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Camp Cooking

Camp Oven Tripod



Camp oven cooking is part of Australian outback history. Over the ages shearers, drovers and bushmen have used the camp oven.

There are various ways and means to feed yourself and the family when camping and part of the enjoyment of these trips is to sit around a campfire at night and cook up a nourishing meal.  From simple methods such as wrapping potatoes in alfoil and placing amongst the coals, jaffle irons and the old fry pan or hotplate to camp ovens, camp smokers and LPG barbeques. 

What better to do it in than in a camp oven.

A look around your local camping store, BCF (Boat Camping & Fishing) store or web sites such as Aussie Disposals will usually provide a good variety of items available.

Camp Ovens / Dutch Ovens

What is a camp oven?

A definition of a camp oven is a metal pot with a heavy lid, used for baking over an open fire; Australian equivalent of the dutch oven.

Camp ovens can be made from cast iron or spun carbon steel.  They come in various sizes such as 10 inch, 12 inch, 16 inch etc or are measured in volume capacity such as 7.5 litre, 12 litre or 4.5 quart, 6 quart, 9 quart etc . 

The shapes can be round or oval.  Some camp ovens have a flat lid surface suitable for placing hot coals for the cooking process.

Some brand names for camp ovens are Bedouri, Coleman, Camp Chef, Furphy and Hillbillyís BushKing and BushRanger.

Camp Oven

Camp Oven Cookers

Hillbilly Camping Gear also have a range of gas conversion kits for their spun black steel camp ovens.  The option for LPG gas would be of benefit where no fires are allowed due to extreme fire danger or if wood is not available.

Preparing Your Cast Iron Camp Oven

A camp oven must be seasoned before it is used. Being of cast iron, this material is porous, and the inside of the oven has to be treated to seal the surface.

Camp Oven Lid Lifter


Camp Oven - Gas Converted

Peel off any labels, fill it with water and slowly heat but do not let it boil. 
Wash it in warm water (no detergent), rinse and then dry
With a soft cloth or paper towel smear cooking oil (eg: olive oil) outside and inside of the camp oven as well as the lid
Repeat rubbing the oil in say 3-4 times a day for 2 days

Turn on your home oven appliance to very hot (say 250 deg C), place the lid and the camp oven upside down in the oven and bake for about 1 hour.  You may want to place some alfoil under it to prevent any oil dripping onto the bottom of the oven. Repeat applying oil to the surface during this time but be careful not to burn yourself as the oven will be extremely hot.  Donít be surprised if there is smoke when you open the oven door.  A protective coating should form on the camp oven as the oil glazes on the surface.

After using the camp oven and prior to storage give it a wash. Donít use cold water as this may cause it to crack and avoid using detergents. It is always a good idea to wipe more cooking oil to its surface before storage as this will prevent rust. A good camp oven bag or box would be ideal to store it.








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