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Old 12-07-2014, 07:35 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charlevoix , Michigan
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Posts: 258
Gas or Electric Convection Oven?

Seeking the collective advice of Airstream cooks!

We plan to be on the road full time and my wife currently cooks a lot. We're interested in Convection Ovens but don't have any experience with them. From the sound of it we should be able to adjust our cooking styles to accommodate the use of a Convection Oven in place of a Gas Oven, so that's not a problem, however I am trying to find out how versatile these convection ovens can be. Are there units that can run off of propane OR electric? Our refrigerator has this option and it's really handy depending on if we're somewhere with hook-ups or not (use in electric mode when hooked-up, use in propane mode when boonedocking).

Any guidance from your kitchen would be appreciated. Thank you!

- Jason & Brittni

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Old 12-08-2014, 07:36 AM   #2
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2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
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No gas/electric oven combos that I know of. We have the convection/micro oven and like it a lot because we also have one at home.

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Old 12-08-2014, 08:30 AM   #3
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Livingston , Texas
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We also are full-timers (in a '86 Avion 34V) and, like your wife, cook most of our meals (both of us together, usually). We have the 22" MagicChef 4 burner/gas oven, and last August installed the Dometic Microwave/convection oven.
The learning curve on the convection is steep! First thing you have to realize is that the forced air movement of the convection causes things to dry out/be crispier than a conventional oven. Additionally, we have learned thru many hours of research and experimentation is that in converting recipes to the convection oven a good STARTING point is to do ONE of the following: Reduce the temperature by 25 degrees OR decrease the cooking time by 25%. From that point you will probably have to do some fine tuning to get the desired results.
We have also learned that breads and cakes are doable in the convection but are much more trickier. Your first few attempts will likely end in disaster!
Boondocking, obviously, would not be possible with our set up without the gas unit. There are no combo units like you asked about (that we know of) available for RV use (there are some available for LARGE commercial kitchen use, but they are huge!).
After 5 months of use, we can say we like the convection (when we are NOT paying for electric) but this unit can draw a lot of amps (such that in an RV with 30 amp service it may be quite frustrating when full timing with it: we have converted our unit to 50amp service so it is not an issue). We use the gas for some things and the convection for others. If we had to give one up, it would be the convection.
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Old 12-08-2014, 02:40 PM   #4
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Baking is frustrating whether using a convection oven or using the small gas oven that came with the Airstream. The latter is so poorly insulated that cooking a big item like a turkey or even a chicken will leave a lot of heat in the trailer and take a lot of time and use much propane.
We have had three convection ovens and never gotten the hang of using one. Like one of the previous posters said, "The learning curve is steep."
We eat out, grill or use the microwave and stove top.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:00 PM   #5
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2014 28' International
San Jose , California
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We are full time like you. I cook most every meal - albeit simple a lot of the time. I jumped up and down to convert from propane to the convection/micro for the following reasons: you do not cook yourself along with the food in the Convection oven like in the propane one; straight convection is just a regular oven with moving air (so reduce cooking time and/or temp) and lastly, the unit on the Airstream has a very sophisticated mode whereby you can actually combine convection with microwave. Once you read the book .. and <ha ha> understand it (took me a few tries), it is very, very cool.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:32 PM   #6
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The downside of the microwave / convection oven is boondocking. It is very hard to find a current bush in the wild. They only thrive in campgrounds. Of course if you bring a big enough genny you can run anything you want.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:00 PM   #7
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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The large Airstreams can have both a convection microwave and a gas oven. 25' and below - choose one.

The 27's can have a microwave in the pantry (600 watt wimp!) plus a gas oven.

I've seen 30's equipped with either a gas oven or the convection microwave, - but you can specify both and give up two drawers. I'd keep the drawers.

I like my convection microwave, but do a lot more stovetop cooking and a bit of dutch oven outdoor cooking. I hated using the standard gas oven in my old Airstream in the summer! It would turn the whole Airstream into a sauna! My sister pointed out a "camp oven" to me at Cabellas - it runs on propane but is made to be set up outdoors - on a table or the tailgate of your truck if you so choose.

It's your lifestyle that should make the choice for you.
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:21 PM   #8
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Shorter trailer has both.....

Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
The large Airstreams can have both a convection microwave and a gas oven. 25' and below - choose one.
My 23' has both ......

'01 16' Bambi --- Swee' Pea
'13 23D International --- Trixy
'09 Silverado --- Big Bertha
Adoptee -- '78 Argosy 24' Moho -- Big Girl
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