Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Camp Oven Cooking - Back to Basics

You can't get much more basic than living without power and cooking in a camp oven but that's just what the kids and I, and our good friend Donna just did.  We just got back from camping at Neurum Creek Bush Retreat for a few days which was fantastic.  It didn't start out fantastic as it was raining when we left, raining when we got their, raining when we set up, raining all night and then light rain the next day and eventually the sun came out.  When we were driving there I told the kids "it's just water" like when you're having a shower and it was the only time we could go camping this holiday and we were just going to go anyway.  I didn't actually book it until the day before due to the weather however we made the commitment and off we went.  My friend Donna hasn't been camping in a bush setting before and as we were driving in the rain to our camp she was thinking that we were slightly crazy for doing this.  No one likes camping in the rain and neither do I but we went ahead as it was light rain, but rain nonetheless.  Donna had purchased herself a new tent last year and hadn't had the opportunity to use it yet so she jumped at the chance to come with us camping.

The kids loved starting the fire even though it was spitting with rain and we were wet, but hey, it's all part of life and you can always change into dry clothes later.  I took the camp oven and I had bought a little tripod to put over the fire to hang the camp oven on rather than cook directly on the hot coals as you have more control this way and things don't burn.  Now in saying this, I haven't used the camp oven all that often myself. I've cooked two perfect roast chickens in the camp oven in the last 10 years but hey, I've watched a friend of ours years ago cook wonderful things in his camp oven including lemonade scones and this was one recipe I wanted to try this time.

When I made the scones I didn't end up putting any coals on the top of the camp oven as I didn't have a spade with me and the scones would have been more brown in colour and cooked a little faster if I had.  It didn't matter as we sat around checking on our scones in the light drizzling rain and eventually I called them "done" at which stage we sat at the table with beautiful fluffly scones and put butter and golden syrup on them.  They were warm and fluffly and to die for and were a perfect morning tea both in "activity for the kids to enjoy watching" and "eating warm scones on a rainy morning".  Even though they didn't look like your typical individual scones they were amazing and I was thrilled I had included them on the camping menu.  I measured the flour out at home and put it into a container and bought cream and lemonade with us.  A total success.  As the dough is a really light and soft bundle I basically put the whole thing in the camp oven like a loaf of bread and just used a knife to make some sort of cutting line. When it was cooked I got the whole scone out in one go and we proceeded to cut pieces off where I had marked the lines.

Happy people around a camp fire, I think this time they were roasting marshmallows as Sienna has one on the end of her stick.

My new tripod to hold the camp oven for cooking which I purchased from BCF.

Cooking the scones

Don't be fooled by the looks, these were delicious scones.

Sienna getting stuck into the warm scones with Butter and Golden Syrup.

James eating his scones with Golden Syrup dripping off them.

Mine waiting for me on my plate ready to eat.

That night for dinner I made "Maple Syrup & Soy Drumsticks" and Roasted potato, corn and carrots in the camp oven which was fun.  I used a trivet covered in alfoil then had some baking paper on top of that and then put all the food on top, sprinkled with salt and pepper and then put the lid on.

This time I borrowed the next door neighbours spade from their campsite to put coals on top of the camp oven so it would heat up from underneath and on top.

Sitting around cooking dinner - my style of kitchen complete with cuddles from Sienna.

Donna having a photo in the lovely surrounds of Neurum Creek Bush Retreat complete with our outdoor cooking facilities.

This is the cooked dinner and it smelt and tasted amazing.  There were lots of OMG and YUM and "Oh I wish there was more."  I had popped the chicken drumsticks in a big ziplock bag at home, tipped in some Canadian Maple Syrup and Ketchup Manis (which is Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce) and closed the bag and put it in the cooler box to take camping.  

We enjoyed our chicken and roast veggies by candle light.


  1. Hi Kathy, looks like a great place to camp. I shall pass the info on to my daughter, her boys would love it.
    Can't linger, off to make some scones :)

    Cheers, Karen near Gympie

  2. I have camped there a couple of times before, isn't it great?

  3. That looks amazing. There are very few campsites you can have fires on in the UK but you can wild camp and have fires which is what we usually do.

  4. Hi Kathy...great way to spend time with the kids...mine loved camping when they were growing scones in the camp stove..very impressive !! I bet they smelt fantastic.

  5. Love campfires and campfire treats. You cook a mean camp out dinner Kathy!

  6. Camping in the rain is miserable...except for when it rains at night and you can hear the raindrops on the roof of the tent, I find that really relaxing. I'm actually cracking out the tent myself this weekend for the first camping trip of the year - to the beach and I'm very excited about it. I haven't yet managed the art of camping fire cooking, your's looks fab!

  7. Fabulous that you took the children camping...even in the rain. Also there's nothing better than a camp fire...magic at night . Over Easter Anzac we went away down the coast to the beach in a house but still enjoyed a bonfire one night. No one wanted to move to go to bed:)
    Alexa from Sydney Australia blogging at

  8. We live not farm from NCBR and even though it is close by it still feels like you are away from home. We don't have kids but it really is the best place to take them camping. Such a safe place when they can run around and be kids. Bernarkin state forest is another hour west of there and has very cheap camping as if you are looking for somewhere else to go. We like both of these as we can take our dog and the are not too far away for a quick relaxing weekend