Camp oven roast
There’s very little nicer than a camp oven roast, cooked in the fire over a lazy afternoon at camp. We don’t do it all the time, but we usually have a chunk of meat in the freezer ready to go when the opportunity arises, and its such a simple, tasty meal. Speaking of which, if you are after easy camping meals we have that covered, and we also have our primary post on Camp Cooking.
If you haven’t done much camp fire cooking before, I’d highly recommend you give it a whirl. We found it incredibly addictive, and given the chance we’ll cook over the fire rather than use our induction cooktop, or even the Weber Q.
What do you need for a camp oven roast?
This is almost exactly the same as what you’d do at home, except you are doing it in a camp oven, and need a suitable sized one, a camp oven lid remover (or you can stuff around with tent pegs like I did for years), some welding gloves and a sense of adventure.
Roast meat (lamb, beef, pork or chicken). For camping, chicken and lamb are the most forgiving. Pork is easy (unless you want crackle every time), and beef tends to be the hardest to get nice and tender, but we’re getting better at it.
- Sweet Potato
Now, pick and choose as you want; sometimes we’ll only do potato and sweet potato, and other times we’ll do the whole hog.
Get a decent fire going, at least an hour or two prior to wanting to cook. Small pieces of wood break down nicely and give you decent coals, and you can keep burning them to make more coals whilst it cooks.
When you are happy with the fire, pull the meat out, and put it in the camp oven with the trivet in the bottom. We smear oil, thyme and garlic over ours, on all sides and then drop it onto a bed of coals, and put a fair amount on top of the lid. Make sure that the camp oven is a decent distance away from the fire too; if you can’t put your hand between the camp oven and the fire, its too hot.
This is the part that takes a bit of trial and error, and my only recommendation is that you open the lid if you aren’t sure, and check how its going on.
Even today, there are times where I get the coals too hot and we see smoke coming from the camp oven lid not long into the cook, which is a dead giveaway that its too hot. If you get lucky its just the oil smoking, but don’t ruin a good meal because you didn’t want to take the lid off!
Once the meat gets to about half, or two thirds cooked, we throw the vegetables in. Again, these are oiled and seasoned, and we tuck them around the meat, with anything that cooks fast up higher. Renew the coals as needed, and let the vegetables cook for another hour or so (checking as needed).
In many cases, you’ll find the meat is ready before the vegetables (we always check using a thermometer, to be sure), and that’s OK; pull it out and let it rest while the vegetables finish. You can add a heap of coals and heat to crisp things up towards the end, but be very mindful of how long you do it for; nothing is worse than burning something you’ve put so much effort into.
From there, we’ll usually do gravy, and some cabbage or broccolini, or broccoli in white sauce on the stove, and serve it all up together.
It’s such a simple meal
As long as you get the temperatures sort of right, and you check it often, there’s not much to go wrong with cooking a camp oven roast, and its always a huge favourite. You can feed a huge number of people with very little effort doing this, and it always goes down really well.
If you haven’t tried a camp oven roast before, now’s the time; grab a piece of meat when its on special, plan a lazy afternoon at camp and get cracking!