Australian Sloppy Joes - easy (but ugly) camping recipe

easy camping recipe

Sloppy Joes.

This is a recipe name that doesn't make you think of fine dining.      But it is a recipe that you can add to your camping menu.

It's certainly won't win awards for its looks.

Typically, you will see this recipe on sites from the USA, because that's where it all began. 

We adapted the recipe to make sure it all works for us Aussies, and this is a recipe that you can

a)  make at home and then reheat at the campsite
b)  make at home in a slow cooker (we used the Wonderbag to keep this meal cooking for 4 hours)
c) make in a dutch oven at the campsite

Actually, wherever you have a flame, this recipe will work for you.

(now if you want to win your own Wonderbag to cook your Sloppy Joes and lots more, then read our Wonderbag recipe post).

camping recipe

Sloppy Joes

(serves 8-10 people)


2 pounds ground beef 1 yellow onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 cup water 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon yellow mustard 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 1 cup ketchup 3/4 cup BBQ sauce 10 hamburger buns

900g minced beef
1 large green capsicum
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used Heinz Ketchup)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons chilli powder, or more as needed
1 teaspoon dry mustard  (like Keen's)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tblspns Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water (but if cooking for a Wonderbag, this creates a lot more liquid that will need to be reduced).
8-10 hamburger buns (or buns of your choice)


Start by browning the mince in a large frypan/saucepan/camp oven. Drain off the fat.

Add in the capsicum and onions. 
Stir, and then add 1/4 water (Wonderbag users:  pls avoid this step at this time) the 2 sauces - tomato and BBQ, and garlic. Stir it around to combine.      When combined, time to add the brown sugar (gives a little sweet taste)  chili powder, dry mustard, red pepper flakes (optional)  and hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste. 
Stir to combine once more, and then cover and simmer over medium-low heat, about 20 minutes.
If the recipe appears not moist enough - Wonderbag users, may add a small amount of water.

Ideally, you want the food to look "sloppy" but not drowning in liquid, as that will make your buns soggy.    And who wants soggy buns?

If you find it too runny, leave the lid off to help with reducing the liquid.
Once the food is hot, slice a bun and place in the middle!      You can add cheese to the top of the meat if desired. 


(PS.  It's messy so lots of paper towels are handy).
In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef and sauté the onions. When the meat is just about done and the onions are tender, add in the garlic and cook for a minute longer. Drain excess fat from the meat and transfer the meat to your slow cooker. In a large bowl combine garlic powder, salt, and black pepper with 1/4 cup water, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 1 cup ketchup and 3/4 cup BBQ sauce. Stir to combine.