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Author Topic: Cooking in your bus  (Read 2106 times)
Tikvah
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« on: February 18, 2012, 12:58:58 PM »

My wife loves to bake, and I have the pounds to prove it.

While considering our kitchen in the bus the oven is a "must have".  However, I see a number of buses with a little convection oven that looks a lot like a microwave.  Neither my wife have ever used one or know anyone who has.
Can one of these little counter-top (or built into top cabinet) microwave looking convection ovens actual bake they way they advertise?
Can we eliminate both the microwave and the traditional oven (probably propane) and be happy with one of these little things?

What is your experience?

While you're trying to reply, I'm going to go have a piece of apple pie with my coffee  Smiley
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 03:36:07 PM by Tikvah » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 01:10:03 PM »

Once you figure out the differences in times, convection baking is a lot better than regular oven baking.  Professional ovens are almost always convection these days, if only because they are a lot more consistent and quick.  I would think they would be far superior to a typical little RV oven, that's for sure.  Mind you it depends on what you get.  I'm sure there are lousy ones out there as well as good ones.

Brian
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 01:12:46 PM »

That's what we use. Just requires smaller baking pans; but temp controll is great. We have a Black and Decker unit that is hidden in a well ventilated cabinet. It does put off heat and is either to be used on counter top or have a 4 to 6 inch non combustible space around it ventilated.  We did it with a small exhaust fan to move air.  5yrs and no fire and plenty of good food.  The other Baking idea is the Induction top with the dutch oven.  Works great also. With the only heat being the Dutch oven being heated.  For what its worth   Bob
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 08:00:39 PM »

As you plan you kitchen make it half the size you think you need. Those who carry their cooking habits from house to RV are extremely rare if nonexistent, and cooking is different and scaled down even for the fulltimers. I am surprised at how many I have heard say they made their kitchen to large. When I bought my bus I reduced the cooking area in mine by over 30% and have never missed it, and greatly enjoy the extra room where we spend most of our time. Also consider the amount of heat a traditional oven and cooktop produces, it was enough to make us miserable on hot summer days. I removed an oven/range and replaced it with induction hobs and a convection microwave. We are a family of eight and have not felt like we have needed anything larger.  We also only cook what we absolutely need because there is no place for leftovers in our fridge. Again the convection oven is more than adequate.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 09:00:39 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 08:35:54 PM »

From the time we finished our coach, we have actually never used our 2 burner flat top.  All we use is the microwave/convection.  It came with a very comprehensive cook book.  It will do just about anything.  The wife has done everything from turkeys to cookies.  That and the BBQ is all I'm going to have on my latest conversion.
Go for it, your wife will love it.  Get a big one though.
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 08:51:26 PM »

The chefs in my life like convection.

You will have a small number of mistakes in getting adjusted to convection/microwaves, and then happy trails await the chef!!!

Make the space for a large size convection/microwave, you'll not regret it.

happy coaching!
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 03:09:18 AM »

I have a fairly large kitchen in my bus, i think. at least a third larger than the last 4 ones i had. My wife likes it better because she probably spends at least 4 hours a day looking up recipes mostly on the computer. She won't use the house convection oven i bought a few years ago, so i didnt put one in the bus.
I don't know much about cooking, but she scratch makes everything, so i had to build a large storage area for bulk flour and the hundred other things in storage containers.
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 03:28:02 AM »

Just last week we ripped out our bus' propane oven & stovetop and built in cabinet storage space for small kitchen appliances that we actually use.  We just don't cook like that in our bus - and we're full timers.  The heat that an oven puts out in such a small space just generally isn't worth it.

We now store a small toaster oven that we bake small batches in. It works great for our needs.  But we do plan to get a combo microwave/convection oven to replace our microwave. That project will wait when we replace our fridge (we're going propane-free) and know the exact dimensions we have to work with in that cabinetry.

We also use a portable induction cooktop for our stovetop cooking. It's awesome.

 - Cherie

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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 04:10:07 AM »

Our Silversides is quite small and I found that an oven and a cook-top all powered by propane were way, way too much heat for the interior of the bus. And I love to cook and create things as well so here is my solution.

For the cook top I have two induction cook top units, (I can bring out one or both depending on how many burners I need.) I use induction because of the lack of ambient heat, only the cookware gets hot while cooking.

For an oven ( you can see ours tucked away behind the towel) I got a Magic Chef convection oven, Microwave and browning oven all rolled up into one compact unit. It is a professional unit so there are no automatic preset settings you have to dial in the time. It creates very little heat and I can cook anything in there that I can cook at home in my full size large oven, just quicker.

But truth be told, I really don't like the smell of cooking in the bus so I have a complete kitchen set-up for outside and that's where I do 95% of my cooking. Under a pop up tent  and I cook with wine...sometimes I even put the wine in my food.
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 09:11:20 AM »

When cooking in the bus,  the smell is like being in a small kitchen.  Don doesn't like the smell of being in a kitchen either.  We have a micro/convection and love it. Still, I don't use the convection very often even though it works great.  I seldom use more than one burner on the cook top.  If the weather is nice,  most of our cooking is on the bar-b-que.  I just don't travel for the pleasure of cooking.  I tend to make up a lot of premade ready to heat meals for when we don't bar-b-que.

Don and Cary
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 09:47:19 AM »

We have a GE convection microwave and it's OK. What we, or should I say my wife uses, is a NuWave for all of our baking needs. It works very well and I can prove it, I've gained $%#@! pounds!

We live in our coach full time and if we are not cooking we eat out! Grin

http://www.mynuwaveoven.com/?ref_version=PPC-ADWORDS-40GIFT&gclid=CIaki7TLqq4CFQWDhwodz0p34w

We do not have any propane on board. It's just our choice. If we want to BBQ we use our Weber.
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 10:51:03 AM »

We have a fairly large convection/microwave combination unit, a propane 4-burner range and the cheapest Wallyworld toaster oven permanently mounted under a cabinet in the bus.  That is a really good combination.  We can cook in either the convection or toaster oven while underway.  The propane range means that we can live happily on a 30 amp pedastal.  I confess that I was leary about the convection oven when we first bought the bus but we have grown to love it.  It is definitely different than cooking in a conventional oven but not really all that much different and in some ways superior.  Our boat is all electric and that is a major PITA for 30 amp service.  We have guests coming for supper and I have spent the past couple of days strategising how I will have everything ready at once.  I'm still not 100% certain how it will happen but it will likely involve using the BBQ as a warming oven.

The toaster oven BTW is the best addition anyone can make to a mobile living space.  We probably cook 1/2 of our main meals in ours.  For 2 people its just the right size for a couple of pork chops and baked potatoes or some chicken boobs with legs attached or a couple of salmon steaks or whatever your imagination comes up with.  It doesn't take much power and it happily cooks as we travel.  Of course it also makes toast every morning.
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 11:07:47 AM »

I find the propane gas oven is built wrong for baking, the burner is located in the center of the oven and the heat is to close to the bottom of the baking pan. I use the convection oven for baking etc. I used a toaster oven until it shot of the counter on a tight corner and destroyed its self, I will eventually get another one. We use a crock pot (put it in the sink) and cook some good meals while on the road, the smell tells you when to start looking for a good place to stop. I used to put a roast in the oven and bungee the door closed but I heard to many cry baby theory's.  A lot of the cooking we do outside as the smell lingers to long in the coach and is a little annoying while trying to get to sleep. For this I have the traditional BBQ and a propane stove on legs (camp chef three burner with grill) this is great when the family shows up or you have a large group. Failing that I suppose you could mount a full size propane wall model oven in a bay under the bus and hope for the best. I would take my wood stove we have at the cabin but ......I hate chopping wood
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Fraser Field
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 11:13:20 AM »

I haven't even installed a kitchen in my bus yet other than a refrigerator.  I had plans for a full kitchen, but I'm thinking the space is better used for other things.  My group has managed for five years without a kitchen.  We just eat sandwiches on the road.  I'm thinking we will limit it to a microwave and small sink.

We do all cooking outdoors once at our location.  We have a large three burner stove and a full size gas grill for cooking.
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 11:53:15 AM »

We don't use the RV oven a lot, but we did make one major improvement to the factory design.  We added some 1/2" slate floor tiles above the burner.  I can't prove it, but I think that this protects the food from scorching and spreads the heat more evenly.

We have a toaster that is mounted under a cabinet, but the idea of a toaster oven in the same place would make more sense.  Thanks for that one.
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