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Portable Oven Update

by Tyler

We found a fabrication company to run our portable oven prototype a few weeks ago and it was remarkably affordable! Many thanks to Orion @ KMT Waterjet for all the help. Their pricing and customer service were absolutely astounding. I cannot recommend them enough.

Bicycle Touring Oven Prototype

The pieces for the oven arrived exactly as I had drawn them in SolidWorks and everything fit together perfectly which we have been told is a pretty rare occurrence for first run prototypes (go us!). It was so exciting to see our creation in real life for the first time! One of my biggest concerns about the oven was how strong it could be made while coming in under 2lbs. With a bit of research I decided on 6061-T6 aluminum @ 0.0312" and I am happy to report the oven is incredibly sturdy. Posted below is a picture of a mini chicken pot-pie Tara made from scratch cooking in the oven. (yum!)

Camping Oven Pot Pie

The first thing we attempted to bake with the oven was a biscuits recipe that Tara has been working on for a few weeks. The oven heats up to 500+ degrees in no time and holds temperature very well. We were very surprised by how quickly they baked; it would be easy to burn things in this oven if you don't keep an eye on it. We did subsequent tests at much lower temps and things were a bit more manageable.

Camp Oven Biscuits

Things left to do:

  1. Decide how to attach the oven door (we used aluminum tape to lightly secure it for testing)

  2. Get a thermometer with a shorter stem

  3. Redesign the oven rack so it extends fully to the front and back of the oven

  4. Pick up adjustable straps to hold the pieces together for storage or make a small stuff sack

In other news I had a pretty hilarious email exchange with Brian Marsh a patent troll who invented a different oven for backpacking which we purchased, reviewed and returned because of its poor build quality. He actually wants us to pay him a licensing fee for using his design. I may post some additional thoughts about the US patent system and how laughable the idea of patenting a metal box and calling dibs on it is.

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This is wonderful. Any chance you are having more of these made for resell?
Posted by Dylan on October 23rd, 2010 at 9:26 PM
No kidding, I've been messing around trying to come up with something workable for well over a year now, and have been very unimpressed by the current models available. Seriously, Tyler...how about either arranging for people to purchase your plans and suggested fabricator or making these commercially? You two have been using it on the road for some time, so it obviously works as-is, and you might have some modifications in mind too!

Oh, and btw, I've been following your blog for some time. Don't let the nay-sayers get you two down--I love the photos, the stories, and the idea of what you are doing. Your photos and blog have steadily improved as time has gone on. I actually searched back to find this entry and take another look at your photo of your folding oven for the Whisperlite.
Posted by Gia Scott on October 28th, 2010 at 5:05 AM
I'm not planning on having any more made in the immediate future. If you'd really like one, please get in touch via our contact page. Be warned, due to the one-off nature, they aren't cheap!

I own campersoven.com, and I plan to give the CAD files away free of charge just as soon as I get around to building the site. The oven works well, but it could definitely use some revision.

As for selling it... maybe at some point. I am pretty consistently up to my eyeballs in work for my software development company, I'm not ready to take on anything more just yet. Maybe when we get home.

Thanks for the kind words about our journal and don't worry, we take the naysayers with a very, very small grain of salt :)

Posted by Tyler on October 28th, 2010 at 3:31 PM
This is very cool. I've been looking at solar heat retention ovens. But even the commercial ones are made of plastic. Doesn't make sense to make an oven out of plastic (even solar ovens can get up to 400 F). Any plans on working on a solar oven?
Posted by Dave on November 16th, 2012 at 12:17 AM
No plans for solar ovens yet. Most of our focus these days is on our upcoming homesteading project. If you're curious to dive deeper with this oven, you can find more information here:
Posted by Tyler on November 19th, 2012 at 2:58 AM