Camp Oven Cooking

Always get your oven hot before putting any food in it. Don’t be scared to get the lid off for a look, but it is a good practice to take a moment and squat down beside the oven and have a listen. Eventually you will learn to judge the speed your oven is working at by listening even better than you can by having a look.

Cooking by ear is the way to learn because you get to leave the lid on for longer periods of time, which as you can imagine keeps all those lovely flavours where they’re supposed to be, not to mention, heat.

Camp ovens cook with pressure as well as heat and most meals do better cooking slow and longer. The saving grace is that you will probably be camping at the time of cooking and so the ‘near enough’ rule will probably apply.

Residual flavours will linger in your camp oven. The metal is porous and will adopt the flavours that have been given to it. This is one reason camp oven roasts and stews always seem to have that indescribable secret flavour. We always try to throw a roast in our ovens after every couple of stews. This keeps the stored flavour in the oven wall loaded and also keeps a natural oily glaze there to protect the oven surface.

The major exception to this rule is with your breads and dampers. A damper will make an interesting dessert when cooked in a curry-flavoured oven. We have one small oven that we use only for dampers and bread. This just makes certain you don’t end up with unwanted flavours in them.

Ronnie Wilson