Kitchen Tips

How to picnic like a pro

Make your next picnic your best ever, with Food magazine's handy tips for delicious dining in the great outdoors.

Food safety first

Avoid food that spoils easily. Choose foods that can be enjoyed hot or cold and can withstand some variation in temperature, as the hamper will go from kitchen to the hot car boot before arriving at your destination. Go for cured meats, sausages and ham, rather than chicken and seafood.

Travel light

If there is a long walk from the car to your picnic spot, opt for paper or reusable plastic plates and cutlery as they're lighter and so much easier to carry. Freezing your water bottles and using them to keep the hamper cold can relieve you of having to lug a load of cool packs with you too.

Fill ‘em up

There's nothing like tearing around in the fresh air to make the family famished. Bacon and egg pie, quiche and sandwiches have always been popular picnic food because they're filling as well as portable, and require no last-minute assembly.

Keep it simple

Have salads already made in single-serve plastic cups, covered with cling film. Plan finger foods where possible, and avoid sticky puddings, fragile cakes, chocolate biscuits and anything likely to melt. Instead, go for brownies, cookies or a sturdy cake, such as fruit cake or a glazed loaf. Include snacks too – dips, crackers and chippies will keep everybody happy.

Essential equipment

Pack plenty of wet wipes for handwashing, spill management and cleaning the sand off that dropped cutlery. Remember to include a bag for removing your rubbish.
Photography by Peta Mazey for NADIA magazine. With special thanks to our models, Ruby and Kester.