Lusting after an Oven


Last year it had been our plan to volunteer at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. We were hired and set to spend the winter there until our doctor put the kabosh on that plan and we had to cancel that plan. It’s funny that while I was looking forward to the volunteer work that what I kept thinking about was the fact that volunteers there have access to a completely equipped professional level kitchen — and I was looking forward to being able to bake! We were willing to forego a pleasantly warm winter in exchange for birds, cold, snow, and a few perks like — access to that oven! vulcan-gas-range

I know that’s a terrible thing to say.  But it’s true.  And one drawback of our particular RV is the lack of a real oven.  I know some Class A coaches do have a propane oven as part of the propane stove.  Ours does not.  We’re limited to that Sharp microwave/convection oven mounted overhead.  And, for a combination unit I guess it’s ok.  We’re limited to anything that can bake/cook in 90 minutes or less. It takes a long time to pre-heat anything over 350º — so making a from-scratch pizza is challenging: the oven just doesn’t get hot enough. And there is the size limitation.  Any container over 11 1/2″ is out of the question; which includes most cooky sheets.

I don’t care whether it’s gas or electric — not really — I just want something I can use without recalculating recipes or timing; an oven that behaves the same way consistently.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Who would ever have thought that one of the things I like least about RV’ing is the lack of a real oven?

I use the combination oven from time to time. I’m a make-do sort of guy when I have to me.  I have even tried using a toaster oven — but that is even smaller (making cooking anything worthwhile baking even harder), and keeping it hygienically clean is a nightmare.  Most everything we eat I cook on our double Induction hob and I’m mostly happy with that.

But there are those moments…

There are those days….

There are those weeks…. when all I want is an oven.  A real oven.  something 4 or 5 cu. ft. in size that comes up to temp on time, and that stays on temp, I don’t care if it doesn’t have bells and whistles… I just lust after an oven….

Thanks for stopping.  Tomorrow I won’t be so despondent (no — seriously — I’m just having fun with this — I’m not despondent at all).  Stop by in the morning and see what’s cookin’!  I’ll be here.

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12 Comments

  1. Peter, have you looked at the “Breville Smart Oven” that fits on the countertop? I have the big oven with all the features in my kitchen but I’m using the Breville most of the time. So much quicker to heat up to 450F, bakes evenly, and easy to program. I just love it.
    Your posts are entertaining and well written. I’m a fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, Marlene, thanks for commenting. I love suggestions from readers!
      I have had other bloggers suggest the Greville but I have never tried it. We do have a small toaster oven — not much different in size, slightly smaller but not much. It too bakes, broils, etc., but those small ovens are problematic for things like a batch of cookies — they are jus so small that you spend all day and get not much done.
      I’ll figure out a solution one of these days…. One of the realities of RV living is that by being that compact some everything has an up and down side. For example, we have a propane cooktop in the RV that I NEVER use. Cooking with propane heats up the entire RV so much that I prefer our induction hob over the propane. In that case I’m willing to accept a less convenient cooking method in exchange for a more comfortable environment. I suspect that “ovens” in an RV tend towards a similar tradeoff that has to be very personally decided.

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  2. Peter, before we went full time I read on a forum about a lady that couldn’t live if she couldn’t bake! She had a link to a marvelous stove/oven that was apartment size and that fit into her space without having to have mods. Sure can’t remember the brand name but it might still be out there. You might, when you have some time, do a google search for it.

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    1. Karen… have never heard that, but thanks for the idea. Knowing what space we have in the coach I can’t see any place that would be possible.

      I suspect that my solution will prove to be something else. Might be time for a serious lifestyle change.

      >

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  3. Oven musings in no particular order – I’ve never lived in a house with a gas stove.All her life my grandmother kept her wood burning stove – every morning she woke at 5 am to bake bread. A few summers ago I was pre-heating the oven for a pizza and heard high pitched screeching from the kitchen – a squirrel wandered in from the back yard through open kitchen door. Oh man! Seems I was inadvertently baking vermin (not where baking took place but inexplicably wedged between outer oven surface and exterior stove panel ) Sadly it didn’t survive, and yes confirmation of said fact involved considerable effort to remove side panels for ease of squirrel extraction. I see a lot of stoves in my line of work, conclusion – the richer you are, the more ovens you have.Recent party at home of gold mining company executive had 9 including the microwave.4 built into a wall in main kitchen, each with specific attributes (proofing, steaming etc.) 4 more built in and stacked in the adjoining “chef’s pantry”, plus a microwave. Gold exec wife didn’t even know how any of them worked.Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your squirrel story! My nose tells me that cleanup would be quite the challenge.

      Back in my trucking days I hauled a load to Jackson, WY where a 48 million dollar home was being built and the kitchen was bigger than most people’s homes. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; and of course the contractors just loved to show off their fancy project. I think you are right about the extravagance of the wealthy.

      I don’t need fancy, doesn’t HAVE to gas in spite of all the noise about gas being so superior. I’ve had both in my life and they both do the job, differently. At this point in life I’d be happier without a gas range with COILS. I hate the aesthetic of the coils, and I always felt they were more dangerous, but hey…. that’s all just personal preference. Just give me an oven!

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have lots of squirrel stories – coming home late from work to my dog chewing on a squirrel which happens to have one less front leg and a distinct pink boner pointing at me, squirrels constantly coming down the chimney, squirrel corned in the bathroom, the list goes on but back to ovens. Remember when they were built to last? The once upon a time era when appliances like cars, didn’t fall apart after a few years? Sigh and best wishes on finding an oven 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah — those days are gone for sure. Everything seems to have a computer nowadays — just so something can break down!

        I must be living wrong. We have had a bird in the house once — and that was our experience of critters in the kitchen/house. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Only one bird? Wow. I’ve dealt with feral ferret, flat rat (on account of the cinder block I dropped on him ) under the front steps skunk, snarky garage racoon, back yard coyote, basement bumblebee swarm, three separate bird in the kitchen calamities.:)

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      4. Yup — and that ONE bird was the third year we were married — because we didn’t have a screen up top on the chimney! He fell down into the chimney when overcome by CO fumes. We chased him around the house for a good hour!

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    1. That looks like it’s designed to be used outdoors… An interesting idea. I’ve seen something like that at one of the outdoor stores — forget which one — Gander Mountain, or Cabelas I guess.

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