Tag Archives: appliances

Convection Microwave Oven for RV

Baking with convection ovens all 15 years that I had my restaurant  in my hometown of Rockdale, TX  ….I found I enjoyed this type of baking because of its appearance that this was a professional type of baking. With a fan mounted on the side or back of these huge ovens…air circulated around the food and the results were wonderful. Tops and bottoms of the cookies, bread pudding, cakes, pies and sorted breads…all were evenly brown and cooked to perfection.  Now that we find them these types of ovens in our RVs today…..I am over joyed!!!

 convection-built-in-microwave-oven-9722-1822283

What is  the definition of a  convection oven?  (from Widipedia) A convection oven (or fan-assist oven, fan oven) is an oven that has fans to circulate air around food.[1] Conventional ovens, which do not have fans, rely primarily on radiation from the oven walls, and to a lesser extent, on natural convection caused by temperature differences within the oven, to transfer heat to food. In contrast, the fans in convection ovens allow more heat to be transferred via convective heat transfer. Fans help distribute heat evenly around the food, removing the blanket of cool air that surrounds food in an oven, allowing food to cook more evenly in less time and at a lower temperature than in a conventional oven.

I believe  for the most part, people have trouble with convection cooking because of how they are now connected to our microwaves. We basically have used the microwave for heating purposes  or at least very little cooking, never being able to use any types of metal cookware inside and if  you did…horrible things would happen!!!  Today we can throw that type of thinking out the window, for the convection microwave oven will allow you to use most any type of cookware that can withstand high heat.

Important: Just like before… when using a low wattage microwave…slower heating or cooking would occur, the same holds true with this new RV convection microwave oven design we have today.  Take a look at the data plate located on the inside around the door opening.  I find that convection microwaves start at 900 watts and run up to about 1500 watts.  Higher wattage means faster and more energy efficient cooking.

Convection microwaves will brown and cook the outside of your foods penetrating to the center vs. regular microwaves emit waves that bounce around until they come in contact with the food causing water molecules to excite and generate heat which then cooks the food.

Now for the inside convection micropreparation of using a convection microwave; I know from what I have learned that the lower sided dishes, pans, etc. …..are ‘best’ to use.  For example, casserole rounds or squares.  However, I have used my bundt pan for cakes…and they turn out fine. You will have to experiment with your own unit to see how it works best for you.

Remember, you should always use the circular metal lift tray (that will come with the unit) placing your dish on top of it so complete circulation of air will occur.  If your unit is used and you did not get a lift tray then you will need to purchase one online or at a specialty store. I have found them online for around $20- $25.  Some of you may have a metal tray that reaches from side to side that hangs on plastic hooks. This is for double dish baking and/or using those 9×13 dishes or some other size that prevents you from using the circular lift tray. When you using the lift that fits from side to side, know that you will need to stop your unit half way through the cooking process and rotate because it is imperative to allow the air to transfer over the item evenly. (Note: if you don’t turn the dish…. there is a good possibility that your food will burn.)IMAG0310

All convection/microwaves are real good about just allowing you to plug in the baking information it requires. First, preheating is a must. With good clean electricity, preheat time should be around 10 to 13 minutes.  Place the lift tray inside during the preheat stage.  Once it beeps letting you know the preheat is complete, place the dish inside and set the cooking time. Higher wattage will require less time (about 25% less) or the drop in temperature used (about 25%).  Lower wattage units will remain the same and in some cases require more time than what is stated on the recipe. Again, you will have to experiment with your unit to see what works best.

You can use aluminum foil inside your unit on convection settings.   I suggest not to use in very high temps (over 400 degrees) and pass this information on to others as a ‘safe’ procedure.

This unit will do combination cooking also, where you can use convection cooking for a time and then cook with the microwave, as well.  70% of the power comes from the convection baking…..and 30% comes from the microwave.  Use this setting when your recipes calls for an hour or more of cooking time. Using this feature will reduce your cooking time by about 25%.  If the cooking time is 45 minutes or less….just use the convection baking only.

There is so much to learn about convection baking that I will have to continue to write about in the future.  I do hope that you will use your RV

Convection Microwave Oven RV – learn to use it to the fullest capabilities because it does do a beautiful job and is a wonderful alternative to the propane oven.

Happy RVing!

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RV Electricity – 30 Amps VS. 50 Amps

RV Electrical - 30 Amps vs. 50 Amps

RV Electrical – 30 Amps vs. 50 Amps

Most of us will not think about electricity when we think about our RV kitchens. However, the fact still remains, if we don’t have the power(electricity) that we need to run all the appliances we want and need to run…..we won’t be a happy camper.  If you haven’t purchased your RV yet, this article will be most important to you. If you own your RV but don’t understand why we need adequate electricity…then this article is for you, also.

Please stay with me while we explore RV electricity – 30 Amps vs. 50 Amps.  We all have different needs and wants….when it comes to how much electricity we require.  Electricity is important to all of us but the question is: “How much do we need/want?”

Recreational Vehicles come with one of two power cords. The power cord is either rated at 30 Amps or 50 Amps.

  • 30 Amp power cord– 120 volt AC with a limit of 30 amps of power or 3,600 watts or 3.6 KW.
  • 50 Amp power cord – 2 each legs of 120 volt with each leg being 50 Amps with the cord having a limit of 12,000 Watts or 12 KW.

It is surprising how fast your AMPS add up which cause your circuit breaker to trip. Sometimes the individual circuit breaker for the appliances will trip, other times it is the main circuit breaker that goes.

Here are some ‘electrical’ terms we find on the data plate of the small and large appliances that we use:

  • Voltage – is the push that the electricity has. Voltage is the same to electricity that water pressure is to a water system. In our RVs the Voltage is either 12 volts DC (direct current) or 120 volts AC.
  •  Amperage – is the flow of electricity. Amperage is the same to electricity as gallons of water flow is to a water system. The size and length of the wire carrying the amperage or current determines how much flow we can have.
  •  Wattage or Watts – is the power of the electricity. Watts is figured by taking the voltage and multiplying with the amperage. 120 volts AC X 20 amps = 2400 watts or 2.4 KW (kilo-watts). We rate our generators by the wattage they put out.

Save yourself a service call and big $$ by simply flipping the circuit breaker to the OFF position then back to the ON position. Many times the breaker won’t look tripped but resetting it corrects the problem.

Remember that our 15,000 BTU Air Conditioners will take as much as:   20 amps x 120 volts = 2,400 watts  EACH*

(*your air conditioner will pull 20 to 30 amps to get started then drop back to 15 to 20 amps after it begins to cool)

 The Electric Water Heater (6-10 gallons) 12.5 amps x 120 volts = 1,500 watts

If the power cord you have is capable of handling only 30 amps which is 3,600 watts of power ….right? Then from our calculations…you are now past your watts allowed! So…..forget about the microwave, coffee pot, crock pot and electric skillet. It’s not going to happen.   You can see from this scenario above… that  RV Electricity – 30 Amps vs 50 Amps is a very big deal.

Do this little exercise to see how much electricity you are currently drawing (OR want to draw) if these are some of the appliances that you are choosing to use.

  • Microwave Oven             _______   amps  X   120 volts =     ________watts
  •  Electric Coffee Pot         _______   amps   X   120 volts =     ________watts
  •  Toaster                               _______   amps   X    120 volts =    ________watts
  •  Electric frying pan         _______  amps   X    120 volts =     ________watts
  •  Crock Pot                           _______  amps  X     120 volts =     ________watts
  •  Blender                              _______   amps  X   120 volts =     ________watts
  •  Bread maker                     _______   amps X   120 volts =     ________watts

 

I know you will come to your own conclusion as to which power cord is right for you!

Happy RVing!

Lady E Cooper

P.S.  Taking the time to become educated about your RV is vital so you can be successful in understanding and maintaining about 80% of the issues you will encounter in ownership.  The Professor and I teach so much more about the 3 Electrical Systems, Propane Systems and Water Systems courses (which are ALL foundation courses) in the RV Maintenance For Ladies Only Program and the Take Home Technician Series Program.

There are a total of 8 topics to learn in each of the programs listed about.  Be successful in your RV experience and invest in yourself today!!

RV Propane Ovens

pizza stone

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. 

Using our modern day baking stone is a perfect way we can improve our baking in today’s RV Oven.

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.

Unglazed tiles

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!