There’s nothing better than fresh-baked cinnamon rolls while camping.
Camping combines our senses, sight, sound, and smell.
We love having a camp spot that overlooks a beautiful mountain vista, a forest, or a sandy beach. There’s something wonderful about hearing the wind blowing through the tree branches, or the sound the surf makes when it crashes onto the shore.
But there’s nothing more magical than the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon rolls wafting through a tree-lined campground.
As campers, we love our camp food, don’t we? For some of us, it’s the “real” reason why we go camping in the first place.
Oh, Those Foodie Campers
We can always tell the “Foodie” campers. They are the ones with the Blackstone grills, the cast iron cookware, motorized rotisserie, or the portable camp kitchen “Chuck box” stocked to the gills with pots, pans, and utensils. At one campground, we actually saw a camper using a large smoker at his campsite!
These folks are usually the ones with the huge RV or 5th wheel that are big enough to carry all that heavy gear.
We travel in a small van where storage and weight carrying capacity is at a premium. We love our camp food as much as the next person, but we have to watch what cooking gear we take along with us.
When we first discovered the collapsible Coleman Camp Oven, we flipped! Immediately we had visions of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls emerging from the camp oven. In our minds, we could smell the fresh made pizza, the golden cornbread, and the blueberry muffins scenting the fresh air.
Waking ourselves up out of the dream state, we realized right then and there we must have one of these camp ovens in our van!
Camping Gear for Decades
The Coleman brand is synonymous with camping. They have been around since 1900. Grandpa probably lugged a white gas fired camp lantern with him on those fishing trips “Up North.”
Same goes with their trademark dark green camp stoves. It was the company’s eventual production of these camping stoves that changed life for hungry World War II soldiers.
Coleman has since added a variety of camping gear and accessories for the outdoor enthusiast to their product lineup. Modern Coleman products are now more streamlined, and lighter. Camp stoves and lanterns now use convenient bottled propane fuel.
My (JK) childhood was filled with a variety of old school camping gear and camping memories.
I still remember my dad filling the external fuel tank of the camp stove with white gas. My Dad then had to pressurize the fuel tank with a small built-in piston pump so he could fry up those tasty brook trout we had just caught.
Modern Camping Convenience
The Coleman Camp Oven folds into a flat, 13.5 x 12.9 x 3.3 in. compact square for transport, but when fully open becomes a 12” by 12” box designed to nest on top of a two-burner Coleman or similar camp stove (not included with an oven).
The oven is built from a stout aluminized steel exterior that they say resists scratches and corrosion and easily wipes clean. There is a hinged door with an easy-to-read thermometer to allow for more confident baking. The 10 sq. in. oven rack can be set at 3 heights for versatile baking.
The camp oven is designed for outdoor use only and you need a separate and compatible camp stove in order to heat and use the oven. Temperature of the oven is controlled by adjusting the camp stove burner knob higher or lower. There are no temperature controls on the oven. There is a temperature gauge on the door.
We have had our camp oven for almost a year and have used it many times while camping. We are not getting any reimbursement from Coleman for this review, but we love this product. Amazon, as example, is selling the camp oven for around $50.
(We have, though, provided you with an Amazon Affiliate link below, where if you decide to purchase your own camp oven, we get a tiny portion of the sale., So thank you in advance!)
Other Than That, How Was the Pizza?
Our first attempt to use our new camp oven on a van road trip to Washington and Oregon ended in disaster!
We had recently purchased a camp stove featuring one small burner and a square cooking grill next to it. We thought that this was awesome, because the Coleman Camp oven fit right on top of the grill side.
The rain had stopped as we camped near the Oregon coast at the Fort Stevens State Park campgrounds, so what better time to try out the new camp oven.
With visions of delicious hand-made pesto and Pacific Northwest smoked salmon pizzas in our heads, JK fired up the stove, placed the oven on top, and prepared the pizzas while the oven came up to temperature. A variation of this camp oven pizza recipe is included below.
The pizzas went in, and everything seemed to be going great until we noticed there was a lot of smoke coming from the stove. Thinking it must be some cheese or olive oil that spilled onto the bottom of the oven, we finished baking our pizzas (which were incredible, by the way).
Smoke On the Water
We noticed the oven and stove were still smoking after the gas had been turned off. To our horror, we lifted the camp oven off the stove and saw that the grill had completely melted, rendering the stove unusable! At least the pizza turned out great!
Apparently, the heat from the burner under the oven reached a temperature hot enough to melt the metal of the grill. There went $100 down the tubes! Next day while traveling back into Washington we found a sporting goods store and bought a new stove. This time without the grill! We decided that using the oven was more important than getting those grill marks on our steaks or burgers.
Since then, our experience with the camp oven has been great. We seem to be hooked on morning cinnamon rolls while camping. And why not? There is nothing like having fresh brewed coffee and fresh baked pastries for breakfast while camping.
We plan to experiment with other baked goodies, such as muffins, corn bread, chicken strips, roasted fresh vegetables or pot pies.
The key to success is not allowing the bottom of what we’re baking to burn. The oven really gets hot, up to 400-degrees F. So, keeping a watchful eye on your goodies is important.
We have found keeping the oven rack in the upper position, and the addition of a 9-inch pizza stone helps defuse the direct heat and allows for more even baking.
The oven can be used to keep camp foods, such as grilled meats or vegetable warm while wanting of other menu items to be cooked.
The best thing that we love about the camp oven is that it folds away and doesn’t take up much room in our van.
We can’t wait to be back on the road camping and using our camp oven to bake and enjoy more delicious food!
Please watch our JK and Kim in the Camper companion YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/kJTcjfKnBJc
Here’s the link if you are interested in purchasing a Coleman Camp oven for yourself. https://amzn.to/40p9zv0
Here is the link for the pans we use while camping. They are great to use as sturdy, unbreakable meal plates instead of paper plates. We also use these for baking. They fit perfectly in the camp oven.
Need a camp stove? Here’s a link for a nice Coleman two-burner portable camping stove.
Smoked Salmon and Pesto Camp Oven Pizza
Here’s one variation of delicious camp pizza that we have enjoyed.
What you’ll need:
Coleman Camp Oven
Two-burner camp stove
Propane fuel canister for your camp stove
2 – 9” x 7” x 1” baking pans
Parchment paper cut into long, wide strips that fit inside the baking pan.
Small mixing bowl
Pizza cutter or large, sharp chef’s knife
High heat-resistant oven mitt or thick glove
Set up a camp stove on a sturdy, heat proof table. Assemble camp oven and place oven rack in the top position. Close the oven door and center the oven above one burner. Ignite the stove burner and pre-heat the camp oven to 400-degrees F.
Bake times may vary, depending on the oven temperature, rack position and thickness of the baking sheet you use.
1 tube – Refrigerated Pillsbury or Great Value “Poppin’ Fresh” type fresh pizza dough.
1/3 cup – Homemade or store-bought pesto sauce.
1 cup – Fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin into rounds. (You can use packaged shredded mozzarella cheese if desired)
¼ cup – thin sliced red onion
¼ cup – Fresh grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
3-oz – Sliced smoked salmon
½ – Fresh lemon
1 cup – fresh baby lettuce “spring mix” or baby arugula, place in the small mixing bowl
Optional: Sliced sweet pear tomatoes, marinated, and pitted gourmet olives, thin sliced roasted peppers
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Assemble and bake:
Open the pizza dough tube and unroll the dough. Cut the dough into two equal sections. Drizzle a little olive oil onto each of the parchment-lined baking pans. Place each section of pizza dough onto the baking pan and press to shape the dough into a nice rectangle. Drizzle the dough with a little olive oil.
Place the dough into the pre-heated 400-degree F camp oven and bake for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the pans and let cool slightly. Leave the crust in the pans.
Evenly spread the pesto onto the pizza dough, adding more sauce if desired. Top the pesto with thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, then with the sliced red onion. Next, you can add the tomatoes, peppers, and olives to the pizza dough if you desire.
Return the pizzas to the camp oven and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, and the crusts are golden brown, about 7 -to- 10 minutes, checking the crust bottoms often for any signs of burning.
Remove the pizzas and turn off the stove burner.
Top the baked pizza with slices of smoked salmon to warm. Quickly dress and toss the salad greens with olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, ground sea salt and black pepper. Place the salad on top of the pizza and finish by topping with the fresh shaved Parmesan cheese. Slice pizza into a couple sections.
We use the baking pans as our plates and eat our pizza right off of them. Anytime you can save on dirtying more dishes the better!