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Outdoor Cooking August 16 2022

Outdoor Cooking August 16 2022

Outdoor Cooking August 16th 2022

BC Nature Study and Outdoor Education

Outdoor Cooking

As many of you know I have a passion for cooking outdoors.  Be it on a camp stove, small wood stove, campfire, charcoal in a BBQ,  cast iron pot or,  in columns for cooking large pieces of meat or whole animals.  I use various sizes and shapes of cast iron pots.  These are not only for outdoor cooking but in use in my kitchen daily.

Care and use of cast iron cookware

Cast iron cookware is a lifetime pan, sometimes one passed down from generation to generation.  Treated properly it will give you joy, roasting, baking, stewing, and frying.  Start out with a well-seasoned pan.  Most newly purchased pans come pre-seasoned so they can be used at once.  Lodge Cast Iron cookware is one of the premium brands and is made in the USA.  They have a good variety of pan styles and lots of information on their website.  Any pan can be made well again no matter what its condition.  One of my first pots had been used to collect engine oil for many years.  Garage sales are a great place to pick up a good pot that just needs some time and elbow grease.  Sometimes grandma’s favourite pot is heavily encrusted with grease and cooking grime from decades.  Here are some methods of restoring that pot to its former beauty.

Using your self-cleaning oven mode.  

Place your grease-encrusted cast iron pots and pans in the oven upside down and let them go through the cleaning cycle.  They will come out covered in fine ash and possibly show some rust.  Use fine steel wool to clean off the rust.  Wash and dry well.  Now we are ready to re-season the cast iron.  Using a lint-free cloth spread a fine layer of cooking oil on the inside and outside of the pan.  Make sure you cover all surfaces and ensure there is no pooling of oil.  Bake for 1 hour in a 450-500 degrees.  Let the pan cool in the oven and repeat the procedure.

To keep your pans nice on an ongoing basis, keep your pans clean.  Mostly your pans can be cleaned just using warm water and a light scrubby.  When you have cooked things that have strong flavours and smells, or acid things like tomatoes do not be afraid to wash your pans with warm soapy water.  Make sure they are dried well, a few moments on the woodstove or stove top will do the trick.  When they are dry give them a wipe with a mixture of 4 parts coconut oil and 1 part beeswax.  I keep a small jar of this mixture in the kitchen to regularly wipe down my pans.

Check out Lodge’s link:



Lake Louise Special (January 3, 1974, -23•c.) 2 portions

200 grams pork, cubed salt & pepper to taste

1 onion, diced ½ tsp. chili powder, dash of cayenne

2 carrots, diced !/2 bouillon cube

½ cup macaroni

Brown pork, add onions, carrots, and seasonings.  Cook until onions are translucent. Add raw macaroni, bouillon cube, and enough water to cover everything.  Cover pot and cook over low heat until macaroni is tender.

This can be cooked on the stove top, camp stove, or fire in any weather or temperature.

Tips for camping in the cold:  

  • Keep things that can get cold or frozen in the cupboards and items that cannot freeze in the fridge or cooler.  
  • Cooking outdoors prevents excessive moisture build-up in your tent or trailer.

Trappers Dinner (Dad’s recipe from a 1930’s rafting trip down the McKenzie River) 2 portions    

6 slices of bacon cut up finely(Dad) dried double smoke bacon or salt pork

1 large onion diced (Dad)  1 cup dried onions

½ cup raw rice

Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup water

Brown bacon, add onions and cook until translucent.  Add seasons, raw rice and 1 cup of water.

Cover pot and cook over low heat until rice is tender and liquid absorbed, about 30 minutes.

Fruit Pandowdy

3 cups of fruit – canned, fresh, or dehydrated (rehydrated dried fruit overnight before making cake)

4 tblsp. Butter

½ cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Melt butter in cast iron pan.  Add sugar fruit and seasonings, stir and simmer for 5 minutes while preparing batter.

11/2 cups flour 

2tsp. Baking powder, ½ tsp. salt > blend well.

½ cup sugar 

¼ cup melted butter

1 egg > blend well

½ cup milk

Mix all the ingredients together and spoon over fruit.

Cover pot with flat lid or close-fitting fry pan.  Place on top of 10 glowing coals and place 10 glowing coals on the lid.  Cook for 45 minutes or until top is brown and fruit is bubbling.  Don’t peek until the last few minutes.

Noreen Beer

Author & Outdoor Educator

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