I am a bit like derek in that I also have been using camp ovens for about 30+++ years. :D :D
Same as Derek, if I can help with any tips/recipes etc, just yell.
I find that MOST, (but not all), recipes used in the house will translate to the camp oven as long as a couple of very basic rules are adhered to.
Remeber a couple of times we had "cowboy food"--- baked beans/Bacon and eggs. Felt like a camp oven feed but didn't want to cook proper food.
Cook with coals not flame.
Be careful with hot tools. You cannot see how hot the oven is, I use a pair of welders gloves when handling the ovens at cooking time.
One trick if you are a newbie. get a strip of paper. toss it into the oven.
Time taken to burst into flame/curl into a brown blob, will give you an idea of the heat.
DO NOT PUT WATER INTO THE OVEN AT THIS STAGE, if it is empty or you only have cold water. Take the oven off the coals for a minute or two then add whatever to it.
You will probably break it.
Time wise, it works at about the same as a medium/slow electric oven at home. Therefore you must allow a little bit of extra time.
You can use the ovens either above or below ground level. I cook dampers buried in a hole and covered with hot coals and ash.
Everthing else is cooked on the surface with coals under and around the oven, and if using a lid, on top as well.
:D :D :D :wink:
Now one of the most important things to remember with camp ovens.
THEY ARE FRAGILE, if they are the proper cast iron ones.
When you pack them, make sure that they are not banging against each other or any other hard object. I pack using the welders gloves and anything else that goes into the same locker/box/bag/whatever to insulate/cushion them from any shocks.
To overcome this problem, Bedourie Station, many years ago, developed a pressed metal oven which is used in a similar way, but being pressed metal can have hot spots and requires careful watching.
The oldest oven I have is about 30 years old and is extremely well used. All together I have and use 4 different sized ovens.
The more you use the oven, and the more varied the fare, the better it cooks.
I use a small one just for dampers, and ONLY dampers.
IF you use detergent of any type in the oven, reoil it immeadiately.
I rarely wash with detergents, but clean using boiling water and a cloth to clean the oven. Occasionaly, (depending on what was cooked), I will use detergent.
Pirty you are so far away.
We could have some great cook offs :D :D :D :D :D
Hopefully will be going your way later in the year.
I am in newcastle.
Think I visited that oven society some time back.