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RVing With Countertop Ovens

Rapid Wave Big Boss OvenIn an effort to cut down on the heat in my RV during Texas summers and save on propane during winters, I decided to buy an electric countertop oven. One thing I have lots of is free electricity from a generator parked behind my rig while I guard a gate. Lots of gate guards have been buying them and reviews have been very positive right up to “Can’t live without!”. You can also cook much healthier with one of these since the grease drains away from food to the bottom of the bowl.

The most popular countertop oven appears to be the NuWave. It gets excellent reviews except for the lids breaking and the high shipping costs which are charged on every additional item you buy at the same time or are given “free” if you shop on their website. I’m sure it is a good oven nonetheless and everyone raves about their PIC countertop cooking burners too.

I decided to go with the Rapid Wave Big Boss countertop oven. Aside from being half the price of the NuWave, it comes with a large, solid glass bowl that is easy to clean and a glass lid. They also provide both the lower and upper racks along with the extension ring and a square tong to lift items out or turn them. The booklets that come with it are a bit on the light side but do provide some beginning help. The price was excellent on Amazon and well worth it. Unfortunately, I could not find a good American book on halogen oven cooking. The only ones available are written for British tastes. Recipes are available on the Internet though. My smaller sized square and rectangular RV pans fit in it very well as well as regular sized round pans.

I have had the oven for about 4 months now and cook with it quite often. When my microwave oven died, I started defrosting meat in the Big Wave. It works very well for that task. For cooking, don’t get the idea this is “set it and forget it”. You will need to turn the food half way through the cook cycle or it ill burn. You can set the timer for half the time so it goes off and rings the bell to remind you to turn the food and restart the last half of the cooking time. Cooking in this takes less time than in your RV oven though the temperatures appear to be about the same. You will need to experiment with your favorite recipes to figure out the times. I suggest writing down the successes in a notebook. The only drawback is what to do with the hot lid when checking food or finishing. I slide it part way off the bowl and balance it or just hold it by the handle in one hand. You can purchase a lid holder for it if you have counter space for it.

Cleaning up is super easy. Just drain the grease when done cooking, if necessary, and fill the bowl with soapy water. Let the rack soak in it too. Use a dish brush when ready.

Successes and failures:

  • Meatloaf – I make meatloaf in two small pans from 1 lb. of hamburger. I eat one for dinner and freeze the other for later. I cooked it in the Big Boss on the lower rack for half the usual time and it came out absolutely delicious! Using the square tongs provided, I had no problem retrieving the pans from the bowl when done. Success!
  • Chicken – After spraying the lower rack with oil, I liberally coated the chicken parts with BBQ sauce and placed them on the lower rack. This is one I’m still working on getting right. I may need to use the extension ring with it. The chicken comes out fully cooked (not over-cooked) but the skin always burns despite turning half-way through. I don’t particularly mind since I no longer eat the skin which is full of cholesterol. I like that most of the grease drips off it and cleaning up after is so much easier than it was with my previous cooking method. The chicken is tender and delicious after peeling off the burned skin. Semi-success.
  • French Fries – The book says you can place the lower rack on the upper racks to cross them to hold the fries. I tried that but a lot of the fries fell through the racks into the bottom. The fry recipe in the book is delicious though. Failure.
  • Brownies – It was great being able to bake something quick without heating up the RV. The brownies came out fully cooked but not burned on the sides as they usually are n the gas oven. The very center was a little bit moist yet but hey it’s chocolate and oh so delicious! Success!
  • Biscuits – This is where this oven really shined for me. It baked perfect biscuits without burning the bottom as ALWAYS happens in RV ovens. You do need to turn them once to brown the bottoms a little and I used the extension ring. I love making biscuits in this oven! Major success!
  • Miscellaneous items warmed – Warming up items in the Big Boss countertop oven is easier, faster, and much better than heating up the whole RV with the RV oven just for leftovers. Success!

big_boss_oven_accessories2I am very happy with my Rapid Wave Big Boss Oven. It does exactly what it says and works well as a replacement for the usual propane RV oven. It could even be used by tenters! It is a high wattage (1300 watts) appliance so watch what else you may be running on the same circuit. I also recommend buying an accessory bundle. The accessories for any other halogen oven will work with it. I bought this one. It includes the grill pan, round pan (great for biscuits), lid holder, and the steamer basket which is perfect for making those French fries into a success.

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