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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ramblings on the Camp Chef Outdoor Propane Oven

The Camp Chef Out Door Propane Oven

Camp Chef Oven with lid up and oven door open.

The Oven Burner.

One of the two stove top burners.
This is a review of the Camp Chef Outdoor Propane Oven. I am not an expert chef but I am no stranger in the Kitchen. This review will not cover the stove top burners as my intentions were to test the baking abilities of the oven part.
My overall impressions of the CC oven are that it is a well built unit and it is very efficient in its use of propane.
My main purpose in acquiring the CC oven was to have an alternate means of baking bread and other items if and when the commercial power is down. If you are setup to make bread when the power is on and have no way of doing so when the power goes out for whatever reason, you are severely limited in what you can do with those bulk grains.
I followed a great recipe for your basic whole wheat bread from http://www.simplylivingsmart.com/ that has become a family favorite. My wife and I decided to hedge our bets by making one loaf in the CC oven and the other two in the regular electric oven.
First of all for those of you that have never cooked with a camp style propane oven, you must monitor the temperature closely. The CC oven comes with a oven thermometer and that is your only indication of the actual temperature inside the oven. I was trying to maintain a temp of 350 deg F since that is what the recipe called for. Once I lit the oven (it has piezo electric ignitors) I decided to go with the HIGH setting to preheat. After the temp got to around 250 F I turned it to MID and at 300F I turned it to LOW. I probably could have turned it to LOW after the temp climbed to 250F and it would have climbed slowly to 350F. Once at 350F I had to open the oven door every 5 minutes or so to drop the the temp back down. I did this to familiarize myself with the oven characterisitics. Once the loaf of bread was placed in the oven the temp pretty much stayed on 350F with the lowest setting on the knob with very few adjustments.
After 40 minutes I had a loaf of bread that was a little darker on the bottom than I like but it will be a simple matter of adjusting the cooking times to get it perfect!
Some things of note about the CC oven:
First of all I had to turn my bread pan (10"X4.5"X3") sideways as if not placed perfectly on the wire racks it can turn sideways. Not a big deal but something to be aware of. A bigger pan could easily overcome this.
I used a one pound propane tank (this is located on the back) to bake with. Which IMHO seems to be adequate for my baking needs. I DO plan on adding the bulk tank adapter for use with twenty pound or larger tanks for use during extended power outages or a lengthy SHTF scenario.
Inside Oven Dimensions are 10"Wx16"Lx8"H, Oven Burner is 3500 BTU's
Overall Dimensions are 12"Wx21"Lx16"H weight 35 pounds.
Range Burners 5300 BTU's.
Overall I think this is a great item for using emergency food, using in a small cabin, boat or motor home. I find that it really fits a need in my Preparedness plans.
I hope you found this review helpful. Thanks for reading!

Getting ready to bake.

In goes the bread!

Out comes the finished product... um um good!


Dan said...

ZA- Thank you for your great post on the Campchef Oven. I'm very interested in it! I've been debating getting one for some time, and I've been scouring the internet trying to find reviews of the top burners. Can you give me your impression on the stove portion? It seems 5300 BTU's is pretty low compared to it's coleman cousins... will the CC oven replace a Coleman stove?

ZombieAxe said...

You are welcome Dan, and thanks for following the blog :)

IMHO, yes, I think the CC oven could easily replace a Coleman stove. However, my main use is to have a stove at the homestead if and when the power grid fails.

The Coleman 2 burner stove works quit well for a vehicle supported bugout and camping. The CC oven would work but is very bulky, and would require to be packed carefully since there is glass involved...

Hope this answered your questions...


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