Another Cool Gadget

All right, you should know me by now. I love cool stuff. I stumbled across an item at Walmart (I should really quit going there, it’s getting expensive) that I just had to have. In fact, I left it there, told my mom about it on the phone after I got home, and decided that I needed to go get it, and drove back to Walmart to get it that same night.

What is this miraculous new invention? It is a Brinkmann Portable Oven. Yes, a small, propane oven. It is soooo cute!
Brinkmann Portable Propane Oven
Here are some of the reasons I got the oven:

  1. I wanted it – the best reason of all
  2. It was only about $55
  3. It will be a lot of fun camping
  4. It will be a lot of fun during hurricane season
    1. While everyone else is complaining about eating saltines again, I can tell them about the fresh bread and muffins that I was enjoying fresh out of the oven just that morning!
  5. It is just darn cool!

The Little Oven That Could

The box says that it can bake at 400 degrees for 4 hours on a single small propane cylinder. It even came with a free cookie sheet, which is a good thing, because this oven is really small. The pan that came with it basically fills the oven with it’s imposing 9 inch square bulk.

I had asked my mom what kind of pans did she think would work better, glass or metal. I was thinking glass because you can’t scratch the Teflon off of it. My mom said metal so I didn’t have to worry about breaking it while I was camping. I did one better. I got those new silicone pans. Here are the reasons I got the silicone pans:

  1. They won’t break when I drop them
  2. They won’t scratch
  3. They fold and flex and make it easier to pack
  4. They will fit in the oven even if they don’t fit – just push hard, they will fit!
  5. They are just cool in their own right

The set came with the following pieces:

  • Round Cake Pan
  • Muffin Pan
  • Bread Pan
  • Spoon/Spatula – it works well enough to pop cookies off of a cookie sheet
  • A pot holder/gripper – pretty handy, and it has a little magnet in it so it will stick to metal stuff

I bought the oven Sunday night, and it was too late to be able to play with it more then to unpack it and put the pieces together. Last night I was out getting my haircut, so I couldn’t play with it last night. Tonight… Tonight was the night. I went to Publix and got a bunch of assorted bread, muffin, and biscuit mixes that say ‘just add water’ on the box. I stopped at target, and got the silicone pan set I had scoped out on my way to Publix. I also bought the biggest tube of ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookie dough Target had.

Lessons Learned

I got the oven going right around dusk. It took a few minutes to get up to temperature on the high setting. Maybe 20 minutes or so? I had enough time to wash the pans and get stuff unpacked and so forth.

I put 4 cookies into the metal pan that came with the oven and stuck them in for the 10 minutes that the directions called for on the low setting, the thermometer reading a perfect 350 degrees. 15 minutes later, they came off and when I tried them they still weren’t quite done.

Cookies in a muffin pan?

I put the muffin tin I had prepped with cookies onto the top rack. I made smaller cookies for the 2nd pan of cookies. The oven was reading about 400 degrees at this point. The 2nd pan of cookies turned out much better. The muffin tin on the top rack wasn’t even close to done. So I turned it back on high, and set the 3rd pan of cookies into the oven. 10 minutes later I started to smell something funny. The photo below says it all.

Burnt Cookies

The oven had worked itself up to around 450 degrees. I am thinking that given time and a calm day, this little oven might hit 500 if you let it.

Future Plans

Some of the thoughts I had for this oven include:

  • Fresh bread when your camping
  • Fresh cookies at a tailgate party
  • Maybe fill a tuna can with wood chips and make a small smoker out of it if baking a chicken or something in it
  • If kids are with, those personal sized pizzas would fit perfect in the oven, and the fussiest of eaters would be happy
  • Fresh muffins to go with your morning coffee in the morning. You could probably put the coffee pot on top to keep warm while baking the muffins.
  • If camping with a larger group, if you warm it up, and then shut it off, you could use it to keep some food warm while the rest of the food is cooking.

*This blog post is a little different for a couple of reasons. All the photos where taken with my new cellphone camera. I wrote and published this post from the new Google Docs (formally writely.com). Docs couldn’t post to blogger for some reason, so I copied and pasted it into Picassa. This document is publicly viewable at: http://docs.google.com/View?docid=d3cxzdx_6dwx4tk.
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