Ever wonder how to cook your food in an RV oven and not burn your food? Believe it or not, some full time RVers never use the oven in their RV and cook solely with their convection oven microwave.
How to Use an RV Oven
Once I got used to my little RV oven, it became a lot easier to use. The first time I used my RV oven, I couldn’t even get it to light. It was horrible! There I am, trying to light the oven so I can make supper, googling on my phone how to light an RV oven.
How to Light an RV Oven in a Travel Trailer
Lighting an RV Oven can sometimes be a difficult challenge when you have never done it before, at least it was for me! Please note that different stoves may light slightly different so please use this as a guideline.
Clean the RV oven prior to lighting it. Some ovens may fail to work properly if it is congested with dirt and food residue. It may be helpful to wipe the inside of the oven with a dry cloth to get rid of any dust or tiny debris. If your oven is already clean, you can skip this step.
Turn the propane gas on that runs to the oven. On our camper, it was as simple as turning the knob on the propane cylinder outside. On some camper models, there may be a switch inside the camper. Then you will want to raise the stovetop on top of your oven and locate the pilot light.
Turn and push the pilot light’s control as you hold a lit match right over your pilot light hole. On some models you may not have to push the knob in. On one of our 1st RV we did have to and our 2nd one we didn’t have to. Make sure that you are holding the control in the correct position when you are doing this.
Hold the control button for at least 30 to 45 seconds once lit to make sure that the pilot light stays on. Some models may auto light at this point. All of ours, we had to manually light them. If it hasn’t been used in a while or you ran out of propane, it may take a little longer for the propane to get through the lines.
Locate your pilot burner inside the oven and then turn the thermostat to your pilot position. It may already be in this position from when you lit the pilot light on the stovetop. Light the oven pilot and set the thermostat according to your desired temperature. Again it may take a few seconds for the propane to get through the lines to the oven.
You will always want to make sure that the top pilot light is going when you use your oven.
If one of the pilot burners don’t want to light, you may want to check the burner ports to see if they are clogged. If they are, you can clean the clogged ports with a straight pin.
Preheat your oven
Preheating your oven is an important step. While in my sticks and bricks house, I’ve been known to skip this step. However, it’s one that I make sure to do in our camper.
The best way to preheat your RV oven is to get it a little over your target heat and then back it off slightly. This will give you your best results.
Use an oven thermometer
Unlike ovens in your house, most RV ovens don’t tell you the temperature. Because of this, you have no way of knowing exactly how hot your oven is.
One of the first things you will discover is that your RV oven doesn’t talk to your dial. Just because you set the knob at 350 degrees, doesn’t mean that’s what the temperature actually is. The oven thermometer will help you compensate for the lack of communication.
Use a baking stone
If you only use one piece of advice I give you, I highly recommend it to be this one. I can’t tell you how many times this has helped me.
I learned about this tip in a full time RVing group on Facebook. The purpose of it is to help evenly heat the oven. RV ovens are notorious for not cooking evenly. Using a baking stone, with help solve this problem.
Use the right size bakeware
This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s something that a lot of people don’t think about. Now before you run out and go shopping, make sure you measure the inside of your oven. Be sure to leave a little wiggle room on each side. If the pan just barely fits in and touches each side, think about how difficult it will be to get the pan out of there when it’s hot.
Raise the wire rack higher
I highly suggest that you keep your wire rack in the middle of the oven. If you use the bottom one, the bottom of your food will get burned. Be sure to play around with the different positions for your wracks. Your particular oven may have a different sweet spot than mine.
Rotate your dish halfway through baking
Even with the help of a baking stone, the oven will still have some slight issues with heating evenly. To help combat this, you will want to rotate your dish halfway through baking to help make sure everything cooks evenly.
Make sure your RV is level
This one isn’t essential, but it is helpful. The reason behind this advice is some things like muffins will run to one side when baking. They will still taste the same, but they will be lopsided. So if you don’t mind lopsided food, then you can totally disregard this one!
Know that your cooking times will be different
Just like the cooking difference between gas and electric ovens, there will also be a difference in cooking time with your RV oven. Your RV oven will most likely cook either faster or slower than the one in your sticks and bricks house. With this in mind, be sure to watch your food really close until you get used to your oven and how long it takes to cook.
Make sure you have propane
This sounds like a no brainer, but believe me, there is nothing worse than being in the middle of cooking something only to run out of propane. It’s even worse when both tanks are empty and the campground office is closed for the evening already.
Once you get more used to living in your RV, you will probably get in the habit of watching the levels. But you will also want to remember that the propane gauges are notoriously inaccurate. I have lost count how many times I have been working at an RV park and have someone come in to get propane only to have their gauge off.
I hope that these tips have helped you. When you are first starting out traveling in your RV, it can feel like there are thousands of new things to learn.
Guide to Full-Time RV Living For Beginners