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


What may very well be higher than a street journey by way of the wild and rugged Australian Outback? How about having fun with scrumptious meals cooked over a campfire, that includes the freshest native elements?

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

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

As I traversed the sun-scorched landscapes and admired the breathtaking fantastic thing about the Outback, I shortly realized that the center of Australia’s culinary scene lies inside its various and distinctive elements.

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

So, be 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 little thing I packed to take pleasure in campfire cooking within the Outback.

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The lifesaving camp oven I couldn’t stay with out

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

My important cookware and utensils for the journey

I all the time make sure that 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 deliver heat-resistant gloves to make shifting 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.

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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 have to be packed compactly to minimise motion. I attempt to pack numerous dry pasta, rice and beans.

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

This enables my household to have sufficient elements for a very good 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 comparable to pasta, rice, and beans. These things will not be solely simple to retailer but additionally 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, good for rooster stew), and immediate bread mixes.

This enables me to pack precisely what I want with out cluttering my pantry with numerous ingredient containers. With only a bowl and a wood spoon, whipping up pleasant dishes turned a breeze.

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

The versatile spices that introduced my dishes to life

A number of spices all the time turns my easy outback pantry right into a treasure trove of culinary potentialities.

I all the time have spices, comparable to 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 holding elements recent and arranged

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

In my view, the important thing to efficiently making ready numerous 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.

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Campfire cooking key ingredients
Spices within the lunchbox

hold elements recent for campfire cooking?

Properly, holding elements recent with no fridge might be difficult, particularly when travelling by way of the scorching Australian Outback with temperatures hovering above 35°C.

Utilizing an icebox isn’t an possibility both, as discovering ice inside a 1000 km radius is usually not possible.

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

Embracing the flavors of Australia

My love affair with native elements

Tenting not solely shapes us but additionally permits us to find the unimaginable flavours of native meals.

I’ll always remember my first style of freshly caught oysters in Tasmania – they have 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 in regards to the tropics, when you ever have the prospect, 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 chunk 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 once we journey to stunning Port Douglas the place many fish constitution excursions depart day by day and freshly caught fish is straightforward to acquire.

Australian Snapper – Able to Eat

The flavorful delight of Aussie-grown greens

Aussie-grown greens, comparable to potatoes, carrots, onions, and butter pumpkin, deliver a pleasant burst of taste to many campfire dishes. These humble but versatile elements function the right accompaniment to quite a lot of Australian classics. 

Image a full juicy roast beef sourced from the center 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 enduring 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 recent elements throughout my journey

Let’s paraphrase Forrest Gump:

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

My favourite finds at native markets and roadside stands

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

As an illustration, 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 additionally 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

Immediately, at any time when I discover myself within the outback with a roaring fireplace at my disposal, there’s little question 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 celebrities all contribute to a very unforgettable expertise.

My unforgettable experiments with camp oven cooking

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

This necessity to adapt and innovate gave me the prospect 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 mix of a cherished household recipe and the rugged fantastic thing about the Australian wilderness created a very unforgettable reminiscence for my household.

The fun of out of doors 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 among the greatest on this planet. 

The easy 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 chunk of your campfire-cooked dish, surrounded by the serenity of the wilderness, it turns into clear that eating beneath the celebrities 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 in every of my most weird out of doors eating experiences

One of many surprising joys of sharing a meal with fellow travellers in distant areas just isn’t solely the chance to benefit from the pure environment but additionally the prospect to attach with like-minded adventurers.

A very fascinating alternate happened in Mataranka, the place we met some fantastic individuals who have been as obsessed with out of doors eating as we have 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 chunk.

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


  • Put together the greens by washing, peeling, and chopping 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 sizzling 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 organize sizzling coals on high of the lid to create a fair distribution of warmth.
  • Roast the greens for roughly 30-40 minutes, checking sometimes for tenderness. If wanted, prepare dinner for a further 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’s 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 a further 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.


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