NFR I'm looking for an oven

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Trapper Badovinac, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    I'm looking for an oven for backcountry cooking. It's propane. I found one that will work called a Magic Chef. It came out of an older (1990s) RV. The inside dimensions of the oven was ~ 16" x 18" x 10". I don't care if the top burners work.

    If anyone is in the RV business or RV salvage business or just knows where I can get one of these, I'd be very appreciative.

    Trapper
     
  2. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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  3. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Thanks for the heads up.

    I've seen those in CostCo. The inside dimensions are 11" x 16" x 9". I'd have to buy a bunch of new cookie sheets and other things. It's on my list but in the "desparate act better than nothing" category. Also, it doesn't have any thermostatic control, so you'd have to babysit the oven, monitor the thermometer and adjust the heat.

    BTW: Your Avatar is really classic stuff!

    Trapper
     
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  4. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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  5. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    I found a used 4-burner range/oven that came out of remodeled Winnebago. $250. So now I'm set.

    I'll post some pictures when I build a carrying box and stand for it.

    Trapper
     
  6. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    FYI - Follow up. When I get it set up in camp, I'll take a few more photos and post them.


    I built a carry box for it, so it would pack on mules.
    [​IMG]

    The Magic Chef 4-burner Range/Oven fits perfectly inside.
    [​IMG]

    The box was built so that the top of the range would be counter top height. I had to do a few minor things to it so I could hook it to a propane tank - regulator and some copper tubing with a 90 out the back. I've got a friend cutting and bending a piece of metal to fit over the exposed gas lines on the back to protect in transit.
    [​IMG]

    What I like best is it's got a large enough oven to hold a standard 14" x 16" cookie sheet.
    [​IMG]

    I tested it out by baking two loaves of bread in it and placed a thermometer with the loaves. The thermostat holds the temperature really well. The top burners are small but will work well for simmering. The box and oven weigh a total of 79 pounds, so it will be one entire side of a mule load.

    I checked out that Camp Chef Range/Oven, but it had several drawbacks --

    1. It has no thermostat. It has a thermometer, but you'd have to babysit it for many things to adjust the temperature up and down.

    2. The box is too small to hold a standard cookie sheet.

    3. Surprisingly, the instructions tell you not to use it in an enclosed space like a tent or cabin.

    4. The instructions also say it's Not For Commercial Use. So I'm guessing it probably wouldn't hold up to the rigors I'm about to put it through like loading it on a mule, packing it 23 miles over a pass or two into the back country, and cooking for 12-18 hungry people for weeks on end.

    5. It's made for those throw away cannisters. You can buy a converter though it adds to the price.

    6. It only has 2 burners on top.

    If anyone has any questions, let me know.

    Trapper
     
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  7. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Can give you insight on the Camp Oven by Camp Chef.

    Yup, it's not for commercial use, it's designed for a small family/camp party. It is packable, very much so. It's bounced around in the back of a loaded 3/4 ton for 40 miles up a logging road intact, I'd say it passes the test. LOL. But cooking for large groups? Nah, why I use mine as a warming oven for small parties. Yeah, it's only designed to hold a standard 13x9 pan. So the larger pans won't fit of course. And the two burners really limits you as you can tell. Nice thing, there's a cheat to drill out the burners to up the BTU if you prefer to run bulk tanks only. But this unit was NOT designed for bigger commercial use.

    The converter really isn't a converter, it's your standard longer hose that's only $10-15 bucks depending where you buy it. I have several anyways, mostly because I have the Mr Buddy heaters for my boats, tent (indoor safe style there), etc.

    The "not for indoor use" is like anything gas related, they do that for lawsuits. Even the one you bought above will have that disclaimer either on the unit, or somewhere in the trailer. They usually require the CO2 detectors indoors. But it's like any sort of appliance that can suck oxygen from the air, they put a disclaimer on them (like most of your standard propane devices that don't have the ceramic scrubbers built in).

    I prefer to use my dutch ovens when I'm doing any sort of baking. You made a much better choice IMHO going the route you did. I have an old Magic Chef stove in my cabin down on the Wynoochee River. I wouldn't trade it for my CC Camp Oven.

    Have you put a thermometer in your oven? Only reason I ask, is those ovens will sometimes read wrong at altitude. Ours has read wrong quite a few times. Always wondered why sometimes things would burn, sometimes they cooked great. Put a hanging thermometer in and sometimes the temp we set it at on the oven isn't always right. BUT, you have a newer style, they may read a hell of a lot more accurate. The CC one isn't that bad, it'll dial into temp and stay there fairly easily. Just learning to adjust for different altitutdes.
     
  8. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Jerry - thanks for the feedback on the Camp Chef oven. You know by now that I'm cooking for 12 - 18 people in the back country 8 - 12 weeks each year. So, what I do, and what you do with your kitchen gear is no where near what the average person does.

    One of the factors I always need to consider is weight vs utility because everything I have in my cook tent was packed in on the backs of mules. Sometimes it's only about 12 miles, other times it's nearly 3X that. More weight equals more mules needed or more wear an tear on the animals.

    Each step a mule takes is jarring the load and chafing whatever's in the load. Packing glass or eggs requires a great deal of planning and padding. Everything takes a beating and, for example, the only cooler I've found to last more than a season are the Yetis.

    I didn't consider the CYA warning of "not for indoor use". That's likely the case and a wall tent isn't nearly as air tight as a cabin. But it and the other things made me conclude this wasn't the oven for me.

    I hope what I posted didn't come off as a slam against Camp Chef. They are a great company with great products and I use many of them including my Camp Chef 2-burner 60K BTU stove. Talk about a burner that will get 2 gallons of coffee water boiling in a hurry! I also like that stove because the feet of my Dutchies will fit down into it so I can use them for prep. I do wish Camp Chef would stop putting plastic knobs on those stoves and legs because they don't last a mile on the trail. I've replaced all of mine with metal.

    I'd love to spend some time with you side by side cooking. That would be great fun trading techniques etc.

    Best,

    Trapper
     
  9. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    Let me know if you and Jerry get together to cook, so I can be there to eat!
     
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  10. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Nah, not offended at all. Just giving you a little insiders input on the oven, having field tested it. Like you, it's a tad small for most of my camps.

    Grew up pack hunting, know the drill really well. We went pretty lean on our trips though, how my Grandpa liked them. But we did eat well, just nowhere near as well as I make camps now. LOL.

    Again, not a big deal. I agree on your sentiments. I'm probably Camp Chefs worst critic, probably because I use their products more then the layman out there. That's a good idea, I never thought about changing them out to metal knobs. I just keep getting more sent to me. LOL. Would love a side by side camp. I hate to bake, though I do. But I can cook the main meals well. :)

    And you're always invited Steve. :)
     
  11. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    I really like to bake in my Dutchies. In hunting camp I end up making 4 loaves of bread every day. Everything from simple Amish bread to molasses based breads to sour dough and Ciabatta. I like making pies in them although that took me a while to perfect. Cakes, cinnamon rolls, date/walnut bread, etc.

    I don't get out to the Seattle/Tacoma area very often any more, but I'm guessing if you and I did a co-cooking venture, we'd have a line of guys with plates waiting for the dinner bell to ring. It would be nice to camp and cook in a place where I could just take stuff out of my truck and set it up and I didn't have to walk down to the creek with a couple of buckets to get water!

    Maybe a WFF rendezvous is in the future . . . I'd personally vote for Rock Creek as that's one of my favorites for camping and fishing. I'd have to know well in advance so I don't book cooking gigs during that time, but I'd be up for it.

    Trapper
     
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  12. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    Hey, I'll second Rock Creek! Tell me when and I will be there plate in hand.
     
  13. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Where's Rock Creek?

    Yeah, know the feeling on planning. Depends on where and when, could make it a PHWFF trip. :)
     
  14. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Rock Creek dumps into the Clark Fork ~ 30 miles east of Missoula, Montana.

    I've worked with both Wounded Warriors and Project Healing Waters since 2005, so I'd be up for one of those trips.

    Trapper
     

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