What is a microwave-convection oven
Installed frequently in recreational vehicles, it is a combination of a regular convection oven with a microwave. Users are able to use the quick interior cooking of microwaves combined with the surface browning of hot air. Convection cooking allows for the interior cooking of a traditional oven, just hotter and faster.
Convection oven technology uses a fan to force air movement and heat up the full interior of the microwave to cook food from the inside out. That’s why you can use convection microwaves to bake and roast things that would otherwise be cooked too quickly (and not thoroughly) with just a regular microwave. The ‘convection’ part means that the heated air inside is blown around for faster, more even cooking.
Cooking in a camper
It can be very difficult to cook in a camper, however, with excellent preparation and planning, it can be very easy and fun.
Usually, we try to take advantage of cooking outside on the Big Green Eggs or grilling. However, when we were living in our RV full time, I had to plan every meal to optimize refrigeration space and cooking area. Ready made meals such as “Hamburger Helper” and “Tune Helper,” were utilized, as well as simple meals such as:
- One skillet suppers
Such simple meals also made it easier for cleaning up after dinner.
I used items such as already shredded lettuce, Perdue’s “short cut chicken” and freezer pre-made skillet suppers.
I am considering the purchase of this paperback cookbook to use in the RV:
Cooking with Convection: Everything You Need to Know to Get the Most from Your Convection Oven
Using the microwave/convection oven
Ultimately, I had to use the microwave/convection oven in the camper. Using the microwave was easy. It works just like a home or counter-top microwave, the standard safety advice is recommended:
- Never operate the microwave empty
- Do not cook bacon directly on the turntable
- Do not heat baby bottles or baby food in the microwave
- Do not attempt to deep-fry in the microwave oven
- Maintain a clean microwave oven
However, because the interior of the combination oven is stainless steel, to promote rapid heat up, it is not self-cleaning. I recommend cleaning, after the oven has cooked, using a damp cloth and wiping down the sides, top and bottom. Avoid spilling or splattering of any food on the surfaces. I will warn you, using the convection option of the oven combo will heat up your camper galley. During one meal, I used the convection oven for 40 minutes and the galley temperature raised 8 degrees.
Adjustments for convection baking
There are three commonly accepted methods of converting recipes from conventional oven baking to convection oven baking.
- Bake at the same conventional oven temperature but for a shorter period of time.
- Bake for the same length of time as you would using a conventional oven but reduce the temperature by 25 degrees.
- Bake for a slightly shorter period of time and a reduced temperature. This tends to be the most successful method for most ovens.
The following ARE materials you CAN use in your combo oven:
Aluminum foil – Shielding only. Do not allow foil to touch oven walls. Foil must be at least 1″ from walls to avoid arcing.
Browning dish – the browning dish must be at least 3/16″ ABOVE the turntable. Use the provided grill rack for browning dishes.
Dinnerware – microwave-safe dishes only.
Oven cooking bags – Do NOT close the bag with a metal tie. Make slits in the bag to allow steam to escape.
Paper plates and cups – use for short term cooking or reheating only.
Parchment paper – use to cover or prevent splattering
Plastic wrap – use microwave-safe only. Can be used to cover food during cooking to retain moisture. Do NOT let it touch food.
DO NOT USE in your combo oven:
Aluminum trays – may cause arcing. Transfer food to a microwave-safe dish.
Food carton with metal handles – may cause arcing.
Metal or metal-trimmed utensils – may cause arcing.
Metal twist ties – could cause a fire in the oven.
Paper bags – could cause a fire in the oven.
Plastic foam – could melt or contaminate the liquid inside when exposed to high temperatures
Wood – could cause a fire