There are at least two reasons why I had to test the famous Omnia Oven. First – It’s from Sweden and hence I am currently exploring that country I thought I need to explore that Swedish kitchen tool as well. Second – asking the vanlifers it’s kind of an institution. Everyone who hasn’t a „normal“ oven within the camper is using an Omnia Oven. So far I just hear of good opinions. So I am curious how I am getting along with it.
Usually I am using my normal oven within my camper which is a „Dometic Sunlight“ and I am pretty happy with it. However, the „problem“ with a gas oven is that there is a lot more heat in the back where the flame is generated as in the front. Sometimes it happens, that the food in the back is burnt whilst the food in front is perfectly baked. It takes a bit of time and experience to find out how it works best. So sometimes I rather take the Omnia Oven then my normal oven. But for a proper testing I decided to prepare food with the Omnia Oven although I would normally take my normal oven for those dishes. Therefore I decided to prepare two self invented recipes – something sweet and something savory to get an overall picture. I used the standard omnia-ofen and the associated silicone mould for that testing.
First I tried my Mexican lasagna as I found the idea very appealing to use round tortillas which perfectly fit the shape of the Omnia Oven. So I made different layers containing the sauce (chili con carne with sweet corn and kidney beans) and tortillas. Therefore I cut a whole in the middle of the tortillas so they were perfectly fitting into the form. On top I put some creme fraiche and -of course- cheese. As I said, normally I would put that into my normal oven, where it would take about 25 minutes. But this time I turned on the stove and placed the Omnia Oven on it. Surprisingly it began to bubble and cook pretty fast. I was happy that I considered the instructions for the oven not to fill the dish up to the rim. Now I understood why, because everything starts to simmer and otherwise the sauce might just bubble out of the oven which would actually cause a mess. But everything went smoothly and after 15 minutes everything was already baked. The cheese was melted and the tortillas on the rim were crispy. Unfortunately the cheese didn’t get a brown crust but I assume that’s just normal. I didn’t want to bake it any longer though as the tortillas were already crispy and I didn’t want them to burn.
Thanks to the silicone mould it was really easy to get the lasagna out of the form. Everything was well baked and it tasted delicious! Also the dishwashing was very easy. The silicone mould made it very easy to clean. So far – so good!
The second try was about baking Swedish „Kanelbullar“ (cinnamon rolls) which should be fairly easy for that Swedish kitchen tool. Once again I considered not to fill the Omnia Oven up to the rim as the dough will extend a lot through the yeast. So I prepared my smooth dough, stuffed it with cinnamon butter and rolled some swirls. Then I put those into the mould and baked them on medium heat. And -again- I was happy I considered that advice – the rolls were almost exploding but luckily everything stayed in the oven. I’ve waited until the dough became a brown color at the rim and took the cinnamon rolls off the stove. After they cooled down it was easy to get them out of the silicone mould. They got a nice brown color and a crispy texture from below so it wasn’t really of an issue that the surface stayed a bit pale. The cinnamon rolls had a soft texture in the middle and a bit of a delicious crust on the bottom. I loved them!
So all in all I was really surprised by the performance of the Omnia Oven. It distributes the heat evenly and fast. Dishes are baked much faster then in my normal oven. But that’s also the tricky part – I would recommend to start on medium heat to make sure that nothing gets burned. That’s why I also recommend not to wait until the surface of your dish becomes crispy – it’s more the rim that counts. Don’t expect a brown cheese crust or a thick bread crust on the top – that’s not what the Omnia Oven physically can do. But therefore the crust on the bottom will be fantastic! Everything cooks pretty fast and you might save some gas as well.
The Omnia Oven eases the van life even after cooking – it’s very easy to clean and you don’t need much water.
So finally I have to say that the oven works really efficient and sufficient. Especially in relation to the price. I think it’s just a matter of experience to get used to it. I will definitely use it more often in future although I do have the luxury of having a „normal“ oven within my van. I think it’s a great benefit for those who don’t have another option and just cook with a stove. It widens the culinary horizons and increases the amount of recipes doable in a van. Great stuff!