Category Archives: Campfire Cooking

Ham and Cheese Scones

Campfire and home oven instructions to follow…

I have a simple scone recipe I use when camping. None of the ingredients needs to be refrigerated. I use self-raising flour, long-life cream and long-life milk, which is super handy if you have limited fridge/esky space.

Near the end of our last camping trip, I noticed I had ham, cheese and some herbs that I needed to use up, so I decided to make ham and cheese scones. I had never cooked them in the camp oven before and was super pleased they turned out as delicious as they did.

As always, Dwayne was in charge of cooking the scones over the fire. I simply told him I would usually cook them at 200C for about 30 minutes and let him work on getting the right temperature over the fire.

Further on, you will find some instructions about cooking scones in a camp oven and some tips on what you need to consider when producing the cooking heat. I hope you enjoy this recipe and be sure to let me know how they turn out.

Our camp kitchen

We cooked these yummy scones on a recent camping trip on Kangaroo Island. We were camped at American River.

Ingredients

3 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1/2 cup chopped ham
1 cup coarsely grated cheese
A pinch of salt
300ml cream
About 75 ml milk

Method

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, add the chives, rosemary, ham, cheese and a pinch of salt, then mix well.

Make a well in the middle of the bowl and add the cream and most of the milk. Mix well add more milk if necessary. The dough should not be too wet and sticky. Do not over mix the dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead a little (do not over-knead). Shape the dough into a ball and then flatten to the shape of your camp oven. Place on a greased piece of baking paper and cut into wedges (you do not need to cut all the way through.

Heat your camp oven over the coals. Carefully lift the dough/scones by the baking paper and place them into the camp oven.

Cook the scones with a little heat under the camp oven and coals on top. Our theory is to cook it from both top and bottom with more heat on top. We hung our camp oven over a small fire. Using a star-drop (as a makeshift tripod), Dwayne was able to lift the camp oven higher to reduce the heat or lower it to increase the heat. We used heat beads on the top of the camp oven because we hadn’t had time to develop many coals and the heat beads hold their heat better, making this ‘brunch’ reasonably quick to make. We checked every 10 minutes until the scones were ready. Again, we adjusted the heat, if needed, when we checked it.

Use a knife to see if the scones are ready. Dig in deep with the tip of a knife; if the knife comes out clean, scones should be ready.

To cook in your home oven.

Place the scones on a greased oven tray and bake at 200C in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

For more instruction on cooking with hot coals.

If you want to cook on coals from a campfire, you need to burn a good amount of wood to create hot coals. It can take an hour or so for your campfire to make enough coals to cook on. Be sure to factor the process of producing the embers into your prep and cooking time. Alternatively, if time or good wood is in short supply, use heat-beads as they heat up quickly and hold their heat well.

The easiest way to cook in a camp oven over hot coals is to lift the coals out of the fire with a long-handled shovel. Select a safe place next to the fire and put a small amount of *coals on the ground. Place the camp oven onto the coals. Get some more coals from the fire to place on top of the oven. Getting the right amount of coals is not always easy. Be aware of cooking the scones too hot and burning them. It will take some experimentation to get the temperature right. Therefore, check the scones after 10 minutes to make sure you are not cooking them too hot or not hot enough.

*you only need a small number of coals under the camp oven or none at all. Too many, and you will burn the bottom of the scones.

Many factors determine the heat of the coals, such as ambient temperature and wind. If it is windy, the coals will cook hotter. Make allowances for wind by reducing the number of coals used.

Like this recipe? Please share with family and friends or pin using the image below… thank you!

Fruit and Nut Damper

Traditional damper, developed by the Aussie stockmen, is made with plain flour and water and typically cooked in the ashes or coals of a campfire. Nowadays, there are hundreds of variations to the original recipe.

I usually make beer damper, just flour and beer. However, on a recent road trip from Darwin to Adelaide, I decided to try something different and threw in a heap of fruit, nuts and cinnamon for a sweet treat.

Chocka-block full of fruit, nuts and seeds, I didn’t bother adding a sweetener. I got Dwayne, who likes things a little sweeter than me, to add his sweetener with honey or jam. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and enjoy my damper with dripping hot butter.

Our Camp Kitchen

I made this yummy fruit and nut damper when camping at Burra Creek Gorge with Dwayne, our friends Kate and Martin, and their dog Boris.

Fruit & Nut Damper – Ingredients

3 cups of self raising flour

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 cup of raisins

1/2 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup of sunflower seeds

About a cup of water

Method

Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon or your hands and shape into a cob shape.

Line the camp oven with grease baking paper or a layer of flour to stop the damper from sticking.

Put the damper in the camp  oven, put the lid on and coat the lid with hot coals.

To cook the damper with hot coals.

If you want to cook on coals from a campfire, you need to burn large logs to create hot coals. It can take an hour or so for your campfire to make enough coals to cook upon. Be sure to factor the process of producing the embers into your prep and cooking time. Alternatively, if you have time limits or a lack of good wood, use heat-beads as they heat up quickly and hold their heat well.

The easiest way to cook in a camp oven over hot coals is to lift the coals out of the fire with a long-handled shovel. Select a safe place next to the fire and put a small amount of *coals on the ground. Place the camp oven onto the coals. Get some more coals from the fire to place on top of the oven. Getting the right amount of coals is not always easy. Be aware of cooking the damper too hot and burning it. It will take some experimentation to get the temperature right. Therefore, check the damper after 10 minutes to make sure you are not cooking it too hot or not hot enough.

*You only need a small number of coals under the camp oven or none at all. Too many, and you will burn the bottom of the damper.

Many factors determine the heat of the coals, such as ambient temperature and wind. If you have wind, the coals will cook hotter. Make allowances for wind by reducing the number of coals used.

The time it takes to cook the damper is directly related to how hot you cook it. It should take approximately 30-40 minutes. You can tell when the damper is cooked by tapping on the top. If it sounds hollow, it is ready. Alternatively, stick a knife in it, and if it comes out clean, it should be ready.

To Serve

Serve with butter, maple syrup, jam and cream, chopped fruit or any other topping you desire.

Like this recipe? Please share or pin using the image below… thank you!

Fruit and Nut Damper cooked on the campfire over hot coals. Full of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and cinnamon. #campfirecooking #fruitandnuts #damper #campcooking

Crumbed Calamari

Camping by the beach was bringing back unforgettable memories from our time in 2004 travelling around Australia. Back then, we were towing a fishing boat and living in a tent. Now we were towing, and living, in a camper trailer and we had a kayak to fish from. We were camped at The Gap on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.

Our very first attempted of fishing from a kayak was a little daunting – for me at least. The water was cold, and I did not relish falling in. There was a little wind, and the water was choppy, and I worried about the balance of the kayak. Probably not the best time for our maiden voyage especially as we had a couple of fishing rods, a crab net and a squid jig on a reel.

We put the net in and then attempted some fishing. After a while, with no luck, we decided we’d better check the crab net. As there was a bit of current, and chop we had to paddle against to keep balance, we had drifted quite some distance from the net. The float, a plastic water bottle, was not very visible. In fact, I am super surprised we even found it. We did, and all we caught was a rock crab. After returning the little crab back to his watery home, we put the squid jig in and soon Dwayne had a hit. Unfortunately, the squid got away. He had three more squid escape before he bagged one. Now a happy little fisherman, he said we could paddle for shore.

Back on shore, Dwayne cleaned the squid and then got the campfire lit and heated the oil. In the meantime, I crumbed the squid rings and made a salad.

Crumbed Calamari

Our Camp Kitchen 

We were camped at The Gap, on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. Read about our stay at The Gap it here.

Crumbed Calamari

Ingredients

2/3 cup of flour
2 cups of bread crumbs
2 eggs, whisked
1 large calamari (squid)
Rice bran oil for deep frying
Salt and pepper

Method

Remove the head, tentacles and wings from the cleaned squid. (You can crumb the tentacles and wings as well). Cut the tube into rings. 

Prepare the crumbing ingredients in three shallow dishes. 1. flour 2. whisked egg 3. breadcrumbs.

Lightly coat a squid ring with the flour. Then dip the squid in egg and then coat well in crumbs. Set it on a plate and repeat with the rest of the squid.

While I crumbed the squid, Dwayne heated the oil over the fire. Once the oil was hot enough (check by testing a small piece of squid), Dwayne fried the squid in three batches.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with a tasty salad and a zesty dressing.

Campfire cooking deeprfrying squid
Campfire cooking
Campfire cooking

Crocodile Burgers

We purchased some crocodile meat from a butcher in Alice Springs with the idea of making a yummy croc burger. Taking into account the delicate flavour of the crocodile meat, I decided that I would baste it with a little honey, soy and ginger, and serve it in a bun with simple salad and avocado.

2020 June 7 East Mac 22

What does crocodile taste like?

People often ask, “what does crocodile taste like”? As I mentioned, the flavour is delicate. It is a little like a cross between chicken and fish. I personally think the texture of crocodile is more like fish than chicken, however a little firmer than fish.

Why eat crocodile meat?

It is high in protein, low in fat and cholesterol. In fact, is has more protein than chicken breast, and is chockablock full of ‘good’ fat Omega-3s.

Other croc facts!

  • Australia saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) was named a protected species in 1974, and commercial farming began in the late 1970s.
  • It is the largest living reptile. Males grow up to 6m (20ft).
  • There are 13 commercial croc farms in Australia.

Our camp kitchen

We cooked these scrumptious crocodile burgers while camped at Ross River Campground in the East MacDonnell Ranges.

Crocodile Burger

Tasty Crocodile Burgers 

Ingredients

500g crocodile tail meat
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tablespoon ginger, grated (or ½ tsp. powdered ginger)
2 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

To serve

4 Hamburger buns
Avocado
Lettuce
Tomato

Crocodile burgers

Method

Combine the first four ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  Grill crocodile over hot coals, basting frequently with soy sauce mixture. 

Alternatively, crocodile can also be browned in a non-stick skillet, then add the soy sauce mixture and simmer 5 to 8 minutes. 

To serve, spread the hamburger buns with mashed avocado. Top with the crocodile meat, lettuce and sliced tomato. 

Bon appetite.

Like this recipe? Please share with friends and family or pin using the image below… thank you!

 

Crocodile Burger

Crocodile burgers

Rustic Camp Oven Soup

This Rustic Soup has to be one of my favourites. It is so tasty and a perfect warmer for a cold, blustery night. However, cold and windy was not the case when I cooked the soup this time. In fact, we were camped at Litchfield National Park in the tropical heat of far north Australia.

Having spent much of the past few years in South East Asia, where getting such produce as smoked ham hock and chorizo is not an easy task, I was yearning for this soup and could wait no longer. Yes, if I had waited until we were further south, I would have found plenty of wintery weather that this soup would have suited perfectly. For example, once we arrived in Alice Springs, the nights were a frosty 2 degrees Celsius! However, the weather did not detract from its yumminess, and I devoured it along with some long-coveted crusty bread.

Australia ham hock bacon chorizo

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked this delicious soup while camped at Florence Falls Camp Ground at Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory.

Waterfall Northern Territory. Australia

Rustic Camp Oven Soup

Ingredients

1 Can of mixed beans
1 Stick celery, roughly chopped
1 Carrot, roughly chopped
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 ½ Tablespoons of olive oil
300g Bacon, chopped
1 Smoked Ham hock
4 Chorizo, sliced (approx 500g)
700g Potatoes, cut into large pieces
Crusty bread to serve

Camp Oven Method

Heat oil in a 9 quart camp oven. Add celery, carrots and garlic, cook stirring for a couple of minutes, until veggies soften.

rustic soup

Add the ham hock and 2-3 litres of water. Hang the camp oven over the fire using a tripod and bring to the boil. Then, to simmer, reduce the heat of the fire – move the fire, i.e. burning wood away from the bottom of the camp oven. Simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hour. Remove hock from the pan and set aside to cool.

campfire cooking in a camp oven

Add beans, bacon, chorizo and onions and cook for another 30 minutes.

Add potatoes to the pan and cook for 10 minutes until they are almost tender.

Remove meat from the hock and chop into bite-size pieces. Add meat to the camp oven and heat for 5 minutes.

Serve with chunks of fresh crusty bread.

rustic soup with ham hock cooking in the camp oven

Like this recipe? Please pin using the image below or share with family and friends… thank you!

campfire cooking in a camp oven ham hock bacon chorizo

Beer Damper

Damper is a traditional Australian bread which is cooked on a campfire. Created initially by Australian stockmen and swagmen who roamed remote areas for prolonged times. These stockmen survived with only basic rations of flour, sugar, tea and whatever meat they could catch.

Why is it called damper?

I was recently told that damper is called damper because it is damper than bread. However, when I googled to see if this was indeed a fact, I found two alternative theories. According to historian James Bonwick, the name derives from the way the fire is “dampened” by covering it with ashes. And the Australian Dictionary Centre claims the name is derived from a Lancashire expression meaning “something that damps the appetite.” Whatever the truth may be, damper is delicious bushtucker that is a must when camping.

A traditional damper is made with plain flour and water and typically cooked in the ashes or coals of a campfire.

Nowadays, damper is more likely cooked in a camp oven and made with all sorts of ingredients including, sugar, milk, butter and beer to name but a few. I love the yeasty taste of beer damper and often make this simple, two-ingredient, damper in our cast iron camp oven over the campfire.

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked this yummy beer damper while camped at Mount Bundy Station near Adelaide River in the Northern Territory.

2020 May 23 Mount Bundy Station 1.1

Ingredients

1 375ml can (or bottle) of beer
3 cups of self-raising flour (works with plain flour also)
Pinch of salt (optional)

Method

Place flour (and salt) in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour warm beer into the centre and mix using a butter knife. Add more flour or beer if needed.

Get your hands in the bowl and make sure the flour and beer are well combined but do not knead. Damper is not kneaded, just mixed and shaped.

Once the dough is shaped, line the base of the camp oven with baking paper and spray with oil, or alternatively sprinkle flour on the bottom to stop the damper sticking.

Beer Damper recipe

To cook the damper with hot coals.

If you want to cook on coals from a campfire, you need to burn large pieces of wood to create hot coals. It can take an hour or so for your campfire to make enough coals to cook on. Be sure to factor the process of producing the embers into your prep and cooking time. Alternatively, if you are limited with time or good wood, use heat-beads as they heat up quickly and hold their heat well.

The easiest way to cook in a camp oven over hot coals is to lift the coals out of the fire with a long-handled shovel. Select a safe place next to the fire and put a small amount of *coals on the ground. Place the camp oven onto the coals. Get some more coals from the fire to place on top of the oven. Getting the right amount of coals is not always easy. Be aware of cooking the damper too hot and burning it. It will take some experimentation to get the temperature right. Therefore, check the damper after 10 minutes to make sure you are not cooking it too hot or not hot enough.

*you only need a small number of coals under the camp oven or none at all. Too many and you will burn the bottom of the damper.

Many factors determine the heat of the coals, such as ambient temperature and wind. If you have wind, the coals will cook hotter. Make allowances for wind by reducing the amount of coals used.

The time it takes to cook the damper is of course, directly related to how hot you cook it. It should take approximately 30-40 minutes. You can tell when the damper is cooked by tapping on the top. If it sounds hollow, it is ready. Alternatively, stick a knife in it, and if it comes out clean, it should be ready.

Serve with butter, maple syrup, jam and cream or any other topping you desire.

campfire cooking in a camp oven

Like this recipe? Please share with family and friends or pin using the image below… thank you!

Beer Damper recipe

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

I don’t know about you, but we definitely have a favourite meal that we like to cook when we are camping, and it is this recipe. I have prepared this meal while camping in the Flinders Ranges, in the sand dunes at Canunda Nation Park, on the beach in Thailand and now at Litchfield in the Northern Territory. The rich red wine gravy and the fall-apart tenderness of the shank meat are to die for. If you make this recipe, let me know in comments what you thought!

Lamb shanks slow cooked in red wine with baked potato

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked these delicious lamb shanks in the Florence Falls Camp Ground at Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory.

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks in Red Wine Gravy

Ingredients

4 – 6 lamb shanks (depending on the size of shanks)
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
250g bacon, diced
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cups red wine
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of lamb or beef stock
2 sprigs rosemary
Coarsely cracked black pepper

Method

Lightly dust the shanks with the flour. Heat oil in a large frying pan and cook shanks for 4 minutes, turning, until browned. Remove shanks and then fry bacon for a few minutes. Add onion, garlic and celery, and sauté until soft, do not over brown.

Transfer shanks, bacon, onion and garlic to the camp oven. Add the red wine, tomatoes, beef stock, rosemary and black pepper.

Cook slowly with hot coals underneath the camp oven as well as on top of the lid for two and a half to three hours, until meat is tender.

To home cook in the oven

If cooking in your home oven, preheat the oven to 160c. Transfer shanks, onion and garlic to a casserole dish. Add celery, red wine, tomatoes, beef stock, black pepper and rosemary. Cook covered in the slow oven for 2 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Keep covered to ensure the shanks do not dry out.

To serve

Serve with baked potatoes and your favourite vegetables. Or mashed potato or parsnip. Also good with polenta!

Like this recipe? Please share or PIN using the images below… thank you!

Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shanks in the camp oven

Camp Oven Eggs in Purgatory

I’m not sure where the term ‘Eggs in Purgatory’ originated. Does it refer to the bubbling red tomato sauce? I’m not sure. However, this recipe is perfect for cooking in the camp oven over a campfire. Perfect for an Aussie bush brunch, this dish is high in protein and super tasty. 

Tomato beans eggs pepper

Camp Oven Eggs in Purgatory

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked our Eggs in Purgatory while camping at Mount Bundy Station at Adelaide River in the Northern Territory.

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon oil
1 Red onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Can of tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs
1/2 – 1 Teaspoon dried, crushed chilli
1/2 Teaspoon beef/veg stock powder
1 Can of mixed beans
4 Eggs
Grated cheese
Cracked black pepper

Method

Heat the camp oven in the campfire* and heat oil. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onion is translucent.

Add the tomatoes, herbs, chilli and stock powder, and cook for a few minutes until tomatoes start to thicken.

Add the beans and cook for a few more minutes.

Crack eggs into the tomato bean mix, and sprinkle with grated cheese and black pepper.

Put the lid on the camp oven. Top the camp oven with hot coals and cook at moderate temperature until eggs are cooked to your liking.

tomato eggs and beans

*Sautéing over the fire in a camp oven can be uncomfortably hot. There are several ways I cook with an open pot, depending on what sort of fireplace we have (e.g. iron fire pit or open fire). One way is to hang your camp oven over the fire with a tripod or, in our case, a star-dropper. Another way is to take a shovel load of coals from the firepit and, in a safe place near the fire, place them on the ground, put your camp oven on top and cook over the coals.

Like this recipe? Please share or PIN using the image below… thank you!

Camp oven cooking on the campfire

Camel ‘Aussie’ Burger

This is the good ole Aussie burger with a twist. Instead of the standard beef mince, that the Aussie burger is known for, I have used camel mince.

Why? Are camels even Australian?

Well, they are as Australian as cows. But no, camels are not native to Australia, but we do have our own particular camel… The Feral Camel.

Australia campfire cooking

There are reportedly over a million feral camels roaming Australia. First introduced to Australia in the 1840s, camels, imported from India and Afghanistan, were used as ‘beasts of burden’ during the exploration and settlement of Australia, especially in arid areas.

Camels were released into the wild after motorised transport replaced the use of camels in the early 20th century. The releases, as well as escaped or stolen camels, resulted in a fast-growing feral population.

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked our camel burgers in the East MacDonnell Ranges at the Ross River Camping Ground in the Northern Territory.

Ingredients

For the patties

500g minced camel
1/2 small brown onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped or crushed
2 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely cracked
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup of fine bread crumbs

For the burger

4 hamburger buns
4 eggs
4 rashers of bacon
4 – 8 slices of tinned beetroot
Sliced tomato
Sliced onion
Pickles
Lettuce
Cheese
Tomato sauce
Dijon mustard
Mayonnaise

Australia campfire cooking

Method

Mix all the “patty” ingredients well, using your hands, until very well blended. Shape into four patties.

Heat your hot-plate (or the lid of your camp oven) until hot and spray with oil. Cook the patties over a small fire or coals until cooked through and browned. Remove the patties and keep warm. Cook the bacon and fry the eggs.

Camel Burger 4

To create the perfect Aussie burger halve the hamburger bun and spread the bottom half with mustard and tomato sauce and spread mayonnaise on the top half. 

Then start to stack you burger ingredients on the bottom half of the hamburger bun. First the meat patty, then the cheese, bacon, onion, tomato, beetroot, pickles and lettuce. Slap the top half of the bun on top and bon appétit or as the Aussie’s say “dig in!”

Like this recipe? Please share or PIN using the images below… thank you!

Aussie Burger recipe camp fire cooking

Campfire cooking Aussie burger recipe

Bacon, Feta and Spinach Quiche

When we left Darwin I had some pastry and feta leftover and wasn’t sure what to use it for. Once I had taken stock of what our esky held I decided to cook quiche. I had never baked quiche in the camp oven before, so I was thrilled that it turned out so well. Very delicious!

Camp Oven quiche

Our Camp Kitchen

We cooked this delicious quiche in the Florence Falls Camp Ground at Litchfield National Park in the Northern Territory.

Waterfall Northern Territory Australia

Ingredients

10 sheets of filo pastry
Baking paper
1 onion, chopped
250g bacon, chopped
8 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
60g feta, chopped into small pieces
60g baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
Grated cheese
Cracked pepper

Method

Prepare the camp oven. *Camp oven should be oiled. With two strips of baking paper line the bottom and sides of the camp oven, this will help get the quiche out when it is ready. Then line the camp oven with pastry going up the sides by 1 or 2 inches. The depth of your quiche will depend on the size of your camp oven. For this recipe, I used a 9-quart camp oven and the quiche was about an inch high.

Saute the bacon and onion in a frypan and set aside.

Whisk the eggs and the milk.

Add the feta, spinach, bacon and onion to the eggs and mix well.

Pour the egg mixture into the prepared quiche base, spread evenly, using a fork. Top with grated cheese and cracked pepper.

2020 May 20 Litchfield 12

Cooking in a camp oven

To bake the quiche, we put a few hot coals or heat beads under the pot (our camp oven has three short legs) and about three times as much on top of the camp oven. Check after 15 minutes to see if you have the right amount of heat. If you think you need a higher temperature, add and few coals (if cooking too hot, remove coals). We cooked ours quite slow, and it took about an hour. We will cook it a little hotter the next time, but thought since it was our first time baking a quiche, to err on the side of caution.

Cooking in your oven – Cook for 35 – 45 minutes at 190 degrees celsius. 

Australia campfire cooking

Note: *We always wash our camp oven when we are finished with it, heat it over the fire to dry and then rub oil into it using a paper towel until well coated – if you do that at the end of every use you will find your camp oven will be ready for use every time you want it and it will not rust.

If you like this recipe please share, or pin using the image below… thank you!

Campfire

Bacon and Feta Quiche recipe