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 Post subject: Outback Oven
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:48 pm 
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Any other foodies out there who are willing to share their thoughts or experiences with respect to the Outback Oven?

Thinking of picking one up at MEC before we push off for the Broken Group.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:11 pm 
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I haven't used one myself, but I can certainly see the usefulness of them! I had actually thought about making a very basic version, with my existing non-stick frying pan and some fancy sheet metal duct work. :?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:30 pm 
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I think you might be on to something there Mark. :idea: Where there’s a will there’s a way. It’s just that I’m craving Callebaut infused brownies and caramelized apple crisp on this trip so I may be forced to fork out some coin. :roll:

Wow, it's getting late and I better get some shut eye. Long day of driving tomorrow. :(

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:49 pm 
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That looks like what the fellas from MEC were baking cookies in at Ladysmith...didn't pay much attention to it except for the fact that the cookies looked great!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:56 pm 
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First up, conflict to declare: I work for the "rhymes with grow-op." That said, I'll give you the straight goods.
I've had an Outback Oven for more than a dozen years. It's my favouritie piece of kitchen gear. I fondly recall dazzling a couple of hard core paddlers in the Lucy Islands with pizza when we'd been out a week. And saving a couple on the Bowren Lakes circuit from their crackers by baking fresh whole wheat rolls. And roast pototoes several days into a lake paddling trip.
The prepackaged Backpacker's Pantry pizzas and mixes made specially for the Outback Oven are good while you're getting the hang of it. But store bought Kraft or Chef Boyardee pizza kits are cheaper, and work just as well. Amp them up with conveince store snack pepperoni (the kind in the vacumn pack that doesn't need refrigeration) and mushroons and olive (tinned on shorter trips, dried in your dehydrator for longer ones). Cheese cut into blocks, wrapped in cheese cloth and dipped in parrafin will keep for a week - grate it on to the pizza for gooey goodness.
Pretty much any supermarket cake or cookie mix can be adapted for the Outback.
Get one - you'll be the hero on trips where you take turns making suppers! Plus you can redeem yourself in your spouse's eyes on rainy trips with fresh baked brownies!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:17 pm 
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Hey, thanks for the resounding endorsement KW! Just what I needed to hear plus those are some great tips to keep in mind. 8) I’ve decided to forgo the Backpacker’s Pantry pre-mixed packages and instead will use a combination of supermarket ingredients based on several of my own recipes. I’ll let you know they turn out. :)

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:59 am 
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Add to list: 1 Outback Oven.

Thanks kayakwriter -- pizza it is. :D

I'm curious -- does it tend to consume a lot of fuel compared to preparing a pasta meal?

Does it fold up for packing?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:30 am 
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I don't own any type of camping oven, but have been on trips with others who have brought Dutch ovens along (same principal, same kinds of recipes, but made of solid cast aluminum or iron). At least one person mentioned that they used to use the Outback, but now prefer the Dutch oven, despite the fact that it is much heavier and bulkier. One nifty advantage with the dutch oven is that it works great with coals from a BBQ or wood fire (you surround the thing with embers, including a few on the lid, and voila....) Dutch ovens can be bought at dollar stores, etc.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:32 am 
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...oh yeah .... and don't forget to have gloves around


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:57 am 
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Dan - the fabric cover for the Oven folds. The lid inverts into the pan part, and I have lexan plates that nest into the lid, and the flame disperser nest inside the plates, so the whole setup takes up very little additional space given that I'd be carrying the plates anyway.

Ian - good point on the gloves. They're handy with the Outback too, and for fires anyway.

I like the idea of the Dutch Oven. But you have to have a fire to use one, AFAIK. And fires aren't possible/legal/environmentally responsible in all situations.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:04 am 
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Dan - re Outback Oven fuel consumption. Never done formal measurements, but it's pretty low. Once it's heated up, you dial the flame way down for the actual baking (I use a Dragonfly stove because it can be set to a candle flame without going out. The downside is that it roars like a jet engine - which it is, in a sense.)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:47 pm 
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From what I understand of using the oven, it would be very difficult to use on a stove like a simmerlight or whisperlight, which don't simmer all that well (compared with something like the dragonfly, at least). Once the inside temperature is up, you only want enough heat to keep it there and not burn anything. Perhaps with more space between the flame and pot (or a really good heat disperser etc.) it might work better... but then you're also consuming more fuel and just allowing the resultant heat to escape unused.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:54 pm 
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Very intriguing. I have experience roasting and baking in a cast iron dutch oven using charcoal and I've often thought of getting that little aluminium dutch oven from the 'rhymes with grow-op'. Now you've got me thinking about the combo of the Dragonfly and Outback Oven - much more compact.

BTW - I think you could get away with charcoal briquets and a dutch oven without violating any fire bans. I don't thing they apply to bbq briquets used for cooking.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:08 am 
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Mark - one way to simmer better on the Simmerlite or Whisperlite is to open the bottle, bleed off the pressure, and then pump it only about half pressure - say ten strokes on a full bottle, rather than twenty. As you know from experience, more strokes are required for partially empty bottles. Of course, do the pressure bleeding only with a stone cold stove!

Steve - I honestly don't know about BBQ coals being legal in areas where fires are banned. It seems they would/should be banned - if the concern is fire hazard rather than wood consumption, surely a bed of hot coals from Canadian Tire is just as much as hazard as a bed of hot coals from local wood?
None of that is to poo-poo Dutch Ovens - I've seen some amazing cooking done in them. And I really like the associations with classic woodcraft and camping they have. Just saying that for me in particular, the Outback Oven offers the certianty I can do my baking whether it's too dry to make a fire safely or too wet to make one easily.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:11 pm 
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I think that BBQ coals are a grey area when it comes to fire bans. I believe that "contained" coals intended for cooking are allowed (with some of the logic being that they don't send off flying sparks and embers). My strong opinion is that ALL fires/BBQ's should be below the expected next high tide line for coastal camping, regardless of the rules.

BTW, when is it ever too wet to make a fire? Heh..heh....


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:12 pm 
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kayakwriter wrote:
Mark - one way to simmer better on the Simmerlite or Whisperlite is to open the bottle, bleed off the pressure, and then pump it only about half pressure - say ten strokes on a full bottle, rather than twenty. As you know from experience, more strokes are required for partially empty bottles. Of course, do the pressure bleeding only with a stone cold stove!

Mark is always poo-pooing the Simmerlite because his Dragonfly simmers better. I've got a Simmerlite and I really like it. Sometimes I complain about it if I've got too much pressure in the tank but as you say, venting the pressure and only pumping partway works really well. I've also found that if the bottle is less than half full the stove simmers much easier. Regardless of how much fuel or pressure is in the tank, the Simmerlite does require frequent attention to the fuel valve to keep it simmering low. I can't really complain about this stove -- it's a good piece of gear but having said that, I'm looking at picking up a (noisy) Dragonfly just because it does simmer much better.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:46 pm 
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just to get the pot to boiling nicely..... Trangia, Trangia, Trangia.
the simmer ring that comes with the set works just fine. do i have to mention how noisey it isn't? and economical? i used less than half a liter of alcohol on a ten day trip. i didn't cook much more than coffee in the morning, noodles for lunch, and a fish for dinner but i am happy with the performance of this stove. aside... i've built a bunch of other alcohol burners useing beverage cans and they work just as well as the Trangia. timed testing has proven this.
DarenN......


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:06 pm 
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ok darren,

lets get going on trangia :lol:

every time i show other campers this great stove they ALL say: but it takes too long to bring water to a boil--i agree with that :roll: but, don't you have time when you are camping? so what, it take 4-5 minutes longer to get it to a boil. also the trangia is completely maintenance free--no pumping, no cleaning, no pre-heating, it's so safe you "could" even use it in your tent (with ventilation!), you can't tip it, you can move it while you're using it, it's cheap (under 90$ for the set) light weight and dummy proof :D . when we go out camping we need about 1 liter of "marine stove fuel" a week by using it twice a day.

i owned "pump stoves" , propane stoves and now for the last 5 years the alcohol and i have to say, i would never go back to anything else!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:18 pm 
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Andreas;
there are those of the instant gratification ilk that will dissagree with us, but so what, we like what works for us. some folks dislike alcohol stoves just because they havn't tried them. and they lack patience. like you said, camping is all about time.
here's a couple links to build your own burners.

http://wings.interfree.it/html/Pepsi.html

http://wings.interfree.it/html/photon.html

i'm very fond of the photon. it's a little more complicated to light but it is hotter. i'm working on a simmer ring for it.

DarenN.....


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:11 pm 
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I have a Trangia in the crawl space which my parents used when they backpacked in the 70's. I tried to sell in the last garage sale for $2.00 :oops: and it wouldn't sell, so back in the crawl space it went. I knew they were good in their day, but hadn't a clue how to use it.
I had a little demo from Andreas at Portland and it seemed simple enough. A couple of weeks ago I tried it out on the patio. I boiled some water (pretty fast I thought), cooked some lunch, then cleaned it off, took 'goo gone' to the black ink $2.00 and decided we're keeping it. I LOVE IT! I guess my parents knew a good thing. Thanks Andreas 8) !


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:01 pm 
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All hail the Trangia religion ... pass the Koolaid! :wink: :lol:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:52 am 
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Astoriadave wrote:
... pass the Koolaid! :wink: :lol:



Yes sir Mr. Jones.... :lol:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:54 am 
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Gotta like the Trangia - anything with essentially no moving parts to go wrong is a good thing. Plus, blessed silence. Only downside is that you can't use one with the Outback Oven - the cover/skirt can cause the fuel to overheat and flash off.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:50 pm 
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kayakwriter;
some folks don't realize that there is a port in the base of the trangia windscreen that will allow you to insert a propane burner in lieu of the alcohol burner. not that i, personally, would do such a thing but it might make it possible to use the oven with the trangia stove. or just build a burner from the previous links i provided and build the oven around it in such a way that the burner doesn't get too hot. i'm going to have a look at this option as soon and i get a chance to have a close up and personal look at the oven. i like building things. :D
DarenN......


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:21 pm 
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here's a couple pics of a stove i built.
Image
Image

the zippo lighter is in the pics as a size reference.


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