Camp Oven Care

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 18:09
ThreadID: 29289 Views:7836 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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G'day all, and a Happy New Year,

I have used camp ovens and know the way to use them, and we were going to buy one, when a relative has given us one which has only been used once.


However despite its lack of use it appears rusty on the surface, and I was wondering what the best way to look after it?

I thought about cleaning up and spraying with heat resistant paint, but then the temps might be a bit high even for that stuff, plus might contaminate food,

Was thinking oil..... possibly a good clean of rust and a liberal coating of cooking oil for storage?

Any advice on this would be great,


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Reply By: bombsquad - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 18:31

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 18:31
I've "washed" both of mine a few times with the angle grinder with a wire brush attatchment and they have come up very well - dont know why all kitchens don't have angle grinders in them! A light spray with an aerosole cooking oil is all that seems to be needed to stop the rust

AnswerID: 146216

Reply By: Pitbull - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 18:35

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 18:35
Well I keep mine simple as I prefer everything to follow the KISS principal (Keep It Simple Stupid).

After a meal I clean the oven out or burn it off which ever I feel is needed at the time and coat with a film of oil, inside and out. By a film I mean I squirt a bit in the bottom of the oven and use a paper towel and wipe all over. So far I have no rust and mine still looks like new.

Mine is a pressed steel, my next one will be a cast Iron just so I can compare the cooking in each and at least then I can cook desert at the same time instead of messing around with one.

AnswerID: 146218

Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 19:30

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 19:30
Can I suggest that you do a search here on this forum?

On the top of the forum page is the Forum search options box. In the 'swtich post view' section, select the 'BOTH' option, type "camp oven cleaning" into the keywords slot, tick all three boxes under that, hit GO and, hey presto, lotsa info.
AnswerID: 146224

Reply By: Ron173 - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 20:42

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 20:42
Thanx for the replies, seems like theres a heap of info here on them.

I had done searches here on other items but never used the 'both' button, wow does that widen the results.

Many thanks,

Enjoy the holiday, (whats left)


AnswerID: 146233

Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:19

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:19

See below compliments of Mitsubishi 4WD club Qld.....

Cast iron camp ovens are fun and a time-proven way to cook a variety of food including breads, roasts, stews and casseroles. Camp ovens come in various sizes and a good one will last a lifetime if cared for. Most camp stores carry good quality ovens but look for one that has a strong handle and a lid with a large lip to hold the coals.

Before using a camp oven and to prevent rust it needs to be "seasoned". The first step with a new cast iron camp oven is to peel off any labels and then wash the oven and lid in warm water only, rinse and dry completely. Grease the oven and lid inside and out with a good grade of olive or vegetable oil. Do not use lard or other animal products as they will spoil and turn rancid. Do not use a spray in coating the oven but rather use oil soaked in a paper towel.

Place the oven upside down on an oven rack with the lid separate and place aluminium foil underneath to catch any excess oil. Bake at 300-350 degree oven heat for at least an hour.

You will probably need to repeat the process for the oven to obtain the desired uniform black patina that provides the non-stick qualities and protects your oven from rust.


Avoid at first acidic foods and water which removes the "seasoning" otherwise you will have to re-season the oven. After cooking remove the lid and do not use the oven as a food storage vessel.

In cleaning the oven NEVER use detergents, they will enter the pores of the oven and you will forever have the lingering taste of soap. Never use a hard wire brush unless you intend to re-season the oven. Simply scrape out the remaining food and clean the oven with hot water and a natural fibre brush and allow to completely dry.

To store your oven, lightly oil all surfaces, place a piece of paper towel inside and store in a dry place with the lid ajar. The seasoning will improve with each use. It's a good idea to make a bag or a box to transport your oven. NEVER pour cold water into a hot oven as it may crack.

Also get hold of THOMMO'S book on camp oven cooking...


AnswerID: 146235

Follow Up By: Ron173 - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 07:33

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 07:33
Thanks muchly!

might print that one out and keep


FollowupID: 399812

Reply By: kesh - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 08:18

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 08:18
Ron. A properly seasoned cast iron oven will develop a black, almost shiny patina of oxide on the surface which if correctly maintained is in itself rust resistant.
But first you should get rid of the rust inside yours, wire brush or emery cloth or both. You are then back to "as new" condition, and the oven has to be broken in as described in these posts.
Remember to keep detergent away from it, for cleaning I usually put a litre or so of water in, bring to boil (lid on) and leave o/nite to cool. Can then be easily wiped clean, dried, and if you feel you need to, a wipe out with a drop of oil (cooking) Too much oil goes rancid, and takes some getting rid of.
Best bush cooking you can ever taste always comes out of the camp oven!
AnswerID: 146284

Follow Up By: Ron173 - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 16:52

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 16:52

I shall follow your advice and break in as new,


FollowupID: 399850

Follow Up By: Ron173 - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 19:10

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 19:10
G'day, phew bit of a hot one today,

anyway after my family boating bit, I got into the oven with a wire brush on a black and decker and for most of it it came up good.

Unfortunately its first use was by a family member who is not real keen on looking after gear, and it was cast aside still dirty.

The wire brush removed most of the rust on outside of lid and it looks good, inside not so...... remains of cooked food etc. so I gave it a good brushing but it didnt come up so good, most of it went but it still had a sticky residue on it.

I tried cleaning further in hot water only as above no detergent, but still sticky, tried wire wool on it but it still had this sticky residue.... so

its on my barbie right now boiling for an hour with water and some salt in it to try and remove it, then I'll let it cool and once clean will do the re season.

Thanks to the advice here its looking good.

While its boiling (lid on) I had a look in and a film of scum was forming in the bubbling, so I'm presuming thats the sticky stuff coming off, which was probably oil gone rancid, as its been lying for bout 2.5yrs uncleaned!!

once again thanks for all the great tips!


FollowupID: 399864

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