Baking Bread (and a review of the Coleman stovetop-oven)

bread.jpg
 Image stolen from Amazon. 

Image stolen from Amazon. 

I used to bake bread often, but then again I used to have an oven.

For a while, that was one of the biggest things "missing" in living off the grid. I experimented with building a brick oven, but never really took to using it. I experimented with flat breads, but it just wasn't the same. And so for the past couple of years I largely stopped baking.

I recently took the plunge on a Coleman stovetop-oven. Essentially, a metal box that sits on top of a propane stove burner. I say "took the plunge" not because it was expensive--they cost around $20---but because I figured there was no way it would work. It's just a metal box, it's not insulated, it feels cheap, it looks cheap. 

coleman.jpg

Except it works, and far better than I expected. I imagine this is due to the design of the bottom, which is evenly transfering the burner's heat to the air inside. I've had no problems baking at temps around 350 degrees with a medium flame. Because it heats so quickly, the oven is also more fuel-efficient than I was expecting.

I've also tried using it on top of the wood stove, but with less success. There it does take a while to heat up, and you need the stove to be really burning hot to get the oven up to temp--even with the "eye" removed from the top of the stove. But, if you're ok cooking something slowly, it will work. I've been roasting chicken, with the oven coasting up to 350 and then back down over the course of an hour or so.

Definitely a useful tool, inexpensive and effective.

Posted on October 16, 2017 .