The RV propane oven, although it has been around for a long time…certainly does not mean that we can’t improve on its efficiency. We applaud the designers of this appliance because now we can cook successfully while hitting the roads in our RV. However, I believe that we can improve its cooking ability so let’s talk about ways we can make this appliance even better.
Did you know that ‘baking stones’ have been around for many thousands of years and have been helping us achieve success in all the many different kinds of kitchens inside or out. Here is a quick history lesson on ‘baking stones’ from (article source: http://EzineArticles.com/7001991 ):
The humble baking stone has made a revival in the modern kitchen, but did you know that this piece of cooking equipment has been used for centuries? Perhaps one of the oldest cooking techniques known to man, the history of it can be traced back as far as the Early Paleolithic Age, or between 45,000 and 9,000 years before the arrival of Christ. Archaeologists have found evidence that Stone Age man used stones for grinding starches into fine powder before using the stone to bake food on in a fire pit, the precursor to today’s modern ovens. Read more about this topic at the link above.
You can find ‘baking stones’ at any number of commercial outlets but once placed inside your RV oven, you will find that this will allow for better heat distribution which means – baking more evenly. Without this stone, you could be seeing over browning or burning on the bottoms of your baked goods and possibly… not completely baked on the inside.
My recommendations are to place this stone on top of the thin metal shelf directly above the open flame. Do not block the vent holes running down each outer side of the metal shelf for these holes does allow for air circulation. Also, do not place your baking dish directly on top of this stone because this is now your heat transfer conductor and will cause it to burn…so continue to place your dish on the wire racks, as before. However, you can purchase a second stone to bake cookies, pizza, etc. if you desire but there again, place that second stone on the wire rack above the heat distribution stone.
One other option is to purchase unglazed tiles from a big box store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Having the tiles touching one another will work as a great conductor of heat… as well as the one large stone as pictured above. The big difference between the two is the price. These individual tiles will cost you under $10 total, whereas the single large stone can cost around $30 or mnore as found in Pampered Chef, for example. So you do have options.
Another important point I would like to make is….in many of our seasoned (older models) RVs….the metal tray above the flame has an indention…about ¼ of an inch deep. In the newer rigs the RV propane ovens probably will not have that indention. Please make sure that your stone lies completely on the metal shelf and not have it so large that it sits on the outer ledge (where those vent holes are located). It is imperative that your stone/tile(s) be in contact with the metal from side to side. It’s a good idea to measure your indented area before purchasing to prevent the hassle of taking it back for an exchange. Whether round or square is not a problem but we are trying to cover as much of that indented metal area as possible.
While traveling, some RV owners will wrap their baking stone in a towel to prevent possible breaking. However, should your stone break, do not worry because as long as the pieces are touching …the conduction of heat process is successful.
ARTICLE UPDATE: I have had two individuals contact me telling me that their Pampered Chef stone did break when put on the metal shelf above the flame. I know that 2 is not a lot, however, I wanted to pass this info on to you letting you know that it is a possibility, so be aware!