Sunday, December 23, 2012

Camp Stove Oven, by Coleman


I've wanted to try this camping stove oven for a while now. I thought it would make a good addition to being prepared for a grid shut-down especially since my neighborhood is 100% electric. I like the idea of being able to bake biscuits, buns, corn bread, casseroles, meatloaf or bread anytime under any emergency situation.

I purchased the oven online at Amazon for $38 with free shipping. That was $10 less than at the Wal-Mart here.

Coleman has had this Camp Oven on the market for many years, I think since the 50’s and little has changed.



It is a compact, fold-up design and when collapsed it’s about 12x12x2 inches. When open it can handle a single 8x8 pan with ease or full size bread pan. It is surprisingly well made!



The first thing I did was test the actual temperature vs the temperature indicator that’s located in the door. The test was conducted inside my garage so not to be influenced by wind. It was also in the 50’s.



I wasn’t surprised; there is a large difference between the two. My old oven thermometer I know is accurate and with it reading a touch over 300 degrees the oven door indicated 220 degrees.




I did discover that my very old propane camp stove barely has enough btu’s to get the oven to 300 degrees. I believe my burners are 9,000 or 10,000 btu’s. Today’s camp stoves generally have 12,000 or more btu burners, so they would produce enough heat to get the oven to 350 degrees.

Well it’s now time to try and bake some bread. With the 300 degree oven temp it will take a little longer than the normal 27-30 minutes. But that’s why I use stick type cooking and baking thermometers, when the breads internal temperature gets to 195 degrees it’s finished regardless of how long it has been in the oven.

The bread baking test was with filling the oven to the max with two loaves. The dough was divided unequal and part of the reason the loaf on the right is higher. Also notice the ceramic tiles under the pans. This is to prevent burning the bread at the bottom of the pans. The tiles deflect the high heat directly under the pans and up the side walls of the oven giving a more even heat throughout the oven.



Here the bread is fully baked. The picture is correct; the top of the bread did not brown. The reason is the two bread pans filled the oven and blocked the free flowing heat from reaching the top of the oven. The breads internal temp was 198 degrees.



Here’s the bread out of the pans and you can see the side were browned but the tops were barely beginning to brown.



For the second test the next day, I baked a single loaf and as you can see it browned the top here because the heat was free to circulate around the bread.



Here’s the loaf out of the pan. It was baked to 195 degrees internal temperature but it was 15 degrees colder in the garage this time so the best I could get from my camp stove was 270 degrees and just didn’t have the heat to brown properly.


Summary:
  • The oven works.
  • You will need an oven thermometer because the door indicator is not at all accurate and would tend to keep the oven much hotter than needed which will lead to burnt or heavily browned foods.
  • An 8x8 ceramic tile or 4, 4x4’s help prevent burning food at the bottom of the pans.
  • A camp stove with 12,000 btu burners would be best.
  • Winds and cold temperatures will affect temperature but it would be manageable. You just can’t set it and forget it like the home oven.
  • As a back-up oven this is worth owning.

I will be baking other foods in the coming weeks and will post the results, good or bad!

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for running a couple real world tests. Good to know what one can reasonably expect from the oven.

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  2. I'm glad to see this review of the camp oven. We have a conversion van and are planning to camp for a couple of weeks this spring. I have a new camp stove and will now buy the oven to be able to bake not only while camping but during power outages. Our neighborhood is also total electric.

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  3. Once again, a GREAT post on something I've been meaning to purchase but haven't had the gumption to yet. We already have one of the newer coleman stoves so hopefully it will work just fine (even withOUT 50 degree temps in our garage!!! jealous? yes, just a bit.)

    But what I've REALLY been looking for is something like the coleman oven but that I could place over the top of my wood stove. I've baked cookies on top of the stove by putting a tall jelly-roll pan over the cookies (cookies were placed on top of aluminum foil on the stovetop) in order to make a mini-oven, but you can't cook much more than cookies or thinner biscuits on it.

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  4. Yum fresh bread a little real butter! Good test Thanks Bro! By the way Merry Christmas if I don't talk to ya again before!

    China
    III

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  5. Mike,

    I'm glad you tested this oven, I've been looking at it each time I go into Wal-Mart. But hesitated buying it. Now that I have your input on the oven, I will put it on my wants list.

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  6. Real nice review Mike. Thank you.

    Mikey

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  7. Wonder how it would work over a hot bed of coals. Gas in a SHTF situation would be costly, used like that.

    I prefer a wood stove myself, they even make oven attachments for your flute.

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  8. Here's the link to my comment.. I decided to show it for those who have never seen it. They also have a knockoff that looks pretty good for $100 less.

    http://www.somomule.com/catalog/item/4593086/6236300.htm

    I bet your oven over a wood stove port or placed over hot coals might work just as well.

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  9. I found this if anyone is interested.

    So they CAN be used over a wood stove with problems, seemingly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtR8tPJglio

    So I will purchase one now, being that my only other "good" choice is to buy an inline flue oven from ebay for around $200.

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  10. Anon 3:34
    I've watched many of their video's including this one. He complained abouit how hot he had to get his tent/cabin to get the stove up to temperature. He needs a seperate oven thermometer that is accurate and I'll bet he would not have to get the stove as hot as he did.

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  11. Oh yeah, you mentioned that was the case with yours.. You're probably right.

    Still cool though, I now have an inexpensive way to make bread and oven dishes!

    Thanks to you.

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  12. I have only tried biscuits so far. They get too dark on the bottom. I'm going to try that quarry tile see if that helps

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Your thoughts are welcome!