Spun Steel Camp Ovens - Bedourie vs Hillbilly

Submitted: Friday, May 06, 2011 at 00:02
ThreadID: 86095 Views:19878 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
This Thread has been Archived
Hi all,

following a recent trip into the desert where one of our company had the Hillbilly spun steel oven, used with great success, even tho it was much lighter than my bog-standard cast iron job, I am now interested in upgrading.

I've seen from previous threads that the Bedourie is also recommended.

Q: does anyone have a comparison between the two.

And in the case of the Bedourie, how well does the lid function as a frypan in the 'non-stick' department?

I ask this latter in the context that I've now had two supposedly non-stick frypans with a folding handle (which was the attraction) that have proven to be cheap junk.



Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 06, 2011 at 00:27

Friday, May 06, 2011 at 00:27
Gday John,

We've used the Bedourie ovens for the past 25 years, and travel with others who have the Hillbilly ovens.

They are both very good, seen some great roasts and casseroles come out of both (bread's a bit harder!)

Regarding the Bedourie: They pack easy - ours sits with the base inside the lid, and a set of 4 billies inside the lot making it all very compact. I had trouble finding the good trivets in the right size, so bought the larger size and cut it down.
If you want to use the lid as a frypan, it works OK on a stove or fire but its pretty thin, so easy to burn food. I prefer to use a thicker plate. To clean it, we remove what we can with a paper towel, the scrub with a Curly Girl (stainless steel scourer). Then dry off with paper towel. The trivet gets burned off in the fire.

Our Bedourie base also doubles as a Wok for stirfries etc. We use the smaller size Bedourie these days - its all you need for 2 people. Gave our large Bedourie away.


AnswerID: 453392

Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Friday, May 06, 2011 at 00:46

Friday, May 06, 2011 at 00:46
That's great feedback Phil.

Many thanks.
FollowupID: 726174

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, May 07, 2011 at 17:38

Saturday, May 07, 2011 at 17:38
I probably should add that there are a couple of useful tools we use with the Bedourie. One is a simple hanging basket hook - to pull it out of the fire, just hook the side tabs and pull - saves the singed eyebrows, and you can check your food without having it in or near the fire. Some people also use a horsehair brush - to brush the coals/ash off the top before you open it - I use welding gloves for this. And I use the welding gloves to lift up the lid.

As for using heatbeads.....I'm fortunate to travel deserts where we don't need to carry heatbeads!!
FollowupID: 726357

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, May 06, 2011 at 07:34

Friday, May 06, 2011 at 07:34

I started out with a cast iron oven. Very heavy, harder to clean and subject to breakage.

Then bought a Bedourie Spun Steel oven. OK, but the lid shape didn't appeal to me.

Now have a Hillbilly and very happy with it.
The shape of the lid ensures no coals will get into the food.
The fitment of the handle allows just the lid to be lifted, or the whole oven.
The lid doubles as a fry pan if you desire although I don't use it for this purpose.

A great range of accessories, such as the vegetable ring, and gas burner further extend the versatility and flexibility of the oven. Then there is the heavy duty pot stand which allows an air gap underneath the oven.

When the oven and lid has been properly seasoned, it won't rust and the black coating acts as a non stick surface.

I mostly use the Hillbilly with Heatbeads, as I find I get consistent heat whereas a campfire must be burning for a long time to produce sufficient hot coals.

I use an old large frypan to contain the bottom lot of Heatbeads, then sit the hillbilly over the top on a cake tin, (or pot stand) to leave a gap underneath.
As a rule of thumb, start with two less Heatbeads than the diameter of the base underneath and two more Heatbeads on the lid, then adjust if necessary.
For my 12" Bush King, that equates to 10 Heatbeads on the bottom and 14 on the lid.

Tip. Buy the bigger Bush King. You won't be sorry.
Another tip. Use genuine Heatbeads rather than cheaper alternatives.


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 453400

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Friday, May 06, 2011 at 09:11

Friday, May 06, 2011 at 09:11
I have both the Bedourie (SA made :-o) and the Hillbilly - both spun steel, both good BUT simply put, the Hilbilly is much more versatile in the way it can be used. Well worth the extra $ in my view.
AnswerID: 453414

Reply By: SIF4X4 - Friday, May 06, 2011 at 12:36

Friday, May 06, 2011 at 12:36
We have a cast iron oven, medium size, which we bought in 1977. Never had an issue with it.

I would say that the food preparation and method of cooking is more important than the type of cooking pot you are using. All you are doing is transferring heat into a semisealed area so as to cook your food

I have never had either of the other brands
AnswerID: 453433

Reply By: Gronk - Friday, May 06, 2011 at 13:05

Friday, May 06, 2011 at 13:05
My new invention for cooking with heat beads is to bend up a bit of steel mesh (gal ) approx 300mm square to keep the oven off the ground ( useful for campgrounds that don't allow fires on the ground..ie; in a barrel etc ) then for approx $3.50 buy an ant cap from bunnings ....put it on top of the mesh, add heat beads then whack the oven on top !!

Except for the heat bead heater ( I also made a cheapy from finer mesh ) it packs away fairly compact !!
AnswerID: 453437

Follow Up By: Kirks - Friday, May 06, 2011 at 15:25

Friday, May 06, 2011 at 15:25
Kirks here

Gronk, what about a few photos of your inventions so we can all see them

Thank you

FollowupID: 726224

Reply By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Friday, May 06, 2011 at 14:41

Friday, May 06, 2011 at 14:41
Our well seasoned and used spun steel Bedourie lid is as good a non stick surface as the expensive fry pan we have at home and you don't have to worry about scratching it with utensils.


Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 453448

Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Friday, May 06, 2011 at 19:01

Friday, May 06, 2011 at 19:01
Many thanks for the great replies team. Much appreciated.

AnswerID: 453471

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (11)