O’Meara Camping Outdoor Cooking Guide.

Cooking and Camping Cookers.

Camping and cooking usually go hand in hand when you are away from home. Anyone who can heat a can of beans without burning them too much is instantly referred to as a Camping Chef. We advise that you do not cook in your tent because naked flames and tent material just don’t go well together, never mind the carbon monoxide that’s given off whenever burning gas is involved.
Therefore it is advised that you invest in a Camp Kitchen to rest your cooker on while cooking and also that the Camp Kitchen has a windshield to help prevent the wind from affecting the flame of your cooker while you are cooking. If the weather does not permit you to cook out in the elements we would advise an outdoor day room or gazebo to cook in. If you don’t have one of these then only cook in the doorway of the tent with the door open and pay specific attention to the danger of fire hazards.

When it comes to Cooking while away camping the first choice you need to make is whether you are going to cook on an open fire or on gas. Most family campsites do not have the facilities for open fire cooking nor will they allow it due to the dangers of open fires in close proximity to many other campers. This brings you to gas cooking.  There are two main types of gas cooker. A single burner cooker which is run from a disposable gas cartridge or a double burner cooker, with, or without grill, which runs from a gas cylinder.

There are numerous makes of this type of cooker on the market. We would advise caution when buying a cooker and that you only purchase one that is made by a recognised brand leader like Camping Gaz. 

The most popular type of cooker for Family Camping is a Double Burner Cooker with or without a grill. If you buy a cooker with a grill don’t expect it to perform the same as your grill at home. The grill will make toast, cook a potato waffle or keep food hot. It won’t grill a big juicy steak. There are a range of Double burner cookers on the market and the main difference between them all is the output of the burners on the cooker. This means how good the flame is from the cooker which in turn relates to how quickly you can boil a pot of water.

O’Meara Camping recommend the Camping Gas Chef Cooker which is one of Camping Gas’ best-selling cookers for many years. The camping chef is a Double burner cooker with a grill and the output of the burners is very good which means it will cook food for you in good time.
The Camping Gas Chef cooker and most other double burner cookers run from a Gas Cylinder. Where we say Gas Cylinder we mean a cylinder like you would see in a Superser or used with your bbq at home. These types of cylinders are large to transport and so you may want a smaller cylinder for Family camping. Space is very important in the car when taking the family away camping. The alternative is a Camping Gas 904 or 907 Cylinder. These cylinders are available across Europe and are easily transported in your car. The 907 Cylinder will run a Camping Gas Chef on full power for 8 hours.

A Kitchen Time by John Traynors quick guide to camping kitchen storage and equipment.

On site as at home there never seems to be enough storage space for the variety of stuff we accumulate. Despite successive attempts to trim back, the car is always packed full. In fairness most of the stuff is used and certainly makes a big contribution to comfort and convenience. That’s the point really of storage. Nobody wants a sprawling chaos of gear littering the tent and cooking up meals while kneeling on the ground soon loses any novelty appeal.
Easy access and stability are the key factors to consider for storage and kitchen options. Having your stove and water supply at a reasonable height is useful and knowing that the unit wont buckle or topple over is reassuring. If the ground is soft little squares of plywood or cheap drink coasters will stop legs sinking and tilting the unit. Having once had a kitchen stand fall due to over loading paranoia now rules. With so many options available it really is a case of personal preference, space in the car and budget. Its hard to make kitchen larders wildlife proof so plastic containers for food storage are both practical and durable. Loose food can attract unwanted bugs.
Keeping drinks particularly milk cool has never really been a problem. If your on a simple farm site you could use a bucket full of water kept in the shade with a damp cloth draped over it or ideally use a gas operated fridge. Alternatively you may have the option of mains hook up for a cool box or fridge. Many sites will have a freezer available to freeze ice blocks/packs for use in your cool box. 
Its no problem at home to leave the washing up till the next morning but on site you must keep your pitch clean & tidy leaving food around again only attracts unwelcome visitors.

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