Camp cooking not only is enjoyable, sociable and saves on gas or power; it creates an ambience that only a wood fire out in the open can offer. Plus it is very simple. Not much different to cooking at home, except you may have the pleasure of collecting firewood in undesirable temperatures whilst anticipating meeting your very first centipede or scorpion in the process. No, in all honesty, it is truly worth it and part of the Australian outback experience.
From billy tea, damper and scones to roasts, stews and casseroles, camp cooking is as diverse as your kitchen at home. Not to mention jaffles, soups, cakes, potato bakes, foil wrapped meals, pickles and chutneys and the good old Aussie barbecuing . . . the list can go on and on. All you need are a few basic tools:
Shovel (for handling your hot coals
Camp oven (cast iron being the most popular)
Jaffle iron (great for putting leftovers between bread)
Barbecue plate (typical Aussie diet of snags, chops, steak, bacon & eggs, etc)
Pot (mashed spuds, pasta, boiled vegetables, rice, etc)
A billy, pot or kettle (gotta have that morning cuppa)
Camp oven irons or hooks
Tongs, barbecue scraper and oven mitts
For camp oven cooking, once you have created a lovely fire in a safe designated area, wait for the timber to burn down into coals.
Place coals aside and put your empty camp oven on the coals. This preheats the camp oven to allow the browning of meat or to prevent dough based meals from sticking such as damper or scones. Place your meal inside and place more coals on the lid.
The trick is to regulate the temperature of your coals to determine the heat of the oven you specifically need. You do this by adding or removing the hot coals.
If the wind is fanning your coals creating a hotspot, dig a hole slightly larger than your camp oven, place the hot coals in the bottom of the hole, and then put your camp oven inside.
Once you have had a couple of attempts, you will find cooking on a camp fire quite enjoyable. And remember it is not limited to camp oven cooking only. There is nothing more rewarding than the aroma of your delicious meal wafting through the camp ground attracting positive comments from fellow grey nomads. Camp cooking is the perfect opportunity to meet people, share a feed and swap recipes.