Going out on your next adventure doesn’t mean that you have to live off 2 minute noodles or cans of baked beans. With a little thought and taking some basic ingredients with you can have you whipping up some amazing gastronomic delights in no time. Jo Clews, self proclaimed Camp Oven Queen and resident Western 4W Driver Culinary Cuisine Champion, shares some of her favourite recipes with us.
Investing in some good quality cookware will mean that you have it for a lifetime. Other than being used on a conduction cooktop, stainless steel and cast-iron products are extremely versatile and will most likely outlast you.
Having a good quality frypan that is at home either on a gas stove or cooking on the coals is invaluable for putting together a great meal.
We use and recommend the Australian made Hillbilly Loop Handle 330mm Frypan.
For smaller cook ups or wetter ingredients we also carry the Hillbilly Omelette Frypan. The folding handle makes is easy to store inside the larger frypan.
There are plenty of choice out there for camp ovens. We have chosen the Hillbilly Bushranger Camp Kit, which comprises a large camp oven, extension ring, vegetable ring and some other accessories.
Having a good cast iron camp oven will round out your tool kit nicely, giving you added flexibility when cooking up a feat for your hungry crew.
Some think it is cheating but we think it just makes sense. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a lot of charcoal or heat beads (or coals from the fire) to cook a meal. A small pile underneath the camp oven (which is sitting on a trivet) and a single line around the outside edge of the oven’s lid is usually all it takes.
These are cheap and the cylinders, although disposable, can be sourced from just about anywhere. With no bulky gas bottle to deal with they are ideal for setting up in a wide variety of locations.
Fire cooking, surprisingly, involves metal getting very hot. Having a good pair of heavy welding gloves is essential to prevent you from doing yourself some serious damage.
Heavy duty, the longer the better. Can be used not only for adjusting sizzling meat on the hot plate but also for repositioning wayward burning logs or to strategically place charcoal or heat beads.
Big enough to hold your camp oven, the stand should give you enough clearance to put some hot coals, charcoal or heat beads underneath the camp oven, without touching it.
If you want to burn everything in your camp oven to a cinder then place it directly on a pile of hot coals. If you want to be able to eat the food then use a trivet. Smaller trivets can be used inside the larger camp ovens as well to produce a much better cooking experience.
The cool thing about the old-school enamel plates is that not only do they make great plates (who would have thought) but they can also be used for cooking yummy meals in the camp oven … *mind blown*
Melamine is great but tend to sag a little after a stint in the camp oven. They also break after being dropped a few times.
You can pick these up in a supermarkets or cash and carry. They are the perfect size for cooking some sausage rolls in the camp oven and being light-weight you won’t even know they have been stashed in the camp oven.
A couple of these can be handy for whipping up a bread or even a cake. There is nothing wrong with having some packet cake mix in the tucker box and putting together a nice chocolate cake for morning tea.
Sweet potato is a very versatile root vegetable and travels exceptionally well.
Don’t be concerned if the crisps are a little flaccid when first removed from the oil. They will crisp up as they cool.
Another yummy treat using sweet potato.
Don’t be concerned if the chips are a little placid when first removed from the oil. They will crisp up as they cool.
Here is more evidence that bacon goes with everything.
This recipe will take approximately 45 minutes to prep and cook. It serves two.
Serve either on its own or as a side dish to some steak or salad.
You would be extremely hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good pie, especially a chicken pie.
Makes 6 individual pies.
The hardest thing you will find with these pies is waiting long enough to eat them without scalding the roof of your mouth.
Tip. Any pie filling needs to be extremely thick so it doesn’t ooze out the pastry and deliver third degree burns to the consumer’s face when one bites into it.
Tip. Pie making is quite addictive and delicious so here are a few more of my favourite combinations – satay chicken, lamb and pea, cheese and vegetable, pepper steak, all of which can be found within the pages of the only camp oven cook book you will ever need.
Tip. A BBQ temperature gauge is how you tell how hot it is inside your camp oven. You can also use a piece of white paper. If after 5 minutes the paper is golden brown then the camp oven is ready. No colour or black/falling apart may indicate you need
Quick and easy, surprise your mates with this golden, hot and cheesy classic.
A great recipe that the kids can make while you are busy cooking dinner
Adult version – 1⁄4 cup Baileys or cream based liquor
Tip. Very cold Devondale UHT cream can be whipped if you don’t have fresh cream.
Tip. Most other biscuits can be substituted for the Oreos (eg. Tim Tams, Choc Mint or any other chocolate coated biscuits as well as plain Choc Ripple or Gingernuts).
Tip. Decorate with some extra whipped cream, grated chocolate and a cherry or some fresh berries like strawberries, blueberries or raspberries or even a spot or two of jam if you don’t have fresh fruit.
Tip. Instead of crushed biscuits, layers of fresh berries like raspberries and blueberries make a nice alternative.
These. Donuts. Rock.
Tip. How to determine oil temperature? Drop a small piece of the dough into the hot oil and if it floats as soon as it hits the bottom of the pot the oil is ready. Be sure to keep the gas on low so the oil doesn’t get too hot and burn the donuts.
Tip. Long donuts can be made by turning the piece of dough into a log and cooking the same as above. These can be sliced through the middle and filled with jam and cream.
Tip. Donut balls can be made simply by breaking off a smaller than golf ball size piece of dough and rolling into a ball and cooking the same as above.
Tip. Jam (without any chunks or seeds) or Nutella can be forced into the centre of the donut ball by using an old squeezy sauce bottle filled with slightly warm filling and the nozzle gently pushed into the donut and squeezed until it just starts coming back out the hole.
Can’t talk. Eating.
Tip. Other fruit combinations can be substituted eg. apricot, apple and blueberry, apple and custard.
Tip. Pie can be cooked in a home oven at 180°C.
Tip. Ingredients can be divided into four portions and made into individual pies.
Tip. Any left over pastry can be rolled out flat and cut into shapes to make a lovely sweet biscuit to have with coffee.