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Treacodactyl

Out door cooking

For a bit of fun and perhaps to save a little money I'd like to cook some more outside this year. The last few years I've collected free firewood to make a fire with to cook over the embers so don't need to buy any charcoal. This year I'd like to go further.

Firstly I recall seeing people like Kieth Floyd stir-fry over little charcoal stoves and think I can make my own out of an empty 3kg tin.

Secondly I would love to build an clay oven one day but there's no room here and no clay. Anyone have any ideas of how I could make a cheap but usable outdoor oven? IIRC I've seen people bake in a lidded pot over an open fire so that might be worth thinking about.

Any other ideas?
Jonnyboy

gawd, I actually threw away two, old cast iron pots which would have been perfect for that.
cab

Ever done a hungy oven? Dig a hole, fill it with hot coals or charcoal, wrap things up in pans, baskets and for some things wet towels, bury it all, dig it up later.
Treacodactyl

Jonnyboy wrote:
gawd, I actually threw away two, old cast iron pots which would have been perfect for that.


Although I said cheap a good quality Dutch oven might be worth the investment if it'll last of years.
sean

The pots with little legs and a lid? Quite fancy one of them for camping.
Treacodactyl

sean wrote:
The pots with little legs and a lid? Quite fancy one of them for camping.


I'm not sure the exact definition of a Dutch oven, some seem to have legs others don't. I mean a pot with lid that can be suspended over a fire and used as an oven. Some say you can put embers on the lid for more even cooking.

I think I need to do some more digging, if anyone uses something like my description I'd love to hear how you get on with it.
Jamanda

Pots with legs? Like we haven't got enough camping kit!

However - we do have a built in barbecue which doesn't work very well and I wondered if it could be converted into a bread oven.
vegplot

Try making an earth oven, they're great to cook with and can last for years is looked after.
Green Rosie

What about a hay box?
James

vegplot wrote:
Try making an earth oven, they're great to cook with and can last for years is looked after.


Last year I planned to make a field oven thus:

cut the top of a 45 gallon drum and cut a 4 hole in the bottom near the rim. Dig a big hole in the ground, twice as long as the drum and half as deep. Lay the drum down at one end of the hole so the open end of the drum faces the empty portion of the hole and the 4 hole in the barrel is at the top. Squeeze a length of 100mm flexi-duct through the 4 hole, bend upwards and allow around a foot above the barrel. Pile the excavated soil up around the drum, making sure to pack the dirt around the chimney. Then the turfs on top of that. Pack rubble and sand in the base of barrel, then put a concrete paving slab on top.
Ive never used one, but Ive eaten bread cooked in one & its lovely.
Once the fire is lit, you loosely wedge the barrel lid in place with a stick. Then when once the food is in the oven, the lid is firmly put in place with some packed soil.

Also, have a look at this web-site, there are loads of more permanent, less downsizerish field ovens here

http://traditionaloven.com/
dpack

dutchies are ace but too heavey for backpacking
a large metal ammo box (10 surplus shops )will work well as an oven on a fire once the paint burns off
stone / clay are ok if you want to bake all day but take lots of fuel to heat up
if you have a loaf tin and a larger tin to cover it rake half the embers to one side ,put the loaf tin on the emberbed ,cover with the large tin and put the sided embers on top for a well baked loaf .this works well with nesting mess tins or a gilwell set
cooking fires can be very small if well arranged and tended ,hardwood for roasting and baking in tins , stewing ,toast etc ,softwood or best of all birch twigs for boiling
it is possible to deep fry on a cookfire but requires concentration Halo
i am very fond of spit roasting which gives better control than bbq and allows for gravey collection in a drip pan rather than flare on the coals
with a bit of practice and gathering fuel in advance almost any style of cooking works as well if not better on a fire than on a kitchen stove
ray mears bushcraft has some good methods and fire styles that work
practice
contadina

Outdoor cooking is a big part of the culture down here in southern Italy. More often or not an outdoor kitchen will consist of a wood-fired oven plus an area where wood can be lit for both bbqing and boiling. For the later I've seen old tin drums that have been converted (complete with welded on legs) and stone or concrete surfaces that can either have grates attached or tripod stands depending on whats cooking.
sean

Oooh, just remembered. When we were camping in Dorset last year there was another family with a tripod and pulley system for cooking over a fire. It struck me as quite neat at the time.
SallyAB

Well, with African connections - any type of cooking on an open fire constitutes a 'braai', I have cooked in a three legged pot over a fire. Makes delicious stews and my favourite was a lasagne that had a smoky flavour. In reality, we used a small fire, literally a few coals and a few pieces of kindling. Makes a good relaxing afternoon with a good bottle of red wine. Have even made 'bread rolls' on a grid over the coals. I have a recipe book if you'd be interested.
SallyAB

You'll find three legged pots at most 'South African' shops that flourish over here
vegplot

sean wrote:
Oooh, just remembered. When we were camping in Dorset last year there was another family with a tripod and pulley system for cooking over a fire. It struck me as quite neat at the time.


You used to be able to get blacksmith made tripods. These were made of 3 legs held loosly bound one end by a metal ring. You simply crossed the legs and stuck it the ground and hung a pot from it on a chain. You see them on cowboys films.
sean

This one had a grid suspended from it, though I could see you using it for the pot thing too.
Treacodactyl

Thanks for all the ideas and please keep them coming. I don't think I'll go down the earth oven route while we're here as I don't want anything too permanent or something that'll worry the neighbours. Something that can use a smallish fire and can be moved or put away if required.

I've got plenty of ideas along the lines of camping/bushcraft, such as butterflying out a fish and using a few pieces of wood to keep it flat while cooking but the side of a fire, if I use oak then it should have a really good flavour.
vegplot

Something like this perhaps?

http://www.firepit-and-grilling-guru.com/campfire-tripod.html
Blue Sky

Jamanda wrote:
Pots with legs? Like we haven't got enough camping kit!


Know what you mean. Laughing
tahir

Anybody hankeruing after a brick oven like Jamies (in his new series)? I am.
shadiya

Haven't seen the series as I don't have tv but I can recommend a book by Tom Jaine called, not altogether surprisingly, 'Building a woodfired oven for bread and pizza'. I haven't built one yet though am halfway through a small clay oven but it gives very detailed instructionsand is made of brick. He reckons his cost about 500. Otherwise, Kiko Denzer's 'Build your own earth oven' is very good and what I am using as an instruction manual for mine. I even managed to get the kids to help and they're teenagers! Very Happy
Slim

I like the minimalist route when cooking outside for fun. Get a good bed of embers and then just toss on a couple onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob (with the husk on of course), etc... Cover up with some more embers and let 'em stew in their own juices. Rake them out, peel off the outer layer/s and find the tastiest veg.... Very Happy

As for cooking in a pot, modern woodburning science has yet to really surpass the fuel efficiency of a three stone fire. Just a wee little fire (I like to grab some hot embers from a campfire) built between three largish stones. The sticks you're using for fuel go between the stones and you can push them in, or pull them out to change how fast/hot they're burning. Just rest the pot right on top of the stones.
Went

tahir wrote:
Anybody hankeruing after a brick oven like Jamies (in his new series)? I am.


A few plans on here if you follow some of the links Smile

http://heatkit.com/html/bakeoven.htm
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