cant decide on cooking equipment

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:18
ThreadID: 68187 Views:4532 Replies:11 FollowUps:10
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My partner and I are heading from melbourne to the cape mid june this year and I am preparing all the cooking equipment that we will need.
I cannot decide between the cobb oven, a camp oven and the auspit, I am thinking that i will take both a camp oven and the auspit as I havent heard much good feedback about the cobb.
I dont want to take equipment I wont use and ofcourse we have to watch weight too.
We will have a gas stove for when we cant light a fire. I have read some of Viv Moon's books and she details the pro's and con's of each but has anyone got any other ideas or advice?

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Reply By: Member - Uncle (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:31

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:31
we had the same decision last year before our 10 mth trip. We ended up taking a 10inch furphy oven,(seeing as though we would have fires quite often) and a fold up bbq plate for the fire and also a Coleman fold up oven. We decided to leave the Cobb at home on that trip.

AnswerID: 361413

Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:48

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:48

How well does that fold up Coleman thingy work?

I've been considering one for ages but about $80 for a bit of pressed tin seems a bit tasty. But if they are the goods, I'll part with the readies.



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Follow Up By: Member - Julie B (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:55

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:55
Thanks Unc,

I have heard good things about the furphy camp oven, and I think I will end up with this one.
I am not a good cook anyway so lots of baked beans might be the go....

I will have a look at the coleman too.

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Follow Up By: Member - Megan and Kevin D (AC - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 11:05

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 11:05
Re the Coleman oven. We've taken one on long trips because it is so light and folds up so small but only used it a few times. It was good for half loaves of bread and packet muffins. We know other people who did roasts in it but I didn't want to have to clean an oven! I don't know that it would get dirty from a roast - am only guessing.

Needs a big gas burner because it's too big to sit on other gas stoves. Don't forget a wind guard for the burner is needed also. It can't be used on a wood fire - a Dutch oven might be a better option despite its weight.

Because it is thin metal it needs a lot of gas to keep it warm . It doesn't spread heat evenly and so it is easy to burn your bread etc.

We probably won't ever take it again because we're hoping we'll get more flexibility from the Cobb.

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Follow Up By: Member - Uncle (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 11:08

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 11:08
Jodie does most of the cooking and she loves it! We have used it on top of a $20 gas stove and also on the Lido that was in the CT. For best results I reckon it would work even better on one of those roung gas rings with a windsheild around it. We have cooked some very nice scones and potato bake in it as well.
Best thing we liked was it folded up to store easy.

cheers Unc
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Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:20

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:20
Unc and Megan,

Thanks for the feedback.



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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 20:19

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 20:19
Julie I also had my heart set on a Furphy also.
Went through Shepparton were the Furphy foundry is located and I the place were I thought the ovens were manufactured like they had been for many many years.
Looked at the stock and they looked different?? Not the quality that I always associated with Furphy so I asked the question, Are these ovens still made her in Australia?

The girl looked very sheepish and said well actually we get them made in China now.
Thanks but no thanks says me, I was prepared to pay the premium price for a dinky die Aussie made one but not for a Chinese one with Furphy on the lid when I could get a Chinese one for about a hundred plus dollars less at Ray's etc.

Bought a Bedourie and happier for it as its so much lighter and virtually unbreakable.

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Reply By: Member - Megan and Kevin D (AC - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:50

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:50
Hello Jules
We're planning for a Canberra to CSR trip this year and decided to re-think our cooking equipment as we're not taking our camper trailer. After a bit of thought, we bought a Cobb, the Cobb teflon frying pan and the Cobb wok. We also bought a 4qt Dutch oven (camp oven) which fits inside the Cobb with the Cobb lid on. (We needed to angle grind a tiny bit from the lugs to get the Cobb lid over the whole lot nicely.)

We've been practicing cooking our dinner on it here at home most nights. So far we're impressed. We'll be supplementing it with two $20 gas canister stoves. We realise we'll have to sleep with our canisters to keep them warm enough to use first thing in the morning.

So all that means that we are not taking gas cylinders (weight and awkward to pack), nor the Coleman collapsible oven (it lacks flexibility), and we can cook without needing to use timber - although we will do so at times using the camp oven.

Hope that helps.
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Follow Up By: Member - Julie B (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:59

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 10:59
hi Megan and Kevin,

I have heard that the cobb takes some time to heat up and get going? Proberbly no more than a camp fire though.
Practicing before I go is a very good idea. Is this your first time using the cobb?
You've given me something to think about anyway.

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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 22:22

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 22:22
What about using a Coleman dual fuel stove? Don't have to worry about sleeping with gas bottles, and it runs on ULP or shellite (coleman fuel)

I use one all the time when camping, from mid winter in Glenn Innes, to just after Christmas at Undara, and it hasn't let me down yet.

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Reply By: didiaust - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 11:11

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 11:11
Hi Julie

I have had many a meal out of alfoil on the coals. You can place almost any variety of vegies in foil spray with cooking spray or add a little butter. Double wrap your individual parcels in foil and cook on coals turning occasionally . Can also cook various meats that way too. Drum sticks, shanks are particularily nice but the snag is OK too.

Have a great trip and my biggest hint is convince the "other" half that he is a great campfire cook and guess what you wont be able to drag him away from the "fun".

AnswerID: 361418

Reply By: troopyman - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:45

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 12:45
A couple of jaffle irons are mandatory . Bacon and an egg toasted in the jaffle iron in the morning . yum yum .
AnswerID: 361428

Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 14:36

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 14:36

You choice of cooking gear will also depend on considerations like -

What do you prefer to eat while you are camping - BBQs, roasts, heated up preprepared meals, something out of a tin etc?

How do you travel - do you stop mid afternoon so you can get a fire or heat beads going, or do you prefer to drive until after dark, in which case a gas stove might be better?

How long will you go between trips to the supermarket? If you have a big gap between shops you will most likely be using different types of food (dried, basic veges, cans etc), but if you can stock up every few days more fresh stuff is possible for things like stir fries.

How much space do you have?

FWIW we use a gas stove for heating water, cooking veges, rice pasta. We use a cast iron frying pan for meat. When we are able to have a (small cooking) fire we use a small folding BBQ for meat and eggs and occasionally a camp oven for bread/damper, roast or stew.

A jaffle iron and a toasting fork adds variety.

Hope that helps, cheers,


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AnswerID: 361437

Reply By: CJ - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 14:56

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 14:56
We (specially the teen boys) love a campfire so we cook on the coals and in the campoven. We also take the cobb along when we can as backup when there is no firewood.

We never used the cobb much until one camp when it rained a lot, and no firewood was available, We would have been lost without the cobb. It was so easy - light the brickettes and 30 mins later with no attention it is ready for bread, roasts, you name it.

Yes, in answer to an earlier question, it takes a little time but no more than a fire. BUT it is hassle free, and needs no attention, and you can have it at your table or in your camp
AnswerID: 361445

Reply By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 17:30

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 17:30
Hi Julie,
Have you thought about a dream pot. We like this because you can cook your meal while you are away from camp. Spend the whole day away and get home at tea time and it is already cooked. We have done roasts, bread, cakes ,stews, pretty much what ever.
We also have a Hillbilly camfire set and it is great. We did have camp ovens but they are very heavy. The Hillbilly camp oven is light and cooks a great roast. On the open fire you don't need as many coals to get it hot as you do for the old dutch ovens. Hillbilly have a bbq plate, fry pans, wok and billy hangers so ever kind of meal is covered. Has worked great for us.

AnswerID: 361481

Reply By: Holden4th - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 17:57

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 17:57
When I travel I mostly use these for anything I want to cook quickly or where an open fire is limited. They are a great source of easily stored heat and if you need to boil a billy or drive your camp oven they do the job. The canisters are available anywhere. This was my main cooking source across the Simpson. Yes, they do suffer from the cold but this is easily rectified.

AnswerID: 361495

Reply By: Member - Netnut (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 18:20

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 18:20
Hello Julie,
My advice is to travel light.

When my wife and I went to the Cape in 2007 we took our trusty 30-year-old folding Companion gas stove, a gas ring to screw onto a small gas bottle for "boiling the billy for a cuppa" (the gas bottle fitted neatly into a plastic bucket), a mid-sized camp oven (it was also our frypan) and a homemade, lightweight campfire grill made out of weldmesh and four 250mmm bolts. We also took a couple of small billies - one fitting inside the other.

We used all of our items on many occasions. Folk we travelled with used some of their larger, heavier equipment - such as the Cobb Cooker - so that it would qualify to be included on the next trip.

I would reserve your equipment such as the Cobb for when you go to camp in the one spot for a few days. When touring, take less and/or take multipurpose cooking equipment.

Enjoy the trip.

AnswerID: 361506

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 19:53

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 19:53
Hi Julie,

One of the most practical pieces of camp cooking ware is the humble camp oven. Some people swear by the cast iron camp oven but they are both heavy in comparison to the spun steel type oven and are brittle if dropped.

A good quality spun steel oven is light and if treated correctly will not rust. A film of cooking oil rubbed over the surfaces after washing and drying will preserve the surfaces and after a period of continued use and no scouring when washing, it will develop a smooth black surface that is what you should be aiming for, rather than a "squeaky clean" looking oven.

The camp oven can be used with coals from the fire, or heatbeads which provide a consistent cooking temperature. It is also a pot in its own right so you don't need anything else. You can roast, bake, simply heat, or if you have a good one, the lid not only keeps ash out of the food, but may double as a fry pan.

My personal favourite is the Hillbilly Camp oven and its myriad of accessories and other cookware, but any brand of camp oven will surfice.

I have used a camp oven for years, but after buying and reading the new Hillbilly cookbook, I need to reinvent the way I cook.
I used to place heatbeads or coals both underneath and on top of the camp oven, but the book instructs that most dishes should be cooked with the heat applied to the top only to stop the food from burning on the bottom.

Ah!, always learning.

I also have a Cobb Oven and the advantage of this great piece of cookware is that you only need seven or eight heatbeads to cook up a roast, or bake a loaf of bread.


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AnswerID: 361530

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 20:37

Saturday, Apr 25, 2009 at 20:37
Over Easter, my first effort with a Hillbilly camp oven, literally turned a nice little pork roast in to a ball of flamiing napalm!

Was my fault entirely, as I tried using a similar amount of coals as I would have with our cast iron camp oven.
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Reply By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 09:24

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 09:24

We are in the same delema with what to take, so about 5 weeks ago i went out and bought the Hillbilly camp oven set, the lot with gas coversion. The first weekend i dug a hole in the back yard a got the fire going, yes you don't need as near as much coals as a normal camp oven. 2.5kg roast took about 2hrs and it was magnificent. Last weekend we tried the gas conversion for a stew/casserole and that took about 3/4 of an hour. The actual oven weighs about 3kg. You can see them, they are in Belgrave, worth the drive.


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Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 09:26

Sunday, Apr 26, 2009 at 09:26
Julie, they also said the gas conversion gets about 85 hours out of a 9kg bottle, thats a lot of cooking.
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