Damper in a camp oven?

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 17:54
ThreadID: 56671 Views:10231 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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Hi all,
My wife has just bought a Timberlake cast iron camp oven it is largish I think? 9.5 '' x 5'' deep and we want to know what to do when using it for the first time i.e oiling it?. We would like to make damper and cook a roast in it and would like a good recipe for damper to use as we have not used it before. Does it have to be risen off the base when cooking it, do I use baking paper ?. It will be cooked on a open fire so do I completely bury it in the hot coals and for how long ,I really don't have any idea so please forgive me if I'm asking some dumb questions but I just want to get it right ,thanx for taking the time to read this post and I hope to hear from some of you .

Kind Regards J.B.
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Reply By: Member - Roscoe ET (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 18:02

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 18:02
Johnny boy,

This site should answer all your questions.

AnswerID: 298720

Reply By: splits - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 19:28

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 19:28
J. B.

The site Roscoe mentioned is very good but it concentrates on heat beads for heat instead of an open fire.

Any good camping equipment store will have books on camp ovens. I have had a copy of Jack & Reg Absalom's book for years. It is still readily available and contains many good recipes and photos.

If you type the word "camp" into Google along with combinations of words like oven, cooking, festival and recipes, you will find plenty of information.

The words "dutch oven" will get you into many American camp oven sites.

Make sure you check the festivals. There is a big one at Millmerran in Qld later this year. If you can get to it you will see about a dozen teams competing against each other as they cook three full meals each day using a number of different size ovens at the same time.

AnswerID: 298739

Reply By: gypsy gal - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 20:31

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 20:31
Oh Johny Boy
look through the forum under cooking and you are bound to get heaps of camp oven info
you'll need to season the camp oven that is get it hot and then allow to cool and oil it
You can use a cake tin for the damper and place it on a trivett for making damper to keep the oven cleaner .I have a small oven for damper and breads and a large with legs for roasts
Usually you need to preheat the oven and dig a hole with a layer of coals on the bottom and a layer on the top

google damper recipes there is heaps
I usually use 3-4 cups of SR flour
2-3 tblspns of margarine
1-2 teaspoons of sugar for sweet/ pinch of salt for savoury
milk sweet / beer for savoury

combine all dry ingredients
rub butter through dry ingredients
and enough milk to form a soft pliable dough
if too moist sprinkle flour over,if too dry add more milk

the kids like the sweet with added cinnamon and mixed spices and dried fruits, or a mashed banana or two
or the savoury you can add mixed herbs cheese bacon olives whatever you like
Cheers Gypsy gal

AnswerID: 298747

Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 22:16

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 22:16
I could tell you the recipe for damper but you would be better off getting Jack Absolom's book on camp oven cooking as someone above also recommended. Not only does it have damper but also bread, numerous roasts and stews and everything in between.

Highly recommended.

Give the new oven a good coating in vege cooking oil. I think it's best to heat it once before putting food in it to burn off the coating. After each use you need to clean it (don't use detergent) and recoat it with vege oil. It will rust otherwise.

AnswerID: 298775

Follow Up By: Member - Bentaxle - Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 22:32

Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 at 22:32

You will need to condition your oven before use, as roughly descibed by Barnsy. What I did initially and have repeared since is to was the camp oven and lid in hot water and detergent and use a scourer pad to remove the protective coating, dry with teatowel and place oven and lid in a hot oven for approx 1/2hr at ~200deg to dry out moisture, rmove allow to cool and coat with vegtable oil and put back in hot oven for about 1/2hr. After use wash out with hot water, dry next to campfire, recoat with veg. oil when cooled.
May the fleas of a thousand afghan camels infect the crutch of your enemy and may their arms be too short to scratch.

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FollowupID: 564917

Reply By: Johnny boy - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 06:52

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 06:52
Thank you all for your help I will go out and clean heat and reoil it today as Im leaving friday morning and I will try to find the book you guys are recomending Im sure it will make a good investment.
Just one thing whats the diff between a camp oven /acobb cooker and a dream pot????

Regards John.
AnswerID: 298806

Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 08:32

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 08:32
A camp oven is a saucepan that you heat with coals/heatbeads/gas

A Cobb is a mini Weber BBQ (sort off) that uses heatbeads

A Dreampot is a saucepan that fits inside a well insulated outer pot. You part cook the meal in the saucepan then allow the residual heat to continue cooking the food (for many hours because of the insulation)

All have their uses and the same meal comes out quite differently depending on the method.

FollowupID: 564970

Reply By: furph - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 14:28

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 14:28
It is essential that you get rid of the initial rust preventive coating, and heat, combined with some detergen and a good s/s scrubber will do that.
Once nicely cleaned up the "seasoning begins. I usually use olive oil, a good smear over all internal surface then a 1-2hr. heat in a hot oven. An alternative is some fatty bones in a very hot oven, but that can leave a hard residue on the bottom which you have to scrape off.
Repeat a couple of times, them start cooking things, a slow cooked roast beef/lamb/pork etc.
When the cooking is finished, put a couple of litres of water in, heat to boiling (lid on) then let cool overnight.
Empty out, heat some more clean water in it and wipe out with a "soft" scourer.
The idea is to have it clean, but gradually build a nice black patina over the inside.
DO NOT use detergent on your oven. it gets into the pores and you then get an unpleasant taste from it.
The more you use it, the better and more rust resistant the black patina becomes.
When storing, a smear of olive oil keeps it in good nick.
Being in use constantly, I seldom need to do that to mine.
To us, the only way to a decent meal!
AnswerID: 298864

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