It never ceases to amaze me that so many who have an RV convection oven don't use this wonderful tool for making delicious meals in the RV. Let me help you with a few pointers and a recipe!
I love my RV Convection Oven / Microwave combo unit. Cooking and baking in your RV convection oven is wonderful once you become familiar with your oven unit and how it operates.
We all know how the microwave works. It is fast and efficient. It's good for heating things quickly.
And most of us know how a regular oven cooks.
The source of heat in an RV conventional oven is blown by fans, so the heated air circulates all over the inside of the oven.
Now I admit, the convection oven does have a learning curve. But then again, so do most appliances. Once you become familiar with your particular unit and try a few recipes I promise you will have the confidence needed to cook and bake many rewarding recipes.
It's not that hard.
So stay with me!
First, though, let's demo what using an RV convection oven looks like on a real RV camping trip. Her'es a video on RV convection oven cooking I did with Jennifer Wendland that shows the whole process, from start to finish.
Keep reading because we have step-by-step instructions for you and even a delicious recipe, that also comes with a how-to video!
What are the advantages of RV Convection Oven cooking and baking?
Let me give you 8 of them:
- Crusts develop a light, flakey crisp crust.
- Cold spots that typically develop in traditional ovens are usually eliminated and the browning on the baked goods, roasts and casseroles are typically more evenly distributed.
- Pastries and other baked goods rise higher.
- Recipes often bake quicker than when baked in a traditional oven.
- Many recipes are able to cook at up to 25% lower in temperature.
- Roasts brown sooner and seal in their juices.
- Casseroles have a creamier center.
- Vegetables and fruits caramelize quickly adding to the flavor and crispness of the product.
The information in this blog post refers to the High Pointe Convection/Microwave model in my Class B RV.
Be sure to reference and become familiar with the owner's manual that coincides with the make and model of the microwave/convection appliance you have in your RV since manufacturers, models and guidelines may vary.
Our High Pointe convection unit operates using shore power electricity when we are plugged at an RV park with power available or we use our RV generator to power the appliance.
Some RV convection ovens operate using propane and the instructions and guidelines on these units will be different.
Information on the High Pointe Convection/Microwave oven in our RV follows:
There are 10 temperature selections on the RV convection oven: 100F – 425 F. The settings within these temperature ranges are set by selecting the temperature located in small print under the ‘number' buttons.
The temperature options increase in progressive order of 50 degrees on our particular unit.
#1 button = 100F, #2 button = 150F, #3 button 250 etc.
The heat settings I use most frequently in cooking and baking are 325 F – 350 F. You will find those settings under the #6 = 325 F and #7 = 350F.
Typically I operate the convection oven in the ‘preheat' mode. Instructions are as follows:
To Pre-heat then cook in the RV convection oven
1. Press the Convection button.
2. Select the desired temperature: Press 6 (325 F) or Press 7 (350 F). If you are not following a convection recipe but using a recipe that was written for a standard oven, lower the temperature setting by 25 F to adjust for the convection cooking method (that circulates heat above, below, side to side and front to back).
Note: In an RV convection oven, your food often cooks 20% – 25% faster than traditional ovens. If convection oven cooking is new to you, start with a recipe written especially for a convection oven or adjust the temperature and timing of a traditional family favorite recipe as noted by lowering the convection time or temperature 25 degrees F.
3. Press ‘Start' The convection oven will beep when the oven reaches the set temperature. You can watch the temperature level as it increases by looking at the exterior door of the convection oven just below the digital number display. Triangular bars light up indicating the current temperature inside the oven as it rises. The oven will beep when the set temperature is reached and the temperature setting will flash on the digital display.
4. Once the cooking temperature is reached, open the oven door.
5. Place the convection oven rack on the turntable.
6. Place the oven-safe dish of food on the convection rack and close the oven door. Check to make sure the dish you selected fits on the convection rack and that it clears the sides by at least an inch on all sides so that the dish doesn't stick the convection oven walls when the food is cooking and rotating on the turntable.
7. Press the ‘number keys' to the desired length of cook time. Example: For 30 minutes of cooking time:
Press the ‘number' keys to set the number of minutes you want the food to cook. For 30 minutes press ‘3' then press ‘0'.
Now press the number of seconds desired. If no seconds need to be added press ‘0' and then ‘0' again.
This setting is for 30 minutes and no seconds: 3000. If you only enter 30 your food will only cook for 30 seconds!
Press the start button The oven will beep and stop cooking for the pre-set time.
Note: You can pause the cooking time by pressing the ‘stop' button, check your food item then close the door and select ‘start.' If you want to add additional cooking time after the pre-selected time is over simply follow the initial instructions again as listed at the top of the article. If you are baking a cake it is not advisable to open the oven until the last 10 minutes of the baking time. This is to avoid interference in the cake rising properly. Opening the door sooner than the 10 minutes prior may cause your cake to collapse due to the heat interruption while the rising agents (baking powder, baking soda etc.) are still doing their work in getting the cake to rise.
Ready to try? Here is an RV convection oven recipe to get you started!
This recipe cooks at a high temperature for a short amount of time. I will put all the ingredients and instructions below. But again with Jennifer, I did a video about convection oven cooking that shows us preparing this exact recipe.
>Now, here's the recipe for you to try in your RV convection oven.
Mango Chicken Breast over crisp Salad Greens
2 – 4 boneless, skinless
1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz mango chutney
1 tbsp honey mustard
1 lime juice and zest
4 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
Remove the metal rack from the convection oven while you preheat the convection oven. Close the oven door and set the preheat oven to 400°F selecting the c'onvection' button for cooking type desired then the ‘number' button for the temperature. On the High Pointe unit 9 corresponds to 400 F. The oven will beep when the temperature is reached.
While the oven is heating, place chicken breasts or pieces in an ovenproof dish. Leave a little space between each piece of chicken.
Place the metal convection rack on the round glass microwave plate that sits above the turntable. Bake your food in the oven safe dish for 10 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven after the 10 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over then return the dish to the oven. Bake chicken for remaining cooking time – according to size of chicken breast: 5 oz (12-15 min), 7 oz (15-20 min), 10 oz (20-25 min) to an internal temperature of 165°F. Carefully remove the baking dish from oven using oven mitts and set the dish on a cool stovetop. Cover the dish with saran wrap for 5-10 minutes to seal in the juices.
Remove the chicken from the baking dish and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the chicken against the grain.
Add chicken slices to a large serving bowl. Add mango chutney, mustard, lime juice and zest.
Place salad greens in a bowl. Top with chutney chicken, toss and serve.
If preparing this dish for a future meal, do not cut the chicken after baking! Package and store the chicken breasts whole and slice when you plan to heat and serve the meal.
Cover and store the food in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in a ziplock freezer storage bag for 1 month.
Be sure to label the outside of the freezer bag with the name of the recipe and the date prepared.
We'll have more RV convection oven tips in future articles… so stay tuned!