The Hoffy portable campfire kitchen

Posted on 02/09/14

I first came across the Hoffy at a campground in outback Queensland where a guy was using the brazier (the upright cylinder body that contains the fire and radiates heat) to keep warm - nothing new there, but he got my attention when he started to tell me about all the other attachments that came with it as well. What impressed me even more was that it all packed down into a zippered bag (keeps my car clean) with a carry handle, about the size of a 9kg gas bottle and only weighed 12kg.

Contents of the Hoffy include the Brazier, a grill plate, kettle, deep frying pan (about 3lt) and large saucepan or pot (about 4lt), some handles, instruction manual and an adjustable platform that (as I found out) can be used to raise or lower the saucepan or frypan closer to or further away from the flames depending on your requirements for heat.  There was also a second smaller carry bag inside and an ash tray which has another interesting use when smoking (a cooking method) and baking, and as I surveyed the products I remember thinking that this is probably all you would need for cooking on the campfire - a sort of compact portable campfire kitchen that all packed into a bag to keep things neat and clean. It looks good, but does it work?

The brochure lists the Hoffy as capable of cooking, frying, grilling, boiling, smoking, and baking. The first 4 are pretty straight forward using the kettle, pot, frypan and grill plate (most people can do that) - one important thing to remember is not to have your fire too big because it will create too much heat and burn the food rather than cooking gently, but what I will concentrate on is the last two, smoking and baking. Anybody who has enjoyed smoked meat will know that the flavour is just divine; it’s another level of cooking altogether and with the Hoffy, we found it to be very simple.

Place the adjustable platform at the lowest level and put the ashtray on the platform. Place half-dozen heat beads in the ashtray and light with firelighters making sure that they are well alight (glowing, not flames) before adding just a few pieces of your favourite smoking wood (oak, apple, hickory etc) Place the grill tray on top and your meat in a foil tray on top of the grill tray. The main reason for the foil tray is to stop the meat juices dropping down onto the heat beads and putting them out. Turn the frypan upside down and place it over the meat to keep the smoke and heat in. A 1 kg piece of your favourite meat will usually take around about an hour to cook but the flavour of the smoked meat is just beautiful. Use the same method without smoking wood to roast meat.

To bake a damper, start off similar to what you would if you were using the Hoffy for smoking or roasting.  Put the adjustable platform into the bottom level and put the ashtray on top, adding half a dozen heat beads and wait until it is well alight (glowing, not flames). Place the frypan on top and put the mixed damper ingredients into the frypan and cover it with foil. Cooking time is about 30 to 35 minutes, but you may need to turn it over halfway through. It's important to note that you only need a small amount of heat beads or your damper will get too hot and burn.

Hot damper, a dab of butter, a drizzle of golden syrup and a cuppa - bloody beautiful, and with the Hoffy it’s so simple.

So the Hoffy does work and work well, it is compact and versatile, includes enough utensils to satisfy all cooking styles and when you are finished cooking can be used as a brazier, (wood heater) and will burn wood, heat beads or eco-logs. Great value at $329.00 delivered to most places in Australia

The Hoffy is designed for use outdoors and should not be used in confined spaces (endure adequate ventilation) or windy conditions.

To purchase a HOFFY click here

This article is posted in News Product Reviews

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