Five Things Not To Do in Your RV Convection Microwave Oven

I am almost embarrassed to admit that we traveled in our rig for about 18 months before I attempted to use the microwave/convection oven combination. Of course, I used the microwave the very first day we set out on our very first adventure: to heat something up. I used it to pop popcorn for movie nights. I used it to boil water for tea or hard-boiled eggs. I used it to heat up soup or the occasional can of Chef Boyardee (yes, I’m admitting it all.) Mostly, I used it for storage. Conveniently, the microwave in our Ventana is up off the counter with plenty of storage space for a master packer like myself. So, I mainly used the microwave to store bread, opened bags of chips, and anything else I either did not want anyone to see or find.

I am actually a pretty good cook. I’ve been making my Grammy’s sheet cake since I was about 8. I’m known back “home” for my lasagna, cheeseburger soup, and a slew of other desserts, all of which I learned to make in my Grammy’s kitchen.

I surfed around online a few times and skimmed over blogs and forums about cooking in a convection microwave oven. “Adjust the cooking time.” “Easy as 1-2-3” Blah, blah, blah. Back in the summer while at my family’s farm in Indiana, I decided to bake a pan of brownies in the oven. Of course, I did not read the actual manual that came with the oven. I made them as usual and applied the half-baked knowledge I assumed I had and served them for dessert. The reviews were mixed, but overall, they weren’t cooked consistently throughout. Although, the crew in my rig was ecstatic to have a baked item from my kitchen (it had been awhile), they weren’t quite right.

About a week later, I decided to look the manual up online. BINGO! The basis for the first rule of baking in your convection microwave oven:

1) Always use the rack provided with the unit when baking or roasting in the convection oven. Always. (I hadn’t used the rack for the infamous brownie trial run several days before.) You have to get your dish up off the oven floor so that air can circulate around the pan. This brings me to the next item to always remember:

2) Do not use your convection oven like a microwave. It does not operate like a microwave. The convection oven housed in the same appliance as the microwave works entirely different from its predecessor. Old microwaves are just microwaves. Most new units have this supernatural power. The power of convection:  consistent hot air circulating in the oven at a constant temperature. The result? Effortlessly baked and roasted delights!

Here are the other few things I learned not to do in my RV microwave/convection oven:

3) Don’t limit the use of the pans or dishes you would normally use in the microwave. The convection oven is like a real oven so treat it that way. The use of metal or aluminum pans is a good thing. Nothing will catch on fire or explode (disclaimer noted.) A list of approved items for your model can be found in your owner’s manual.

4) Don’t overlook the convection roasting feature of the convection oven. Why? Because I used this dandy little button a few weeks ago and roasted the perfect Thanksgiving turkey in exactly 4 hours. Consequently, it was the best turkey I’ve ever rolled out on this famously fall holiday.

5) Finally, don’t sell yourself or your handy convection appliance short. Experiment with this kitchen gadget. Read the basic tips from the manual for your model and get baking! Practice makes progress and you’ll be on your way to a creating dishes in the RV kitchen that everyone will appreciate.

For more convection creations, visit the Diary of a Road Mom’s Recipe Box. And stay tuned to the blog as we are introducing a new series next week, 5 Days to Christmas Dinner in your RV Kitchen featuring your microwave/convection oven. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and receive a free ebook, Diary of a Road Mom’s Favorite 10 Recipes for RV Cooking, to be released soon.

Baking Pic

 

 

 

Comments

  1. 1

    Can my metal rack be used when using the microwave feature. Also my convection feature cuts off after 30 min. I have to turn it back on. Why is this?

  2. 2

    Thank you! I’ve been a habitual baker since I was a wee button of a girl. I make my own whole wheat loaves, other types of breads, and roast chickens frequently. I am moving into a 5th wheel and looking at my alternatives and electric needs for baking in an RV. I won’t compromise my baking habit and want all workarounds. I’m also considering an electric roaster oven. Thank you for sharing! Very helpful.

  3. 3

    Loved the info and I am an avid baker and cook. So helpful

  4. 4

    Hi, can you tell me if I can cook a large frozen lasagna tray made fro aluminum foil in the convection microwave oven combo. I also have a ventana and this oven is new to me. I have read the tips In The user Manuel but I’m still not so sure about the aluminum tray when baking? Please advise

  5. 5
    Katherine Snook says:

    Can I use aluminum foil to cover meat in my furrion microwave convection oven, Manuel says I can use aluminum pans but makes no mention of aluminum foil.

  6. 6
    Nancy Shorter says:

    Thank you so much for the info. I just made cookies in my microwave/convection oven & wasn’t afraid to use a metal pan. I had only been using glass. Now this RVing lady is feeling fearless.

  7. 7

    Hello,
    I too have made very little use of my microwave/convection oven over the course of several years.
    I appreciate what you shared regarding your initial experiences. I wasn’t quite as lucky in roasting
    a bone included turkey breast. I ate it but I didn’t serve it to anyone else.

    I have success in roasting chicken breast with the convection element. What I keep eyeing but not risking
    is the ability of my table top to use both functions alternately, cycling back and both between microwave
    and convection cooking while I wait for my meat probe to announce the depth of the bird has reached the
    edible eating temperature.

    I’m tempted to use the wire grid that came with this Kenmore Elite to raise the big bird (turkey) off the bottom
    of the unit while microwave and heating element do their switching routine, BUT . . . I’m led to believe by
    popular wisdom that nuking that wire rack may not be in the best interest of my m/c oven. If you have some
    words of wisdom to share on that matter, I’d much appreciate it.

    Recently I picked up a vintage white Corningware browning tray that is microwave friendly. Now I’m afraid I’ll burn up
    the tray using the convection heat (alternating). I’m tempted to use it because the heating element is at the top of my
    unit and the tray would not be sitting almost on top of the “burner” as it would be in a conventional oven. I spoke with
    someone at Corningware helpline who was an excellent reader. She read me exactly what my own set of instructions
    told me – which (I believe) are based on conventional oven technology. What would you do?

    I’m telling my tale of woe because your courage (or audacity) is obvious in the experiences and experiments you’ve
    endeavored and I hope to gain some of that.

    In every case though, Happy Holidays!

  8. 8
    Claudia Blankenship says:

    I am still learning and consequently not everything turns out exactly like I would like it. My question is this, I have two racks with my Microwave/Convection oven and want to cook a layer cake for my daughter’s birthday. Remembering that I need air to circulate around and under my cakes as they are backing, can I cook both pans at the same time?

  9. 9
    Angie Davis says:

    after the manual that came with my Apollo combo microwave it says it grills microwaves and bakes as a convection oven I notice in one part of manual it says use the rack and tray with pans you would use in an oven if you are using the combo or the convection… but use plastic if you are microwaving…. then in another section describing the unit it states to use microwave safe dishes… im a bit confused and too freaked out to just go for it.. it also talks about metals that will arch in the oven… after reading your post I think i should use micro safe during that and them metal or glass pans for convection or combo and place on rack on tray… please help me clear this up… ( sorry if i have made this clear as mud)
    Thanks Angie ( rookie on the road)

  10. 10
    Kelli Winsted says:

    I created a Facebook group for women whose husbands/ significant other, or the women themselves are in the industrial trades service. Primarily, industrial construction workers for refineries, pipelines, windmill farms, etc. Quite a few of them travel from job to job all over the country, many with family in tow, and most in RV’s. I found your site when I was looking for use info of my convection microwave oven. Would you mind if I shared your blogsite with my group? I think many of them will find it informative, and a good read. Kelli

  11. 11

    Very interested in learning about this oven combo

  12. 12

    Oh my goodness!! Thank you for this post. Clearly I am missing my baking rack!! I have been saying that I need some kind of round rack to go in the turn table plate. I tried to bake cookies in the first week on the rig and quickly learned that spinning while baking is also a must (or at least I think so). So, is your rack round and spinable or just rectangle? I found a round spinner on Amazon for $50. I was a bit shocked that something so basic is $50!!

  13. 13

    Just got a new camper – it has a convection microwave in it. I have never use a convection oven.
    I need help.

    Thanks
    Dot

  14. 14

    Thanks for the tips! We just got our new Ventana and have never used a Convection Microwave. Looking for all the tips I can get.

  15. 15
    BRENT PHILLIPS says:

    Were do I get a manual for my RVsSunbeam microwave/convection

  16. 16
    Debbie Crawford says:

    Thank you for this article. We have a small R-pod trailer with a microwave/convection oven. It isn’t as big as your picture portrays – not even sure I can get a 9X13 inch pan in it. I always thought I couldn’t use metal in the convection oven, because of the microwave. I will try to cook something in it and try it out.

    Thanks

  17. 17
    B K Hoffpauir says:

    I enjoy cooking and have never used a convection microwave.
    Thanks for the tips, looking forward to learning more.

  18. 18
    Pam Reuber says:

    Love your site. Can’t wait to read more, just upgraded to a WinnieDrop with a microwave/ convection oven.

  19. 19
    Judy Backer says:

    Just purchase a 5th wheel that has the convection microwave and no oven at all, what kind of bakeware do you use in the microwave for baking?

  20. 20

    I have a 2016 Class C. I saw this oven in some of the newer RVs. Decided I want one. I am on the line about it. I don’t have the space for a counter top model. Thought I would replace my Microwave but I don’t want to have to buy special cookware. Can I use the new Copper cookware in them? The over is expensive so I need to be sure I can use what I have already. What brand do you gave in your RV?

  21. 21
    Deborah McAndrews says:

    We have a motor home with a convection microwave. In the two years we’ve owned it I have only used it as a microwave. No racks or pans came with it so I was afraid to use normal pans. Please help me understand how I can actually use it. Thank you

  22. 22
    Jolene Barton says:

    Just bought an RV and plan to travel frequently in retirement. I too have never used a convection microwave and plan to play with it this weekend when we go out again. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

  23. 23

    This was great information.

  24. 24
    William Curbow says:

    Thank You! I have just started looking at travel trailers and no oven has been a downfall of several units. I’m from the south so we have to have our biscuits in the morning. I now know to inquire about the microwave/convection combo, it will probably have more room than the ovens I have looked at.

  25. 25
    William Nichols says:

    Thanks for the info! It was really helpfull.
    I also found buyer’s guide for RV microwave ovens here: https://www.mybestrv.com/rv-microwave/
    Maybe it will help you to choose great oven for RV.

  26. 26

    Thank you for the help!

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