Even though it’s just the beginning of September, where we are presently, in Colorado, nights are getting down into the low 40’s. Nothing takes the chill off the house, or the rv, like baking a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, or whole grain bread. If you don’t use your rv very much, you may roll your eyes. We live in our 26 foot travel trailer full time, so I do a lot of cooking. From scratch. And baking. In the oven. Yes, our trailer is brand new, but I have cooked and baked from scratch over an open fire, in our cabover truck camper, in our 1985 Georgie Boy motorhome and in my 1975 MeToo trailer. In the camper and the MeToo, the ovens didn’t work, but I think that working with the 1985 Georgie Boy oven qualifies for handling quirks.
The first thing before even getting started is to have a safety check of your range/oven. If the oven is not safe, don’t even think about using it. In the camper, I used an electric microwave/convection oven when we had electrical hookups. Convection ovens have their own quirks, which I am out of practice with, so I will not address here, but at the time, it was easy enough to learn and I made some great cookies, cakes and breads in ours. Not to mention some tender, juicy roast beef and roast chicken.
Secondly, make sure you can safely light your oven. Rv ovens do not have continuous pilots, and most do not have electronic ignitions. My new oven lights like a charm, easy, peasy. The Georgie boy is a bit more like lighting the gas water heater at the Homestead. Sometimes it takes a few tries. Once you are comfortable with lighting the pilot on your oven, you can start using it.
Now we’re cooking with gas! Ventilation is another important issue. In the small space of an rv, using a propane appliance uses up the available oxygen very quickly. It is important to open some windows and vents when you are going to be using the range/oven. Also use your range fan if you have one. This will help blow the heat out during warm weather and also get rid of smoke – you know it happens to you too.
Also, never leave the rv oven or stove unattended when in use. At home, I will frequently throw the bread in the oven, set the timer on my phone and go outside to do some chores. Do not do that in the rv. You may come back to a pile of ash. Always stay with your cooking or baking in the rv, or on the fire ring if you’re cooking outside. If you must go do something else, turn everything off. Of course with the fire ring outside you would just have to have someone else monitor it.
That covers our safety check. In my next post, I’ll show you how I deal with making a batch of cookies in a tiny space.