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A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?

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Vancouver, Canada
posts: 2
A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?


I'd like to bake for my camp group using a deep pit, or "earth" oven. This would be done in the fire area, of course.

Essentially, this requires digging a modest fire-pit, lining the bottom of the hole with rocks. Starting a fire and waiting for it to turn to ash, then placing the food, sealed-off, in the hole and covering it for a period of time to let it cook.

I'm thinking of baking toad-in-the-hole.

Does anyone have any experience with a deep-pit oven in a campground? I'd like to be as safe as possible, are there any tips in making sure a fire like this is as controlled and safe as possible?

Again, I would be doing this in the camp-fire area.


Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,102
reviews: 37
1. Re: A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?

I'm sure someone can answer your specific question directly.

But for a general resource, this website looks pretty informative.


Vancouver, Canada
posts: 13,848
reviews: 37
2. Re: A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?

I think you'll find that most of the established campsites would not permit this sort of excavation. They have put carefully laid camping pads in, using loads of gravel that has been raked, etc. I don't think they would be very happy with you digging holes in that.

You would have to be at a backcountry campground for that sort of thing I think,


Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 11,792
reviews: 80
3. Re: A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?

Campgrounds - frontcountry or backcountry - only allow you to build a fire in a designated firebox or a metal fire-ring. Usually the ground underneath them has been filled with gravel so that there is no danger of a fire smouldering and spreading in the duff layer and then reigniting later.

Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
posts: 4,285
reviews: 270
4. Re: A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?

You should factor into your plans a possible fire ban depending on when you go and amount of rainfall between then and your trip

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 13,848
reviews: 37
5. Re: A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?

I defer to krp's advice. It sounds like the only option for that sort of thing is on private property.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 2
6. Re: A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?

Many thanks for your replies.

On further research, it seems like the place to do this would be in New Zealand. Apparently New Zealand has a practice of cooking their food using a buried pit method called "Hangi", (don't asked me how to pronounce it). Guess I'll either buy my own cabin with a large yard...or a plane ticket.

Cheers, folks!

Edited: 1:38 am, June 26, 2012
Destination Expert
for British Columbia
posts: 5,414
7. Re: A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?

In Chile so called 'earth ovens' are called 'Curanto' after the dishes cooked in them- in Fiji they're called 'Lovo' and Tongans love food done in an 'Umu'.

Local Fijians (or usually Indo Fijians here in the Vancouver area) occasionally make a Lovo feast but always on private property.

I've helped with cooking that way in Fiji it's not easy to tell when things are done and a bit of an adventure disassembling the oven to get @ the food especially if you're barefoot and three sheets to the wind (!)

Tongans I've noticed aren't quite as fussy often just drenching the whole thing with a hose-resulting in a meal that tastes like ashes-not that they'd notice Tongan food is generally awful anyway.

8. Re: A deep pit oven at a campground. Possible?

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