Baking on a camping stove: The pot-within-pot method

6:41 p.m. on March 29, 2013 (EDT)
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I thought I would show a baking technique through some photos I took about 8 years ago that demonstrate how to use a regular camping stove.

When canoe tripping my wife and I have baked breads, muffins, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, cakes, even panzerotti. There's no need to buy a special-purpose Outback Oven or reflector oven for baking, and no need to settle for bannock, when you're in the mood for fresh bread after a week in the bush. All you need is an ordinary camping stove and two differently-sized pots as shown in the photos below. My wife and I have been baking this way in the bush for years and years. So far we've only had good results; every bit as good as what one can make with an Outback Oven and better than with a typical reflector oven. You CAN have your cake and eat it too.

Here's how we do it using our Trangia stove kit plus one large aluminium pot and a bit of tin foil, but this can be done with [I]any [/I]camping stove, including a twig stove. For those who are wondering where I got the aluminum pot shown in my photos, it's just the cheapo large pot that comes in World Famous' camping mess kit. The one in the photos is one I've used since I was a boy.


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And here are a few photos of some things we've baked using the pot-within-pot technique.

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I will be uploading a video to my YouTube channel soon showing this baking technique.

Hope this helps,
- Martin

8:15 p.m. on March 29, 2013 (EDT)
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PineM,

Thanks.  This is very cool.  I have always loved unusual ways to cook outside like the exhaust manifold of the truck, pancakes on a shovel, roast in the ground, etc.  This one went right past me.  It was too obvious.

4:11 p.m. on March 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Pretty cool. I make pancake bread when I am hiking. never baked a cake! Not since Boy Scout camp anyway in the late 60's.

5:44 p.m. on March 31, 2013 (EDT)
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looks yummy. how do you keep from scorching the outer pot?

8:40 p.m. on March 31, 2013 (EDT)
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Trailjester said:

looks yummy. how do you keep from scorching the outer pot?

Trailjester,

I've actually never damaged the outer pot. 

Now, the pot I use - and have used this way for well over a decade - is a cheap old aluminum pot from a boyhood camping kit.  It's old and dented  as you can tell from the photos, but despite having sat over innumerable open fires and been used to bake over a stove, it's suffered no damage. 

Some people who worry about damaging a good pot put a little water in the outer pot, but if should be only a little, otherwise you could counter the dry-heat effect of this style of baking. 

If you have an expensive pot, or one that's teflon-coated, or the like, I would not use it for this just in case it damaged your pot.  Try it out with an old cheap pot if you're worried.

Hope this helps,

- Martin

10:06 p.m. on March 31, 2013 (EDT)
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It actually makes no difference if you put water in the outside pot. This just makes it be referred to as steam baking. I typically do the steam baking style because I find it lends to a moister product and clean up is easier, and prevents damaging nicer pots. I posted some videos a while back of me steam baking in my Mors pot, I will try to find them and post them tomorrow

10:07 a.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

I posted some videos a while back of me steam baking in my Mors pot, I will try to find them and post them tomorrow

 Thanks Rambler.  I look forward to seeing those.

Cheers,

 - Martin

5:50 p.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Far from perfect video as i took them on my iphone on the fly. But should give you the gist of it. Its really pretty simple.

 

1:34 p.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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cool videos. you did that with your cell phone?

3:37 p.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Yeah, done on my iphone

7:10 p.m. on April 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Does a Trangia work the best for this as there is no need to adjust another type stoves output?  I do pan fried cornbread the way my granny from Arkansas made it, except I don't have a cast iron skillet.

Duane

8:14 p.m. on April 4, 2013 (EDT)
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hikerduane said:

Does a Trangia work the best for this as there is no need to adjust another type stoves output?  I do pan fried cornbread the way my granny from Arkansas made it, except I don't have a cast iron skillet.

Duane

 

Duane,


You can use any ordinary camping stove, so long as you can keep a steady modest temperature.  In principle it can be done over an open fire, but that would be tricky owing to the difficulty of maintaining a steady temperature.  Stoves make this easy. 

The heat output of alcohols (I use methyl hydrate / methylated spirits) is lower than propane, butane, white gas, etc, so you don't want to set your stove on a high heat if you're using those fuels.  Even with my Trangia alcohol stove, I just fill the burner with alcohol, put on the reducing ring (in the wide open position) and let it go until it runs out.  When the fuel's gone, the baking is always nicely done. 

No doubt you'll have to experiment a bit with whatever stove and fuel you have.  Just remember that you're trying for a gentle cook so your food will cook right through instead of cooking hard on the outside before it's done on the inside.


Having never cooked cornbread, I can't speak to how well it would work using the pot-within-pot method.  Pan-frying and baking are different and I don't know if one can bake cornbread.

Hope this helps,
- Martin

9:31 p.m. on April 4, 2013 (EDT)
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One advantage to steam baking is the heat output can fluctuate all it wants as long as its still causing steam inside the pot because steam is always the same temperature. Whereas with dry baking temp control is or can be much more important. I use an open fire for steam baking all the time.

On a side note; I make corn bread muffins all the time steam baking and I think they are fine. nowhere near as good as a pan fried cornbread, but good enough .

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