Ice Shanty Chef Trial One: Mr. Heater Ham and Cheese

Our ice fishing trip on Saturday was a chance to do my first trial at advanced propane heater cooking. Trial one was a take on ham and cheese. I followed the recipe to the letter, and the only place I deviated was putting them in foil packets instead of a baking dish.

GE GE GE GE GE

 

I had these prepped, packed, and ready to go by about 10:30. We met our fishing buddies at noon, were in Fox Lake and set up by about 1:30. We didn’t get too chilly until about 3:30 or so, and then turned on the heater. It was time for a late lunch.

The heater on high. Medium and low are only incrementally less hot than this.

The heater on high. Medium and low are only incrementally less hot than this.

Packets on the heat. They only took about two minutes a side, though.

Packets on the heat. They only took about two minutes a side, though.

Even the name brand, extra heavy duty foil tore.

Even the name brand, extra heavy duty foil tore.

The first batch was kind of singed. The second wasn't as bad.

The first batch was kind of singed. The second wasn’t as bad.

Pros: They were damn tasty little sandwiches. It was really nice to have food that was both hot and solid out on the ice. I was able to stay warm and cheerful all the way until after dark with a warm lunch in my belly. They were also incredibly fast.

Cons: As you can see, they burnt some, and stuck. I even buttered the foil. I will probably end up using some cooking spray next time. Another contributor to the sticking/burning was the sugar-based sauce in the recipe. Next iteration of this sandwich will leave that out.

So, some lessons were learned- the Mr. Heater has three settings: Hot, Burn You, and Surface of the Sun. Also that burning food makes your shanty look very suspicious from the outside. Trial two will be this coming weekend. The 18th is the Lawrence Lake Fisheree, and it looks like we’ll be bringing quite the crowd with us for that (sounds like 10+ people). We’ll also be bringing a grill, so Trial 3 will be skipped for a week, I think, in favor of a high volume of standard grill food, and maybe some not-so-standard snacks and hot beverages. I have some ideas for adventurous hot chocolate as well as perhaps a variation on hot toddies with Fireball. I love both whisky and cinnamon.

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6 thoughts on “Ice Shanty Chef Trial One: Mr. Heater Ham and Cheese

  1. Hi, “A” for effort!. now how about a 12″ cast iron pan over that surface of the sun? Marinate some venison kabobs, maybe peppers and onions too? If the pans still too hot a chunk of 1/2″ steel or an old round cookstove lid over Mr. heater should tame him. Control the heat and you’ll be all set. Enjoying your experiment….

    • Hi Joel! Thanks for stopping by! Part of the rules I laid out for myself was to use only the Mr Heater. This is because we don’t always drive out on the ice. This is due to either the ice not being thick enough to take a vehicle on (which is a very real safety issue), or due to local ordinance prohibiting passenger vehicles on the ice, no matter the thickness (this is the case on all the lakes in Madison). So, if we don’t drive on, as we often don’t, we only have our skinny little sled and our backs for cargo. Between not having space on the little sled, and our backs being taken up by the collapsed shanty it its case and our tip up/rod bags, big pieces of metal don’t make the gear cut 🙂 Sadly, additional sleds are also out for the time being- they run upwards of $50, and we think it’s sort of silly to pay that kind of money for a vacuum-formed piece of plastic. Otherwise I’d love to take my cast iron skillet out.

  2. If those are the ham sandwiches on Hawaiian bread, I could literally make myself sick eating them. They are so tasty!! I’ll have to keep those in mind for the duck blind!

    • These are! I used leftover ham from one I’d made the week before. They were good! I just don’t know if I’d make the brown sugar-mustard sauce again. I think it contributed to the burning.

    • My next one with probably be steak and eggs or burritos in foil. We had been having heated up soup or something, and it was not cutting it at all for me. I got tired of always being hungry on the ice.

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