Frying is often used for fresh caught fish, but is equally useful for making trailside pancakes or scrambled eggs! Many camp cooks will carry and a handle-less pan for easy packing, but cast iron is best for on top of the fire. Keep a close eye on your oil, as it can easily ignite. An improvised griddle can be made by putting a flat stone directly on the fire (or above it, on top of other stones) -- food can then be placed on the stones.
How do you know the oil is hot enough? Well, as the old saying goes:
“WHEN YOU SPIT IN THE PAN, THE PAN WILL SPIT BACK AT YOU!”
The fish fry, sometimes called a shore lunch, is a northern Ontario tradition. The best recipes are passed along from generation to generation. If you didn’t catch it yourself, you’ll likely get your fish cleaned and ready to go. Store it on ice until you’re ready to use it, as fish spoils fast.
Use a natural oil with a high smoke point like canola, vegetable, or soy. A heavy bottom, high lipped pan is best. You can’t go wrong with cast iron. Your fire should be good and hot, but not too high. You don’t want the oil to cool when you drop in the fish, but you also don’t want the pan to be licked by flames.
If your cooking oil catches fire, DO NOT THROW WATER ON IT. This will only spread the fire and enflame the problem. You must smother this fire with sand or dirt, remove additional fuel sources (turn off propane), and keep a safe distance.