Where can I get a good camp oven???

Submitted: Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 19:53
ThreadID: 5435 Views:8380 Replies:13 FollowUps:10
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I don't get to see the forum every day, and tonight I noticed a post about camp ovens that is now buried in page 4. If you're like me, you don't go much past the ones you looked at last time! I did search the archives, but didn't get the answers I need. So.....
I have an Aussie Swag camper, and tend to use the kitchen most of the time, but we were out with some friends last weekend and had spit roast along with veges in their camp oven - very nice indeed. I now find myself thinking that it would be good to have one for when I can have a fire, because of the great food you can create. Before I go buying a dud, however, request your collective wisdom on:
a. the features essential in a good camp oven,
b. which size is best,
c. who makes good ones (don't tell me about the best one that used to be made but now can't be had!) and
d. likely spots to get one in the Melbourne area. I also wonder whether it's possible to pick up the old good ones in second hand shops?

Thank you in advance!

Russell S.Russell S
Prado RV6
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Reply By: GOB member vic - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 20:53

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 20:53
russell look up hillbilly camping ithink its called they are around ferntree gully selby area my personal opinion they make the best variety of sizes if you have family then go big we have several bits of their equiptment that we buy at the shows but you can buy direct from them they also have a very good cook book for there camp ovens

steve89 nissan looking foward to august and more travelling
AnswerID: 22467

Reply By: desert - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 21:07

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 21:07
Cast Iron camp ovens from most Aussie Disposals. Also the metal Bedourie ovens are useful too. I prefer to cook with the cast iron, cleaning and maintnance easier too. Too bad the mongrels weigh so much!
AnswerID: 22471

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 21:55

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 21:55
have both of these, and agree they are good value..
Club property at easter, there were 12 camp ovens in the fire at Peak hour! only one burnt, and she was the most experienced :-o~
FollowupID: 14825

Reply By: Allyn (Pilbara) - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 22:07

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 22:07
Cast Iron are the best and you can pick up one from any camping store for less than $40 for a 13 litre (best size for roasts).
Furphy make the best as others are made from scrap and will give you hot spots whereas Furphy's will not as they aren't made form scrap. Having siad that I've only just ordered myself a Furphy oven and can't say as I've had any trouble with others.
Best tips:
Heat it and clean it before use as is waxed at factory
Keep it oiled
DO NOT use detergents when washing as oil will be removed

There's quite a few threads on this in the archives that should help also

AnswerID: 22476

Follow Up By: Old Jack - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 10:59

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 10:59
yes have to agree here the furphy I'm using used to belong to my grand farther who has long since past away, look after it & it will last a number of life times. That said I have one of the smaller cheap ovens I us on the stove at home all the time, keeps it "seasoned" ready for use anytime.
as a general guide a 1-2 litres of space per person you are cooking for the other half recons, gives you room to stur the pot! the smaller oven goes inside the bigger oven in a bag, use it to cook small pots of stuff or a small damper while the big oven is stewing :)

FollowupID: 14838

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 22:07

Friday, Jun 13, 2003 at 22:07

2 to start with :)
AnswerID: 22477

Reply By: Fred - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 08:31

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 08:31
CAst iron is the way to go and find one with a lid that overhangs the body - this makes it easy to remove when you have coals and ash on top. You friends did a mighty fine trick doing a spit roast in a camp oven - must have been a mini spit LOL
AnswerID: 22490

Follow Up By: joc45 - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 13:31

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 13:31
Also check that the heavy wire handle doesn't press against the sides of the lid where the handle attaches to the oven. It's a pain trying to lift the lid when it's jammed against the handle. When it finally lurches free, chances are you end up with an oven full of ash from the lid.
I ended up making a new handle which wouldn't clash with the lid.

FollowupID: 14846

Follow Up By: Tony - Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 08:43

Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 08:43
Remove the handle and throw it away, make up two long hooks (tent pegs) with a chain in between, use it to move your oven around unhook when ready. Makes it a lot easier to stow in a crate or tucker bow, also use hooks as billy lifters.

I carry two ovens one for roasts etc and the other for bakeing. Both Furphys, one fits inside the other and lids on top.
FollowupID: 14938

Follow Up By: joc45 - Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 15:33

Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 15:33
While many place their oven in the coals, I hang mine from a spear arrangement, which I can adust up and down, a system which works well for me. As such, I need the handle on all the time.
Made it from some 12x3mm flat iron, bolted a couple of small bits of 25mm angle to each handle flange on the oven body, then bolted the curved flat iron to the bits of angle so it can swing up or down. Bit of stuffing around, but it's transformed the oven, and the lid can be removed with impunity (or a hook, even).
Have had requests to make same for friends now. Best thing is not to show these things off.
FollowupID: 14955

Follow Up By: Member - Russell - Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 20:06

Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 20:06
Good points here. I should have said that the spit was done on a spit my mate has made up using water pipe tripods, wiper motor etc etc. Cheap and easy to make - only real expense was stainless spit shaft. The idea of a baby one inside the oven did cause a small chuckle! I've seen Reg Absalom using and recommending the two long hooks - he says about 2 foot long - with about 10-12 inches of chain in between. Will do that. Gerry, will need a picture to sort your arrangement out!! I do have a spear made of 3/4 mild steel rod with piece of flat welded across at about 8 inches from the bottom. Have one bar with hook at end, a frypan and a hotplate that can all be used from that spike at the edge of the fire - the good thing is that you can adjust height by simply taking the weight off and sliding up and down, and you simply twist around to get out of the heat so you can load, unload, inspect etc without getting singed.Russell S
Prado RV6
FollowupID: 14980

Follow Up By: joc45 - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 23:39

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 23:39
your spear sounds just like mine. 20mm stainless rod, about 1.2 metres (coz that's how long it came!) pointed at one end. Two hangers made of about 8mm dia wire, two turns around the spear, hooks on the end. Grabs the spear nicely, but can be slid up or down by removing the weight.
One hanger has a 10mm dia socket in the end into which a hotplate or mesh grill can be plugged (10mm pin on the base of the hotplate/grill).
All this fits inside the oven, hangers, hotplate/grill, the lot. The spear I slide into some 20mm retic pvc pipe with bungs on each end. This stops the crud on the spear getting over everything.

Re the oven handle, can supply a pic, but not sure how to post it on this site.
Otherwise, email me at gerron@bigpond.net.au
FollowupID: 15071

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 09:12

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 09:12
Does any one know if you can still get the cast alluminium ones ? There was a company in far north NSW that was making them but dont know name or area .
All the best
Eric 02 4294 3496
Pete 07 4094 1745
Cape York Connections
AnswerID: 22492

Reply By: Darian - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 13:42

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 13:42
I use a Bedourie...its great....but the main issue there is to save weight. Because the biggest issue with camp oven cooking is HEAT CONTROL, cast iron is the best (smoothes out the heat variances) if you can accommodate the extra weight. Love the bush - stuck in the city - help.
AnswerID: 22503

Follow Up By: joc45 - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 11:42

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 11:42
If you hang the oven over the fire like I do, I find that some coarse river sand spread over the bottom, plus a trivet, works wonders for moderating the heat up from the bottom when baking bread, etc.
(don't use the river sand if you're cooking a stew, tho, gets a bit gritty)
FollowupID: 14889

Reply By: Jack - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 15:07

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 15:07
My $0.02 worth.
The Hillbilly is a terrific camp oven (spun steel) which I take everywhere, and I have had a cast iron "Furphy" on loan for the last few trips and it is also great .. It (Furphy) hold the heat well and does roast vegies a treat.

Only word of advice is to make sure whatever you get has a "dished" lid so that you can put coals on the top, as most roasing is done from heat at the top.
All the other tips are good as well, as far as the handles go.

Just "lurve" camp roasts.

AnswerID: 22504

Reply By: Member - Russell - Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 20:18

Saturday, Jun 14, 2003 at 20:18
Thanks for the info. I visited a number of places today, and they all only had the cheap Chinese ones, which are probably all I'd ever need. However, I asked everyone about Furphy ovens, since they are apparently much better, but nobody that I could find stocked them - because they were too expensive. I don't mind paying more for an Australian product, especially if it is a lot better. Will probably drive up through Shepparton and get one from the foundry this coming week. Anyone else (from Melb) want one???

Russell S.Russell S
Prado RV6
AnswerID: 22526

Reply By: Member - Errol (WA) - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 13:07

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 13:07
Chepei China ones are all we use . Try to find someone ( or do it yourself ) to bend a piece of 20x3 mm flat bar into a circle , make sure it fits into the oven , then weld it onto the top of the lid ,this will then hold the ash and coals on top . Also find a stainless steel saucepan the right size to go into it , pull the handle off , and you have an insurt for your oven , much easyer to clean .Why go overseas when you can ExplorOz
AnswerID: 22558

Reply By: Member - Des - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 18:57

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 18:57
just as apoint of intrest, furphy have their ovens made at the foundry at Castlemaine. Have been there and see it, and spoken to the bloke who makes them. Been that way for some time now. Still a good jigger, the handles only need one more link put in them where they attach to the handels, this allows the handles to move, and the lid to come away without any drama. Des
AnswerID: 22580

Follow Up By: Member - Russell - Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 19:55

Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 19:55
I have heard various things, from 'they don't make them anymore' to 'they make them somewhere else'. I rang Shepparton today and asked if they still made them there - they said they did, but maybe they meant they made them, but not necessarily in Shep. When I visit on Wednesday, I'll ask to be shown the things being made - that should solve the issue.Russell S
Prado RV6
FollowupID: 14978

Reply By: Member- Rox - Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 21:50

Sunday, Jun 15, 2003 at 21:50
Russell , Mine's a Hillbilly Love the big lid no ash. saw it 12 months b4 I bought it so I wouldnt buy it on impulse at 4wd show and dont regret it. Ps every one get envious when you eat a rost and they are having tind food!!!!!!
My tips
Big lid
Heat beads (last longer)Around Oz 06/2004
AnswerID: 22600

Follow Up By: Member - Russell - Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 19:51

Monday, Jun 16, 2003 at 19:51
I have a Hillbilly item of sorts, but don't know if it's the same as you refer to. Mine is thin steel, and the lid doubles as a frypan if you want to use it separately. the handle fits onto either the pot or the lid. Must admit that I'm not that happy with it as an oven, although that is probably a question of perception and technique. Cast iron seems to be better in many respects, and much more romantic (?!?) than spun steel.Russell S
Prado RV6
FollowupID: 14976

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 13:22

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 13:22

Some good tips above. I have both a small and medium campoven. Gives me flexibility to use one or the other or both. IMHO, much better than having a single large campoven is very heavy and bulky and requires more coals to heat it evenly.

Whatever type you get, definitely get one with a lip on the lid to hold the coals on. I got a small c/o for $2 at a garage sale recently that didn't have a lip but I figured hey its only $2, I can live without. Guess what? I couldn't so now it's in the shed having recently been replaced.

Only other tip is get a natural fibre bannister brush which you can use to brush the coals and ash off the lid. Better than having them in your dinner.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 22784

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