Baking in your RV oven can seem like a daunting task. Not only do you have to learn how to light an RV oven, but because the oven is much smaller in size, heat isn’t spread as well as in a residential oven. This can lead to food that is cooked unevenly, and a hotter temperature in your RV.
If you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of baking in an RV, you’ve come to the right place. In this RV oven guide, we will tell you everything you need to know to use your RV stove oven for baking in a motorhome or trailer, any time of year.
Let’s get started!
Light the RV Oven
The first thing you’ll have to know is how to light an RV oven. The thing is, if you’ve never had to light an oven pilot light before, this can feel tricky. The good news? Lighting an RV oven is actually very simple.
1. Start by opening your RV oven door.
Peek under the very bottom level in the oven and you will see a metal tube running front to back. This is the RV oven burner. The pilot light sits at the very back of this tube.
To light the pilot light you will need to use the built-in igniter switch, if there is one. Many RV ovens do not have an igniter switch for the oven. If that’s the case for yours, you will need an extended barbecue “stick” lighter.
2. Push the oven knob in and turn it to “pilot.”
This sends LP gas supply through the line and to your oven. Continue holding the knob in and use the stick lighter to place a flame where the pilot light will be. Or, use the igniter switch to get a spark.
Once the burner flame is lit, turn the lighter off. But continue to hold the knob in for 20–30 seconds. Use caution not to burn your hand or catch your sleeve on fire!
3. Adjust the oven temperature.
After holding the knob in for up to 30 seconds, turn the knob to get your desired temperature. This will cause that oven burner tube to ignite. From there, simply let the oven preheat a few minutes. Then bake your food.
Use Your Vent Fan
Cooking in your RV oven will definitely make your RV hot while it’s running. It can also create condensation in the winter months. We highly recommend running your vent fan while cooking with the RV oven. If you bake during summer, keep your air conditioning on to minimize the oven effect in your camper.
Grab a Muffin Tin or Pizza Baking Stone
One major issue many RVers have when trying to bake in an RV oven is that the food doesn’t get cooked evenly. This is because of the gas manifold in the oven. The heat it emits isn’t spread evenly throughout the tiny oven. A dish sitting directly over the burner ends up overcooked. The rest of the food may not be cooked all the way through.
Fortunately, there are ways to address this problem. Some people like to place a pizza stone on the bottom metal platform (located just above the burner tube) to help spread the heat out. Other people use an upside-down muffin tin for the same effect. Either way, you’re bound to see an improvement when the heat is spread more evenly.
Turn Your Food
If you find your food tends to cook more quickly in the back than in the front, or if the pizza stone or muffin pan doesn’t totally solve your problem, you might also find that turning the food partway through helps. Just keep an eye inside the oven.Just keep an eye inside the oven. Watch for the food to appear almost done in one area. Then give it a turn so other areas can finish cooking.
Keep the Oven Door Shut
A strangely common problem that RV ovens tend to have is that the oven door doesn’t close all the way. We aren’t sure why this is, but we have heard the complaint from many RV owners and experienced it ourselves. If your door doesn’t close completely, it will leak heat, have trouble maintaining the right temperature, and quickly empty your propane tank.
To solve this problem, consider popping something up in front of the door to keep it closed. It may also be possible to replace the oven door to fix the issue, but this isn’t something we’ve attempted. Consult your RV oven manual to see if you can do this.
Invest in an Oven Thermometer
If you don’t have a problem with your door closing but do have problems finding the right temperature in your RV oven, it might be that the temperatures on your RV oven knob aren’t quite right. In this case, it’s time to pick up an oven thermometer.
A simple oven thermometer will tell you the actual temperature of your oven so you can adjust your oven control knob accordingly.
- Place your oven rack in the middle and hang the thermometer there for accuracy.
- In a short period of time you should know if your oven temperature is correct.
Consider Other Options
With a few tweaks your RV oven should be totally usable. Making a beautiful birthday cake or perfect holiday meal for your next RV get-together should be a cinch. That said, some people either don’t want to put in the extra effort, don’t want to use their propane for baking, or just don’t want to heat their RV up by using the oven. If you fit into any one of these categories, we recommend turning to other baking methods instead.
Some oven alternatives to use with RV stoves include:
- Omnia Stove Top Oven
- NuWave Oven
- The RV Microwave Convection Oven
- Aftermarket Convection Oven
- Toaster Oven
- Air Fryer
There is also the option of heading outside and baking over the campfire using a Dutch oven.
Whether you choose to use your RV oven, or you pick another appliance for baking, we’re willing to bet the baked goods you create while camping will be excellent, and your camping buddies are sure to be grateful!