâs it. Well, now you can make a delectable dinner of it every week. Just place the frozen chicken directly onto the grates of your pellet grill, turn the temperature dial to Hi Smoke, and let the smoker do its thing for an hour. When you come back, youâll want to season the chicken with steak seasoning and bring it to an internal temperature of 165Â° F (we can help you measure the internal temp). If you plan to finish it off with a sear, you can transfer it to your sear box when it reaches 130Â° F. Either way, you will have turned border-line inedible chicken into a tender, flavorful piece of protein.
Competition BBQ Chicken
If youâre looking to upgrade from frozen chicken, this chicken recipe is the way to go. The total time to make it, start to finish, is only 30-45 minutes. You could be looking at a prize-winning dinner in no time.
Dang Good Burgers
What can you cook on a pellet grill? A dang good burger. I know what youâre thinking: burgers and propane grills go together like cheesy potatoes and Dutch ovens. But the added wood-fired and smoky flavors you get from a pellet grill will give you a burger unlike any other youâve tasted before. There are two approaches to how to cook your burgers on a pellet grill.
Heat First, Smoke Later
First crank the pellet grill to high and let it warm up for 10 minutes. Cook your burgers on that setting for 4 minutes on each side, then finish up on the High Smoke setting to slowly smoke it to your desired temperature. You wonât get the same seared finish that you might on a propane grill, but youâll be too busy enjoying the smoky flavor to notice.
If you need a good sear to fall in love with a burger, you can use the SmokePro sear box for the reverse sear method. You begin with the burgers on medium heat in the pellet grillâabout 275Â° Fâto give the meat two layers of smoky and wood-fired flavor. Youâll also want to switch on your sear box to medium and let it heat up for 5 minutes. Iâve found that medium is hot enough for the kind of sear I like, but the unit can heat up to 900Â° F. Once the burgers start to sweat a bit, I like to move them to the sear box. Leave them for 1 minute, rotate 90Â° for 1 minute, then flip and do the same on the other side. For me, the combination of the seared texture and the wood and smoke flavors is hands down the best way to cook a burger.
Tender Pulled Pork
This is the best pulled pork recipe Iâve ever tasted. I like to bring my meat up to 205Â° F so that it just falls apart with a fork. Thereâs no going wrong with a low-cost, high-volume BBQ meal like this one. And with a pellet grill, it takes almost no effort on your part.
Baconâ¦Need We Say More?
No recipe needed for this one. Just buy bacon, throw some Competition Blend pellets into the hopper, and experience the miracle of pellet grill bacon. Low and slow is good, medium heat is good, high heat is good. Itâs almost impossible to mess up. If youâve ever wondered, âWhat can I cook on a pellet grill?â this should be the first thing you try.
Smoked Pork Ribs
There is no better way to cook ribs than on a pellet grill. Period. Donât believe me? Try this incredible ribs recipe this weekend and taste it for yourself.
Of all the cuts of meat, brisket is among the most intimidating to cook. Thereâs trimming, wrapping, rubbing, and then hoping it doesnât turn out dry and disappointing. Iâm nowhere near a pit master, but Iâve cooked brisket several times now on my SmokePro, each time with great success. Check out this smoked brisket recipe for your next big barbecue, and keep an eye out for more tips and tricks coming soon.
Incredible Apple Pie
So maybe youâre feeling a bit daring, and you want to try something unique. What can you cook on a pellet grill that isnât meat? Give this classic American dessert a shot. You can use our favorite apple pie recipe or your own, then leave it on your pellet grill to bake. Set the grill to 400Â° F just like you would a kitchen oven, and thatâs it. Donât worryâit wonât taste smoky. In fact, I suggest using apple pellets for a sweet, Applewood flavor. Your neighbors might give you weird looks as you put your pie on the grill, but it will be worth it.
From the hills of Conestoga Ranch, we had the perfect view of Bear Lake with its tropical-blue waterâan unreal color for a lake in the middle of the mountains. We ventured from the camp up to Minnetonka Cave, named with a Native American word for ârunning water.â Huddled together in the cool 40Âº F cave, we listened to an earnest young tour guide point out stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations. The dim lighting, alien structures, and damp cold felt like another planet in the middle of a Utah summer.
Afterward, we headed to the lake for some oven-baked pizzas on the beach. Cassidy, the head pizza chef of Conestoga Ranch, taught (or tried to teach) us how to toss pizza dough like a pro. We managed to keep all the dough off the sand, and some even made it into the oven.
While the setting was gorgeous, what made the trip such a treat was the company. Vince, the executive chef of Conestoga Ranch, showed us how to whip up restaurant-worthy dishes on the fly (Literallyâhe made up the first recipe as he was cooking it). Inge took charge of the hospitality side of things, from grabbing extra utensils to cleaning up our messy cooking experiments. And of course, our food blogger guests were nothing short of delightful. We sincerely want to thank all of you!
As a group of Camp Chef employees, food bloggers, and chefs, we all had one thing in common: a deep passion for good food. With an armada of Camp Chef stoves, grills, ovens, griddles, cast iron, utensils, and more we cooked some of the best food weâve ever had. Homemade toast with avocado, plain Greek yogurt, and paprika; Wagyu beef sliders on flat bread with goat cheese and corn salsa; green eggs and ham pizza; cast iron cinnamon rolls; smoked tri-tipâthe list goes on. When you combine great products with genius cooking skills, the results are incredible. We couldnât eat it all, but we couldnât resist tasting everything.
And thatâs really the kind of Camp Chef experience we wanted to create. Good food, good people, good setting. The formula for feeding your outside isnât rocket science by any means. But itâs one that we could all practice a little more in our lives, donât you think?