Do you love baking things like a sweet dessert or a yummy belly-busting lasagna? I know I do, but I don’t have an oven in my camper van. So the question is, how do you bake while camping without an oven?
A campfire is always an option for trying to cook or bake. But let’s face it; we don’t make a campfire every time we camp.
Trying to cook everything on a stovetop is excellent, but you need something else to make those gooey walnut brownies.
So what could you do? Here are a couple of very efficient options to cook or bake as if you had a large residential oven in your RV, overland vehicle, or camper van.
Campsite Solar Cooking
How do you bake while camping without an oven? Some of the easiest campsite baking can be done with solar power and no oven.
I started looking into solar cooking many years ago when we considered buying an RV. The only thing around was the solar oven made with a box and reflective material to attract the sun.
Fast forward many years, and now there are more to choose from.
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We came across the GoSun Solar Oven at an RV show in Quartzite, AZ, a few years back. The idea of this stovetop oven being this compact, easy to use, and efficient was of great interest to us.
The best part was that we could enjoy cooking and baking without using any fuel source except the sun, and that’s free!
It’s important to note that the solar oven’s efficiency depends on the weather. Food will cook in a solar oven in the sun and the shade. However, the speed at which the food is cooked is the only issue.
The GoSun Solar Oven is a great kitchen appliance to have with you if you are living a nomadic lifestyle because it comes in its carry bag and is small enough not to take up a lot of room.
We cook with it on the road and at home in our tiny kitchen. Just make sure you don’t try to cook in a solar oven when it’s dark outside.
Whatever can be cooked in a conventional oven can be cooked in a solar oven.
The size of the solar oven is your only restriction.
Air Fryer for easy campsite cooking
The next cooking and baking option that is energy efficient would be the air fryer. These have been getting much attention over the past few years.
This a great way to roast, bake, and fry almost anything that you like to eat.
It’s a versatile kitchen appliance that can do campsite baking without an oven.
Using an air fryer is more efficient than a regular oven because it is a smaller vessel that takes less time to heat up. An air fryer is another way to answer the question, How do you bake while camping without an oven.
The idea behind an air fryer is that it circulates hot air to cook food, which can create a crisp, golden-brown exterior just like a regular oven.
Again, the size of the air fryer basket may limit the size and type of things you cook in it. In addition, they typically cook food faster than a conventional oven, so you may need to adjust your baking times.
The unit has a fan inside, so cooking anything liquid-based would make quite a mess from the air splashing the liquid around the inside of the fryer.
Air fryers typically cook food faster than a conventional oven, so you may need to adjust your temperatures and cook times.
Toaster ovens have been around for a long time. They are easy to work with because they are conventional ovens on a smaller scale.
The toaster oven has grown up a bit since they were invented.
I’m talking about the fact that you can get a regular toaster oven or one that has the ability of an air fryer built into it. They also have toaster ovens that are convection ovens as well.
Remember that a regular toaster oven will always be less expensive than one with convection or air frying capabilities.
A toaster oven might be just the right appliance if your recreational vehicle doesn’t have an oven.
Omnia Stovetop Oven great for campfire baking without an oven
The Omnia stovetop oven is a compact and portable gas or electric stovetop appliance that answers the question, how do you bake while camping without an oven.
The Omnia has three parts to it. First, it is stacked with a base, a baking pan, and a lid. The heat from the stovetop generates an oven-like environment inside the baking pan.
This little stovetop oven is shaped like a bundt pan. It even has a hole in the middle. That hole lets the heat come up and over the food and then back down to circulate the heat evenly.
Like the solar oven, this can be used at home, in a recreational vehicle, or on the water in a boat. You can have a nice oven-baked meal in no time where ever you happen to be.
The Omnia stovetop oven is very versatile, but it does have its limitations.
First is the size of the dish to cook or bake in. It has a relatively small capacity, so it’s not suitable for large meals.
Second, it requires some fuel to use. So you must use your electricity or flame to work with it.
The next limitation is that it has to be monitored regularly. Food will burn on the bottom or top if left unattended.
Because of the small size, it fits anywhere I stow it. It definitely was one of the best appliances I purchased for our camper van.
Nibbler Tip: Always preheat the base for about a minute before putting the baking pan on top.
Dutch Oven, the no oven campfire favorite
The Dutch oven has been a means to bake while camping without an oven for years. It’s a thick-walled cooking device with a tight-fitting lid. By having a thick wall and tight-fitting lid, it creates an oven-like environment. This makes for easy campsite baking on an open fire without an oven or on the stove inside.
It gets its name from the Dutch heritage and culture.
These are used on the stovetop or in the oven and are usually used to make something that needs to cook for a long time.
Dutch ovens tend to be heavy, which is not suitable for a nomadic lifestyle. In addition, they can be expensive and take a lot to maintain the finish.
This type of cooking device is not suited for light sauteing, and if it is not correctly preheated or the heat is too high, it tends to burn the food it is preparing.
Check out our friends, Alwaysonliberty.com. They have a wonderful article all about the dutch oven and all its many great uses with some great recipes so you can learn all about dutch ovens.