You will need
- Ingredients (see recipe card)
- Tinder (for example, cotton balls and petroleum jelly)
- Kindling (for example, small sticks)
- Chopping boards
- Aluminium foil
- Access to water
Backwoods cooking is a method of cooking without the use of kitchen utensils like pots and pans. It traditionally takes place over an open fire. This meal is cooked on the embers of a fire, so you need to build the fire leaving enough time for it to die down to embers.
Before you begin
- Find an appropriate area for your fire, for example, a local campsite or outdoor space around your meeting place. You must have the landowner’s permission.
- Complete a risk assessment, and read (or reread) the 'Safe and hygienic cooking' guidance below.
- Check in advance whether anyone has allergies or dietary requirements, and make sure you have suitable ingredients or substitutes.
- If you’re planning to cook as part of a normal meeting, it may be best to let people know, so that they come ready to make a meal.
Cook sausage smash
- An adult should support young people to build and light a fire (or multiple smaller fires, one for each group). If there’s not enough time to light the fire and let it die down to embers, the person leading the activity may want to build the fire(s) before everyone else arrives.
- Split into groups of between four and six people. Each group should have an adult volunteer supporting them, and access to the 'Safe and hygienic cooking' guidance.
- Groups should remember the safety and hygiene tips. They should get ready to cook by making sure their area, their equipment, and their team members are clean and ready to go.
- Give each group a copy of the sausage smash tasks, and their ingredients.
- Groups should follow their recipe card to prepare, backwoods cook, and enjoy their sausage smash.
- Once they’ve finished eating, groups should clean, wash up, and put away.
- The person leading the activity should make sure the fire is safely extinguished. Everyone should make sure they leave no trace in the outdoor area.
This activity helped you to value the outdoors. Did you enjoy cooking outside? How was it different to cooking inside? Did cooking outside bring any extra challenges? Did you enjoy eating outside? When else have you eaten meals outside? Would you like to spend more time doing things (such as eating meals) outdoors?
This activity also helped you to be a team player. How did your team work together to make the sausage smash? Did you all do every task, or did you split them up? How did you make sure everyone got involved? Did you have one leader, or did everyone help lead? Was it easy to work with others? How did you talk to each other in your team? Did you achieve your goal of making a tasty dinner?
Teach young people how to use cooking equipment safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Make sure it’s safe to use and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for use.
- Fires and stoves
Make sure anyone using fires and stoves is doing so safely. Check that the equipment and area are suitable and have plenty of ventilation. Follow the gas safety guidance. Have a safe way to extinguish the fire in an emergency.
Check for allergies before you begin. Make sure you have suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods.