By Steve Frisby
May 14, 2014

Utensiless Cooking (Look Ma …No dirty dishes!!!)

One of the funnest things I have ever done with cooking was during BYU’s Merit Badge Clinics. For twelve years Stephen Frisby was asked to do a caveman cookery workshop and I was his assistant. Below are his well tested and demonstrated ideas to help you have fun with Scouts:



Egg baking in a onion cup

Resources to Consult

 Supplies You’ll Need

  • mycampfiregloves1An old pair of gloves is great around the campfire
  • Zip Lock bags are great for packing food in and for mixing. They are also necessary to pack wet garbage out in, according to low impact camping practices.
  • Remember to always pack out all foil after burning it in the fire as foil does not burn completely… matter what your scouts say!
  • Always carry a trash bag or two with you
  • Always leave the area better than you found it!!!
  • Forked sticks and pointed sticks (green) called twixers and rescue sticks are especially forked stickhelpful to utensiless cooking.
  • If squeamish about cooking directly on the coals, use a boards, hot rocks, cabbage leaves, peppers, onions, oranges etc. as “utensils”.
  • For a truly utensiless “Caveman” experience, avoid using foil where mentioned in the recipes!
  • Always use a keyhole fire and cook on the coals, not in the flames.
  • Note: a pocket knife is allowed in utensiless cooking as every good scout always carries his pocket knife (or his scoutmaster’s)

Caveman Cooking Recipes

hens on stickChicken on a spit

Spit chicken on a deadwood stick from vent to neck. Tie securely. Turn spit frequently.

Chicken on a dingle stick roasted-chicken

Truss wings and legs and run skewers through wings and upper body.. Hang from dingle stick by wire under skewer. When bird is half done, change to other skewer so both top and bottom are roasted. Suspend at side of fire and catch drippings in cup. Turn frequently.

staked-fishFish on a stick

Cut stick for each fish and make point on end. Push stick through fishes mouth and along backbone. Cover end of stick with foil to prevent burning. Push stick into coals until fishes head is partly covered.( Don’t suffocate him) Cook about 30 minutes

Bread on a stick breadstick3

Peel bark from “sweet wood” stick about 1 – 2″ thick and about 2 1/2 feet long. Point end. Preheat stick. Roll a long sausage of biscuit dough and twist around heated stick. Bake over coals turning frequently. Biscuits may also be cooked on a hot rock or rock tilted toward fire.

ashcakeAsh Cakes

Using biscuit dough, cook directly on coals or cabbage leaf etc. Trim off ashes when done.


Potato in Coalspotatoes

Use potato no larger than a man’s fist. Cover completely with coals. Test for doneness after 1/2 hour by poking with thin wood sliver. If pieces of potato come out with sliver, potato is done. (You do not need foil for this recipe.)

t boneSteak or chops

Impale steak on forked stick and roast over fire. May also be cooked directly on hot coals. Pork chops cook well on coals due to the extra fat!


Hamburger Cooked directly on hot coals, or hot rock or shovel covered with foil. May also be rolled and cooked on stick.

GrillThrill-4Inside-out Hamburger

Sandwich pickles, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes mustard, catsup, special sauce or anything else you want between 2 hamburger patties and cook directly on the coals or in cabbage

Onion Cups22275364

Follow instructions (lines) printed on onion and slice onion in half. Carefully remove small onion cups and fill with deviled ham, hamburger, or other filling. Roast over coals upside down. When onion turns transparent on bottom, flip over for a few more minutes. Eat onion cup and all! The large onion halves make great containers to cook eggs or  meatloaf in.

make_me_stuffed_peppersPepper Steak

Place hamburger (and anything else you can find laying around) in a hollowed out pepper and bake over coals. Stuffing can be any meatball or stuffed pepper recipe you like

Stuffed Mushroomsstuffed-mushrooms-recipe-450x300

Remove stems from large whole mushrooms. Chop up stems and stuff (AKA Horsedoovers) heads with deviled ham. Roll in ground up stems and set on fire to heat for 5 minutes or less. You can also add chopped up peppers or onions for variety. Try replacing the deviled ham labels with cat food labels! It always brings a smile.

Pig in BlanketPig in a blanket

Slit center of hot dog. Fill with sliced cheese. Wrap outside with bacon and place on stick. Roast until done. For more fun, wrap the outside of the hot dog with biscuit dough while roasting. Note, you might have more luck cooking the bacon first & then wrap the dog etc.


On green sticks or skewers roast any combination of meats, vegetables, fruits etc. Use your imagination and experiment!

ground beef on a stickBush Man Monkey Meat

Wrap ground beef around a stick and roast until done. Wrap hamburger with cheese & a thin layer of dough ( Rhodes ). Bake until bread is done. Slide off stick & enjoy! Add onions, peppers, bacon etc. for variety

PizzaPizza Pocket:

Take a layer of Rhodes dough and spread two with tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni or whatever. Fold in two and bake on coals or use cabbage leaf etc.

mud eggsMud Hen:

Carefully punch a hole in the end of an egg. Coat the egg with mud and bake in fire until baby barf appears.

ClayBakedPotatoeMud Spud:

Cover potato with layer of mud and bake forever in the coals. Mud washes right off and gives you a great baked potatoe.

doghouseFlaming Doghouse:

Have each camper bring an empty carton of milk, 1‑quart or 1/2 gallon. Place hot dog in bun. Wrap in tin foil. Put in milk carton, and place carton in fire circle or other safe burn spot. Light top of carton. By the time the carton is burnt to ground, THE HOT DOG IS COOKED!!



Author:  Stephen R Frisby is a long-time Scouter. He currently serves as the New Scout Leader in troop 427, sponsored by LDS Sunset Heights Second Ward in Orem, Utah.

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2 thoughts on “Utensiless Cooking (Look Ma …No dirty dishes!!!)

  1. AvatarLinda Ray

    This is so good (and hilarious!). Just what I need. I’ve cut my hand. Thought wearing a glove to do dishes would do the trick. Not so much, so now cannot wash dishes for a couple of weeks, as in zero dishes, pots, pans, silverware, zip, nada, nothing. Things already in the freezer for such emergencies are running out. Nothing packed in disposables! I came looking for ideas beyond foil (or even to expand foil ideas). As expected, Utah Boy Scouts to the rescue.

  2. Darryl AlderDarryl Alder

    I wish you could see Steve do this activity with his ward relief society. The women are incredulous until they dig, melt thier acrylic nails and taste the food. We have seem them run home to drag a husband down to the church to try a burger on the coals. Hilarious for sure!


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