COOKING WITH A CAMP STOVE
There are several different types of camp stoves today. These stoves come in many different configurations and are fueled by gasoline, propane, solid and gel chemicals, alcohol, kerosene, and even wood kindling. (The buddy burner is an example of this type of wood burning stove.) One burner camp stoves are ideal for backpacking, and canoeing. They are lightweight port- able sources of fire, which can be much more convenient to use than a campfire. Most one burner camp stoves are fairly inexpensive, simple to use, and have a large amount of heat output for their size.
There are times when a camp stove is more efficient, and environmentally safe than a cooking fire. Here are a few examples:
- The area you are camping in is dry and the potential for
a forest fire is high.
- Lack of wood to fuel a cooking fire, such as in the desert.
- Weather! If it is raining, snowing, extremely cold, or windy, cooking fires can be hard to light and maintain.
- Camp stoves do not produce the soot and smoke that a campfire does. Not only is this safer for the environment, but there are no black pots to clean, and no smoke in your eyes when trying to cook!
HOW TO COOK ON A ONE BURNER CAMP STOVE
One-pot meals are great cooked on a one burner camp stove. Some examples of one-pot meals are: chop suey, chili con carne, savory beans, chowders, soups, skillet meals, etc. Some one-pot meals can be cooked entirely in one pot on the one burner camp stove. Meat is generally browned or re-hydrated and warmed first. Any grease that may have been produced while the meat was cooking is drained off. Water, vegetables, seasoning packets or sauces are added, and the whole mixture is allowed to simmer until cooked thoroughly.
Freeze dried foods, whether from the grocery store or a camping store work well with the one burner camp stove. There are many different accessories available for one burner camp stoves. There are many fixtures that make cooking on these stoves more efficient, like baking enclo- sures, different sized fuel canisters, and windshields. Whether homemade or store bought, windshields are generally necessary, since even a slight breeze will draw heat away from the bottom of your kettles and pots.
ONE POT RECIPES
QUICKIE ONE POT STEW
1 1/2 LBS. GROUND BEEF
2 MEDIUM-SIZED CANS MIXED PEAS AND CARROTS
4 MEDIUM ONIONS, SLICED
2 MEDIUM-SIZED CANS TOMATOES
6 MEDIUM POTATOES SLICED THIN
Brown the meat and onions thoroughly. Drain any grease, and add the tomatoes, peas, carrots, and potatoes. Season to taste. Add enough water so that liquid covers the bottom of the pot. Cover and cook about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Serves six to eight.
ONE SKILLET BREAKFAST
2 LARGE POTATOES SLICED THIN
1/2 LB. OF BACON, SAUSAGE, OR HAM
1 MEDIUM SIZED ONION
SALT, PEPPER OR OTHER SEASONINGS
Fry the bacon until crisp or the sausage and ham until
browned. Remove from the skillet, and crumble the bacon, cut the sausage and
ham into small pieces. Leave the bottom of the skillet just covered with
grease, pour off all excess. Add the potatoes and fry until lightly browned.
Beat the eggs lightly and pour over the potatoes. Add the meat. Cook, stirring
until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Season to taste. Serves 3-4 people.
PAN FRIED COOKIES
1 CUP BROWN SUGAR
1 CUP CHOPPED DATES
2 EGGS, BEATEN
2 CUPS KRISPED RICE SHREDDED COCONUT – ALUMINUM FOIL
Mix together the brown sugar, eggs, and dates. Cook in the frying pan for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the crisped rice. Drop by spoonful onto the aluminum foil and roll in shredded coconut. Let cool and eat. Makes one dozen.
BAKING AT CAMP
One of the most challenging types of outdoor cooking is baking! The reasons for this – baking generally takes longer than other types of cooking. The defini- tion for baking in the Recruit chapter is; To cook with dry and continued heat. There are several different ways you can bake at camp, but continued, constant heat is needed for all types of baking. This means you must manage the fire, and coals closely.
THE REFLECTOR OVEN
A reflector oven can be used for baking biscuits, bread, cakes, and pies. It can also be used for roasting many types of meat. Reflector ovens are lightweight, and most fold to a compact size. You don’t need hot coals to use this oven. Reflector ovens work by reflecting the heat and brightness of an open fire to the center shelf of the oven.
Adjusting the heat at the surface of the reflector oven can be tricky. You must either move the reflector oven towards the fire, or away from the fire to adjust the temperature. Set the oven next to the fire ring, and then use the palm count method to determine the temperature. Slowly count to eight, if the count is less than eight the surface will be too hot. If the count is more than eight, the surface will be too cool. You can also vary the size of the flame to make the cooking surface hotter, or cooler. Soft woods will throw sparks, and may litter your food with bits of ashes. Finely split hard woods work the best. A good general rule is to have the flames rising as high as the reflector oven. Remember that reflector ovens must be kept clean and bright to work well.
A reflector oven can be made of aluminum foil, some sticks, a few stones, and a baking rack.
DUTCH OVEN BAKING
Dutch ovens offer great possibilities to the camp cook.
They are more versatile than the reflec- tor oven, and can produce some
fantastic meals and baked goods. Dutch ovens are made of cast iron or aluminum.
The cast iron ovens are extremely heavy, but heat gradually, distribute the
heat more evenly, and stay hot longer than the aluminum ovens. Most have three
short legs, a snugly fitted, flat, rimmed cover and a handle. The legs hold the
oven up off the bed of hard- wood coals. The cover’s flat surface, and raised
rim retain glowing coals heaped upon it. Be- cause of the weight and snug fit of
the cover, moisture and flavor are slow to escape the Dutch oven. This makes it
ideal for tough cuts of meat such as flanks, briskets, and chuck roasts.
PRINCIPLES OF OPERATION
Baking is accomplished by raking out a 10 to 18 inch pad of glowing hardwood coals. The longer burning the better. Softwood coals will generally last only a few minutes. If the Dutch oven has legs, these legs will prevent the bottom from sitting too heavily on the coals. If the oven does not have these legs, three or four, small, evenly sized, dry rocks can serve as legs. The oven is placed in the center of the bed of coals, with the cover placed on top. Coals are heaped upon the cover with a small shovel, tongs. The Dutch oven quickly distributes the heat of the coals throughout its surface. The secret to Dutch oven cooking is to sufficiently preheat the oven before added the food.
Biscuits may be baked directly on the bottom of the slightly greased oven. Pies, cakes, muffins, and other pastries should be baked in tins. Elevate the tins slightly by setting them on top of three small rocks.
In addition to baking, the Dutch oven can be used for frying, boiling, roasting, and simmering. These ovens allow you to make an unlimited variety of camp dishes. Everything from cakes, pies and cobblers, to stews, roasted meats, and chili!
BAKING POWDER BISCUITS
2 CUPS FLOUR
1 TEASPOON SALT
4 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
1 CUP MILK
4 TABLESPOONS SHORTENING BUTTER
Mix the flour, baking powder, milk, and salt; add shortening, blending in well until easily han- dled dough is attained. Roll out on a floured pastry board (or canoe paddle) and cut into 1/2 inch thick by 3 inch square pieces. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in a reflector oven before a brisk hardwood fire. Remove from heat, split open and butter while hot. For an added treat, top with canned or fresh fruit.
DUTCH OVEN COBBLER
2 CANS OF FRUIT PIE FILLING
2 BOXES OF JIFFY YELLOW OR WHITE CAKE MIXES
Line your Dutch oven with foil to the top edge of the kettle. This will keep your Dutch oven clean, and is a good way to remove the cobbler from the oven for serving.
After preheating the Dutch oven, pour in the cans of fruit filling. Any combination of fruit fill- ing can be used. When the filling starts to bubble, remove 1/2 of the coals under the Dutch oven. Prepare the cake batter as instructed on the box. Pour the batter on top of the filling, and cover the Dutch oven.
Place hot coals on top of the oven lid and bake the cobbler until golden brown. The cobbler will cook from the top down. There should be just enough heat on the bottom to keep the filling hot without burning it.