Cooking with coals can be tricky business, especially when it comes to regulating a consistent temperature over a period of time. But with a bit of persistence you can absolutely nail a cracking camp feed, and here are the handy hints and tips that will help you do it...
1. Don’t go too hot too early. You can always add more heat if you think your meal is not cooking enough, but once it’s burnt you can’t go back!
2. For roasting, put a bit of water in the bottom of the camp oven. Not only with it help keep the meat moist and tender, but it allows you to listen out for a slight boil, which can indicate roughly how hot it is in there – a loud boil indicates it’s too hot, while a gentle boil usually means it’s just about right.
3. Position your coals in the right place. For roasting or baking, put most of your coals on the lid (top) to promote better heat circulation, along with a thin layer underneath. For stews you’ll find it works better when the heat comes from the bottom.
4. Where possible, use hardwood for the fire as the coals will generally remain at a higher, more consistent temperature for longer. If this is not possible, dig a whole large enough to fit the camp oven in and basically bury the oven in the coals. You can even line the hole with foil to help retain the heat.
5. When it comes to cooking on hotplates, frypans or skillets it’s always easier to move the equipment/meal either closer or further away from the fire to adjust the heat quickly, rather than try to adjust the fire to suit. That’s where a cooking stand or similar can be worth its weight in gold!
The full feature appeared in Camper Trailer Australia #111 2017. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!