Van Update And Baking Without An Oven


As you may know, I live in a van now. To be honest, the whole experience has so far been much more awesome than you’re probably imagining. I live in a cozy hobbit hole that houses everything I need.


I’ll never forget anything at home again because everything I need is always with me. I sleep well in the cool evening air, I eat the same foods I always have, and my husband, dog, and I are adapting to the space constraints pretty well.

Our stove and sink are nicer than the ones in the house we just moved out of, there’s no clutter, our solar panels provide us with more than enough electricity, and our fridge surprisingly fits all the food we want. Oh, and our sound system in here is unbelievable. It’s like being at a concert every time I turn on music :)

So… it’s pretty sweet so far.

One thing I was really worried about before we made this huge transition was being without an oven.

I use the oven a lot, whether it’s to cook large batches of meat, muffins, or – most commonly – sweet potatoes. I was going to have a really hard time not being able to bake my Hannah sweet potatoes, since they make up a huge part of my carb intake, and I LOVE them. They’re just not the same when they’re boiled.

So I went online and searched the RV forums to see what others do, but most people live in bigger RVs than ours with AC electricity (ours is DC) and more space for a small convection oven. Finally, after a lot of creative Googling, I found the Joycook Stove Top BBQ Oven on eBay here.



Basically it’s a pan with holes in the bottom. You put stuff in it, put it on a stovetop, cover it up, and the heat swirls around evenly to “bake” whatever is in there. Those are very technical terms, I know…

And it’s cheap – it was like $40 or something.

I didn’t really believe it would work, but I finally made some Hannah sweet potatoes the other day, and they were fantastic!

It took about 40 minutes, which is shorter than it takes to bake them. Plus I burned them a little, so it should’ve probably only been 30 minutes. I just cut them up into quarters so they’d fit and put them around the circumference of the tray. No aluminum foil or anything, although I’m sure you could do that. They were crispy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside.

Anyway, I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to bake in the van! I’m not quite sure what I’ll do about muffins. I think I could fit the batter in the muffin cups and just place them around the circumference and they’d fit. But mostly I was worried about the sweet potatoes, so I’m not too concerned.

So if you ever find yourself without an oven, or you’d rather have a stove-top option, this is perfect and easy and clean and compact.

For the record, I have no affiliation with these people at all. I’m just psyched that I’m baking without an oven and wanted to tell you about it :) Here’s the link to the product again.