Box Oven Cooking

Recipe from ARB 4×4 Accessories

Ever been out camping and had a real craving for oven-baked goodness? Think lasagne is impossible to make without an oven? So did my fellow campers on our latest end-of-year break. That was until we introduced them to the wonder of the box oven. With this easy to construct off road addition, we managed to feed a group of 18 hungry campers a delicious Italian feast.


  • 1 cardboard box (large enough to fit over a cake cooling rack)
  • 1 square or rectangle cake cooling rack
  • 1 aluminum foil tray (smaller than the cooling rack to fit underneath)
  • 1 roll of heavy duty aluminum foil
  • 4 empty beer or baked beans cans
  • 1 meat thermometer
  • Campfire coals


Line the cardboard box with at least two layers of aluminium foil, ensuring you wrap the foil around to the outside of the box at the base to protect the cardboard. We wrapped the box while it was flat and then constructed it back into its shape. Duct tape can be used only on the outside of the box; if it is inside the box, it will burn. Once the box is complete, use the meat thermometer to stab some holes through the walls of the box to encourage airflow.

Place the aluminium foil tray in a safe, clear area. Fill the tray with campfire coals. Place the four cans under each corner of the cake rack (we half-filled the cans with soil to weigh them down and make them more sturdy). Place the foil-lined box over the coal tray and rack, using a rock or flattened can to prop up the corner of the box to ensure air flow is maintained. Insert the meat thermometer through one of the holes and preheat the oven to around 180°C.

Once the oven has reached the desired temperature, place your meal on the rack and use as you would any oven. The temperature needs to be closely monitored and when the temperature begins to drop, simply lift the box, slide out the aluminium tray, replace the coals and return to the oven. Ensure you use gloves when handling the coal tray as it will be very hot.

If you want to get fancy, we have seen box ovens with side doors cut out for easy coal replacement. Try not to open the box too often as it loses heat very quickly. We found the cooking time of our lasagne was extended by about 20 per cent purely because of the heat lost with checking the meal and replacing the coals.

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