Cooking with a stove top oven
Posted 06 March 2009 - 12:36 PM
And.........SAVE, SAVE, SAVE all the BBQ grates you can get your hands on. Those from gas grills are metal and those from briquet grills should be stainless steel............but acceptable for high heat use over a fire.
This is an excellent way to dry jerky [on these racks] and a spray of grill oil spray will make clean up a whole lot easier.
Scrounge any and all grates from toaster ovens.......anything stainless steel........for use in the wood & gas stove top ovens. It's the same as my RV oven. Now THAT HOT little son-of-a-gun will burn rather than cook.
But the extra height of another wire grate makes all the difference in the world, in the RV gas oven.
The same with my top of the wood stove Coleman. Get the bread up the width of another grate, and it cooks with out burning.
DO NOT USE GALVANIZED OR ALUMINUM RACKS. The gas emitted from galvanized racks will kill a person; alum will melt and drop your cooking pans into the heat source. Don't argue on this.....just take my word for it. MY learning curve has been loooooong and extensive. LOL!!!
Posted 06 March 2009 - 07:16 PM
SM, I suggest that you contact Lehman's again. ( This isn't by any chance one of those things they are bringing in thats 'made in China" is it? ) I don't believe it is normal to have the sticky stuff on the door and it is not normal to have the paint come off after only a couple of uses. The foldable camp oven I have has been used for years and it is still in really good shape and it's folded and unfolded again and again. Even the OLD antiques I have, though they are really rusting underneath, has the paint on the outside still in good shape. What rust they do have is from setting in the attic and garage, not from usage though. Don't hesitate to persist with Lehman's. They have always prided themselves on quality stuff. This sounds defective to me considering that the last one you had was broken......
I love your pictures. It's nice to see the process and the finished product.
It's really fun going through the process with you, Keep us informed.
Posted 06 March 2009 - 11:49 PM
Yeah, maybe I should contact them again about the sticky on the door frame. It's odd because there isn't any sticky anywhere else on the oven - and I don't think I touched the left side of the frame with the infamous poly/cotton hot pad. In fact, one reason I melted the hot pad was because I was struggling to get the door open. Very strange. And I'm fairly certain the oven isn't made in China because it was shipped directly from a U.S. manufacturer, not Lehman's. However, that might not mean much. The parts for my Petromax lantern were made in the U.S. or Germany (I'm not sure which) but the lantern was assembled in China. And the organic white beans I ordered and picked up today - yep, turns out they are a product of China. Everything is made or grown in China. Whoops, not everything. As DD pointed out, "Daddy's floss is made in the United States." Ohhh, we make a waxed filament. Good for us.
I'm digressing Mother, I'll email Lehman's on Monday and see what they say.
Edited by SlingMama, 07 March 2009 - 12:24 AM.
Posted 09 March 2009 - 02:03 PM
Here is a copy of the letter I just sent to Lehman's:
I received my replacement Stove for any Oven (the previous oven arrived with a broken oven rack support) and I've now used it three times. Twice on top of my gas BBQ grill and today on top of my wood stove - and I'm having problems with the paint. The top of the frame around the oven door is getting really, really sticky when it gets hot. Today I had to pry the door apart with a butter knife in order to get it open. I've also started to notice a strange smell when the oven gets hot, as if it is off-gassing.
I've included a photo so you can see the sticky areas of paint. This is after the second use. It is worse now.
[PHOTO of strips of glue-like substance]
Also, I noticed when I got the oven out today that some of the paint had bubbled off the bottom from its last use on the BBQ grill. I didn't think too much of it because the bottom had been exposed to a flame and I figured the oven would be fine on top of the wood stove - because it is manufactured for wood stove use. Well, I just took the oven off my wood stove and now the top of my stove has spots of melted black paint baked on it.
Here is one corner of the back side of the oven. The other side looks the same.
[PHOTO of bubbled black paint]
Have you had any other complaints of sticky, bubbling paint? Would it be possibly to talk to the manufacturer? I would at least like them to know the paint they are using doesn't appear to be heat resistant.
I'm mulling over the possibility of getting someone to strip all the paint off - or returning this product yet again.
So maybe I should give up on the Lehman's oven. I could get myself a second little Coleman or WiseMenTrading oven and just run them both at once. I could only bake in little pans but at least I could bake w/o paint fumes wafting through the house. Speaking of paint. DH is going to be very displeased with the state of the wood stove. I'm going to have to figure out how to get the globs of paint off, go to the store and buy some stove black and give the stove a coat of it. With all my stove top cooking experiments it needs it anyway.
Oh, and in the old photos of the folding Coleman Camp Oven the photo showed a white oven. Anyone have one? Is it painted or just a reflection off the metal that makes it look white? This new photo looks metal http://www.coleman.c...ategoryid=27400
Edited by SlingMama, 09 March 2009 - 02:06 PM.
Posted 09 March 2009 - 07:00 PM
I have had two folding Coleman ovens. One is just painted a green color much like the Coleman camp stove. It is very old but our son still uses it. The other is also old but it is more chrome looking if not stainless steel. The one in the picture seems to be a sort of powder coating. I'm not real familiar with the more modern products because mine have held up so very well I haven't had to replace them. Mine have both been used heavily.
Let us know what Lehman's says. If they don't stand behind their products they may lose a lot of customers.
Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:07 AM
So far I've managed to test oven #3 twice, once on the BBQ grill and once on the top of the wood stove.
Ok, the BBQ grill test didn't go so well because it was a windy day and I was getting strange gusts circling into the porch area. The highest I could get the temperature in the oven was 250° (checking only the oven mounted thermometer, I didn't have an oven thermometer inside) so I had to abort. After the oven cooled I checked the bottom and there was a small patch of paint that peeled off. IMO, not too big of a deal because I'd had the oven over a high flame. The door did not become sticky, which was the important thing.
Second test over the wood stove. The top of the wood stove was 600° when I placed the Lehman's Oven on top. It took a looooong time to heat up - about 40 minutes - and the thermometer on the front still registered only 250°. Very discouraged I decided to check the oven thermometer I had placed on the rack inside the oven - it registered 325°. I think the discrepancy in temperature readings was partially due to the position of the thermometers; the Lehman's is high up in the door while mine was located on the rack at the lowest setting. But stil During my entire cooking session the Lehman's thermometer was 75 - 100° lower than my thermometer.
So, two small loaves of pumpkin bread went into the Lehman's oven (two big loaves went into my electric oven). I had a big drop in temperature after opening the door and it took about 15 minutes to get the heat back up, even opening the damper on the wood stove to bump the heat. The heat in the Lehman's oven stayed about 300 - 325° the entire baking time with the wood stove at approximately 600 - 650°. The big loaves of pumpkin bread in my electric oven finished baking about 15 minutes before the small loaves in the Lehman's. I was so worried the small loaves would be ruined because they were taking so long to bake however, they turned out just fine. Actually, I liked the taste of the small loaves better because they were more moist than the loaves baked in the electric oven.
Thoughts on Lehman's Oven #3:
1) The oven door never became sticky and I didn't lose any more paint on the bottom after cooking on the wood stove. Must have a better paint job. The oven certainly smelled different right out of the box.
2) I'm disappointed I couldn't get the oven temperature any higher. I can't see running the wood stove higher than 600° on anything except a bitterly cold day, so 325° will probably be the max temp. However, even 325° will bake bread and cookies and it should melt, but not brown cheese.
3) The oven had a weird smell while heated and the inside of the oven door developed a thin layer of white dust like stuff. I'm hoping that goes away with use and isn't toxic or anything.
4) Oven #3 has different latches than #2. The second oven has door mounted latches with handles you twist to get the latch to move out of the way. The third oven has latches mounted on the top; these latches close down on the oven door from above (like the photo at Lehman's ). I'm very grateful Oven #3 has different latches because one latch on Oven #2 has come apart.
5) Oven #3 has the chain holding the door (again, as pictured on Lehman's website) while #2 did not. I'm not sure what I think about the chain and I think I might remove it because I'm afraid I'm going to burn myself on the door.
6) The oven isn't perfectly constructed (actually none of them were) the oven door isn't hung exactly straight, the bottom of the oven has a wave in one section of the metal and there is a tiny dent on the top, back side. None of this affects the function of the oven and I'm fine with the imperfections because this product is obviously hand-made.
Bottom line. I'm keeping the oven even though I'm not absolutely thrilled with it. I prefer the construction of my WiseMenTrading oven - but it's not big enough so the Lehman's it is.
Edited by SlingMama, 30 March 2009 - 11:57 PM.
Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:31 AM
But it's good that someone writes a review on these necessities so we can all learn from it.
Right now I have my eye on the foldable Coleman stove which is the only one available here in the Netherlands. Of course others coudl be ordered over the internet but the shipping is usually outrageous.
So your postings are much appreciated.
Hope things work out for you with the Lehman's stove.
She then opened her basket and took out a sawn off shotgun.
A few days later she walked through the woods in her new wolfskin furcoat...
Lesson learned, so not mess with girls who are brave enough to go into the woods on their own.
Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:12 AM
It's not unusual for an outside thermometer on an oven to be lower than one inside as it has the ambient air to deal with. The one on the outside of almost every wood cook stove I've used is that way. The only one that is remotely close is the one on my antique small one pot oven and that is because it is on the lift off top. I just automatically adjust the temp in my mind.
The slower cooking of your bread and it's moistness is a trait of wood cooking and is one that I prefer for most foods. Is your shelf adjustable? If it is you can just place the product you want to brown or melt closer to the top of the oven where there is more heat. If not, you can try putting a cookie sheet, cake pan, or in a pinch if you can't find one of those to fit, a piece of aluminum foil above the product. If you use aluminum foil you make it big enough to cover the whole shelf and lay it loosely on the top of the food or as in the case of a cookie sheet or pan, prop it up just above the food. (I use whatever I can find like heat proof cups or small pieces of fire brick or ? to prop with) The idea is to keep the heat right near the top of the food so it will brown/melt easier. You have to watch it closely though as it can burn.
This is a really interesting thread. Thanks again SM for taking the time.
Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:40 AM
The Lehman's Oven has a thermometer probe .... Hey wait .....
Ah! Oven #2 has a thermometer probe into the interior but Oven #3 has a metal, can shape with one hole in it. That explains why #2 ran an accurate temp and #3 doesn't - the thermometers are different. And my WiseMen Trading oven is only 25° on the bottom rack vs the thermometer. So that's why it took me awhile to comprehend 75 - 100° discrepancy with Oven #3.
The slower cooking of your bread and it's moistness is a trait of wood cooking and is one that I prefer for most foods.
That's what I'm finding out. I thought the wood stove pumpkin bread might be ruined however it tasted better than the electric stove bread. I'm finding almost everything tastes better cooked on top of the wood stove.
Is your shelf adjustable? If it is you can just place the product you want to brown or melt closer to the top of the oven where there is more heat. If not, you can try putting a cookie sheet, cake pan, or in a pinch if you can't find one of those to fit, a piece of aluminum foil above the product. If you use aluminum foil you make it big enough to cover the whole shelf and lay it loosely on the top of the food or as in the case of a cookie sheet or pan, prop it up just above the food. (I use whatever I can find like heat proof cups or small pieces of fire brick or ? to prop with) The idea is to keep the heat right near the top of the food so it will brown/melt easier. You have to watch it closely though as it can burn.
So moving the food up would increase the heat? I thought it would be warmer closer to the wood stove. Hmmm. But I can see how putting a cookie sheet or foil above the food would decrease the space in the oven, plus reflect heat onto the top of the food. My stove has several rack levels and came with two racks so placing something above the food will be easy. I'll have to try that.
Mother, you are a dear. What would I do without you?
Edited by SlingMama, 30 March 2009 - 11:42 AM.
Posted 31 March 2009 - 08:55 AM
I did want to mention that you are right in that it will be hotter the closer you are to the heat sourc but heat rises and once you move the food up to the top where the heat gathers it gives you a higher temperature right above the food and lessons the heat below because you have moved it away from the heat. Conversely, containing the heat near the top without moving the food gives more heat all around.
That said though, each oven is different and some are not as tight or insulated at the top allowing the heat to escape and that's why I experiment with the individual stove instead of trying to accept a standard for all.
For those of you that have one or are thinking of getting one, in a wood cook stove with the fire beside the oven you usually have to turn the food around a couple of times or more during baking to get all sides baked evenly. You also have to learn the heat temps of the various areas in the oven as often it is hotter on the top than bottom. The oven in a wood cook stove normally is heated because the smoke, and therefore heat, is not drawn directly out the chimney when the oven dampner is engaged. It goes across the top of the oven, down the side (heating the water in the reservoir if there is one) and then under the oven and out the chimney at the back of the stove. The oven will be extra hot near the fire, a bit less hot on the top and coolest on the bottom, especially if it is heating water as it goes.
It also makes a difference what type of wood you use in your fire.
Has anyone noticed that I enjoy talking about cooking with wood as much as I love doing it?
Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:25 PM
Soooo, few weeks ago I tried the putting a cookie sheet on the higher shelf trick as suggested by Mother and ... it worked I had the Lehman's Oven outside on the BBQ grill and, with the grill at the absolute lowest heat, the oven interior temperature was 350 - 375° - actually a bit warmer than I wanted for the cookies I was baking. I had the cookie sheet on the middle rack but next time I'll move it up to the top rack and see if that will lower the temperature a bit.
However, now I realize I have another problem. My cookie sheets are too big. Which explains why a previous cookie baking experiment on the wood stove was a huge disaster. My 13" x 17 1/2" cookie sheets trap all the hot air underneath and don't let any circulate above. The above mentioned cookie baking experiment on the BBQ grill only worked because I baked only five cookies in a little 8" x 8" cake pan. Poking around the kitchen it appears I have enough smaller pans to make do - or I could buy some smaller cookie sheets
And as I'm reading back through this 2 page thread it is obvious I am somewhat obsessed. I really should have given up on the Lehman's oven ages ago but .... I just can't make myself stop Oh dear. Although maybe it's not so bad I didn't give up because it's finally starting to work out.
Posted 30 April 2009 - 02:16 PM
I am new to MrsSurvival--I just joined day before yesterday. I am so happy that you gave us an update last night about your oven. This is helping dh and I choose an oven for us! I am starting to like pioneering--we are starting to pioneer out of necessity. Electricity rates are going up so much that we honestly can't afford an electric bill anymore unless it is just for lights, refrigetator, and washing machine. Everything else is wood, wood and more wood. I am loving this!
Posted 30 April 2009 - 03:59 PM
Come to think of it, with more people staying home because of the Flu it might be just the time to practice a few more modern pioneer skills. What do you think SM? Got any more 'fun' thing you want to try with that oven or want to learn?
Posted 30 April 2009 - 05:10 PM
Well, I am going to have to bake cookies in the next couple days and I really want to run the Lehman's oven on the BBQ grill and the electric oven at the same time and see if I can cut baking time in half (I bake a triple batch every time so it usually takes me a long time to bake all the cookies). I'll let you all know if I finally, finally have that oven figured out.
Posted 03 May 2009 - 11:00 PM
I wanted to try lowering the heat in the oven so I raised the top rack to the highest level (last time I had the rack in the middle). I placed one of my big cookie sheets up there but it didn't fit so well because the thermometer was in the way, so I used a triple layer of aluminum foil on the rack instead.
After the oven was preheated on the BBQ grill (according to my thermometer the Lehman's oven thermometer still consistently low - around 100 degrees) I put cookie dough on two 8" pans and into the Lehman's oven they went. With the oven rack higher there was more oven to heat (or it could be that the aluminum foil doesn't trap the heat as well as a cookie sheet) and so I had the keep the BBQ grill heat higher than last time - medium/low compared with low.
The cookies were really slow to cook. I could tell they were browning on the bottom but the tops were still doughy. Finally I lowered the rack above the cookies down to the middle and after that the cookies browned on top and finished within a few minutes.
#1 It appears it is best to get the top rack (with cookie sheet or aluminum foil on it to trap and reflect heat) as close to the food as possible. Right now I have the additional rack mostly wrapped in aluminum foil and I'm going to keep it that way. I figure if the oven gets too hot I can always pull back the aluminum foil and bit and let some heat rise. Have to experiment with that another time.
#2 I forgot Mother's advice about uneven heating (although I haven't had any problems with bread, cookies appear to be more particular). Appears the Lehman's oven is hotter in the back than in the front. I need to remember to rotate the food half way through the baking time.
So, it's getting better. I think I'm getting the hang of the oven and the cookies turned out just fine despite the long baking time. Of course some are more crunchy than others, depending on whether they were in the back of the oven or the front, but the kids didn't complain.
Edited by SlingMama, 03 May 2009 - 11:31 PM.
Posted 04 May 2009 - 07:38 AM
Your oven may be hotter at the back for a few reasons. The door could lose more heat than would be lost at the back, the aluminum foil above might fit tighter at the back compared to the front or the oven might not have been centered directly over the flame. Try a bit of rearranging to see if that helps. Also, if the cookies are getting done too fast or much on the bottom, try moving themm up in the oven instead of the foil cover down to get them a bit further from the heat. You might even be able to raise the heat a bit that way to get them to cook faster though I have found that when I use my ovens they are a bit slower.
I was going to mention that one of my favorite meals when we are camping is to wash and slice a potatoe, fill the center with veggies (broccoli, onlions and etc), put on some ham or bacon, some cheese and then wrap it in aluminum foil. Then I bake them in the oven. Takes a long time so I often put them on low and just let them bake, occassionally turning them if I feel the oven is heating unevenly. I've done these over coals in the fire (well you can tuck them into the coals too but not as neat or clean), on the camp stove, and on the inside gas stove as well.
I just made these by putting them in a small coverd can as well. I have one of the can openers that opens the cans by unsealing them, leaving me with a perfect "lid" to put back on them. I recently saved two large sweet potato cans and put the potatoe with stuffing in them to bake. The lids speeded up the process and kept them moist and they are reusable. Not sure how long they will hold up but it's another thing to remember in a SHTF situation when you could run out of aluminum foil or want to save it for other purposes. I've used cans before to bake quick breads and cakes in before as well but this is the first time I've even had a nice 'lid' to try out. Love my can opener. It's a Pampered Chef one by the way but I got it at the Good Will for $1.38. I'm on the look out for another now.
Posted 04 May 2009 - 07:37 PM
Though I am wondering if this is more a problem with the BBQ grill than the wood stove because I don't remember having this problem with the wood stove (I think?). I'm guessing it's a combination of the oven door leaking a bit of heat from the front + the lid of the BBQ trapping heat at the back = uneven cooking.
And just FYI, my WiseMenTrading oven always bakes evenly. I think because it's 1) smaller 2) opens from the top and 3) (possibly) because I've only ever used it on the wood stove.
Oh, last thing. I moved my oven thermometer on top of the top rack - just to see if it was hotter up there - but it was the same temperature as the bottom rack. I don't know. I am noticing that, as far as trapping heat, the aluminum foil doesn't seem to work as well as a cookie sheet however it still helps with the browning.
And not last thing after all. Despite the slightly singed bread ends it was nice to have two ovens running at once and get the baking done in half the time
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