Camp Oven Cooking Podcast Episode # 2

Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson

Saffron Hodgson

Today's Guest

I am an outdoor cooking enthusiast who actively cooks in outdoor cooking competitions including BBQ, Dutch Oven, Chili and Chuck Wagon.

Camp Oven Cooking Podcast
Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson
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Podcast Introduction

In this episode, Mick talks with Saffron Hodgson from BushCooking.com. Saffron is a born and bred Australian currently living in Seattle, who enjoys competing in dutch oven and BBQ competitions, and has even dabbled in hosting some events.

Saffron is a wealth of knowledge about the history of dutch ovens and you are going to enjoy listening to this podcast.

 

Some of the questions Mick asks Saffron are!

 

To find out more about Saffron, check out her website – www.bushcooking.com

Listen to Saffron on these platforms

Camp Oven Cooking Podcast Transcript

G’day, I’m Mick the Camp Oven Cook and welcome to my camp oven cooking podcast, where we talk, all things camp oven cooking with special guests from Around the world.

Today’s episode is a little bit longer than I’d hoped this special guest, born and bred right here in Australia.

Now residing in America for the last 10 years really big into Dutch oven competition cooking and barbecue cooking competitions, and has a really good website must check out.

Anyway, let’s introduce saffron Hodgson from BushCooking.com

G’day Saffron how are you?

Saffron: Good, and how are you going today?

Mick: Yea Doing Well. Thanks for taking time to talk to me today.

Saffron: not a problem at all. Looking forward to it.

So for those who don’t know who you are. Can you please tell me a little bit about yourself and where you live?

So my name is Stefan Hodgson, I’ve done a lot of outdoor cooking my whole life but currently, I am living in Seattle America, which wasn’t necessarily my plan.

And from here I run a website called bush cooking.com which specialises in all forms of outdoor cooking, including camp ovens or as we call it in America at the moment, Dutch ovens.

Before we get any further here in Australia, there is a big divide about what a camp oven a Dutch oven

I see so many posts of people going out and buying something and they come on Facebook and they go “check it out my new camp oven” and people are like that’s not a “camp oven” that’s a Dutch oven. So,

Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson | The Camp Oven Cook
Saffron from BushCooking.com doing a cooking demonstration.

Do you guys have an oven for outdoor cooking and an oven for indoor cooking?

Ok So, with my website because I span so many different countries I had to really think about this possibly a little bit more than than normal.

So, for me, I like to use the word camp oven, as more of an actual oven, when you’re cooking and so there’s a whole different range of these so you can go from the rustic you know the barrel in the ground halfway, where you can bake cakes in it. To the new modern little gass square ones.

And then I use Dutch oven, as the cast iron style pot that typically in Australia and when I’m living there I call a Camp Oven.

But that’s how I’ve used to distinguish it, but then when you get into Dutch ovens as in that term then they sort of divided again.

So, obviously, anyone who’s looked into Dutch ovens no they’ve actually got very little to do with Dutch, they were actually trademarked in the UK based on a, a technique that they stole from the Dutch, which funnily enough wasn’t even for cast iron it was originally for copper. So that’s sort of where it all started like the parent of England and then it’s spread out around the world.

So when it had it hit America, where he got a lot of changes so the normal Dutch oven is sort of more of what we think of a stovetop one originally on the fire hearth with a nice rounded lid, and you still see these today.

Super popular in France with there nice enamel and that’s the direction they’ve gone.

when they hit Australia, the way we sort of did our pioneering was, was quite different to some other parts of the world so it was really important to be light. And so that’s when you start to see the spun steel items which sometimes still get called Dutch Ovens but they’re sort of more like a saucepan to me the Bedourie style.

Mick: Yeah Definitely like a pot.

Yeah, and they hotspot for me I can’t cook in them as I would in a Dutch oven because of the whole heat transfer. So then when these pots hit America which is when they started to see a lot more of the legs on it so they’d sit over the top of the coals outdoors and it’s also when they put the lid on it around the edge.

When it hits South Africa and it was a little bit more coldrony. I mean the whole development the techniques that the engineering behind them is super interesting when you go back and look at it all.

Mick: So, basically what you’re saying is a camp oven, a dutch oven, a bedourie, a spun steel camp oven, and even a potjie are all cooking vessels, they use to cook, awesome camp food in.

All you need to do is use them how they’re designed.

Saffron: Whatever equipment you have, you’re going to work out how to cook on it. If you don’t have the rim on the top of your lid.

You probably don’t want to put coals on the lid, because the second you lift it off to check they’re going to slide into your pot so that one I would use for boiling if that makes sense.

Mick: Yeah, Defiantly

So you just use whatever you want. I mean, when I left home I decided that I wanted to go camping, which was about like six weeks later, all my first set of camping gear was just secondhand stuff that I picked up from Vinnies

And it’s so good to be able to say Vinnies, because no one in America knows me when I say that.

Mick: Yea, the opp shop.

Saffron: The Opp shop. Yeah.

Mick: That’s good. Thank you.

Your website, What inspired you to do that?

It was sort of like my retirement plan originally I was like, you know one day when I finished doing my work and my kids grow up I’m going to start this website on outdoor cooking.

But when I got to America and, you know, I’m always looking for new opportunities and experience and I did a lot of cool stuff with some of the older generations here. I actually realized how much people didn’t know, and how much knowledge I had that I completely took for granted.

So somebody would come up and ask me a question and I like I just find a link somewhere for you and I’ll send it through so you can sort of look it up.

Mick: Yeah.

But then I couldn’t, I couldn’t find this information that I’ve learned from like my dad and from the scout leaders and girl guide leaders, so i started the website, ultimately because I wanted to pull all this information together. Ironically, people actually just wanted recipes, which was very frustrating. So at the moment, website’s very recipe heavy.

And I’m having to go back and do the passion bit, because the recipes pay the bill, and the passion bit, right now is, harder to leverage if that makes sense.

So it’s a fairly young website and it’s just gonna keep growing

Mick: Definitely, when I started getting into camp oven cooking, bsack 10 – 12 years ago. There wasn’t a lot of information out there for us, like when you typed in camp and cooking recipes or anything like that online.

It was very scarce, but what came up was a heap of different American base websites and forums and things and that’s where I first started to play, I joined-up different forums out there in America, just to learn what I knew and got started and then I’m like, well, we need something here.

So, I started doing videos and stuff, all with a plan to educate myself, so I could start entering the camp oven festival here at Millmerran in Australia.

And I ended up taking a whole different direction. I’ve never ended up competing, you know, I’ve been more about education and the website, when it first started was about putting recipes out there, putting the information on how to season, and how to look after your camp oven.

Because what was there was American based information.

So that’s why I started the website in the first place and the promotion, has just changed throughout the years.

And now, a lot of my traffic are for my recipes as well, and less so the information about seasoning and is my camp and vintage because it’s often that people go out buy a rusty camp a bunch of Facebook or Gumtree or. other marketplaces that we have.

And then put it up and go. Hey, check out this camp oven I just bought it supposed to be old.

And it’s like no that was made in China and how much did you pay for that?

Saffron: A year ago and it’s been sitting out in the rain and it looks really vintage

So that spawned me to make an article about that because there where so many people getting ripped off by people putting up camp ovens on eBay and going, it’s vintage, And it wasn’t actually, and they were bidding up like $200 for it when you could go and buy one brand new for $60.

Saffron: And, see, I think, and you talk about the American influence, I think, Australia, like looking at America has picked up some of that collector style and history in the Dutch ovens.

so here. It’s not unusual for them to be handed down and to be in wills and to have a huge heritage and a lot of age to them, but in Australia as I mentioned before, the heavy cast iron cooking was abandoned fairly quickly on the settlement because it wasn’t so practical.

As it was so in America you had the big Chuck wagons and the cowboys and everything’s getting pulled around and that is fine as you can carry a big heavy piece of equipment, but Australia wasn’t like that it was more the man from Snowy River and had to have a Billy and something hanging off the back of the horse.

So, we don’t have the same style of history and we don’t want to be American we really want to embrace the history Australia does have because that’s really amazing as well.

I quite enjoyed like having conversations with the old cowboys here and respecting theirs but also going hey and here’s what was happening at another country being settled about the same time.

Mick: That’s right. A lot of the camp ovens that people find are ones that have been neglected and that we’ll put out in the paddock to use as a feed bowl for a chicken pen and because they didn’t need them anymore.

We got an oven in the house, so we didn’t need a camp oven or a cast iron pot so they just become neglected.

And then we go looking for them and pay an absolute fortune for them and they’re not even in a good condition anymore because they were neglected and not collected two hand down to other people.

Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson | The Camp Oven Cook
Etna Foundry Glasgow – Operational 1888 – 1911 (approx) – photo | John R Hume

My most favourite camp oven that I have is a, ETNA camp oven from Glasgow, which would have come over in someone’s luggage when they’ve come from over there in the settlement days, and been used and treasured, but then when they didn’t need it anymore.

It was put out to pasture to say, and not looked after and when I got it, it was absolute rust heap it was like there was liquid sitting in it was just layers and layers of flaky rust, but once I cleaned it up. It’s been the best oven I’ve ever had.

And now I get so many ridiculous offers from people trying to buy it because we don’t have a lot of those brand name camp ovens in Australia anymore.

How long have you been into camp oven cooking for?

So, I’m gonna like it when I go back and I think about it, I probably started in brownies and Girl Guides, honestly, I remember being very very young and cooking.

And it’s sort of never really went away. I mean, I was one of those people in the, the guiding and scouting movement that that went on beyond the scouts and actually went to ventures and rovers and all the way through, I became a leader. Even today, I’m still involved with the Scout Association.

Mick: I was actually a group leader at the scouts here as well for three years and when I started at that group.

Mick: They didn’t even have any camp ovens. So, I made sure that we bought new camp ovens and and started doing that again, and teaching the kids how to cook a damper in a camp oven and a lot of the other groups weren’t doing it any more either was kind of getting lost.

Mick: And then I was getting asked by other groups to come and set up camp one night and do an activity with the kids get them doing camp oven cooking again.

Saffron: And I’m a strong believer in anyone who knows me, too, is, I’d rather spend more time with the kids cooking and camp cooking. Obviously, I do the dutch oven stuff but I’ve done a lot of other outdoor cooking with them as well because outside you can sort of make a mess you can burn stuff, and it doesn’t really matter.

Saffron: Yeah, and the kids get over the fear of cooking if that makes sense. So by the time they’re a bit older and they get into the kitchen, they already have some of the basic skills down.

Saffron: But if you start when you’re older and in the kitchen, you know, you can get away with like making a mess on the floor and doing all these things you can do outside.

Saffron: And so to me there’s like this window with kids, I mean I’ve worked with kids that have held a knife, a sharp knife for the first time in their life. Because I to cut vegetables like, I mean, the whole skill of cooking needs to start when you’re young, by the time you’re old enough to be responsible to work it out for yourself it’s almost too late.

Saffron: I mean I still meet adults that are almost scared of cooking, but there is not there is nothing wrong with cooking you don’t do anything wrong. You just got to find your groove and what you like and then you fine.

Mick: I think that’s the same with camp oven cooking too.

Mick: Because a lot of people overcomplicate it. Listen to everyone else. And then when they try and do it they fail because they’ve had so many people telling them different things instead of just getting it, and having a go, and yes, you might burn it, but you will learn it, the more you do it,

Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson | The Camp Oven Cook
Saffron Hodgson live fire cooking

Saffron Hodgson, Would you see yourself as a collector?

Oh, absolutely not. I know collectors and they blow me away with the amount of gear they have and I’ve got a very good friend here, Deborah. She’s amazing.

She’s one of those people who’s just pushing the love of Dutch ovens, and I don’t even want to guess how many she’s got like 50 or something.

So if I’m ever going anywhere and I need a dutch oven I’m just hi, can I borrow that dutch oven again? and again and she’s got like the big macca ones like I don’t even know how to explain them, like how I personally cook for 100 people out of that one. Dutch oven I mean they’re crazy big things. My personal collections eight, and I think that that’s twice as many as I really need.

Mick: Yeah, well..

Saffron: I just I need to cook for my family

Mick: I know a lot of collectors here in Australia that are big into collecting as well. They have massive collections of like 100 – 200 camp ovens. Some from, like, 10 inches all the way up to 37 inches, you know, quite big ones like you guys have over there.

They can never get enough of, for some reason.

Saffron: It’s just like any sort of other collection in, in reality, I mean, I, I’m just not a collector I’m a cook.

That’s what I like to do and if I can’t cook what I want to cook I might buy another pot to do it.

But at the moment, I’m lucky, all the places I teach and stuff have stuff that I can share I mean I work with camp chef, a little bit in America. So I do a little bit of stuff with them, and they help me out.

Over there would you say, the recipes are simple, or quite complex, or a bit of both?

When I’ve spoken to people, people outdoors cooking when you do outdoors they go to extreme directions, there’s one that wants everything as simple as humanly possible like just empty a can into a pot and just reheat it or two minute noodles, the whole, that’s, that’s their life.

And then the other ones are like, I’ve had the wife’s like, Oh, I love it when we go camping. My husband does all the cooking, he makes the stock from scratch and then he turns it into risotto and he smokes chicken over here and puts that in to make the gumbo, and they make these incredibly complicated meals and it just sort of seems to go the two directions.

Do you remember what you first cooked?

Yeah so talking about cooking. Do you remember what sort of food you cooked at the start was it something as simple as a can in a pot, or did you get out there and make something, technical?

Hoping my go guide leader doesn’t hear me. She made us cook complicated stuff like I remember being frustrated and thinking like, why do we have to do this? like we can do something twice as easy.

I remember breading snitchels and, and cooking them from scratch.

Mick: Wow, thats crazy

Thats not what kids normally do, like whywas i doing that? So yeah, I mean, everything I’ve done, I think my whole life has been a scratch element I won’t say I won’t use cans and stuff but I don’t really have a belief in “okay let’s take these three cans and mix it together” and call that cooking.

I call that like, like combining reheating or something, you know what I mean? there’s a lot of Dutch oven books out there, particularly, out of all the camping segment, which is exactly like that.

You take this bot of frozen this and this can of this and you mix it and tada you have this amazing meal but I don’t do that I like to scratch cook.

Mick: And I actually own a ton of books from America that have bought. They don’t even have photos in there. They’re just black and white text on a paper, and then you can’t even imagine in your head what it be like because the books don’t show that.

Saffron: Again, I don’t want to be mean about American food, there’s a lot of American food that doesn’t look appealing like it tastes wonderful. but you know there’s a lot of the deep frying element, there’s a lot of stews and stuff that are mixed together but they’re not appealing.

I mean, that’s one of the things I love about Australia when I come back to Australia is like the fresh elements and how everything looks good and even a stew somehow manages to look appealing and have vibrant colours.

Mick: and throw some dumplings on there and you get a whole meal and a pot.

Saffron: Yeah, and it’s, it’s just a weird characteristic, I find of American cooking. I don’t even know how to say it politely I mean yeah there is a reason I don’t eat out a lot like I love the food. I don’t like how it looks.

Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson | The Camp Oven Cook
Saffron Hodgson from BushCooking.com cooking BBQ

What dish do you love cooking all the time?

Well, I cook it’s just really quite simple, really.

Mick: Yeah thats ok?

I mean, when we go camping. As a family, it’s more about the experience so we do a lot of quick things. So, there is a dish that my dad, he was British who brought over from the Second World War, which was like the canned corned beef.

Mick: Okay.

Saffron: And then it’s just some fresh vegetables, and we make these like corned beef stew is on my website is actually unbelievably one of the top 10 performing recipes as well.

Mick: Yeah

Saffron: but it’s super simple a kid can do it, it’s good like practice too I mean they learn how to cut up carrots and stuff if they’re too big, you just cook it a bit longer until they soften you know it said, I really, I really wanted to say like I’m awesome at baking bread or something like that it’s just, it’s not me.

Mick: I can relate because we go camping as a family for three or four nights. Quite often here. And I never actually take the camp oven. I grab some snags, some bread, you know, a bit of steak one night and snags on bread the next night.

Mick: I’m going camping at Easter, I’m going to make sure that I do take it with us.

Do you use Wood or Briquettes over there?

Mick: So, here in Australia, we use a lot of wood for coal fire cooking. I think you guys call it live-fire cooking.

Saffron: Yeah.

Mick: Is that something you guys do over there or is it more like briquettes?

Saffron: So it definitely changes, I mean, from state to state, from area to area, so living in the Pacific Northwest in the Seattle area. Everything’s pine here so it’s a really quick growing softwood. And so you burn that and burns it into like a powder if there’s nothing.

So I do a Chuck Wagon competition here usually every year. And as part of that they give us a palette of applewood, just the orchard I mean it’s not pretty, but it burns hot and it actually lets us have proper charcoal for that style of thing.

Mick: Yeah.

Saffron Hodgson kneeling in front of some dutch ovens
Saffron Hodgson, competing at a Chuckwagon dutch oven cooking competition.

Saffron: but when you go down to Texas, and those places they’re ready available woods are more hardwoods, I mean that’s where the mesquite comes from and there’s a lot of Hickory.

But in your backyards and if you want to keep things simple, then there is the lump charcoal and the briquettes like you said, which is heat beads, I mean, in America I walk around still saying “Does anyone have any heat beads?” being looked at really really weird.

Mick: At the end of the day even heat beads are briquettes but it’s the brand that everybody’s got to know and so they just call them heat beads, but they’re actuallyBriquetts.

Saffron: Yeah, so I mean and briquettes are really good for when you’re starting out too because there’s there’s math on it then you can even follow the tables you know the above the below.

Mick: Yeah.

Saffron: And, you know, I always recommend that and then once you start to get the feel and you sort of pick up like how things work and the way the heat radiates, that’s when you can sort of step up to like a lump charcoal or to, wood that you’ve burned down yourself into charcoal.

Saffron: That’s sort of the progression path I suggest people take when they’re learning.

Mick: I always say if you start off with less heat, and then work your way up to more heat. You put a little bit of heat on there. Give it 10 – 15 minutes come back and check it, and it was not enough, and a bit more, instead of just getting a whole shovel full of coals and burying your camp up and in the fire, and then come back 10 minutes and dinners like charcoal and you’re like, oh!

Saffron: and raw in the middle.

Mick: Yeah, let’s go down the road and buy McDonald’s.

Saffron: And i think that i think that is the biggest mistake I see is everybody wanting to put too much charcoal on that first time cooking.

And I think it’s just you know, just learning I mean it doesn’t matter what you’re learning in life. There’s always a learning curve out there. And I think just the briquette counting method just gets you on the fast track a lot quicker.

Mick: I started doing that but as I kept doing it. I didn’t even look at the chart anymore.

Mick: I kinda had an idea of how many I needed to put on there and being able to look at that, an hour down the track and going alright that’s losing heat now put some more heat beads on the kettle and get them hot again to add to it.

Mick: To be able to keep cooking my roast lamb or whatever I’m cooking.

Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson | The Camp Oven Cook
Saffron Hodgson from BushCooking.com Camp Stove Cooking.

I just bought my first camp oven, whats the first thing i should cook?

Mick: I see this question a lot, online, just bought my camp oven, what’s the first thing I should cook? And for me, I always recommend Damper.

It’s a couple of dollars worth of a bag of flour. It’s water that out of the tap. And it’s a pinch of salt. Its something that we cook a lot over here. And if you do burn it. It doesn’t cost much to replace it or cook another one.

And then once you cook the few dampers and got them right and then look at cooking other stuff because you’ve got an idea. because that’s the mistake people go out and buy this beautiful big piece of lamb or roast pork and throw it in the camp oven loaded up with coals.

And then, not managing the heat correctly because they’re all excited about what they’re going to have for dinner tonight.

And they end up destroying it. Whereas if they had a chance to look back and going. Alright, so I’ll put something simple, easy. That doesn’t matter if it gets burned, and then work on that and then improve on that, and then like you said before, and then once I’ve learnt that go on to something bigger.

And dont forget about it. The night after and come out, it’s already rusted because you know you had too many beers and you haven’t cleaned it maintained it and then you go re-season it and then you starting it all over again.

Saffron: Number of Dutch ovens I’ve lent to people that like two weeks later I opened up to store that it still have food in it.

I have trashed. Like I said, teaching and lending you trash so much equipment. So I’m really good at seasoning.

Mick: Recently, I had a guy come to me and ask me to loan a camp oven.

Im like even one better I was just actually gifted one from someone I know they said if, you know, you might want this or you might know someone that wanted it and that same day, this guy came to me. So I’m like cool it needed looking after so I cleaned it all up and gave it to him.

And he’s been loving it.

Saffron: The most amazing story I’ve heard of re-seasoning a Dutch oven and I have to share this so if anyone hasn’t come across Cee Dub, as a person.

He’s retired like three times I think already like he’s got an amazing wealth of experience. So I’ve seen him live and spoken to him quite a few times and in his presentation. He talks about he used to be one of those guys that catch illegal hunters, and he used to be out on his horse and track them down and all that sort of cool stuff.

And one time they took out this illegal hunting tab and like just took them away like pretty much most of the day gear was just sitting there and he knew that there was a Dutch oven there that was, had been cooking on the fire, like just sitting there, I think it was like four or five years later he came back across this same camping setup that they raided, and the Dutch oven was still sitting there.

And he took that home and cleaned it up and he actually used to take it on the teaching circuit with him and like this was a Dutch oven that sat in the elements and I know where he lives that that would have been snow and rain and then crazy heat and any.

And it’s survived, and it was recoverable, and Cee dubs amazing he’s got so many, he’s forgotten more than I know about.

When you’re cleaning your ovens do use detergent on them?

Mick: But this is a bit of a question that so many people get upset about when you ask It. It’s either use detergent don’t use detergent, and so what do you do when you clean your ovens, Do you use detergent?

Saffron: So I’m gonna go back to the story about the age of my ovens, any of my older ovens, I’ll just use detergent on them straightaway. They’re seasonings great it’s hard there’s nothing to worry about.

If I’ve got a fresh Dutch oven, which is, is perhaps still a little bit in the growth stage there may be a few like little spots of steel that poke out there just because of the staring or whatever. I tend to be a little bit more cautious on those and try not to wash them with soap but that’s just me.

But if, like I said, the early things you’re cooking in at a breads and roasts, you don’t tend to need to have to wash them hard anyway.

Mick: No not at all

So that’s how I manage it. I mean the soap dissolves the oil, but if it’s seasoned properly it’s not technically oil but still when it’s fresh, I just, I just tried to not attempt to fate or something going wrong

Mick: Oh, it’s good, it’s good to see how different people do things or understand things, and still works for you.

But the seasoning that you buy these days like pre-seasoned dutch ovens. I mean, they’re amazing. I mean, the reason I’m so gentle on mine is that like I said I because of what I do.

I mean I’ve hit a perfect example I did a scout camp we did a cake in it and literally, they cut the cake in the Dutch oven and gouged out like I literally had triangles cut all across the bottom, so I had to strip it took me like two weeks to strip off, it was one of my favourite dutch ovens with the best seasoning.

But when I strip it I don’t have the company pre bought seasoning, I literally had nothing to say building up from nothing is completely different to buying a pre-seasoned Dutch oven. I’m probably starting probably a couple of steps behind the average new cooker with a new Dutch oven.

Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson | The Camp Oven Cook
Saffron Hodgson from BushCooking.com cooking at a campsite.

How do you store your camp oven so they don’t get broken when you’re travelling?

Mick: like over here we kind of stick them in a bag inside of a milk crate and put them in the back of a car and hopefully they don’t get broken and is that sort of thing that you guys do over there?

You know I don’t really know what other people do, I’ve definitely seen them just bouncing around in the back of their pickups. Some of them are careful. They’re also the ones that complain when they randomly break.

With mine, I like to store paper between the lid, and the base to make sure there’s airflow through it, I tend to just oil, even if I don’t eat so sometimes I stand the risk of that oil going off. So I like to get the air into it. If I don’t have time to properly heat it.

But then I’m yeah I’m careful I mean when you’re packing as well. A highly overlooked thing, you want to keep that weight, I mean they are heavy you want to keep it as low as possible in the trailer, whether it’s a caravan or whether it’s a packed trailer. Got to keep that weight low.

Mick: I guess that’s why over here a lot of the people who are caravanning, choose to use the spun steel or the bedourie now. Over the cast iron because it is light, but at the end of the day, it’s just like cooking in a pot.

So retains heat differently and you got to do your heat management, different to if you’re doing cast iron, but the popularity of those have just been going crazy here because they are light.

Saffron: Yeah.

Have you got any wish list for the future that you want to achieve?

So Stefan you’ve been telling me a lot about what you’ve been doing now and what you do with your camp ovens. Have you got any wish list for the future that you want to achieve?

Saffron: I’m looking forward to coming back to Australia and becoming a greay Nomad, Actually. I want to travel a lot more. Then I mean I’ve been very blessed in my entire life, to do a lot of travelling already.

I don’t really have a dream to settle down in one place. So I want to be able to travel around to spend days out in the bush cooking, spend days touring. I’ve been lucky to see a lot of Australia, I’ve been down the centre I’ve done most of the coast, a lot of the cliches, but I haven’t done much of Western Australia.

I really want to go back to Tasmania. And, you know, I just want to kick back and be able to just the only thing in my life was working on my website posting new recipes, re-cooking, re-photographing. And as my time frees up to do a lot more lives and videos and stuff.

I mean video is the way of the future I wish I had more videos I just don’t have the time right now.

I think to me it’s important to get the information correct. There’s a lot of people out there and I’m just throwing out content and I spend a lot of time laughing at it.

The number of Dutch oven recipes I’ve seen where it’s like you didn’t cook that in, you cooked it in a saucepan and you poured it in there. There’s no-cook marks on it or anything, it doesn’t even look hot.

Mick: Yeah

Saffron: you know, so being, I mean every single recipe on my website that I’ve cooked, I’ve eaten or there is no crazy photographs there’s no mashed potatoes as ice cream or anything silly like that.

We have a very small window between being cooked, being photographical, and being eaten.

Mick: Oh definitely.

Saffron: You know.

Mick: That’s like when I made my book, it was all stuff that we cooked, and that we tested three or four times before it made it in there and I remember, Nick had this crazy idea to make this banoffee thing whatever it was with caramel.

And we tried, over and over again to try and get it we just could never perfect it, so it never made the book but we spent so much money on ingredients and that but we just didn’t want to put it out there in the book just because we had this idea without road testing and never made it, and then I actually saw the recipe the other day. And I’m like, I’m gonna have a look at that again because, you know, I don’t want to let that defeat me.

Saffron: Have a couple of recipes like that I think everyone does.

Mick: Yeah.

There’s a couple that I’ve cooked them and I’ve eaten them but they just do not photograph well I’ve actually been thinking about writing like a top 10 recipes that look like crap but tastes amazing because, unfortunately, outdoor cooking is like that I mean even the stuff you cooking in foil in the coals, it looks terrible but it tastes amazing.

Mick: Yeah, I understand.

Saffron, Thanks for taking the time to show others how different, something as simple as a cast iron pot can be done differently by other people.

Saffron: Thank you for having me. I love sharing my experiences and knowledge and I love learning from other people as well, it’s what keeps everybody fresh and moving forward.

Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson | The Camp Oven Cook
Saffron Hodgson from BushCooking.com cooking a whole hog

If anyone wants to know anything about you, where can they go?

The best place to start is BushCooking.com, and that’s my website is full of my recipes from there you’ve got links to all my social media, feel free to reach out if you’ve got a question that’s not answered. And I surprisingly get back to everybody. As much as I can.

Talking Camp Oven Cooking with Saffron Hodgson | The Camp Oven Cook
Screenshot of BushCooking.com

And thats a Wrap!

Mick: And that’s a wrap. Thank you for listening right to the end of this podcast episode. If you want to hear more podcasts, like this one, make sure you subscribe to this podcast on whatever software you’re listening to right now on.

Mick: Anyway, doesn’t matter what type of oven you choose to use, how you choose to heat it up or clean it. Just get out there and use it.

I’m Mick the Camp Oven Cook and thanks for listening.

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