Back to the Ranch: Authentic Cowboy Grilling Recipes to Master

Nothing feels grander than sharing a meal with friends and family under the broad sky on a summer day. Cowboy grilling is a skill every outdoor cook should learn. A few traditional grilling recipes with a Texas twist are all you need to master outdoor cooking.

Are you missing those sweet BBQ spices from Texas?

When you step outside and fire up the cowboy grill or smoker, the mouthwatering aroma wafts through the air and beckons you closer. You will feel the pull of the grill and cannot resist for long. Read on.

Campfire Chili

Chili is a staple in any cowboy’s diet – it’s hearty, filling, and perfect for those chilly nights by the campfire. To make this dish, you’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Start your campfire and let it burn down to hot coals. Place a cast iron skillet on the fire grate. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned.

Add the chopped onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook until softened. Stir in the kidney beans and diced tomatoes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and paprika and mix well.

Let the chili simmer over the fire for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve your cowboy campfire chili hot, right out of the skillet.

Grilled Ribeye Steak

No cowboy grilling session is complete without a juicy ribeye steak cooked over an open flame. First, prepare your ingredients:

  • 1 ribeye steak
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

Start by seasoning your steak. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides of the steak.

Next, prepare your grill. You want it hot for searing the steak and creating those beautiful grill marks. Place the steak on the grill. For a medium-rare steak, grill each side for about 5-7 minutes.

After grilling, let your steak rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Then, it’s ready to be served. If you are looking for a heavy-duty steel grill, you can view grill here. They also have a variety of outdoor grilling tools, serveware, and utensils.

Dutch Oven Cornbread

Cornbread is a classic cowboy side dish that pairs well with any grilled meat or stew. To make this in the great outdoors, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Start by mixing the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then add the milk and melted butter.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until the mixture is moist. Next, heat your Dutch oven over the campfire. Once it’s hot, pour in the cornbread mixture.

Cover the Dutch oven and let it bake over the hot coals for about 25-30 minutes or until the top of the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Foil Packet Potatoes

If you’re short on time or looking for an easy side dish to make while camping or grilling, foil-packet potatoes are the answer. Gather your ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your choice of herbs

Start by slicing the potatoes and onion. Prepare four pieces of foil, large enough to wrap the potato and onion slices. Distribute the slices evenly among the foil pieces.

Sprinkle the slices with salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs. Fold the foil over the slices to create a sealed packet. Place the foil packets on the grill or over hot coals. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Carefully open the foil packets (watch out for steam) and serve your foil packet potatoes hot, right off the grill.

BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

For seafood lovers, this recipe is a must-try. To make this dish you’ll need:

  • 12 jumbo shrimp
  • 12 slices of bacon
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Toothpicks

Start by peeling and deveining the shrimp. Next, wrap each shrimp with a slice of bacon, securing it with a toothpick.

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the bacon-wrapped shrimp on the grill and cook until the shrimp turns pink and the bacon is crispy. This should take about 5-7 minutes on each side.

Brush the cooked shrimp with your favorite BBQ sauce. Grill for an additional 2 minutes to allow the sauce to caramelize. Remove the shrimp from the grill, let them cool for a couple of minutes, and serve.

Skillet Peach Cobbler

End your cowboy grilling session on a sweet note with this delicious peach cobbler. Firstly, prep your ingredients:

  • 6 fresh peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 package biscuit dough

Start by slicing the peaches. Place a skillet on the fire grate and add the sliced peaches, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Open the package of biscuit dough and place the biscuits on top of the peach mixture in the skillet. Make sure to cover as much of the peaches as possible.

Cover the skillet and let your peach cobbler bake over the campfire for about 15-20 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown and the peach mixture is bubbling. Remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Mastering the Art of Cowboy Grilling

Mastering the art of cowboy grilling is not just about making food; it’s about embracing a part of history and a unique way of life. By following these recipes, you can recreate authentic Western meals right in your backyard.

Cowboy grilling is about simplicity, using the rawest form of cooking, fire, and letting the natural flavors of the ingredients shine through. So, gather your loved ones, fire up the grill, and embark on a culinary adventure that takes you back to the days of the wild, wild West. Happy cowboy grilling!

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