Baked goods off grid?

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by dbhost, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    League City, Texas USA.
    Okay so here is the thought. I have been digging into a number of pop ups and other similar small campers, and next to none of them have any sort of ovens.

    I have seen that lots of folks chuck a toaster oven into a pop up for their trip to the state park with plenty of power, but what about when you are camping off grid?

    So what are you using to bake whatever needs to be baked. Say you want to heat up a pizza for dinner, or biscuits for that biscuits and gravy breakfast?

    There are options, I am just not sure I know all of them...

    I know there are folks that have ripped out their factory installed stoves, and replaced them with the 2 burner camp stove / oven combos.

    For those that want to bake in the trailer, there is the stove top Coleman folding camp oven. They do work, but the size is REALLY limited, and heat distribution can be pretty uneven. The heat issue can be easily managed with adding a baking stone on the bottom of the oven as a diffuser.

    There are stand alone portable butane ovens. As they work off of butane cylinders, the TCO of them could be steep. Not sure they are a good idea...

    There is always the old fashioned camp dutch oven if you want to do your baking outside over coals. The Lodge 8qt is a great unit. To use a dutch oven safely, you will also need a lid lifter. Use of a dutch oven requires a little bit of knowledge, and practice, but once you get the hang of it, they really do a great job and are super versatile.

    There are always foil pack baking ideas. None of which I have personally found succesful. However as always YMMV.

    Formerly there was a much larger selection of portable ovens, Brinkmann, and Coleman both used to offer stand alone propane models that can be found, admittedly infrequently, for sale on the used market...

    What other options have I left out for easily portable baking appliances for off grid baking / cooking? What advantages / disadvantages do you see with each?

    I should mention that I use, depending on the situation, the Coleman folding camp oven, and the Dutch oven. The folding camp oven gets used when the DO isn't usable (rain storm etc... when you are stuck inside...).
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    Some of the high wall pop ups come with ovens. Rockwood and StarCraft both offered them for a while. I don't bake much, but when I do, it's in a dutch oven. Works well for things like dump cakes, cobblers, and biscuits.
    nineoaks2004 and dbhost like this.
  3. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    Dutch oven for my vote, but it limits you to baking outside. It does take some paraphernalia for a dutch oven. I carry a stone to cook on, charcoal, charcoal chimney, tongs, newspaper, lid handle, lid rest, and pan spacer. I've used the old dutch oven for apple crisp, cheese cake, stews, etc. There are plenty of good dutch oven recipes on the Portal and web.

    YMMV? Got it, I think. Your Mileage May Vary?
    dbhost likes this.
  4. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    League City, Texas USA.
    Yep. YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary. (That disclaimer hasn't been in automobile ads for a LONG time... Actually, I can't recall the last time I saw MPG advertising in a car TV ad come to think of it... Man i"m old...
  5. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    League City, Texas USA.
    I should mention, in the Coleman folding camp oven, the usable rack space is exceptionally small. A standard loaf pan or 6 muffin tin is about the largest pan you can use. Small baking sheets of up to 11"x10" is pretty much all you can use. Given that, I have found that I can do a half a can of biscuits, or one small frozen pizza.

    For the most part, I find my 14" Dutch Oven to be FAR superior cooking wise. I find the folding oven simply a last resort...
    nineoaks2004 likes this.
  6. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Do any of these bake a cake for your birthday today? Happy Birthday!
  7. davekkk

    davekkk Active Member

    Oct 7, 2013
    Pie irons, though we typically burn most of the food in them lol. Otherwise most of what you mentioned. Pizza crust in a cast iron skillet with some toppings over the fire is good, wont brown the top by all means but its camp food, it works.
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  8. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    League City, Texas USA.
    Uh. Okay so the site finks on me. Thanks! And yeah, uh.... I can do a birthday cake in a DO. I make one for my wife's B'day a couple of years back...
    BikeNFish likes this.
  9. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    League City, Texas USA.
    LOL... I totally forgot about pie irons!

    I actually have a couple of them. I make a wierd grilled peanut butter and jelly in mine. Tequila and me being in my 20s and the time were involved in that invention.
  10. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Buy a TT with an oven...problem solved.

    My freezer and oven will both fit a nice sized frozen pizza.

    Back in the Apache days, I did use a Coleman folding oven on a liquid fuel stove with great success.
    neighbormike likes this.
  11. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    League City, Texas USA.
    Even a lot of Travel Trailers, 5th wheels, Class A, B, and C motorhomes, are sans ovens. No clue why. But yeah, a built in oven would be great, and even some pop ups have those 3 burner cook tops with ovens. There are lots of us that just don't have that option, or for one reason or another want something you can bake with outside, say for example while camping in the south during spring / fall. You just don't want to add any heat to the inside of your living space. That is why a lot of RVs also have outdoor kitchens. And even those that don't, well, I know tons of folks that carry a Coleman Stove in their Popups you know?

    The liquid fuel stoves are great. The folding oven does the trick, like I said it isn't my first choice, the Dutch Oven is. But that is due to multi usability of a dutch oven. I like being able to make stew. Slow cooker type stuff...

    The folding oven is easier to get up to heat, and do fast bakes for morning biscuits etc...
  12. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I go old school... Dutch oven. I have baked pizzas, lasagna, taco bake and even made rolls and a cake. All without anything fancy but a dutch oven and hot coals. Now grant you there is a learning curve and it does take longer than your normal household oven and depending on the weather you could suffer some heat loss. However ever since I bought the Dutch oven tent I've shortened the time it takes to bake a bit more. Like other said I like the multi function of a Dutch oven and I don't have to worry about packing up or unpacking a huge heavy bulky item. Personally I don't bother baking on a simple weekend trip, but some days especially on longer trips its nice to have a nice hot sweet roll to go with your coffee.
  13. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    League City, Texas USA.
    Yeah, temperature control is a big thing with the Dutch Oven for sure!

    For quick weekend trips, yeah, baking is probably best done ahead of time. But once you get into 3+ day trip territory, nice hot fresh biscuits, or a pizza sure are nice...
  14. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2018
    I love the oven in my clipper. It's heavenly. My FnR doesn't have one. As I can only do a 4-day dry camping trip before my fresh water tank needs refilling, this hasn't been a huge deal. I do have a coleman folding oven and pizza stone but haven't used them yet.

    I figure once I retire and start doing travel with the FnR (versus camping), I'll add a toaster oven that can cook at personal pizza. Then I can use that when I have hookups and the other when I don't. My plan is that I'll rotate between hookup sites and no hookup sites as needed to reload the water tank and empty the grey water tank. 4 nights at no hookups, then 1-2 nights at hookups.
  15. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    For years, we used an Outback Oven almost every night, which is essentially a plate with a riser, skillet and a Nomex jacket, used on the camp stove. The skillet holds a small bread or muffin mix perfectly. We used it on our Coleman camp stove, though it was originally meant for a backpacking stove. We don't eat that much corn bread and muffins while camping now, but it's still in the large misc. supply box.
    We have the Coleman folding camp oven. We used it a few times when we cooked for group trips, but haven't really used it much for our own trips. Partly, we just don't eat that many baked goods made in camp on most trips. Our meal choices improved vastly when we got the TT, with a refrigerator and freezer that work well, so we often take muffins, etc. wrapped and frozen in meal portions.
    We never have a wood fire or charcoal, so using a Dutch Oven is not going to happen, especially since we're often out and about,not in camp to tend to something cooking.
  16. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    Anchorage, AK
  17. Arruba

    Arruba Active Member

    Nov 28, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Count me in the Dutch Oven group. I know a few on here use the Camp Chief stove/oven combos. I’ve never seen one in action other than demonstrations at the RV and trade shows. Based on what I’ve seen, I’m thinking about one. I think like most propane camp gear, you can hose adapt them to a bulk tank.

    Good luck with whatever you do.
  18. Muller 5

    Muller 5 Active Member

    Jan 6, 2019
  19. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

    Jul 18, 2013
    Thornville, OH
    DW loves to bake. We has several different types ovens. Coleman, Campchef, DO and small camper ovens. All our methods required a smaller set of bakeware.

    Coleman oven we used always on the outside stove. Very hard to heat manage. Have had some wonderful baked goods and rost. Have also had some burnt bottoms. small, Hotter bottom Very had to get it up to temp in cold weather because there is no insulation. I wrapped the oven in rags during the winter.

    Campchef oven Small better insulation. Much easier to bake. Hotter bottom that tends to bottoms burning, but not as bad as coleman.

    Dutch Oven. To much work, can be a wonderful oven once you get the coals figured out. never would we get up and say lets have coffee cake, it would almost be lunch time when you ate it. You have to have master the heat management. Not an oven we would say, lets see if it done? and poke a toothpick in it and say. 2 more minutes, and keep up with that for 3-5 more times.

    Small camper oven. The 4 we have had all run about 20 degrees hot. Small, hot bottoms. We put a pizza stone in the over to to balance the heat so the bottoms don't burn.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  20. Pommom70

    Pommom70 New Member

    Sep 6, 2018
    I demonstrate hearth cooking, so use my antique cast iron ovens. Things bake in there in about the same time as using my modern oven in the house. It’s just a matter of having plenty of hot coals to keep the temperature up. I also use an old style reflector oven which roasts meat very quickly.
    Byrd_Huntr likes this.

Share This Page