78398RE: [BackpackGearTest] OR - Coleman Portable Oven - Jerry Goller
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[mailto:BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jerry Goller
Sent: Sunday, November 01, 2009 2:30 AM
Subject: [BackpackGearTest] OR - Coleman Portable Oven - Jerry Goller
HTML version at http://tinyurl.com/year367
COLEMAN PORTABLE OVEN
BY JERRY GOLLER <<IMAGE 1>>
November 01, 2009
NAME: Jerry Goller
LOCATION: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 220 lb (99.80 kg)
I started camping with my father at age 6 or so. I've backpacked and truck
camped, off and on, all of my life. Even in the Marine Corps, I
was in the Infantry. I consider myself a light weight backpacker with an
average dry pack weight of 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 7 kg),
depending on the season and terrain. I backpack year round.
Most of my trips are 2 to 5 days long and in Utah. I also, from time to
time, take much longer trips lasting one to two months or more.
These trips are usually on the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.
Manufacturer: The Coleman Company
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - " <http://www.coleman.com>
http://www.coleman.com" LINK TEXT = " <http://www.COLEMAN.COM>
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 17 lbs. 3 oz. (78 kg)
Oven Interior Dimensions:
14" (35.5 cm) Wide
12" (30.5 cm) Deep
5" (13 cm) High
Wide and Deep were as listed. High: 6.5" (16.5 cm) Can handle most 13" X 9"
(33 cm X 23 cm) pans.
Capable of 500 F (260 C) temperatures
Please Note: This report is formatted for optimal viewing with Internet
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The Coleman Portable Oven is basically a propane powered camp toaster oven.
It is powered by either Coleman 16.4 oz (465 g) disposable
propane cylinders or, with an accessory adaptor hose, bulk propane
cylinders. It comes with one of Coleman's propane regulators, the only
piece that has to be attached for operation of the oven. It mates the oven
to the gas cylinder or bulk cylinder hose.
It has a built in thermometer on the top of the oven that reads in
Fahrenheit and Celsius. It reads from 100 F (38 C) to 600 F (316 C).
The oven uses Coleman's InstaStartT system to light the oven. InstaStart is
Coleman's piezoelectric igniter. Just push the button and the
burner lights. Matches or lighters are not required.
The door handle is designed to stay cool to the touch when the oven is
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Oven Inside" IMAGE CAPTION = "Inside Oven">>
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Thermometer" IMAGE CAPTION = "Thermometer">>
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Temp Control" IMAGE CAPTION = "Temperature
I'm one of those people that want things to always be the way I expect them
to be. I don't like surprises. Virtually all the surprises in
my life weren't good. When I fix breakfast I want it to always be what I am
used to, what I expect. I'm that way even when I am fixing
breakfast at a campsite. One of my favorite breakfasts and, indeed, one of
my favorite snacks, is toast and coffee. Good old toast and
coffee. Toast, bacon, and coffee is just heaven. It never fails to satisfy
me, unless, of course, it doesn't turn out like I expect it to.
Then I just can't eat it. It starts off my day on the wrong side.
That has been my camping situation for most of my life. I tried every toast
making device I've seen. None of them made toast like my
electric toaster at home. I went so far as to make up a converter and
battery setup to run an electric toaster at my campsite. It worked
but the 100 pound battery pack proved to be a bit unhandy.
Then I tried the Coleman Portable Oven. Eureka! It not only made toast as
well as my home toaster, it made it better! Every slice came
out perfectly toasted. Now, granted, I have to keep some what of an eye on
it. It toasts the bread as fast, if not faster, than my home
toaster but it doesn't, of course, pop the toast out. But it is easy to
check on the toast by opening the door and taking a peek. I've
done it often enough that I just know when to check. Although the oven door
has a glass section for viewing the baking area, I make toast
on the top rack setting and so I can't see the top of the toast very well.
The toaster also does a bang up job on bacon, as well. Bacon prepared in an
oven doesn't curl nearly as badly as it does in a skillet. The
grease also drips off the bacon on the rack so the bacon isn't so bad for
me. Well, that's what I tell myself, anyway. All in all, it
makes a perfect Jerry breakfast. The coffee turned out to be another problem
but that will have to wait for another review.
The nice thing about the Coleman Portable Oven is that it also toasts or
bakes just about anything else you can fit in it. I've made
frozen waffles, corn bread muffins, blue berry muffins, turnovers, cookies,
and even brownies. The only caution I would give is that all
portable camp ovens I've seen have no way to regulate their temperatures. In
other words, the operator has to continually monitor the
baking process and make any necessary temperature adjustments manually. The
Coleman is no exception. All this means is that one must keep
an eye on the baking items and possibly adjust the temperature up or down or
the bake times longer or shorter.
I've used this oven many times on many trips from 2,000' (600 m) or so up
to around 10,000' (3,000 m). It has performed well in
temperatures from the low 20s F (-6 C) up to the 80s F (28 C). The only
difference I've noticed is the InstaStart gets a little tricky at
low temps. I usually carry a long propane lighter, like the ones for
starting fireplaces, as a backup.
There is a bit of a learning curve for this oven. I've used it for over a
year now and have gotten pretty good at it. Virtually all my
baking and toasting has been done with the temperature adjustment knob very
near its lowest setting. This oven can get very hot and there
is a bit of a lag time after making temperature adjustments. I start out
with the flame at the lowest setting that the burner will stay
lit and go from there. Temperatures around 350 F (177 C) can be a bit tricky
to maintain. Make very small adjustments and try not to
micromanage the temp during baking. It seems to bake surprisingly close to
the times listed on the products I've made in it. But I would
still start checking on it a few minutes before you think it should be
ready. It is much easier to check too often that to try to "unburn"
It seems to make toast best between 450 and 500 F (230-260 C) with the rack
set in the highest slots.
As you may have noticed from my pictures, my present oven is nice and clean.
That is because it isn't the original one. On my last family
camping trip I discovered that my multitasking skills aren't up to backing a
gear trailer, keeping track of all the gear stacked for
loading, and my very active 2 and a half year old son. I refer to this as
The Unfortunate Trailer Backing Incident. Fortunately, the only
casualty was my beloved Coleman Portable Oven. It had become such an
indispensible part of my base camp gear that I had to immediately
replace it. The pictures are of my nice shiny new one.
THINGS I'D CHANGE
I think the burner tube is too big/and or long. It puts out too much heat
for this size oven. Virtually all baking is done at the very
lowest settings and it can be very tricky to maintain stable flame levels.
It is very easy to over adjust the flame lower and have it go
out. The settings I have used most are in the lowest 5% of the temp dial and
none above 10%. By lowering the output of the burner I think
the user would have a more stable flame level for the desired temperature
I had a problem with the small screws holding the door to the door hinge.
Coleman promptly sent me replacement screws but I found the old
screw holes to be stripped out. I had to use much larger self-tapping screws
to replace the missing screws. I think the oven hinge would
be better served with larger screws. The present ones just seem too small
for holding the oven door on, particularly through repeated
opening and closing of the oven door.
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