If travelling for at least a couple of weeks in camper vans in Australia, and you are looking to freedom camp, consider purchasing a camp oven (dutch oven) from a local department store. For some, this will be a new experience which will really add to your holiday memories.
- These can be found relatively ‘cheap’ in Australia in department stores at around the AU$40 mark. Stores like ‘Big W’ usually have these in the camping section. Camp ovens do range in price and quality.
- If planning on freedom camping in camper vans in Australia, you’ll find many allow camp fires. If you’ve never cooked your dinner over the fire in a camp oven before, you’ll enjoy this experience
- Can pretty much cook anything in a camp oven that you can cook in your regular oven, with roasts and stews being popular. The lid can be doubled as a fry pan.
Cooking in the Camp Oven when travelling in camper vans in Australia
- Always heat the camp oven in the fire prior to cooking
- If roasting or baking in the camp oven, take a few hot coals from the main fire and place the oven on top of these, and then sprinkle a few more on the lid of the camp oven. Keep adding more hot coals throughout the cooking process
- If you are cooking something that requires more browing, then add a lot more coals to the middle of the lid to provide concentrated heat
- You can even bake a cake, in the camp oven. If you are doing this, place a trivet or cake rack inside the camp oven – these can be found whereever you buy campovens. This allows the heat to circulate around the cake and saves getting a burnt bottom to the cake
Its a great idea, to make lots of hot coals in the fire, prior to starting to cook. The type of wood will also dennote how often more coals need to be added to the camp oven
- While you will need to check your food as it is cooking, try not to excessively lift the lid, as the hot air escapes. Damber or bread should be checked after 20 minutes, and generally a roast every 30 – 40 minutes
Following cooking, after taking the food out, place the camp oven upside down in the fire and the remaining food scraps will burn out. Take care to ensure you do not get any sand or dirt inside the campoven, or you will regret it next time you cook.
Its amazing how many things can be cooked in a camp oven, and while camper vans in Australia do have a full kitchen, for some, travellers prefer this type of cooking; not only for the experience, but prevents the ‘bedroom’ smelling like the dinner you just enjoyed.