Camp Oven Cooking using BBQ Briquettes
camp oven cooking bbq briquettes


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Camp Oven Cooking using BBQ Briquettes

While it's great to have a camp fire and be able to utilise the coals for cooking, these days that isn't always possible. More and more places where we camp have either banned wood fires, or have restrictions, especially during the summer months. Most national parks we visit either frown on wood fires, or have banned them altogether.

So, how do we still use our camp oven or the like and cook our favourite camp oven recipes when we find ourselves in this predicament.

Easy, use BBQ fuel briquettes, such as Heat Beads®. They work just as well as coals and once you get the hang of them in fact are easier to use and always on handy.

Before using check out what restrictions are in force in the area and what is allowed for cooking purposes. Remember, on a total fire ban day, you can't use BBQ briquettes and the like!!! Stick to the gas stove.

GUIDE to using BBQ Fuel
First, different brands of BBQ briquettes will give off different amounts of heat. Buy good quality BBQ briquettes and not the quick heat type (they won't last or work as well).
As a general rule of thumb you use twice the number of briquettes as the diameter of the camp oven. The quantities given below are for baking in your camp oven at a temperature of approx 180°C (350°F).

Rule of 3:

12" camp oven
On top: 12 + 3 = 15
On bottom: 12 - 3 = 9
Total 24 (double the diameter of the camp oven)
This should generate a temperature of approx 180°C (350°F).

14" camp oven
On top: 14 + 3 = 17
On bottom: 14 - 3 = 11
Total 28

Depending on the type of baking you are doing, most of the heat may need to be generated from the top, or the bottom so you'll need to play around.
Remember if you are roasting then equal quantities of briquettes top and bottom; or stewing, etc, you need most of the heat from the bottom.

You should be able to keep the oven hot at the desired temperature for about 30 to 45 minutes with the first lot of briquettes, but after that if you want to keep the same heat then you'll need to add more briquettes. A handy idea is to have new briquettes beside the burning ones around the oven so they light and continue providing heat as the first lot of briquettes burn out.

And don't forget to rotate your camp oven occasionally during cooking to prevent 'hot spots'

Below are some great recipes to try. They work well in any camp oven type of cooking.

upside down banana pudding Upside Down Banana Pud

An easy and very yummy dessert. Best served warm.

1/2 to 1 cup sultanas (or currants) (more or less depending on how much you like them)
1/4 cup rum
cooking oil spray
6 tblspns golden syrup
3 large bananas - sliced to fit into baking dish
2 1/2 rounded tblspns (75 gm) butter - softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tspn vanilla essence
1 egg
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
1/2 pecans or walnuts - chopped (optional)

upside down banana puddingGet your BBQ briquettes going and preheat your camp oven.
Soak the sultanas in the rum for at least 30 mins to give them a chance to plump up and soak up the rum.
Using a baking dish that fits into your camp oven (a round, deep sided enamel dish works well, line the base with baking.
Evenly lay 2 of the sliced bananas into the bottom of your dish and evenly spoon over the golden syrup.
Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl and mix until the mixture is creamy in colour.
Add the vanilla and egg and combine.
Mash the remaining banana and add - mix in.
Add the flour, nuts and soaked sultanas (along with any remaining rum) and gently fold until combined.
Spoon cake mixture carefully and as evenly as you can over the bananas, trying not to move the bananas. (Best to drop in spoonfuls evenly and then spread out.)
Place the dish on a trivet in your preheated camp oven and bake for approx 45 mins or until cake is cooked. When testing with a skewer, don't go through to the bananas or you will think the cake isn't cooked.
Set aside on a rack for about 10 mins before turning out onto a plate.
Serve warm with a dollop of cream.


cheese bacon damperCheesy, Bacon Damper
2 1/2 cups plain flour
4 tspns baking powder
1 1/2 tblspns butter - cold and cut into small cubes
6 to 8 spring onions - finely chopped
4 rashers bacon - finely chopped
1 cup grated cheese (tasty or whatever you prefer)
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk (or use sour milk or buttermilk)

Get your BBQ briquettes going and preheat your camp oven.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips.
Lightly cook the bacon and onions in a little oil or butter for a few minutes and then mix through the flour/butter mix along with the cheese.
Beat the eggs with the milk and fold into the flour mix.
Gently mix until it forms a soft dough. Form into a ball and place on a trivet in preheated camp oven and bake for approx 45 mins or until cooked. (When taped it will sound hollow when cooked.)
Oven: Bake in a preheated oven 180°C for approx 45 mins.

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