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Baking on the Trail
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Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Baking on the Trail on 10/17/2010 17:38:54 MDT Print View

We have steam baked in a ziplock many times, but wanted to find a way to bake a round, uniformly thick cake or muffin versus the "lump in a bag".

I was after a "cake pan" for my Caldera Cone but after a lot of looking and considering, I decided to try the cheap and simple route.

Baking ABC
I cut off the cake pan's lip, then re-formed it, using a roll of duct tape and my 1.3 L pot, to make a custom deep dish pie plate. Then I repeated the process for a lid.

Baking EFG
I trimmed both for evenness and appropriate depths. Then I re-worked the folds in the deep dish to make the top edge a little smaller, and did the same to the lid to make it a little bigger. This made getting the lid on and off much easier. (I later added a "foil tape" handle to the lid.)

After a little more tweaking, I got the pan and the lid to nest nicely in the bottom of the pot to facilitate protection and transport.

I mixed the batter, oiled the foil, added the batter, and put the lid on. I added ½" of water to the pot and floated the cake pan, with the lid in place.

I started the stove wide open to get the water boiling, then went to simmer mode by capping the stove with a slotted muffin tin to reduce the flame to a minimum.

Baking KW3
20 minutes later I had "Garlic Cheese Bread".

Baking M3
And a little after that I had a "Mixed Berry Muffin".

(We also make a corn bread, add rehydrated refries, rehydrated salsa, and "stick cheddar" for a "Hearty Refries", as well as other "hearty" breads for trail snacks and dinner supplements.)

The pan and the lid add 20 grams to our kitchen kit.

Done in the shelter of a warm garage, each test used about 10 grams of 85% ethanol.

Edited by greg23 on 10/17/2010 17:48:55 MDT.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Baking on the Trail on 10/17/2010 17:56:07 MDT Print View

Nice Greg! I can definitely dig it.

John Devitt
(cabana) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Baking on the Trail on 10/17/2010 18:25:41 MDT Print View


Great job! I use those throw-a-way AL pans to bake in all the time. I make a type of dutch oven like set up. I perfer the baking this ay over steam, just a preference.
I do have a steam set up when I am solo, but dry baking is a fun way to help pass the time when I am out with my kids.
once again, outstanding fab work.


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Baking on the Trail on 10/17/2010 18:42:05 MDT Print View

Good to know. I only had two mixes to work with, so went with what I know best. But I really want to do some dry baking. I've done it before and prefer the resulting color and texture. I just need to make up some more mix.

How do you heat your DO? How do you gage temps?

I'll be using this set up inside the Ti 1.3L (without the foil insulator on the lid) and just guessing at time and temperature.

tim hower
(jeepcachr) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
durability? on 10/17/2010 21:26:36 MDT Print View

How well does the muffin come out of the tin? How many times can you use it before replacing it?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: durability? on 10/17/2010 22:57:51 MDT Print View

This was for "steam baking".... don't know yet about "dry baking"...

I lightly oiled the pan before adding the batter.
After baking it came out clean. A crumb or two stuck.
I wiped it out with a paper towel between bakes.

So, maybe 50?
As long as I don't step on it.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: durability? on 10/17/2010 23:41:53 MDT Print View

I start with standard steam baking. Titanium 0.9L cook pot, several pebbles in the bottom, half-inch of water, titanium foil disk with holes. That goes on top of a butane stove for heat. On the disk, I place three aluminum foil cupcake cups with snack bread dough, then put the lid on the pot. The steam baking goes for 15 minutes or so, but then I let all of the water boil off, vent the steam, and turn up the flame on the stove. This does more convection heating. If it were any other metal, it would hurt the metal, but not titanium. That gives it a tiny bit of crust over ten minutes. The aluminum foil cups are reusable or not.


Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: durability? on 10/18/2010 07:33:33 MDT Print View

That is a sweet setup - and you pot/lid turned out awesome. I own an Outback oven and love it for some killer pizza but it's a bit heavy for regular use. Yours is much lighter...

I use a baking/wax paper in my pot instead of oiling it and it literally leaves no mess or cleanup afterwards. It does add another part to the system, but might be worth a try if food is getting stuck in the folds and such. Just a thought.

Very nice work.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Fun stuff :) on 10/25/2010 00:35:03 MDT Print View

I haven't tried this...looks awesome. I do love me some fresh bread, and it always seems to taste better outdoors. Well...I think most things do. :)

Do you think this would work with doubled up tin foil, shaped to order?


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Fun stuff :) on 10/25/2010 08:37:54 MDT Print View

This stuff isn't much heavier than two sheets of heavy duty foil. The stiffness is nice just for handling, plus it is very re-usable.

I think with heavy duty foil you'd only get one shot.

But - hey - try it.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Baking on the Trail on 10/25/2010 11:19:21 MDT Print View

Greg, can you show your simmering technique? A picture of it in action would be great

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Baking on the Trail on 10/25/2010 13:21:37 MDT Print View

This thread covers simmering as well. Take a look at the 5th post. If controllable simmering is needed for "real" cooking, consider the PackaFeather stove shown with the Caldera Cone.

Here is my approach -


On the left is a Caldera Cone 12-10 stove.

Next is a snuffer made from the bottom of a pop can, with slits up the side, burnished to "enlarge" it for a loose fit, and a 'domed" bottom to match the stove shape for better nesting.

Next is my simmer cap, a chicken pot pie foil tin, formed over the bottom of a pop can, then slotted with an exacto knife, with the "tab" left attached. (I marked it in black to make it easier to see.)

By raising or lowering the tab I have a little bit of adjustability in the simmer heat.

A foil simmer cap will last me a season, before it gets melted or otherwise destroyed. It takes about 5 minutes to make a new one.

Or you could make a pop can simmer cap for more durability.

For a while I used the simmer cap as a snuffer, but on more than one occasion nearly lost my eyebrows blowing into boiling, flaming alcohol - NOT recommended.

The simmer cap fits over the snuffer, the snuffer fits over the stove, and they all fit in my Heinie, along with the Cone.

Edit: An "action shot" isn't worth much, as you can't see the flame.

Edited by greg23 on 10/25/2010 13:26:51 MDT.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Baking on the Trail on 10/25/2010 14:05:28 MDT Print View

Greg, this is exactly what I was looking for, thanks-
I didn't think that putting a loose cap with a slit over the CC stove would allow it to simmer. I just thought I would snuff out the stove (like a snuffer). I will definitely have to try this.

I use to have the Packafeather, but really didn't use its "features" and I like the CC stove much better.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Baking on the Trail on 10/25/2010 14:12:06 MDT Print View

I start the 12-10 in typical fashion to let it and the alcohol warm up, then gently drop the simmer cap in place.

Sometimes it will snuff the flame, requiring a re-light, with the simmer cap in place. But typically, if I set it in place somewhat slowly so as not to "puff" out the flame, all is well.

Edited by greg23 on 10/25/2010 14:12:49 MDT.

Velimir Kemec
(velimirkemec) - F
Wet muffin on 04/30/2013 13:19:16 MDT Print View


I tried steam baking with 10-12 stove + CC with Evernew pasta pot using stove and baking pan in same fashion as greg23 suggested. But I didn't put the lid on the inner baking pan and the muffin (the part that raised above the inner pan) was all moist. My question is does the lid on the inner baking pan prevent whatever is baking from getting all wet since there's lots of water inside the baking pot and how much batter you guys put inside the inner baking pan?

Obviosuly my muffins were to big once done since they raised well above the inner pan,
but they were very good indeed despite a bit moist top:)



Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Wet muffin on 04/30/2013 13:28:01 MDT Print View

There are two basic methods for trail baking, wet (steam) and dry. It sounds like you went down the wet route, but it got too wet.

Within the wet (steam) baking method, one way is to use a plastic bag to hold the wet batter, and that is placed on some sort of an elevated metal steamer tray within the cook pot. That way, the steam heat surrounds the plastic bag, but the steam moisture doesn't actually get onto the batter. Still, the bread tends to be rather soft. If you start with batter that is a little dry, this works.

The other wet method skips the plastic bag, so the moisture gets on the batter more. Often you can start with the wet method, but then let the cook pot boil dry, so the last part of the process is more of a dry baking. That way you might get a firmer crust on the bread.


Velimir Kemec
(velimirkemec) - F
Re on 05/01/2013 12:55:00 MDT Print View

thanks Bob. Yes I went the wet route without plastic bag. I made inner baking pan from Alu foil
and put the batter in it and everything was placed into the pot.

How much water should I put into the pot? Because once muffin was done there was still some water left. I guess I should have remove the water and place the pot on the stove again to steam out the remaining moisture, but I haven't placed any pebbles under the inner baking pan so I think muffin would burn where it sits directly on the heated pot.

Will try what you recomended and will place stone or two under the inner baking pan to lift it up more.


Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
the dry method on 05/03/2013 10:05:36 MDT Print View

The modified pie pan looks like a great idea. I'll definitely try it. I use the Caldera Cone (ti tri) with the outback oven to bake pizza, biscuits, and bread. I made a simmer ring to stop down the flame, in the form of a disk that fits over the top of the stove. For a week end hike, its worth carrying some extra weight because the pack weight is less anyway, due to less food. For a longer hike, its also worth it to add some tasty food to the menu, for something to look forward to. My trail cooking is often for two, so we split the weight anywah.

blog post on simmer ring for Trail Designs stove, plus baking with the outback oven: