Until about a few years ago, I’d pretty much never cooked anything on a fire. It was there purely to keep us warm, and to bring a group of people together. I’d seen people cook a bit on the fire, but our 4WD trips usually had too much going on to spend time around a fire waiting for food to cook. Our meals had always been fairly quick to prepare, with minimal time dedicated to making food.
However, with our 3 month trip up north rolling closer, and knowing that it would have to be at a much more relaxed pace with a 20 month old toddler, I decided that camp fire cooking would be a great way to make good food, and slow our pace down a bit.
I picked up a 9 quartz camp oven and trivet from Snowys for about $60 delivered to my door, along with some smoking saw dust (also from Snowys) and a fold out BBQ hot plate (from 4WD supercenter).I unburied the double Jaffle iron that had been purchased years ago and never used, and Sarah found an old cake tin in the kitchen.
On a trip to Walpole a few months before we left, we cooked our first couple of dampers, and were hooked; there is nothing quite like cooking on a fire. Fortunately, they worked a treat, especially the apple and cinnamon one!
A couple of days into our 3 month trip I had a chance to give the BBQ hot plate a go, and we made some pretty mean burgers. At Lorella Springs, we modified a recipe and made our first potato delight bake, which was absolutely delicious.
The thing I see about cooking on a fire now, is its a lot of fun, and it opens your options up hugely in terms of cooking. Things that would take hours and use half a gas bottle on the stove can be done quickly, and for nothing on a camp fire.
All it costs is a bit of time and effort to get the wood, start the fire (which you’d normally have to stay warm anyway) and get the meal going.
While at Cape Leveque, we had fresh fish and mud crabs cooked on the coals, and were blown away by how good it tasted. The fire certainly puts a spin on things you’d cook that is for the better.
I suppose a big thanks should go out to Harry, from Fire to Fork, who inspired me to give it a crack with some of his delicious recipes, and great information.
So, if you are like me, and never tried cooking anything over a fire, give it a crack; its a lot of fun, the food tastes great and you can cook a whole new world of tasty goodness.