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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Scorching Outback: A Journey of Campfire Cooking within the Coronary heart of Australia 

What might be higher than a street journey by the wild and rugged Australian Outback? How about having fun with scrumptious meals cooked over a campfire, that includes the freshest native components? 

Throughout my many journeys up north in Australia, I discovered a brand new appreciation for the simplicity and ingenuity of campfire cooking. 

On this put up, I’ll share my experiences, campfire meals, and useful ideas for these trying to boost their subsequent Outback journey.

As I traversed the sun-scorched landscapes and admired the breathtaking great thing about the Outback, I rapidly realized that the guts of Australia’s culinary scene lies inside its numerous and distinctive components. 

The wealthy style of Australian snapper, the sweetness of fruits from native markets, and the shocking style of donkey stew – these experiences have left a mark on my style buds and journey reminiscences. 

So, be a part of me as we discover the artwork of campfire cooking within the Australian Outback.

Associated learn: Outback Tenting Security Ideas

Packing for my Outback journey

Right here’s a breakdown of every thing I packed to take pleasure in campfire cooking within the Outback.

Take a look at: Learn how to do Sustainable Tenting

The lifesaving camp oven I couldn’t reside with out

I feel I’ll shock you right here as a result of my trusty camp oven is definitely a small kitchen forged iron pot. It’s excellent for my small household journeys and its versatility permits me to organize every thing from shortbread, burgers, and pizza to hearty stews and desserts.

My important cookware and utensils for the journey

I at all times be certain to pack a Potjie Pot for bigger household gatherings, adopted by a frying pan, which is ideal for morning pancakes or dinner steaks. 

Moreover, I carry heat-resistant gloves to make transferring pots or opening covers simpler, a small broom to take away any mud from the pot cowl (I nonetheless bear in mind the style of mud in my goulash), a small shovel for making a charcoal mattress and topping up the charcoal on the pot, and a wood spoon. 

Take a look at: Gear Information: Should Haves for Tenting and Mountaineering

Dutch-Oven-Goulash campfire cooking
Dutch Oven Goulash

The artwork of meals storage on the go

Embarking on an Australian Outback journey typically evolves right into a multi-week or perhaps a few months-long adventures. It’s important to fill up on provisions, together with an additional week’s value of meals for unexpected circumstances. 

Good packing is the important thing, because the rugged Australian terrain teems with potholes, bull mud, and corrugations. Glass jars and fragile gadgets should be packed compactly to minimise motion. I attempt to pack a number of dry pasta, rice and beans. 

My camper trailer fridge brims with contemporary veggies, whereas the automotive fridge transforms right into a freezer crammed with meat, ham and bacon. 

This enables my household to have sufficient components for an excellent meal for an prolonged time period.

Stocking my Outback pantry: The meals necessities I depend on

As I discussed, I depend on versatile, non-perishable meals resembling pasta, rice, and beans. This stuff are usually not solely straightforward to retailer but in addition function the inspiration for numerous scrumptious meals. 

Moreover, I favour pre-mixed cake mixes (a wonderful base for banana bread or chocolate cake creations), ready-to-use sauces in jars (like honey and mustard, excellent for hen stew), and on the spot bread mixes. 

This enables me to pack precisely what I would like with out cluttering my pantry with varied ingredient containers. With only a bowl and a wood spoon, whipping up pleasant dishes grew to become a breeze.

Burger-Buns cooked on the campfire
No bread, no worries!

The versatile spices that introduced my dishes to life

A choice of spices at all times turns my easy outback pantry right into a treasure trove of culinary prospects. 

I at all times have spices, resembling dry garlic, paprika, and oregano, so as to add depth to my dishes. 

Chilli flakes and floor pepper add a contact of warmth, whereas a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg introduces a heat, unique twist to our meals.

My methods for preserving components contemporary and arranged

Whether or not occurring an extended or brief tenting journey, assigning a selected place for all our meals and tools is essential. If one thing isn’t returned to its correct spot, it will possibly create chaos in my routine (particularly once I can’t discover my on the spot espresso within the morning). 

For my part, the important thing to efficiently making ready varied dishes, even complicated ones, lies in correct organisation. 

With restricted kitchen area, it’s important to know precisely the place every merchandise is saved and simply accessible. For instance, I retailer all my spices in small jars that completely match my daughter’s previous lunchbox.

Associated learn: Tenting Survival Ideas for Adults

Campfire cooking key ingredients
Spices within the lunchbox

Learn how to maintain components contemporary for campfire cooking?

Nicely, preserving components contemporary and not using a fridge may be difficult, particularly when travelling by the scorching Australian Outback with temperatures hovering above 35°C. 

Utilizing an icebox isn’t an choice both, as discovering ice inside a 1000 km radius is usually inconceivable.

We quickly found {that a} reliable fridge was the one viable choice. Initially, we had one within the automotive, however as we started travelling with a camper trailer, our chilly storage capability expanded by an extra 50 litres.

Embracing the flavors of Australia

My love affair with native components

Tenting not solely shapes us but in addition permits us to find the unbelievable flavours of native meals. 

I’ll always remember my first style of freshly caught oysters in Tasmania – they had been swimming within the morning, and I loved them for lunch. 

Again in Brisbane, I attempted oysters in one of many eating places however they by no means fairly style the identical.

Speaking concerning the tropics, in the event you ever have the possibility, savour your first barramundi in northern Queensland, ready by the locals with a facet of mango salsa. 

Even in any case these years, I can nonetheless recall the beautiful style of that first chew of this delectable fish.

The wealthy style of Australian Snapper

One of many true culinary gems I encountered throughout my travels was the Australian snapper. 

Its wealthy, succulent style and delicate texture make it a seafood lover’s dream. 

We regularly have an opportunity to eat it after we journey to lovely Port Douglas the place many fish constitution excursions depart each day and freshly caught fish is simple to acquire.

Australian Snapper – Able to Eat

The flavorful delight of Aussie-grown greens

Aussie-grown greens, resembling potatoes, carrots, onions, and butter pumpkin, carry a pleasant burst of taste to many campfire dishes. These humble but versatile components function the right accompaniment to a wide range of Australian classics. 

Image a full juicy roast beef sourced from the guts of Tropic of Capricorn, enriched by the earthy flavors of those vibrant veggies, or a juicy steak scorching in a frying pan, complemented by the refined sweetness of butter pumpkin. 

And who can overlook the long-lasting Aussie meat pie, the place a flaky, golden crust encases a savoury filling, made all of the extra scrumptious with the addition of those easy-to-obtain and retailer greens? 

Campfire cooked steak
Campfire Steak that I made in Bramwell Roadhouse (Cape York)

Sourcing campfire cooking contemporary components throughout my journey

Let’s paraphrase Forrest Gump: 

“Journey is sort of a field of candies, you by no means know what tasty surprises you’ll come throughout.”

My favourite finds at native markets and roadside stands

I’m at all times drawn to roadside stalls with honey and veggies, however the largest thrill comes from discovering one thing new and unfamiliar. 

For example, I used to be charmed by the custard apple – first tasted in Cooktown, the distinctive Asian greens from Darwin market, and the intriguing finger lime, a local Australian fruit bursting with tangy citrus caviar. 

These surprising discoveries not solely expanded my culinary horizons but in addition added an additional layer of pleasure to my travels.

Discovering tropical fruits - Custard Apple in Cooktown
Discovering tropical fruits – Custard Apple in Cooktown

My Outback cooking adventures

Over the previous 15 years, my campfire cooking journey has advanced considerably. 

What started as a easy affair of grilling sausages on a stick and toasting marshmallows has remodeled right into a ardour for creating scrumptious, hearty meals utilizing forged iron. 

Mastering the artwork of campfire cooking

Right this moment, at any time when I discover myself within the outback with a roaring fireplace at my disposal, there’s little doubt in my thoughts {that a} dinner ready in a camp oven would be the spotlight of our night. 

As a result of, there’s one thing magical about cooking over an open fireplace, surrounded by the huge expanse of the Australian Outback. 

The heat of the flames, the aroma of meals mingling with the smoky air, and the satisfaction of crafting a scrumptious meal beneath the celebs all contribute to a really unforgettable expertise.

My unforgettable experiments with camp oven cooking

Camp oven cooking opened for me the doorways to a complete new culinary creativity. Typically pushing me to assume exterior the field when the required components weren’t available, particularly whereas tenting in distant areas. 

This necessity to adapt and innovate gave me the possibility to breathe new life into basic recipes, including my very own distinctive twist to conventional dishes. 

A memorable expertise that stands out for me was baking my grandmother’s candy braided bread in a camp oven whereas exploring the distant reaches of Cape York. 

The mixture of a cherished household recipe and the rugged great thing about the Australian wilderness created a really unforgettable reminiscence for my household.

The fun of outside eating

There’s an simple pleasure in cooking and eating open air, beneath the huge cover of the starlit sky that within the Australian Outback is without doubt one of the finest on the earth. 

The straightforward act of making ready a meal amidst the light whispers of nature and the flickering glow of a campfire elevates the expertise to one thing extraordinary. 

As you style every chew of your campfire-cooked dish, surrounded by the serenity of the wilderness, it turns into clear that eating beneath the celebs is greater than only a meal – it’s a second of reference to nature, your companions, and the universe itself. 

Travel Spiced Life family sitting at the campfire in Bramwell Tourist Park
Journey Spiced Life household sitting on the campfire in Bramwell Vacationer Park.

One among my most weird outside eating experiences

One of many surprising joys of sharing a meal with fellow travellers in distant areas is just not solely the chance to benefit from the pure environment but in addition the possibility to attach with like-minded adventurers. 

A very fascinating trade occurred in Mataranka, the place we met some fantastic individuals who had been as keen about outside eating as we had been. 

That night, we swapped our well-known raspberry shortbread for his or her scrumptious donkey stew.

And, to our shock, our teenage daughter loved the dish immensely, savouring each chew.

Raspberry shortbread that we swapped for a donkey stew!

My must-try Outback recipe

As I’ve talked about earlier than, I’ve a deep appreciation for Australian roasted veggies, which function a pleasant facet dish to numerous meat dishes. The fantastic thing about this recipe lies in its simplicity, making it accessible to anybody and a very good start line for these new to outback cooking over an open fireplace.

The smoky, irresistible camp oven-roasted greens


  • Assorted greens (resembling potatoes, carrots, onions, and butter pumpkin)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Your alternative of herbs and spices (resembling rosemary, thyme, or garlic powder)


  • Put together the greens by washing, peeling, and reducing them into evenly-sized items.
  • In a big bowl, toss the greens with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your alternative of herbs and spices till evenly coated.
  • Preheat your camp oven by inserting it on scorching coals for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Fastidiously take away the camp oven lid utilizing heat-resistant gloves or tongs, and place the seasoned greens contained in the camp oven.
  • Put the lid again on the camp oven and prepare scorching coals on high of the lid to create an excellent distribution of warmth.
  • Roast the greens for roughly 30-40 minutes, checking sometimes for tenderness. If wanted, cook dinner for an extra 10-Quarter-hour.
  • As soon as the greens are tender, fastidiously take away the camp oven from the hearth and let the greens cool for a couple of minutes earlier than serving.
Potjie Pot - useful for a bigger meal
Potjie Pot – helpful for an even bigger meal

Campfire cooking: Ultimate phrase

I strongly encourage any tenting fanatic to strive campfire cooking. There may be nothing higher than sitting on the fireplace and ready for a tasty meal to be ready within the Dutch oven.

For me and my household campfire cooking added an extra dimension to our adventures. Merely – it’s tastier!

So go forward, gentle that campfire, and let the magic of the Australian Outback encourage your culinary journey.

In search of extra inspiration on tenting and street tripping in Australia? Take a look at the under:

  • Kasha Kazmierczak

    Journey begins the place the street ends
    Touring is a ardour for every member of our household and we determined to share our tales, experiences, pictures, and observations with our readers.

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