Do you really need a Campervan Oven?
The long and short of it is- it depends! We know some people who have said they couldn’t be without an oven in their camper van even though they only use their van for occasional holiday use and others who have lived in vans long term and have never missed it.
For us, an oven would use up valuable space in a what is essentially a small space anyway so the decision was easy. This is especially true when there are plenty of alternative ways of cooking out there without a proper built in oven. Here are some alternatives that we have both used and have experienced other vanlifers using during our travels:
For the purposes of this blog we are only going to discuss options that don’t require 240 volt hook up that can be used off grid.
What can you use Instead of an Oven in a campervan?
Omnia Stove Top Oven- If you have seen our Instagram profile then you will be no stranger to this little stove of joy! We use this at least 3-4 times per week to both cook and bake- you would be amazed at the creations you can make. In fact, we’re pretty sure you can cook anything (with a little imagination) in an Omnia that you can cook in a normal oven. Some of our most proud creations have been a full blown roast dinner, vegan toad in the hole, cinnamon buns, bread and pies to name but a few. To get more info on the Omnia Oven click here or email us for any advice or handy tips on cooking with the Omnia.
Feuerdesign outdoor grill- Technically this is marketed as a portable BBQ but it features a fan which enables you to control the temperature and a lid with a thermometer so you can use it like an oven. If you buy the pizza stone it makes the most fantastic authentic stone-baked pizzas. You are limited to using it outside but it’s a great summer alfresco eating option.
Frying pan- yes a frying pan! You can cook so many things in a frying pan that you would normally automatically use an oven or microwave for. We cook pizzas, toasties, popcorn, flatbreads and nachos in our saucepan. In fact we used to use a ridgemonkey type grilling device but found we made better, more evenly cooked toast/toasties in the frying pan. Our only tip with this is buy a deep pan that allows you to cook everything (e.g. casseroles). We use a Zinel non-stick saute pan which you can buy from amazon.
Ooni outdoor pizza oven- Anyone would think we like pizzas! We have met up with a few fellow vanlifers who have these and they do make absolutely delicious crispy pizzas. Ooni pizza ovens are also available as gas powered, charcoal powered, wood fired or multi fuel. They are obviously quite specialist in that you can make only pizzas in them but if you like pizzas then they are brilliant and look pretty snazzy too! If you would like to learn more about portable pizza ovens then check out Happy DIY Homes portable pizza oven review.
Still Want an Oven in your Van?
It goes without saying that a built in oven offers ultimate luxury in van cooking. It gives you the freedom to cook whatever you want as if you were at home and is super convenient. There are lots of options of ovens to choose from and they range fairly wildly in price. They seem to range from around £250 up to £600-£700 for a top of the range one- but don’t forget you sometimes need to purchase a hob on top of this cost too. Fellow vanlifers, The Indie projects use a Voyager 4500 cooker which is fully powered by LPG and seems like a good option as it has an oven, grill and hob all in one. You can also buy ovens with electric 12v ignition if you really want to get snazzy pants!
In summary, honesty, we have never missed an oven as we found we are able to cook everything we want in the Omnia hob top oven and a really good deep frying pan. Of course you have to consider how to cook things a bit more if you only have a 1-2 burner hob as you are using an extra ring on the hob for the Omnia, however if you really got stuck you could always use a small portable camping cooker such as a jetboil as an extra ring, however we have never had to do this so far.
If you want to discuss any of the content in this blog further then please do email us we would be delighted to hear from you and are always happy to share our experiences. Feel free to also leave a comment below.
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