Choosing your camp oven

 

The most recognised and traditional camp ovens are the cast iron ones these have been made in various forms since the iron age and many developing countries have their own version as their main piece of cooking equipment.

I have both a cast iron and a steel oven I find they are useful for different things the small cast iron one is great for doing all in the pot stews, soups, small roasts and casseroles either with a bed of coals or right on the stove top.

   Cast iron does however have a couple of draw backs the first being it is heavy, even a reasonably small oven weighs about five kilos empty so it can make having a large one out of the question especially if you want to take it travelling. 

Secondly cast iron will and can break even the most careful packing can sometimes not prevent the iron from fracturing.

 

My steel Hillbilly camp oven is very large which makes it fantastic to bake in everything from breads, cakes, biscuits, muffins, tarts and all other baked goods turn out just as well as if they were cooked in the oven at home.

Blue steel or spun steels advantage is its weight, it is a fraction of a cast iron one and steel will not break so they are more durable and do not need to be treated with as much care.

Cast iron and steel cook differently steel relies on the heat directly from the coals where as cast iron radiates heat from the hot metal.

 Camp oven cooking is a process of trial and error, and at first it may seem there are more errors than success, but don’t give up.

It doesn’t matter what type of camp oven you purchase once you get used to the way it cooks and how to control the temperatures you will be turning out wonderful meals that will not only nourish your body but impress the heck out of your friends.

 

If i could say just two things they would be,

Choose a camp oven with tall sides as it gives more room to keep your food away from direct heat.

And find a camp oven with a decent lip around the edge to prevent coals falling into your carefully prepared food.

Other than that i am afraid the choice is all yours. Good luck.

 

 

Jo Clews' Camp Cooking and Melangata Station Stay

 

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