My Tiny RV Kitchen – Convection Oven Cooking
Not everyone enjoys cooking but I don’t personally know anyone that doesn’t enjoy eating good food.
I happen to enjoy both immensely and according to Jason, I’m pretty good at it. But then again I practice a lot, and this often surprises people considering we live in a small RV. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve come across that assume RV kitchens are small, ill equipped and not made for real cooking. I say hogwash!
I travel with a full array of kitchen gadgets that range from a bread maker to a food processor. However, the beauty of most RV’s is they come standard with some pretty nifty gadgets that make cooking a snap…such as a convection oven. If you don’t know what a convection oven is or how it works, watch this:
I don’t think I have used the microwave in our RV more than twice…but I use the convection oven all the time (when we’re plugged in and not Wild Camping). But this wasn’t always the case.
In our first year (possibly even two) of RVing we had a different motorhome (2009 Damon Avanti) with a different brand of microwave/convection oven. On this RV the convection oven settings were not as obvious as our Vesta or Excursion, so it wasn’t very easy to use (AKA I was too lazy to read the manual). I only used the convection oven feature a few times, I thought it it used microwaves to cook the food, I wasn’t overly impressed with the results and I couldn’t figure out why I should even bother with it. Of course, once I got a new RV and a much more intelligent oven (AKA I took the time to read the manual) I learned to let the oven pre-heat and I began using the correct type of bake ware. Which totally explains why I wasn’t impressed with my first convection oven experience. Once I learned more about how it worked and how to properly use it, I fell in love with this little cooking gadget! In fact, I think it works better and I much prefer a convection oven over the propane ovens that come in some RV’s.
If you haven’t learned to love your convection oven yet, I think if you give it an honest chance, you will! Here is my quick list of reasons you should give it a try:
- It’s a microwave and an oven all in one
- I get nice even cooking. No hot spots, food stays moist inside and crisps up outside
- Typically it cooks faster (depending on the device, a higher wattage usually means higher power) so you may want to reduce your cooking temperatures and time by approximately 20%. Once you have used your oven a few times you will learn what works best for you in regards to temps and time.
- Convection ovens will brown and cook the outside of my foods penetrating heat all the way to the center (where as a Microwave will nuke food by emitting waves that bounce around causing water molecules to excite and generate heat which in turn “cooks” the food)
- Because convection ovens use a heating element and not microwaves you can use regular bake ware. But stick to shallow dishes that allow the air to circulate around the food.
I bake (and roast) vegetables, fish, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries and anything else that contains flour and sugar. I love baking but I love eating baked goods even more! A good bakery (or baker) is my ultimate weakness, in fact one of my best friends in Dallas is a four star pastry chef and her cupcakes have solidified our friendship forever. But I digress…
The point is: A convection oven works great, even better than a regular oven in many cases, so don’t be afraid of it, whip up that batter, set your temp & time, then invite me over for a perfectly moist, freshly baked desert…I’ll bring the coffee!
In last month’s crowdsourced content poll, you voted to have us create a Cooking With An RV Convection Oven article. I hope I have covered everything you wanted to know. If not, let me know your questions in the comment box below or share some of your convection oven cooking tips! Thanks so much for voting and make sure to cast your vote for this months topic!
Help! I’ve always had a propane oven in my trailers. We bought a brand new toy hauler a couple of years ago and it came with the convection/microwave oven. I have tried to use it but have struggled. If I don’t time things right and the time runs out on the timer I have to restart the convection oven and it goes through the heating up process again. Mine also has this tiny rack that sits on the turntable that you are supposed to put the food on. I have not found a dish that will fit in it. We are a family of 5. I have to cook everything by individual serving so by the time I eat I’m exhausted and frustrated. I don’t even know what to cook for camping meals anymore. Also the bulk of our camping is dry camping meaning no hookups so we have to run the generator to use the oven. I want to figure out how to like the convection oven but sadly I’m ready to have my husband take the darn thing out and put in a propane oven. Any suggestions?
Sure! Go toaster oven, which is what Nikki has in the galley. You can check it out and find a link for it here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/electric-off-grid-kitchen Hope that helps!
Thank you for sharing…I’m one who is slightly intimidated by my convection oven. I used our propane oven on EVERY camping trip because Sausage Gravy n Biscuits is a camping staple!
I would love to know your favorite baking pans to keep in your RV, since the oven is so stinking small, and the pans have to be able rotate within the space …which reduces the number of servings in your favorite baked dishes [ie., au gratin potatoes].
I miss my regular oven because we prefer dry-camping to asphault-camping, so propane is a better option for us.
Happy Camping and thank you again!
Just wondering if it was safe to use while traveling. My husband and I are about to receive our first motor home with one of these, and I love cooking. We will be doing many long drives… it does sound like when I master combo I won’t need to though- I was thinking about roasts and such.
I absolutely hate my conv. oven in my Newmar , the oven is a Frigidaire, I always have trouble, some of it is forgetting to push the start button every time I open the door to check the food (since I’m short I can’t see into the oven without bringing the food down to the counter ,which in turn lowers the temp. when I open the door.My question is why r my cakes sinking in the center?
Check your baking powder to see if it’s out of date. Also, don’t open the door to check your cake any earlier than 10 mins before the recommended baking time. It could also be that the fan in the oven just blows too hard for a delicate cake recipe. I also have a Newmar with a Frigidaire micro/convection oven. I find it bakes unevenly (i.e too brown on the left side and underdone on the right) and loses so much heat every time I open the door that I need to add to all my baking times. I had no trouble baking cakes in my convection oven at home, but the fan in that oven didn’t blow full bore constantly like this one. I’ve been struggling for 8 months with this RV Frigidaire oven and I think we’ll have it replaced soon.
Loved learning about the convection oven! Definitely something to get with our next travel trailer.
Another kitchen cooking tool we recently found to be quite life-saving is the electric pressure cooker. Unlike a slow cooker, the pressure cooker cooks super fast, and we’ve done everything from traditional roasts and vegies to cheesecakes! I can even make fresh yogurt in the model we have. What I love most is that I can cook quickly (so not using electricity all day like a slow cooker) and the pressure cooker does not release smells or heat while cooking. So our trailer stays cool and doesn’t smell like what we’ve cooked last, haha.
Nikki, if you guys haven’t tried one, definitely do! I bet you could even use it on your catamaran. I did some research and ended up getting the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Duo Model (because it had a yogurt function), and it’s 6 qt size is perfect for myself and my husband. They have a newer model out that has blue-tooth, so you can even set-up additional cooking controls which is rather cool.
Another gadget I love is my Kuradori – only drawback LOL it seems to bug my shih Tzu’s ears, must be a high pitched sound we humans can’t hear. It cooks awesome – only catch – start with low to medium heat, it cooks very very fast. Thanks for the convection microwave tips – been afraid to use mine but may be braver now LOL. I have a whirlpool convection microwave built in combo. With all the wood around an RV it just seems scary to have high heat.
Sorry, I couldn’t find a proper place for this question. I remember you mentioning in a post that you had a leak in your air bed. I am 5 months into full timing (yeah), and have a slow leak. I also have a fleetwood, so I assume it’s the same bed. How did you find and fix the leak. I have read that with the plug in electric inflation, sometimes it’s around those cords. Can you share your experience please, to perhaps save me some time. Thanks so much. You have been so much help to me on my journey. It’s just my mom and I, so I’m fumbling along, learning as I go!
Ours was a pin-hole in the blow up mattress for the loft. I found the hole by putting some soapy water on a cleaning cloth and wiping down the mattress after I blew it up. Most every hardware store or Big Box store will have a mattress repair kit in the camping section, it’s pretty easy to use. After 1 year in the Excursion we had to repair the mattress 3 different times.
If you are talking about an air mattress, like a Sleep Number type, then I’m afraid I cannot help you.
Please let me know what you find out.
I would dearly love to get a convection oven for our travel trailer. The oven in here scorches my food and I miss baking. Do you know if any countertop model convection oven would be okay in an RV, or are there restrictions on wattages or something? My husband and I have a difference of opinion as to what would be okay.
One of my all time fave gadgets is our central oven which I talk about here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/favorite-rv-kitchen-gadgets It would be just the device you are looking for…it works like a dream!
What brand is your microwave convection oven? We are trying to decide which one to get for our build.
We’ve had whirlpool in the last couple RVs and it’s fine, but to be honest we don’t really use it anymore thanks to our Central Oven: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/cuisinart-countertop-oven
Is it possible to bake a Bundt cake in the Microwave Convection oven in your RV? Will be buying an RV next summer and trying to make a decision whether to add the regular oven to our want list or keep the storage space and just use the Convection. I love to bake so I need help.
The convection oven cooks just like a regular oven so therefore it can bake anything any regular oven would. The only drawback to a convection oven is the fact that you need to be plugged in or have a massive batter bank to run it. We have a tiny central oven that takes up way less space, is far more efficient and works like a champ. Plus, its energy efficient so we can use it while wild camping. You can see it here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/favorite-rv-kitchen-gadgets
Do you take a mixer with you? We are in that process of what do we take? I have looked at the items you use in your kitchen and other gadgets you listed too…but do you take a mixer. Having a difficult time parting with me Kitchen aide which is very heavy for an Rv.
I have a small hand mixer but to be honest, it’s about to go. I only use it like once a year and its not worth carrying around for such little use. I still bake all the time, but I am not making big batches of anything so an old school bowl and whisk work dandy. But it’s all about what you need and how often you think you will use it.
Our current RV doesn’t have a convection oven. I purchased a Nuwave oven, as I dislike the propane oven. We hope to purchase an RV with a convection oven soon. Do you know the difference in a convention oven and a Nuwave oven? When we get a RV with a convection oven, I’m wondering if I will still want the Nuwave Oven.
That is a hard call. I have not personally used the Nuwave Oven because between my Central Oven (you can see it in our store) and the Convection Oven I am covered for any type of cooking I need to do. I would wait, use your convection oven several times and then decide if you want to keep the nuwave or not.
I have the counter top version of this oven in my home. There is a setting which is called “Combo”, which uses both Convection and Microwaves. I use this often for cooking chicken, or pork or potatoes…. It took a little time to master, but I love it. LOVE it… I can bake from almost frozen chicken breasts in under 20 minutes… Same with pork chops… They always come out moist, juicy and delcious.. I haven’t ventured into ground beef or beef much, but the roast I made that way took 45 minutes and came out awesomely. I’ve even used it to bake frozen Veggie burgers, turkey burgers, fries and so forth (The combo setting)…..
It does take time to learn and you may get annoyed at first, but its easy once you get the hang of your unit
This is one cooking gadget i couldn’t live with out.
Well, thanks so much for chiming in! Because we are vegetarians we don’t have any experience with meat products so its nice to have someone else sharing their findings!
My microwave and convection oven, like the rest of my rig is vintage. Lol. But never used. I did use the microwave once, but I’ll let you know about the rest! Lol
Does your convection oven have a fan that tends to be quite loud… or at least as noisy as the microwave? I love to bake in my RV convection oven, but the rather loud hum does make conversing with company a bit uncomfortable.
It is noisy but it is less noisy than the AC.
Is that parchment paper you are using to bake cookies? Is that needed or do you just like to use ? !!!
That is parchment paper and it isn’t necessary, I just like using that or a silicone baking sheet.
Can you comment on the heat put off from using the convection oven? Would you dare bake cookies on a hot day?
I filmed this video and baked these cookies in Bakersfield, CA on a 95+ degree day and was comfortable. However, we had 50AMP service so we were able to run the air conditioner at the same time. It does put off heat like any oven but not a big deal if you can run your A/C.
Say what? That’s my town, had no idea you guys were rolling through.
Thank you so much for your video. We bought our RV in July and I have yet to use the convection oven. After out last trip I decided to check the web for information and so happy I found your site. Very informative, well done, and so helpful to see you in action. Looking forward to following you and learning many more rv tips.
If you need more RV tips you should start here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/category/rvin
Awe, thanks so much Laura! I am so happy to hear you found the info helpful and hopefully it gives you the confidence to start testing out your convection oven!
Stupid Question….but how can we find you at the Pomona RV show? It’s not like you and your RV are in a glass box on display…are you?
We are in a “glass display”…well sorta. When you enter the show we’re immediately on the left with a replica of our rig. We’ll be hanging out by the RV from 9:30am – 1:00pm Monday (tomorrow), Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We’ll also be speaking in the afternoon each day on the weekend.
ha ha, almost! We are at the front entrance both weekends standing out in front of an Excursion with our logos and faces on it. You can’t enter the show without walking right past us!
Cookies look delicious. I am a baker too. Love getting new receipes. Could you please share the receipe Thanks
This question is actually about another video. Did I see Nikki with aa sewing machine? I don’t really sew so much but I do mend and craft. I was thinking of leaving the sewing machine behind but. .. do you have a general rule of thumb for deciding what to take and what to leave?
I did carry my sewing machine for the first year, found that i rarely used it and so I let it go. If it isn’t something that gets used regularly or contributes in a major way to our life or travels, we let it go. So, it’s all about how important sewing is to you. For me, I would rather be on a hike, bike ride or kayak exploring than mending. I do carry a needle and thread and that works good enough!
You really do a remarkable job with your videos and posts. Thank you.
I have been using a convection oven for a long time but am wondering if you can tell me the inside dementions of the 30 inch one that seems to be standard on RVs?
I wish you’d have made this video three years ago. I never wrapped my head around our convection microwave in the Reyo so I never baked in it even once 🙁
This is a great video in your series and really hits a sweet spot of practical information that RVers need to get the most out of their rigs. Thanks.
Thanks Finn! I doubt your RV traveling days are over. You can always test it out on your next road trip adventure!
I believe I had one of these a few days ago when they were 3 days old and they were quite tastey!
You did! Glad you liked them but they are always best when they are fresh!
What about an article on the ‘Invisible 25’ trailer” you all must haul around with Nikki’s Hollywood wardrobe?
Seriously, I swear my wife and I have never seen you guys in the same outfit twice…what’s the secret? I know you all mix and match, but how do you handle the huge range of weather you encounter ~ sometimes within a few weeks? Summer is easy and compact, but fall/winter?
Ha Ha, I wish! Come hang out with us for a couple of weeks and you will see most every outfit we own. You would be amazed how much we have crammed in our closets and yet, its still only about 3 weeks worth of clothes for spring/summer and 3 weeks worth for winter/fall. We find that we wear the holly heck out of most everything so it doesn’t last as long. We get maybe 2-3 seasons out of a shirt and then its toast.
I have been told you can increase your storage capacity with the bags that you suck the air out of and they come in a variety of sizes. It seems that would be especially good for the cold weather garments and they could be easily stowed in the basement. Also, if you just want a change for cheap you might consider Good Will, Salvation Army, and, a personal favorite our local hospital clothing store. That last is so good I plan to look up others as we travel. You can find amazing buys – especially, it seems to me, in those really small sizes that fit Nikki. In the “tips and tricks” department: I am a strong proponent of knowing what your colors are (i.e. Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter). When you do and stick with those colors not only do you always look better, most things coordinate and it is easy to add things in bits and pieces. It takes some effort to get started but it saves a lot of time, effort, and energy once you have it worked out. One of the things I like about the Wynn’s approach to RVing is that it can be a fun, comfortable lifestyle.
Any chance some of the topics that have lost out in the past might be resurrected in future polls? For instance, the travelling as a couple idea this month looks unlikely to win, but I think it would still make for an informative video in the future. Just a thought.
Yes, great question! We will have rotating subjects each month so there will another opportunity for some of the topics to win. Also, we may take runner ups and add them to our editorial calendar anyway because people are interested in hearing about them.
We’re picking up our new RV next week and, after watching your video, I’m looking forward to baking lots of cookies in the convection oven in our RV!
I assume this convection oven will only work when you have electric hook up due to the power requirements.?. Otherwise it would kill your batteries in minutes. 🙂
You’ve got it Mark, no way this baby is going to work on a battery bank; that’s why we mentioned we only use it when plugged in.
Great post! I will definitely vote for more cooking/food posts in the future as well. I love your older “Day in the Life” post where you showed how your energy was being used during a day of boondocking. It would be neat to see how you cook differently when plugged in vs. off the grid. Thanks!
Really looking forward to finally meeting you guys on the 11th at Pomona! We’ve been following your blog for a long time and really enjoy the information you share ~ and your humor too!
See ya at the show Mark, we’ll talk ovens, toilets and whatever else 🙂
Recipes please….very new to convection oven..
I don’t have any sound. Is it my phone or this video?
check to make sure the mute button isn’t checked on the youtube video. there is audio and seems to be working for others so maybe try again.
Thanks. I’m not sure what happened but it’s working now