Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to make a reflector oven

How cool would it be to bake whatever you can bake at home on  a campout?  Reflector ovens are fun and a great way to impress new campers.  We have cooked bread, biscuits, cookies, brownies, and cake on campouts using the below described system.  Good luck amd have fun.

Start with straight green (sticks cut from a live tree) sticks about 2' long and 1/2" diameter.  Sharpen one end to enable it to be pounded into the ground.

Pound the four green stakes into the ground to create a rectangle reflection area facing the fire.  You also need stakes to support the pan of the item to be baked.  The support stakes can either be green wood or tent stakes.  These stakes will support the pan of the baked item.  Stretch aluminum foil around the four stakes and then create a piece that will cover the top after the baked item is placed on the support stakes.

A good cooking fire will have areas for coals and an area where there will be a lot of reflective heat of the fire near the oven.  Notice in the photo above, the bread is rising as it warms next to the fire before baking.  In the foreground you have fried chicken and vegies cooking.

The bread as it starts baking.  The flame should be close enough to reflect heat into the aluminum area, but not so close that it burns the baked item on the near side.  I will not lie, you must experiment with this skill many times before you understand how it works.  Occassionally, you will need to lift the top off and rotate the baked item to make sure that it is baking evenly.

The loaves of bread are almost done.  If the loaves are cooking mostly on top and the bottom is raw, you can add coals below the stakes that support the baked item.

Have fun with what you try.  Cherry pie was actaully very easy.  Note we did not make a fancy top.

Cherry pie cooking.