The Ultimate Beginner Guide to Camp Ovens
Author: Christie Smith
Whether you are looking to purchase your first camp oven or are a new owner, there are a few things you need to know and consider before diving into campfire cooking. From how to choose the right sized oven for you to cleaning, storing and firepit positioning, we’ve covered all the bases to help make your first experience a successful one.
When choosing a camp oven, consider how many people you are feeding. The 9 quart will fit a leg of lamb nicely where the 12 Quart is a great size when cooking stews or meals for larger groups. *Tip: Camp Ovens are usually sold according to their volume, measured in old scale of quarts. Here is a quick guide to help narrow down the right size for you.
Camp Oven Sizes & Capacities
2 Quart = 1.8L (8 cups)
4.5 Quart = 4.2L (18 cups)
9 Quart = 8.5L (36 cups)
10 Quart = 9.4L (40 cups)
12 Quart = 11.5L (48 cups)
PUT A LID ON IT
Most of our camp ovens come with flanged lids which is what you want. This design allows heat beads or coals to sit on the lid which creates an even temperature control. The lip will also stop ash getting inside when you lift the lid.
Once you have purchased your camp oven, be sure to season it properly for protection and to ensure quality of flavour. To find out how to season your camp oven click here.
A common misconception with new campfire cooks is the hottest part of the fire is the flames. To avoid burning the outside of your meal and leaving the inside raw, you want consistent heat. Let your fire burn down to the white-hot coals then pile them together on one side of the pit to create a designated cooking area. This gives you great cooking coals as well as a roaring fire. Refer to Coal Chart for cooking placement.
Note: Coals burn down approximately every 30-45 minutes depending on wind conditions. Always make sure to have fresh coals ready if you’re doing a long cook.
Unlike other cookware, your camp oven doesn’t need an extensive clean after each use. A quick soak and wipe out at the campsite will usually do the trick! Here’s how we wash ours…
1. Half fill camp oven with water and boil over fire
This should help loosen any food. To remove stubborn bits, use a pair of tongs and a cleaning cloth or (very) light scourer and scrub around the oven.
2. Tip dirty water out and wipe clean
Repeat step 1 if need be.
After each clean it is recommended you reason your oven. Coat with oil and place over hot coals or fire. Remove when hot (doesn’t need to be smoking). Once cooled, wipe any access oil.
Storing your camp oven correctly after use will help extend the longevity. After cleaning your camp oven, lightly coat the cooker in oil using paper towel to cover all areas. This will prevent rusting. Next, you’ll want to secure the lid (an Ocky Strap or belt will usually do the trick!) to avoid potential chipping or cracking during transport. Store your camp oven in a canvas or polyester bag.