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Pilbara Prospecting Supplies Karratha
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Cooking Equipment

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Cooking Equipment

Post by Banjo on Fri 27 Mar 2015, 10:29 am

Ok, so the extent of my cooking on a campfire was to crack a can of chunky soup, boil some rice in a large billy, add both to a bowl and eat, that went on for 5 months Laughing

Now that was nearly 10 years ago and the last time i cracked a can of chunky soup it was like they had invented a new game, spot the chunky bits with most cans now lucky to have two bits of stuff resembling meat.
I will have a fridge this time around so no more sitting there in a pool of my own drewl watching people cooking steaks, i remember this one particular night Leo cooking up a steak, i was sitting there thinking what i would give to have that, well he kindly offered me some and preceded to cut off a very very small piece for me to try Laughing

So i am in the process of buying a few things, i won't be getting to carried away because i will check out what everyone else is up too either on here or whilst camping and go from there, so hit me with your thoughts from camp oven sizes to other stuff you can't do without.
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Wedgetail on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 1:26 pm

Banjo,

Stews are easy-peasy in a camp oven but ya need to return to camp a cuppla times to keep the fire up to it and thereby soften the "stewing steak" and cook the spuds & carrots in the stew. I have a special recipe for "Goldfields Stew" the secret of which will only be revealed by my financial adviser in the event of my demise! But seeing as you're a mate that promised to show me all his patches,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Bear in mind, if you're only cooking stews or curries for one person then a smaller size camp oven is better than a "family size" one. Otherwise you'll be eating stew/curry for three days! Plus, in the heat in the Pilbara the stew/curry in the oven will probably go "off" before you can eat it all - I hate wasting food!

I'll post some pics of a grill that I use. They're easy to make from bit's of scrap and they fold flat for easy carrying. I was thinking of making and selling 'em.

Don't bother with a jaffle iron. Too much messing around and a toasted sarnie done in a fry pan with a bit of butter on the outside is just as good and easier.

Use three of yer old Campbells "Chunky Steak Meal" to make a "billy stand". That saves wood and heats up quicker than putting the billy on the grill - which takes forever! Plus - in the Pilbara again, there's not a lot of dead wood!

Get plenty of crockery and cutlery. Don't do this "SAS" thing buying only one of everything. If you only have "one of everything" you'll be washing up every night ready for the next day. Each was takes water and time. So washing up every few days makes more sense. You're out there to find gold not wash up!! You can do that at Point Sampson fish and chip paub when ya can't pay the bill! BTW - is that place still there?

Use paper plates ON TOP OF ORDINARY PLATES. That saves al lot of washing up and you can soak 'em in diesel and use as firelighters the next day. I do this a lot with paper plates and empty beer cartons!
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Nanjim on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 2:43 pm

Wedgetail
I like that trick with the paper plates and beer cartons .....
Going to use that ....

Cheers Nanjim
Jim

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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Banjo on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 2:57 pm

Lot's of great tips there Les Cool

i will be keeping it simple to start with just burnt steaks/chicken etc but when camped with experienced aficionado's of camp oven cooking like yourself i will sit up and take notice Very Happy

Jo from Qld knocked up this damper one night, never had a proper damper done in a camp oven, it was so good Very Happy


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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by oneday on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 3:10 pm

haven't ventured into baking a loaf of bread in a camp oven but if its any constellation I did get a bread maker for the van..u just cant go past the aroma and the warm crust..with a good dob of butter.

I reckon Les should give us cooking classes.

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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Banjo on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 6:19 pm

Wedgetail wrote:Banjo,

Stews are easy-peasy in a camp oven but ya need to return to camp a cuppla times to keep the fire up to it and thereby soften the "stewing steak" and cook the spuds & carrots in the stew. I have a special recipe for "Goldfields Stew" the secret of which will only be revealed by my financial adviser in the event of my demise! But seeing as you're a mate that promised to show me all his patches,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Bear in mind, if you're only cooking stews or curries for one person then a smaller size camp oven is better than a "family size" one. Otherwise you'll be eating stew/curry for three days! Plus, in the heat in the Pilbara the stew/curry in the oven will probably go "off" before you can eat it all - I hate wasting food!

I'll post some pics of a grill that I use. They're easy to make from bit's of scrap and they fold flat for easy carrying. I was thinking of making and selling 'em.

Don't bother with a jaffle iron. Too much messing around and a toasted sarnie done in a fry pan with a bit of butter on the outside is just as good and easier.

Use three of yer old Campbells "Chunky Steak Meal" to make a "billy stand". That saves wood and heats up quicker than putting the billy on the grill - which takes forever! Plus - in the Pilbara again, there's not a lot of dead wood!

Get plenty of crockery and cutlery. Don't do this "SAS" thing buying only one of everything. If you only have "one of everything" you'll be washing up every night ready for the next day. Each was takes water and time. So washing up every few days makes more sense. You're out there to find gold not wash up!! You can do that at Point Sampson fish and chip paub when ya can't pay the bill! BTW - is that place still there?

Use paper plates ON TOP OF ORDINARY PLATES. That saves al lot of washing up and you can soak 'em in diesel and use as firelighters the next day. I do this a lot with paper plates and empty beer cartons!

Les is there a particular camp oven brand you have found better then others or they are much of a muchness ?

What sizes would you suggest for 2 people but keeping in mind left overs could be refrigerated ?

Also can you run us through the whole seasoning process along with keeping them in good cooking nick ? Iv'e heard you shouldn't wash them in soapy water ?

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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Nanjim on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 6:39 pm

Banjo,

The camp oven we use would be 19 years old I bought from Action in Hedland have used it in the oven and on the stove
The size I would have to run a tape over it put it this way I transport it in a milk crate...
Can fit a good sized leg of lamb and vegs , have done chooks in it and made bread using the bread mix you can buy. there is a good site I think it is called Camp Oven Cooking Australia ...
Lots of info on there....

Cheers Nanjim
Jim

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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Banjo on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 7:18 pm

Cheers Jim, i will check out the website Very Happy
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Wedgetail on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 7:34 pm

Banjo,
Look for a camp oven that has a good fitting lid; some aren't flash. Give the lid a twirl through 360 degrees 'cos some lids fit in one spot but leave a gap in another spot,,,,,,,,,,,and it's this spot that will allow ash to get into yer damper, cake or stew that's cooking under a top covering of coals. Next - make sure the lid has an upward facing lip. some don't , some are flush and once again you can end up letting ash fall on the contents when you take the lid off. The lip retains any ash that you didn’t brush off by using a leafy mulga twig.

Take note of state of the fire in that picture of the damper cook. Flames should only be used when yer cooking vegies in boiling water. If yer cooking meat of any kind always let the wood burn down so there are no flames and there's just a bed of glowing coals in the fire and maybe the odd little flame but no flaring. But look again - she had two good looking logs burning off to one side. These are a good source of “side heat” but their flames don’t get a chance to hit the meat and end up searing it with bad tasting black carbon. Never, never flames,,,,,,,just coals only for meat.
Always keep a good supply of “cooking sticks” – small wood – near the fire for that bit of extra heat when ya need it – without waiting forever to ignite and burn down to coals. Campfire cooking is easy as long you understand the fire.

Best way to cook a chook? Use the spatchcock method over an open fire grill– Google it. It’s quicker, ya can’t bugger it up and it’s easier to season it by rubbing yer spices all over the outside and the inside. Just boil up some vegies in water and packet gravy. Combine that with some spuds almost cooked in boiling water then rolled in hot oil to get “the cheats way to fluffy crispy roast potatoes”. The cheats QUICK way to a roast dinner.

More soon on seasoning – that’s a big topic! Plus my special "Cheese Bread", best with pasta dishes and hot Tomato Soup! As good as Garlic Bread any day - even better I reckon!@!

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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Banjo on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 7:52 pm

Bejeezus Shocked
That will take a while to digest.

i hope you are taking notes Ray lol! coz the heat will be on come dinner time with Les watching your every move Laughing
No more excuses now hahahaha

Good tip on spinning the lid when checking the camp ovens out, coals only for meat duly noted and yes our fires were always huge, i think Mono used to feel the cold Smile
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by monoandnan on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 8:15 pm

No Darren, Nan was the Pyro not me mate. Razz Razz
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Banjo on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 8:18 pm

hahaha, we had some good times around the fire, can't wait to catch up, plenty of stories to tell with all of us having 9 years worth since we last shared a campfire Smile
Just don't bring that Dick Smith guy with his whistle, i nearly fell off my chair in shock Laughing

oh and remember one of my first nights after joining up with you guys at Kurnalpi and we went hunting for fire wood in the dark and i was pulling on that tree as you pushed, snapped like a fresh carrot and here i am laying on the ground pinned by the arm with a tree and bloody Dick is too busy looking for bugs where the trunk snapped instead of helping me up lol!
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Wedgetail on Mon 30 Mar 2015, 12:34 pm

Darren,

Don't tell everyone about this. This is a secret recipe and it's for your eyes only,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Rolling Eyes lol!

How to make Cheesebread:

Use multi-grain bread where possible as the butter/cheese mix seems to stick better.
1. Butter the bread on both sides just as you would for ordinary toast.
2. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese  liberally onto both sides of the buttered bread.
3. Press the cheese into the buttered bread with fork.
4. Get the BBQ plate stinking hot – slight smokiness is preferred.
5. Get a fish slice or steel spatula ready on the side.
6. Place the buttered bread on the hot BBQ plate – DON’T TRY TO MOVE IT!!
7. If you try to move it you’ll smear the melted cheese all over the plate and there’ll be none on the bread.
8. The aim is to get the bread crispy on the outside where the cheese has melted and crisped up. So much so that it doesn’t stick to the plate but lifts off cleanly. This is a judgment call and does    take some experience.
9. When the cheese is crisp quickly slide the spatula under the bread and flip it!
10. Again – once it’s landed on the BBQ plate, don’t move it.
11. When the second side is crisp, remove it to a plate.
12. This cheese bread is best cooked last as it can go soggy when left.
13. Serve with hot tomato soup, pasta dishes, cup-a-soups or Banjo’s Canned Dog Food! affraid

Alternative to Step 2 is to mix togther the butter and the grated Parmesan Cheese and then spread it onto the bread. But remember, that way just creates another small dish that ay hafta wash!

PS - I once tried my dog with a tin of that Campbells Chunky Soup and he wouldn't even look at it! He was amazed at what humans eat!
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Banjo on Mon 30 Mar 2015, 12:45 pm

Ok you lot i hope you aren't peeking Laughing

geez that does sound nice Les, i think even Ray might be able to handle that one Very Happy

yeah no more chunky soup for me, i don't blame your dog............hmmm maybe as an emergency back up or if it's on special only.
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Nanjim on Mon 30 Mar 2015, 12:51 pm

wedgetail,

I am going to give that recipe a burl ....
Thanks for that ....

Cheers Nanjim
Jim

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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by oneday on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 2:18 pm

mate I hate cooking--but I like eating..

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oneday
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by Wedgetail on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 4:51 pm

I may just get up there next year and teach yez all how to cook decent meals on a fire - if ya can find me some wood IN THE PILBARA!

I may even get there this year as the Mrs won't be staying out with me for the whole season. So I can sneak up there without "being seen"!

BTW - Camp cook's cut is 10%,,,,,,,,,off everybody in camp. I take cash, gold, beer & sex. Not too much of the beer at my age though,,,,,,,,,,,, tongue Sex is not a problem as I only watch these days,,,,,,,,,, Sleep
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by oneday on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 5:18 pm

just give me some warning and we'll organise a cooking venue.

some of the guys are going to pass the hat around for some cash for a couple of Viagra pills....that should get u going, just encase we get short of wood for the fire..

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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by boobook on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 6:17 am

Jim mentions "Camp Oven Cooking in Aus."
I have been a member of that group since it started and periodically we have a camp out gathering somewhere..... bit like a prospectors meet.

Our last one was near Lismore, end of March with around 30 people non stop camp oven cooking all weekend. Coupled with the beer & port we are still getting over it.

Some there own up to 20-30 camp ovens, the old ones worth maybe 2-400$ each. Talk about boys with their toys. sunny
Mike
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Re: Cooking Equipment

Post by nightjar on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 6:52 am

Have seen Mike in action around his campfire, he cooks up meals you only dream of in restaurants.
He has no problem with wood, always has a neatly sawn emergency supply neatly stacked on the back of his ute.
One very organised bush cook, probably started in his professional chef days.





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