Toad-in-the-Hole is a family favourite meal. But can you cook it at the campsite? We give it a try.
Toad-in-the-Hole is a traditional family favourite meal. But can you cook it a campsite using a campfire?
Toad-In-The-Hole (or sausages cooked in a batter pie for our international readers - yep, no real toads are in this!) is a traditional family favourite meal.
We were camping at the cooler end of the season (a slight frost was expected that night), so we wanted to feed our clan a proper meal to give them plenty of calories through the night (taking on a good meal can help you keep warm through the night).
Toad-in-the-hole is a popular meal, and we had all the necessary items to cook it: a Dutch Oven to cook it in, and a gas burner to cook the veggies.
Cooking Toad-in-the-Hole over the Campfire
First off, fry the sausages.
The sausages were sliced to make it easier to fit into the oven (and it makes more go around the hungry mouths we have to feed!).
You want the heat from underneath for frying the sausages in the Dutch Oven. You'll notice I'm using Charcoal Briquettes rather than a proper campfire. These are much easier to cook with (as you'll see later), but the principles are the same.
While the sausages are cooking, make up the batter. Mix self-raising flour, eggs, and milk.
Ideally, you want to whisk the batter to get plenty of air bubbles. Unfortunately, we forgot our whisk. This is probably why our batter didn't rise that much.
A big bowl is ideal for this but getting to the campsite can be difficult. Fortunately, Outwell makes this collapsible mixing bowl. (Click here to see some more collapsible cookware items we're using).
Once you've made your batter you need to pour it over the fried sausages - but if you're cooking with a Dutch Oven you mustn't just pour it in.
Dutch Ovens are made from cast iron; if you pour cold liquids into a hot cast iron pan, the iron will crack.
I let the Dutch Oven cool off before adding the batter.
With the batter inside, you must convert your Dutch Oven from a frying pan into an oven.
This is easily done by putting hot coals on the lid. With the heat coming from both the top and bottom of the pot, it will cook food like an oven.
You can see now why using charcoal briquettes is easier. Doing this with a real fire gets a little tricky.
When cooking with hot coals on top of the oven, you need to ensure that ash doesn't get onto the food if you open the lid to check the food.
I use a pastry brush, which I keep with my cooking gear, and it's ideal for brushing any ash away from the edge of the lid.
This was the batter once cooked.
As you can see, it doesn't have the normal brown colour. The lesson for next time is that I needed a lot more coals on top to brown off the batter.
I needed a lot more coals on top to brown off the batter
...and fewer coals on the bottom! As you can see, the bottom burnt...slightly.
the bottom burnt...slightly
Suppose you're wondering how much oven cleaning is required after cooking Toad-in-the-Hole. In that case, it turns out very little....if you have a well-seasoned Dutch Oven (click here to read about seasoning your Dutch Oven).
The result? Well, it certainly wasn't a perfect toad-in-the-hole. Getting something perfect is all part of the challenge of campfire cooking.
Getting something perfect is all part of the challenge of campfire cooking.
Apart from a few burnt bits, it tasted the same as at home and soon disappeared off everyone's plates.
soon disappeared off everyone's plates
Toad-in-the-hole is something we'll be trying again in the future. Hopefully, with a bit more success 🙂