We love to eat brie and have several favorite methods.
If you like it sweet, like my introduction to brie many years ago, or if you prefer it savory, like we tend to eat it these days, we have you covered. We even have a boozy campfire brie variation for those who want to indulge!
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So many of our “camping” recipes can easily be made over a fire, on the grill, or even in the oven if your plans must change. This means that even if you are camping somewhere, you can’t have fire, or if it is pouring down rain, if you have another heat source, we encourage you to try one of our tasty campfire brie variations below.
What we love about Campfire Brie:
- It can be sweet, savory, or boozy
- We can heat it over various sources
- The mild flavor goes well with many things
The Ingredients for Campfire Brie:
- Olive Oil
- Assorted toppings
This was my first exposure to brie. I was in my early twenties and a co-worker brought in some peach preserves, butter crackers, and a wheel of brie. We had a small kitchen in our building and often shared food through the course of the day. She popped that brie into the oven on a cookie sheet and let it get all warm and oozy. Then we put bite sized amounts on a cracker, covered it with some peach preserves, and ate. I fell in love. And continued to make this rendition every chance I got for years, usually with our homemade peach jalapeno jam. YUM! It takes about 20 minutes over a campfire.
This is our most recent experience with turning the notch up on brie. I love a good caprese salad or appetizer and my favorite pizza would be mozzarella and basil on a tomato sauce. So, with some leftover ingredients one night, we sliced up some cherry tomatoes and put them around a wheel of brie in a cast iron skillet with a good sprinkling of kosher salt. That went over the fire until the brie was puffing up (roughly 20 minutes). We pulled it off, sprinkled it with some fresh basil, and drizzled a balsamic glaze over the top. It was devoured within minutes by the two of us and I contemplated going to the store for another wheel.
There are quite a few recipes out there touting the joys of a “boozy brie” around the campfire. Some call for brandy, others cognac, some suggest bourbon or whiskey. We (okay I) happen to be partial to sherry. For this one I place the brie on some aluminum foil that has been drizzled with olive oil, poke a bunch of holes in it with a fork or skewer, pour about a tablespoon of the alcohol of choice over the top and wrap it tightly. I then place the brie over my heat source and pour myself a glass of sherry. I sip on said drink while I rotate the wheel every five minutes or so. And typically, by the time my drink is done (about 20 minutes), the cheese has ooey-gooey insides. We pull it off and spread the deliciousness on slices of baguette.
Q: What is brie?
A: Brie is a soft cow’s milk cheese from the French region of Brie. It has a pale color with an edible rind of white mold. The taste can be described as being a “fruity hazelnut” and for straight eating it pairs well with Champagne, red Bordeaux, or Burgundy wines.
Q: Are there substitutes for brie?
A: Yes, camembert is probably the easiest choice if you are looking for a substitute. It is also a soft cheese from France, albeit a bit spicier. Another cheese is reblochon although I don’t see it very often. It too comes from France and is made from cow’s milk. Last suggestion, although we have not personally tasted it, would be coulommiers. Some say it is brie’s ancestor.
Q: How should I store brie before using it?
A: Because brie is a soft cheese bacteria can spread rapidly if left out for too long. Refrigerate it immediately after purchase and keep at a temperature of 39 degrees F. or lower. You will also want to keep it tightly sealed. And, if there are any leftovers, make sure to store them properly or toss them if you aren’t sure. No one wants food poisoning on a camping trip!
Q: Have you tried (insert topping here) on brie?
A: There are so many ways to top your brie and we love most of them. However, while camping, we try to minimize the complexity of cooking and the number of ingredients we need to pack. So, recipes involving pastry wrapped brie and/or topped with a sauce of nuts tend to be kept for home entertaining.
General Tips for Type of Cooking in Cast Iron:
- Start your fire early! You want to be cooking on coals as they are a more reliable heat source for controlling your temperatures.
- Use indirect heat when possible. Again, we are looking for even heat, not one which fluctuates wildly.
- Preheat if feasible. Just like preheating an oven, preheating your cast iron will help your food cook evenly.
- Elevate your cookware. Doing this allows for airflow around your dish, just like your oven at home. If your campsite doesn’t have an existing metal grate to use, you can always try rocks that are heat safe. We always carry a grate with us for exactly this purpose.
- Don’t forget to keep it clean! There is nothing worse than pulling out your cast iron cookware at the campsite to find it was put away dirty.
- Cast Iron Skillet: Ours is a 10.25 inch from Lodge and we love it. It is perfectly sized for a small wheel of brie and assorted toppings.
- Cutting board and knife: We use this to cut up any toppings we want to surround the brie. Then, after a quick clean, it is ready to use as a surface for holding the cooked brie while indulging.
- Heat resistant gloves: If you are going to be working around a fire, at some point you will probably get burned. These gloves can help prevent that.
More Appetizers to Enjoy:
- Bean and Cheese Dip
- Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salsa
- Warmed Olives
We love a good appetizer of Campfire Brie, sometimes enjoying it for our entire meal.
And when it is just the two of us eating, any one of these recipes will fill our bellies. Then, in larger groups, these remain as appetizers that appeal to most people. So, they are winners in our meal planning. If you try any of them, or if you have other suggested toppings we should consider, tag us on Instagram @campinganswer or send us an email at campinganswer at gmail dot com. Go on, make us drool…