Camp Cooking

This is not about recipes, there are plenty of books about these already. This is more about the type of cooking and living we enjoy. Whilst we have a stove in our caravan we rarely use it. We cook and live outside (weather permitting).

Our first preference is to cook over an open fire.  There is just something about the taste of food cooked over a fire and it is so much more social, so here are a few tips:

  • Some camping store cooking equipment is flimsy and not well made. There is a terrific range of tough practical cooking gear made by Hillbilly Camping;
  • Carry firelighters, they make starting a fire much easier;
  • Make sure you have aluminium foil for cooking potatoes in their jackets and such things as fish in the coals;
  • A wok makes a very good one pot cooker for open fire or stove;
  • For getting firewood a bowsaw is invaluable;
  • Do not expect to find firewood at popular camping spots, carry it with you;
  • Carry a jaffle iron, they are great for breakfast or a quick supper;
  • There are a range of rice, noodles and pasta pre cooked in packets. Just add to an already cooked dish. Very convenient;
  • A collapsible outside table is a must. Just make sure it is stable.

Outside cooking

We carry a Coleman pressure stove that runs on shellite. This is set up outside on our collapsible table and if we do not have a fire we cook on this. Our awning provides shelter from the sun or rain whilst cooking. Whilst I find the Coleman more convenient than gas, as we do not have to worry about connecting up a gas bottle, other people may prefer a gas stove.

When circumstances allow we may cook in a camp oven. For this you need coals so will need to start your fire early to allow for sufficient hot coals to cook on. Do not make the beginners mistake of trying to use a camp oven directly on the fire. Move a bed of coals about a metre from the fire, put the camp oven on this and then put more coals on top of the oven. If your oven doesn’t have a lip to retain coals on top get one that does. You will need a hook to move the oven and open the lid. A long handled shovel makes moving hot coals easy. It is possible to cook a roast in a camp oven over a gas fire but you need a trivet in the oven to stop the bottom burning.

Kangaroo shanks straight from the camp oven

Some people carry fire pots, and these can be of all shape and sizes. Generally they are more difficult to cook on than an open fire but you can cook a meal using a very small amount of wood. One of the best fire pots commercially made is called an Oz Pig.

Other travellers make use of a thermal cooking pot, there are several makes on the market. With these the meal is partially cooked (normally of a morning) then placed in a sealed and insulated container for the remainder of the cooking time.  During the course of the day the meal continues cooking ready to be enjoyed that evening.  The Dream-Pot is one such device.

Eco kettle at work

We wouldn’t leave home without our eco kettle from Hillbilly Camping. This great device makes having a cuppa a breeze. There are two cones inside the kettle one holds the water, the other a fire. You simply fill the kettle with the amount of water required, stand it over a lit firelighter and drop a few small sticks through the centre hole. You can always find enough twigs to boil this billy, even a handful of spinifex will do. Boiling is very quick and you are left with almost no fire to put out.




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