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  • Writer's pictureOkavango Cooking School

Cooking over a fire

Updated: Jun 4, 2021

Have you ever seen behind the scenes of a mobile safari bush kitchen? We train mobile safari cooks and the cooking lessons are done over fire. I have come across many different ways of cooking over a fire and love this method of cooking food and the smokiness and distinctive woody flavor it adds to the meal.

First prepare the fire and make coals for cooking and baking and make enough of them so you don't run out of heat.

To bake or roast food you will need an oven, mostly made from tin. I have seen some tin ovens raised on legs and coals are placed underneath it, as well as a tin oven that has been dug a little into the cleared sand. Place the coals evenly under the tin oven and then place your food inside the oven and cover with coals on top.

Baking in a tin oven has its own challenges...... you don't turn a dial to set the temperature, you learn how to keep your tin oven hot enough to cook food without burning it. Oh and the suggested cooking time in recipes doesn't always apply when you are baking'as it all depends on how you control your heat. You can bake pretty much anything, from cakes and breads to lasagne and chicken pies.

When it comes to cooking over the fire, the heat needs be evenly distributed, and avoid the flames, it burns the food. Some fire cooking is done on a grid, some with heavy duty pots and others have made flat sheets to fry and grill the food.

Yes it is a challenge, but there is nothing as satisfying as preparing tasty meals when you are cooking over a fire.... not to mention the smokey flavor it adds to the meal.

On that note, I am off to bake a cake for afternoon tea!

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