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Three generations of Coleman camping gear... - Mark's Journal
Three generations of Coleman camping gear...
Aging Coleman oven Snazzy Coleman grill

I think it's interesting to compare these two pieces of Coleman camping cookware, both of which Teddy owns. The oven at left is a folding metal box that folds down to the size of a piece of paper (obviously thicker) and heats up when you set it on top of a propane stove or even just over a fire. It's got a tiny thermometer in the face so you know at what temperature you're baking your food. Perfect for Teddy's biscuits, and for my potatoes au gratin. At right is their latest, a multi-burner stove and grill with its own folding stand and pop-out trays. Probably ten times the price of the oven.

Stephen's cooking gear is probably ten or fifteen years old; he's got a two-burner stove with a fold-up cover that blocks the wind and sits on a table, and another piece with one big burner underneath a reversible cast iron griddle/grill top. You can see both in this picture from a couple of years ago.


Honestly, I've done lots of cooking just over (or in) a fire, but having even just Stephen's stoves on hand makes cooking loads easier and more controlled. Of course, I learned the lesson last time that you don't want to cook more than one or two eggs directly on the griddle cooktop. Unless it's perfectly level, it's going to run all over the place! And, it's not going to be perfectly level. Petey learned the same lesson this weekend; the griddle you can see on top of Teddy's new Coleman is the solution to Petey's first attempt on the stove's built-in griddle-top, when lots of raw egg ran straight down the drain hole. Oops!

For four people's worth of eggs yesterday morning, I borrowed Kat's big cast iron skillet, of the same vintage as Michelle's grandma's dutch oven. :-) Very nice piece. I've suggested cast iron to Stephen for camping, but he prefers lighter-weight stuff when it has to be carted around so much. I guess I can sympathize with that. He does need a bigger skillet, though, since the five-inch one isn't enough for more than a couple of eggs at a time. Maybe I'll buy him one for next summer.
13 comments or Leave a comment
sskipstress From: sskipstress Date: September 15th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
The solution to the egg sliding down the griddle problem is to make toad in the hole :)
fyrfitrmedic From: fyrfitrmedic Date: September 16th, 2008 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
My entire camping ensemble for a week in the field could almost fit inside that oven :-)
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: September 16th, 2008 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
My mother owns the little stove on the left - or one similar - as well as the one on the right. She uses her oven also to cook biscuits. My mother's is in much better shape than this one. Hers still has its navy blue enamalled paint finish. That one looks like it's been left outside a few too many nights!
chesther From: chesther Date: September 16th, 2008 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Since we were camping this weekend, too, your post spurred lots of little thoughts...

Coleman still makes the ovens, in a couple different varieties. Seems to run about $30.

Now that I think about it, our two-burner Coleman propane stove is also about 15 years old. That's kinda scary.

I brought a big (like 13") cast iron skillet this time. It was good for cooking bacon and eggs over the camp fire, and heating the baked beans similarly. I also picked up a new double-burner griddle that has 1" sides for the aforementioned runaway egg problem (though we ended up doing the eggs on the skillet anyway).

Another advantage of the stove...you can boil water for coffee in the time it takes to get the fire rolling in the morning.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: September 16th, 2008 10:00 am (UTC) (Link)

We cheat; I gave Stephen an old electric coffee maker several years ago, and he keeps bringing it camping. Making coffee is a simple matter of plugging in.
chesther From: chesther Date: September 16th, 2008 10:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah. Yes, if you have electric available, that gets easy. The tent sites at Herkimer don't have electric service, though I've sometimes thought of getting one of the RV sites that has it for the sake of hot coffee and running our electric cooler.
ruhe From: ruhe Date: September 16th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Nooo, not electricity! That's what the french press is for!

(I actually really like cowboy coffee, but the french press is much more refined than swinging a bucket around. For backpacking, I use folgers crystals--which tastes pretty good if you pretend it's some exotic non-coffee drink).
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: September 16th, 2008 11:42 am (UTC) (Link)

I actually spotted an empty packet of instant coffee labeled in Korean while camping this weekend. Instant coffee almost anywhere else on the planet is vastly better than it is in the U.S. No idea why.
ruhe From: ruhe Date: September 16th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's actually a good idea. I bet I have some Chinese or Turkish Nescafe' lurking at the back of my cupboard. If not, I can go to the Korean store nearby for some (what makes the instant stuff better -i think- is that they've typically pre-added some sugar and creamer-type thing). When I'm camping, I mainly need the caffiene boost it gives me, but that's no reason it can't taste good too. :)

I just reserved a site for some car camping weekend after next with my brother. Means I'll need to get another camping cup and spoon too! My camping stove isn't up to your level of cookery (it's a backpacking stove), but I wonder if I could do pancakes on it. Hmmm...
dakotagrrl From: dakotagrrl Date: September 16th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
The substance lurking in the pan on Stephen's old Coleman stove in the older picture looks suspiciously like the infamous haggis-in-a-can...
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: September 16th, 2008 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Good eye. :-)
dakotagrrl From: dakotagrrl Date: September 16th, 2008 11:24 am (UTC) (Link)
That was a culinary experience I won't forget (no matter how hard I try. ;-) )
msanborn From: msanborn Date: September 16th, 2008 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)
That is SO awesome!!!

almost makes me want to go camping.

13 comments or Leave a comment