stewCooking in the bush can be a real treat for anyone, especially if you have lived in the city all your life. You do not need to be a great cook because it virtually cooks itself. It is completely different to cooking in your kitchen at home. The heat in that oven has a regulated heat. When using a camp oven you have to do a bit of hit and miss as to getting the correct heat.

The fire

There are many ways of setting up a fire. You can dig a hollow in the ground then light your fire. If the ground is too hard then scrounge about for some rocks and make a circle and light the fire in the middle. If your are really battling for stones or bricks at least build up a bit of a wind break on one side and put fire against that.

Never light a fire in the bush on a windy day. It will only take one spark to start a bush fire. Always, always put the fire right out before leaving. Never leave it without covering hot ashes with sand.

Cooking with a camp oven needs hot coals. So get a good fire going then when the wood has burnt down that is the time to put the camp oven into the coals.


· You need the type of wood that does not burn down to ash, as you need coals. Jarrah or Jam tree are good types of timber to use. Although, when you are in the bush you have to take what you can get. Many places you stay may not have any wood at all so be prepared and take a little with you.

· Prepare food and have it ready for when the fire is hot enough. If making scones or damper, it is best to get the mixture ready but do not add the water until the fire is actually ready. As they need to go straight into the oven once it is mixed. Also heat the camp oven first.

· Place a small flat stone inside camp oven under the tray which you wish to cook cakes or scones on. This will prevent them from burning.

Here are a few typical bush recipes for you to try. Although anything that you can cook in an oven at home you can cook in a camp oven. I have made bread and butter puddings, cakes, scones, stews and roasts. And guess what! They taste much better too. Especially while sipping on some Billy tea or a coldy. (beer)

Kangaroo Tail Stew


1 kangaroo tail

3-4 potatoes

2 onions

1 carrot

Salt and Pepper


Remove skin and joint the tail. Slice onions and lightly brown meat and onions in base of camp oven. Cut up the Carrot and potatoes in pieces. Place in pot with 1- 1-l/2 cups of water and add Pepper and Salt and seasonings of your choice. Cook until tender thicken with a little flour or gravox mixed in water before adding to pot before serving.

Tip: You can make a good stew with mutton, chicken, or steak or meat of your choice. Then vary the flavors with different seasoning and a variety of vegetables in season at the time.

Stockman's Meal

Cook a couple of chops in camp oven, drain off the fat. Add sliced spuds and onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and flour, then cover with water and boil until water boils down and veggies are cooked.

Damper (similar to bread)


1 cup SR flour

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup of water

(I use a normal scone recipe and for larger loaf double the mix)


Place flour in a bowl add pinch of salt and mix (I like to add a good teaspoonful of butter) gradually add the water and mix. Grease the base of camp oven and place in to cook when oven hot. This will normally take about twenty to thirty minutes.

If your first one is not successful do not give up just keep an eye on it as the heat and type of wood used will vary the cooking times. Let's face it- I bet the first cake you cooked wasn't great either in a normal oven.

Cooking recipes with a camp oven in the bush can be a very different way and a new experience for the city person or anyone for that matter to try.