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How to Use an RV Stove and Oven

Campfire meals can be a fun and effective option for cooking food while camping. However, utilizing your RV stove and RV oven can help make mealtime easier. Let’s take a closer look at this incredible camping tool! 

How Does an RV Stove and Oven Work? 

It may seem intimidating to use an RV stove and oven, but they work very similarly to those in people’s homes. Most RV stoves burn propane to ignite a flame. Turning the respective knobs and adjusting the flame level will give you more or less heat.

Frequently, you’ll have a central burner that is bigger and used more often than the others. Depending on the size of your RV, you’ll have more or less burners.

An RV oven uses propane to generate a flame inside the oven, producing heat. Most RV ovens lack any built-in fan to circulate the hot air, so below we share some tips for using your RV oven to get a better experience.

Often your RV stove will have a cover for use as part of the counter when you are not cooking. Note: Be sure to wait until your stovetop is cool before closing this cover.

How to Light Your RV Stove

Most RV stoves use a knob and button feature to start. To light your RV stove, turn your burner knob to the ignite position, press in, and simultaneously press the ignite button or turn the “spark” knob.

rv stove and oven range

You should hear a slight clicking noise as the burner ignites. When you see the flame, you can release both the knob and the button then adjust the amount of flame as needed. You might be hesitant the first time using a propane RV stove, but these cooktops are designed with safety in mind.

Pro Tip: For added safety, make sure you have a working propane detector installed in your RV, as well as fire alarms.

Lighting Your RV Oven Pilot Light

Lighting your RV oven is very similar to lighting your RV stove. However, you will need a lighter to ignite the pilot light.

To light your RV oven, turn the oven knob to the pilot light position. This step will start the flow of propane to your oven. Open the oven door and use the lighter to ignite the pilot light, usually located in the back of the oven towards the bottom. Once lit, use the oven knob to set your desired temperature. 

Light an RV oven pilot light, quick and easy guide.

Tips for Cooking in an RV Oven

RV ovens are small, and you may need to make adjustments to ensure your food comes out exactly as you’d like. Here are a few of our top tips to help you cook in your RV oven. 

Use an Oven Thermometer

Use an oven thermometer to know the exact temperature you are cooking at. Because of the size, it’s easy for the oven to run either too hot or cold. Keep an eye on the oven thermometer to make necessary adjustments while you cook. 

Use a Pizza Stone for Heat Distribution

Sometimes the flame produces enough heat but distributes unevenly. Many RVers place a pizza stone in the RV oven to help with heat distribution. Don’t be alarmed if the pizza stone cracks. This happens frequently, but it’ll still distribute heat.

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Rotate the Pan

With uneven heat distribution in some RV ovens, you can rotate the pan at least once during the cooking process. Rotating the pan ensures that the entire dish cooks thoroughly, despite having a hot spot. 

Cooking in an RV Propane Oven -- 5 Tips!

Raise Your Rack

Propane flames are a hot, direct source of heat. Foods placed too close to the flame can burn in one spot and not cook in another. If you have room, raise your rack to allow the air to circulate better under your dish and provide more even heating. 

Check Food Frequently

Keep an eye on your food to determine if you need to make adjustments. If you notice one section browns more quickly than the others, you can rotate the pan or adjust the heat.

Remember that because RV ovens are small, you will lose a significant amount of heat each time you open the oven. Therefore, you should utilize the oven’s window as much as possible to check on your food. 

How to Clean Your RV Stove and Oven

Keep your RV stove and oven clean. In addition to sanitary reasons, a clean RV stove and oven help the unit perform optimally. If you notice your RV oven stops heating as well as before, it may need a good cleaning. 

RV stove and oven with stove cover down

Clean up any spills or crumbs from your RV stove or oven. Wipe the area with a wet soapy rag or with a cleaning product. Take off the burners and wipe them clean. Remove any racks from the oven and wash them with soapy water. You can wipe the actual propane source of your stove with a wet rag. 

Cleaning your RV stove and oven ensures no debris blocks the flame, resulting in a low flame output. 

Alternatives to Cooking With Your RV Stove and Oven

Sometimes you just need more options than cooking on your RV stove. Cooking in an RV and at your campsite provides multiple methods for cooking your favorite dishes. You don’t have to stick to premade sandwiches when camping!

You can make a campfire which provides heat for your food and family. Whether it is a hot dog on a stick or chili in a cast iron pot, campfires are a fun way to cook. 

Many RVs come with a built-in propane grill. You can also bring a small grill of your own. Propane grills’ instant heat sources are great to cook up a quick meal. Using a grill outside on a hot day can also help keep the inside of your RV nice and cool.

Other options for cooking inside your RV include a microwave, an induction cooktop, and an Instant Pot. Many RVs even come with convection microwaves, which allow you to bake food inside the microwave. Using electric appliances for cooking also saves burning propane on the RV stove, which is a bonus when you have access to electrical hookups. 

Looking for quick camping meals? Check out our 5 Best Instant Pot Recipes for Easy RV Cooking!

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Cooking With Your RV Stove Is Fun and Easy!

Whether using an RV stove and oven or another source, cooking a great meal in your rig can be fun and easy. A warm meal is also the perfect way to end a day of travel or adventure. So, ignite that pilot light and get cooking!

cooking on a 3 burner RV stove
Dometic 3 Burner stove in a Truck Camper RV

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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