Looking for recipe ideas? Check out my baking recipes here!
The Twiggy fire method
Advantages: No extra gear required(lightweight if you have the right pots and pans), Baked goods comes out looking and tasting great (if you don’t burn it). You get a little campfire to warm your hands by.
Disadvantages: Can not use the method if you are in a no/high fire area. High maintenance. You have to keep by your twiggy fire and keep it at the right level. Easy to burn your food. You will have soot on your pans. High likely hood of some ash in your food.
This is a great blog post that details out how to use the twiggy fire method to baking.
This is a very easy method of baking. It does not produce the best quality product, but it all still tastes great and no crumb is left uneaten in the backcountry! The only commercial system I have used is called the Bakepacker. There really is not much to it. You have a ring with a grid in it that keeps the food above the boiling water in your pot. You put the food in a plastic bag, and you have your oven. I have made various homemade versions of this design from some extra pie pan material curved into a stand and some hardware cloth cut to fit my pot. It works great.
Advantages: Very little extra gear required. Cheaper then the Dry baking set ups. Can be the lightest method because you can use your ultralight cook gear and any stove. Easy to do with any stove/pot. Hard to burn the food. No maintenance, put it in and come back when it is done. Easy clean up.
Disadvantages: Food comes out looking pale and damp. The texture tends to be a bit more rubbery if not in a plastic bag. If in a plastic bag, the baked food takes on the shape of the bag.
Advantages: Food comes out looking and tasting just like you would expect from an oven. Fairly low maintenance depending on how well your stove simmers. Easy to get a great result.
Disadvantages: Expensive and heavy gear required most of the time. However, Jon at Flat Cat Gear has put together a very lightweight dry bake system. You have to be careful to get your stove at the right heat output. Too high and you burn your oven cover, too low and your food never cooks.
The best system I have every used for backpacking is the Outback Oven. I have used it for years and made so many amazing meals it is hard to count. As of this writing you can get the ultralight kit for $50. This does not include the pot and weight about 10oz. It comes with the scorch buster, which is a handy piece of equipment all to it’s own, if you are trying to fry in the backcountry.
From what I hear, the Bemco Backpacker Oven is amazing. The big issue I have is that the small version of the stove weighs 24 oz. I will never bring anything that heavy backpacking, but if you don’t mind the extra weight, it looks amazing.
On the lightweight side of things, Jon over at Flat Cat Gear, has come up with a very lightweight dry baking system. This is the system I am currently using and it works so well, I can’t imagine doing anything else. The cost is low, the performance is excellent and the outcome is spectacular. Check out this great youtube video on how to use his system to make cinnamon rolls.