This takes a little patience, as anything new may seem challenging in the beginning. Whatever you can cook in the home gas or electric oven (wood stove – getting a bit rarer these days) you can cook with equal success in the camp oven.
In a gone by era cooking was done very differently and it was with trial and error that the “then cooks of the day” perfected this art and produced all wonder of goodies.
A camp oven has its little quirks, but don’t we all, and isn’t that what it is all about? Even conventional ovens have their own peculiarities and the cook needs to find the sweet spot to work within the scope of temperatures and times of cooking. We work around the unusual and end up producing something that truly tastes like heaven.
They look the same, but are they the same? Good question. Getting to know YOUR camp oven is what it is all about and you are embarking on a journey. Recipes are shared, but do they always turn out the same, when different camp ovens and different camp cooks are involved?
The start of your journey with your camp oven is ensuring it is well looked after and preserved. It needs to be seasoned and cleaned. Treat it badly and it will ensure you don’t get the best result.
We will write more around how to look after your camp oven as a separate posting.
Patricia and I love cooking in the camp oven. Our bush camp kitchen is memory to many happy occasions and the sharing of food around the campfire is what we love and do best. Read our about page.
Some foods lend themselves naturally to cooking in the camp oven and others require more skill, more finesse.
Can you cook cakes and sponges in a regular oven? No? – well then you may struggle with the camp oven. However, this doesn’t mean that another camp cook, (Yes Patricia – I mean you), doesn’t make it look as easy as slicing butter. Once again, there’s things we need to consider and get a grip on – such as the temperatures of our cooking environment.
Remember your mother telling you not to open the oven door. OMG do you listen? Bang all the heat gone just like that and her rising sponge is no longer rising.
There’s different types of heating methods for your heat source. Heat beads and of course fire. Then there’s different types of wood. All of these contingencies will impact on the end result of your cook up.
As you become more familiar with the fuel you are using your end result will improve. A raging fire is just that – a raging fire, so don’t mistake heat for the veracity and the intensity of the fire.
When cooking (slow cooking) a stew on a conventional stove top, the stew simmers away and the flavours cook into the dish. Put the same stew on a hot, wild heat source and you will end up with a very different result.
The way we flavour our food is varied, it is cultural and it will depend on the availability of what we have. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours – the art of cooking is just that – AN ART. Watch Master Chef and see what they come up with.
There’s flavours that naturally complement each other so start with those first and then expand your own skills and bring in other elements. Look at the tried and proven recipes Patricia and I will post and share and then expand and develop them into something that is both unique and something that has your own signature to that dish.
Disclaimer:- This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
There are no knobs to dial up the temperature, but with some help from us and a bit of, have a go, it can be done.
We (Gidgee Gang) have a large number of recipes to share and they will progressively appear in the recipes section.
Rather than letting us go off on our own tangent and start posting up all of our favourites, we would like you to let us know what recipes you would like to see up there as a priority – will a damper be a, yes please?
Happy Camp Cooking Patricia and Bruce
We know from our involvement in camp oven cooking demonstration around the outback show circuit it is the most frequent question we’re asked. How do you cook a damper?