Minimal baking setup?

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Dork
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Minimal baking setup?

Post by Dork » Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:19 pm

I want to expand my menu a little next year and bring some fully prepared dishes that just need to be reheated. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do that without having too much extra gear. I have a camp stove that's great for frying and boiling but not for evenly reheating items. I have a full grill I could bring but it's awfully big.

What do I need to bake a foil-wrapped dish?

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LeChatNoir
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Post by LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:37 pm

I started to suggest a solar oven, but that wouldn't help at night, now would it? Perhaps a cast iron Dutch Oven on the camp stove. Place a rack in it so as not to burn the food by keeping it from direct contact with the bottom. Seems that it would work in theory anyways...

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Dork
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Post by Dork » Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:29 pm

I've been contemplating those two options (dutch oven or solar oven) and am starting to think that a solar oven might actually be the best bet. They can be made to pack down pretty small and mostly what I'll be doing is heating up large blocks of precooked stuff. A properly set up solar oven might take a little longer to cook, but it should be easier to just pop some food in and come back later on to eat. Plus, it cuts down on the amount of cooking gas I'll go through. I'll still have the camp stove as a backup if I get hungry at night :)

I still need to figure out the best way to package the food. I've been stockpiling a bunch of these plastic tray things but I need to figure out if they will stand up to the heat. It would rock to be able to just pull it out of the cooler, toss it in the oven, eat, and toss it in a bag for cleaning after I get home. No dishes to do other than one fork! So much better than the ziplock bag->frying pan->plate system last year.

http://solarcooking.org/plans.htm

Thanks!

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LeChatNoir
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Post by LeChatNoir » Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:06 pm

Could prepare your meals each in a small bread pan or something similar? Kinda' like individual casseroles. The metal pan, if not highly polished, could even conduct heat better than plastic. Just a thought in passing...

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Dork
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Post by Dork » Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:39 pm

Yer probably right about the metal pans. I just like the idea of using as many materials as possible that have been pulled out of a garbage can :) Those plastic thingies stack so well, too.

I'll try building an oven and report back.

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:15 pm

I have thrown the microwave out. Now I place my food pan over a pan of hot water. Best if the food pan sets half into the water. Takes 10-15 mins. to heat chilly or a thick suop. The tighter the fit between pans the better. Also a good lid. Stir half way through the heating. Try it at home first. Also have plans for a nice solor oven, Pm me if you wish.
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Menehune
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Post by Menehune » Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:21 pm

We like to use disposable aluminum steam food warmers. The steam pan can accommodate two food pans. The heat source is sterno… but we like our propane stoves, which is efficient and cost effective. Steaming seafood and reheated meals is not an issue. In fact, just setup your meals by placing aluminum wrap over your warmers and off you go on your adventures across the playa. Really works! And you can recycle your aluminum.

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Silver
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Post by Silver » Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:54 am

I wandered into a new REI last night and while poking around saw a something I believe was called a 'backpackers oven' the text and pictures on the box claimed that you could bake cakes, pizza or pretty much anything else with it. Because it was about $60+ I didn't look too closely but it seemed to have a baking dish or two, a metal framework that a tent like thing went over and a thermometer.
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Zephryus
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Post by Zephryus » Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:18 am

Have you considered hummus, tabuli, falafel, pita, et cetera? There's a good deal of middle eastern food that can be eaten cold. Created by desert dwellers, for desert dwellers. And damn good eating to boot.

JRoyale
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Re: Minimal baking setup?

Post by JRoyale » Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:34 pm

Dork wrote:I want to expand my menu a little next year and bring some fully prepared dishes that just need to be reheated. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do that without having too much extra gear. I have a camp stove that's great for frying and boiling but not for evenly reheating items. I have a full grill I could bring but it's awfully big.

What do I need to bake a foil-wrapped dish?
I've been to the playa since 1998 and food has always been a problem. Until last year, that is. Last year we pre-cooked all of our dinners down here in my kitchen and then vaccum sealed them and stuck them in the freezer. We did all of the cooking the week before, but since we froze them, we could have done it several months in advance.

I bought a turkey fryer for $30 on eBay and every night I'd fill the fryer about 1/2 full with water and light it up. That 150,000 btu flame boiled the water licky split and then I just dropped the sealed food into the water. 5 minutes later dinner was served. Naturally, this method doesn't work for all meals, but it works great for stuff like mac and cheese, taco meat, spaghetti, chili and stews.

I also bought a freezer off of Craigslist for $50 - which wasn't absolutely necessary but damn it was nice. THink I'm gonna get a refrig. this year as well. (We always rent a 24' truck and have a generator in camp, so this option might not be available to all.)

JR

Icepack
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Re: Minimal baking setup?

Post by Icepack » Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:09 pm

JRoyale wrote:
Dork wrote:I want to expand my menu a little next year and bring some fully prepared dishes that just need to be reheated. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do that without having too much extra gear. I have a camp stove that's great for frying and boiling but not for evenly reheating items. I have a full grill I could bring but it's awfully big.

What do I need to bake a foil-wrapped dish?
I've been to the playa since 1998 and food has always been a problem. Until last year, that is. Last year we pre-cooked all of our dinners down here in my kitchen and then vaccum sealed them and stuck them in the freezer. We did all of the cooking the week before, but since we froze them, we could have done it several months in advance.

I bought a turkey fryer for $30 on eBay and every night I'd fill the fryer about 1/2 full with water and light it up. That 150,000 btu flame boiled the water licky split and then I just dropped the sealed food into the water. 5 minutes later dinner was served. Naturally, this method doesn't work for all meals, but it works great for stuff like mac and cheese, taco meat, spaghetti, chili and stews.

I also bought a freezer off of Craigslist for $50 - which wasn't absolutely necessary but damn it was nice. THink I'm gonna get a refrig. this year as well. (We always rent a 24' truck and have a generator in camp, so this option might not be available to all.)

JR
That sounds like a great idea! I think I may just have to go out and buy a turkey fryer! :-)

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diane o'thirst
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Re: Minimal baking setup?

Post by diane o'thirst » Thu Apr 01, 2004 10:37 pm

Dork wrote:I want to expand my menu a little next year and bring some fully prepared dishes that just need to be reheated. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do that without having too much extra gear. I have a camp stove that's great for frying and boiling but not for evenly reheating items. I have a full grill I could bring but it's awfully big.

What do I need to bake a foil-wrapped dish?
I'd bring a Weber BarBeKettle and a dutch oven. Prep the ingredients onsite and bake 'em in the dutch oven. BarBeKettle and dutch oven can be used for more than one thing, it saves at least some cleanup afterwards, saves some MOOP (the foil) and you don't run the risk of breaking the dish. Eschew specialization.

Otherwise you can bring the campstove. If it's Coleman you can buy a burner-top oven for it, but for the $25 for that I'd rather get the dutch oven.
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diane o'thirst
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Re: Minimal baking setup?

Post by diane o'thirst » Thu Apr 01, 2004 10:49 pm

JRoyale wrote:I also bought a freezer off of Craigslist for $50 - which wasn't absolutely necessary but damn it was nice. THink I'm gonna get a refrig. this year as well. (We always rent a 24' truck and have a generator in camp, so this option might not be available to all.)
I just got the Ice part of the Fire & Ice Grill-2-Go off Freecycle. Someone up in Portland works at a dept. store, got it from customer returns and put it out on the list. I went "I'll take it!" and got it. It didn't have a grill, but that's no big deal. The arms for the grill are still there, I'm going to make a tiled countertop to mount there and use my propane stove on it. Just as good as the in-store $170, for only a tank of gas, and $2.50 in tiles! Plus I use up the scrap plywood that's been hanging about here forever :D :D
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