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Camp oven cooking – without a camp fire!

This week, Australia’s leading camp oven cook and author Derek Bullock, shares his tips on camp oven cooking…

For many years I have been advocating using Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes as a source of fuel when cooking with camp ovens and have tried and tested it extensively.

If you are a Grey Nomad or just someone who spends a lot of time in a caravan park and loves cooking in a camp oven here are some tips and ideas so you can enjoy your favourite dishes.

You will need a few things other than your camp ovens and cooking equipment. Get yourself an old electric frying pan, some sort of wind shield, a Heat Beads® BBQ Starter and a bag of Heat Beads® Briquettes.

The electric frying pan is used to hold the coals. It can be used on the grass, concrete or a table. I lived in a small unit for quite some time and only had a glass top table on the balcony to cook on. I regularly cooked on this table with the camp oven and an electric frying pan. Electric frying pans have legs that hold them high enough above a surface so that heat does not penetrate to damage it.

My frying pan is an old circular one. It will hold a 12 inch cast iron camp oven although I regularly use a 10 inch one as I only cook for two. The camp oven used in these recipes is a 10 inch deep Lodge camp oven. I have an older style smaller Heat Beads® BBQ Starter that packs well in the car. The wind shield is from Southern Metal Spinners, makers of the Bedourie camp oven.

I use enough briquettes to completely cover the base of the camp oven. Using this method I find I can get up to two hours of cooking. I also place a few briquettes on the lid of the oven as this keeps an all round heat in the camp oven similar to cooking a casserole in the oven at home.

It is winter, so stews and curries are on the Bullock menu. These also are simple meals to prepare in a camp oven.

I always use Patak’s Curry Pastes for my curries. When you are travelling it is much easier to have all the curry ingredients in the one jar rather than carrying up to a dozen packs of herbs and spices.

To demonstrate how easy this method of cooking is, check out my recipes below (includes photos):
Derek’s Own Camp Oven Stew BBQ Recipe
Camp Oven Korma BBQ Recipe
Camp Oven Chicken Vindaloo BBQ Recipe

For other great camp oven recipes and ideas, visit www.aussiecampovencook.com.
– Derek Bullock