Basic Kitchen Kit
Grab a large, tough plastic box with a lid to store everything in.
Lights! You can’t cook in the dark, so keep a designated head torch in your box just for checking camp ovens and food preparation duties.
Melamine crockery set
Cutlery set in a case or roll up bag
Plastic drinking glasses
Large plastic platter
Containers with lids for left overs
Large, medium and small Ziplock bags
Gladwrap and foil
Camp Oven Gear
Camp oven lifter (a jack handle is a good substitute)
Large camp oven
Small camp oven
Trivets for the camp ovens (a small round cake rake will do)
Cake tins to fit the camp ovens
1 large, deep fry pan
1 flat skillet or grill
1 large pot
1 small pot
1 kettle or billy for boiling water
This is actually a great way to clear out your kitchen cupboard of any extras you have, and an even better reason to recycle your old gear and buy new stuff.
1 large serrated/bread knife
1 large chef’s knife (Wiltshire are good as they have sharpening holders)
1 smaller chef’s knife (see above)
Egg rings (silicon ones are great)
Long- handled egg flip or BBQ slide (metal or heat-proof plastic)
Large metal spoon
Large meat fork
Measuring cups and spoons
Cutting boards (Teflon are great)
Large and small mixing bowl
Hand beater (yes, you can make a Pavlova whilst camping!)
Camp Oven Sercrets
Your camp ovens will be your most important pieces of cooking gear when touring.
They can be used for everything from just boiling up water for a cuppa,
to cooking casseroles, baking bread and even frying.
If your dollar can stretch that far, and you have the room, grab one small and one large camp oven. Go for the best you can afford, as they will last longer than you will … if they’re well looked after. Make sure you also receive a trivet with each purchase (a small, wire rack that keeps your food up off the bottom).
Try to buy the style that has a lip around the edge of the lid, as this helps keep ash and coals out of your food when you lift the top off.
Seasoning Your Camp Oven
Cast iron rusts … and it rusts quickly. A good camp oven will develop a rich, dark coating over repeated use. This not only prevents it from rusting, but also creates a tough, non-stick coating on the inside.
Before you use your camp oven, you will need to season it; and this is not as hard as some people seem to think. The secret is to do it at home before you head off; then you are ready to cook the moment you set up camp.
We have a really quick – and definitely not traditional – way of doing it. This saves a lot of elbow grease.
Simply pop your new camp ovens upside down in your dishwasher – lids off, but included – and run it through a cycle. This removes the protective wax coating.
You do need to be there when the cycle stops though. If you come back an hour later (yes, it happens fast) you’ll find your camp ovens with a light dusting of rust. No dishwasher? Grab a scrubbing brush and some hot soapy water, but rinse very well when you are done. Again, dry them off straight away.
When thoroughly dry, spray the items all over with olive oil or vegetable oil (wipe it on if you don’t have a spray bottle); then put the camp ovens upside-down in your domestic oven, with the lids on a separate shelf.
Turn your oven up to 200 degrees C and leave your camp ovens in there for two hours.
Turn off the oven and leave it closed to cool down (you’ll fill your kitchen with smoke if you open it). Overnight is good.
Pull your camp ovens out, give them a wipe over with a dry cloth, then give them another light coating of oil. Repeat the whole process again and you are done – all without lots of back-breaking work.
Caring For Your Camp Ovens
When you are done cooking, you need to protect the coating you are building up.
Once you have taken the food out, allow your camp oven to cool a little; then slowly start tipping some water into it.
Never just dump cold water straight into a hot camp oven as this can cause it to crack or even shatter. Allow it to cool, fill it half to three-quarters full of water, then place it back over the heat to boil.
Using a wooden spoon or other non-metal utensil, swirl the water around and gently rub off any stubborn pieces of food. You can use a plastic dish brush, but don’t go too hard at it.
Never use detergents, as they will start to break down the coating. Only ever use plain hot water.
Tip out the water and repeat the process again if needed – remember to allow it to cool slightly first, and add the water gradually. I actually do mine over a gas flame and it’s so much easier.
Once you are done cleaning, give the camp oven a really good wipe over to dry it off; then spray or wipe over lightly with some oil. I like to put it back on the coals for 20 minutes at this point – to set the oil and make sure it’s completely dry.
Once done and cooled off, wrap it in an old cloth or canvas bag (you can buy these specifically for camp ovens) and put it away.
This seasoning method and care instructions should be used for all your cast iron cooking gear: Frying pans, skillets and even jaffle irons need to develop a good patina.
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