Convection Microwave Oven Possibilities

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blsmith25

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Hi,

I've just got my new MH and I got a convection microwave oven in it.
I've had a regular microwave oven, so I'm used to that, but what's the difference?
What can I do in this that I can't do in a regular one?
Anyone have any recipes or ideas on how to use it? I hear it might be possible to use it as a regular "oven" so I can do baking in it. Is this true?
It's so new I haven't read the manual to it yet. I plan to do that this weekend, so some ideas on what I can and can't do will help to get used to it.
At the moment, the insides are all packaged up in styrofoam and cardboard. I took a peek, but put them back together for rattle-free travelling.
If I put it together this weekend and figure out how to use it, do I need to take it all apart before travelling again? Or will it be stable and rattle-free if I keep it together?
Does anyone have one in their rig that they can comment on the travel-ability of it when assembled?

Thanks!
 

Betty Brewer

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Hi BL,
Unpack the stuff finside your microwave convection and throw it away.  I have NO noise coming from mine even on the roughest roads!  Then  read the manual, darn.....

I have a Sharp Carousel microwave /Convection combination.  What  brand is yours?  The only thing you can't do in it is broil...Now the directions will tell you it will broil but the heat source does not come directly from top  as in an oven.  Is your  oven vented outside?  It will make a difference.  Mine is not and wants to shut off when it gets to  400 plus temps  as it "thinks" it is overheating. It takes about 450 to broil.  Hubby lived in motorhome while I was still working and he broiled lots of steaks.  He says they were very good but the stains  on the inside of the stainless steel  are permanently burned into the sides. The oven will do anything.  I love it. I especially love the sensor setting.  I put broccoli in and hit sensor cook and voil? it is done perfectly.  I have taken several cooking classes at FMCA rallies to learn the settings .  Has not made me a better cook but I do know the  settings and what they mean.  You will have  to manage your power usage. All part of the learning curve. Ask away and we shall try to answer!

Betty
 

Pat

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Agree with Betty, a convection-microwave oven is a useful combination.  I avoid temps over 400 just because I feel it's too hot to be safe.  Mine isn't vented outside, so it fills with steam during microwaving.  I am still working on proper temperature settings for convection baking.  Mine turns Schwan's pie crusts into concrete.  I've figured out how to layer two turntables to prevent bottom burning. 

Mine is the Sharp on the ridiculous wobbly spindle, so it doesn't turn safely.  There's a heating element on the bottom of the oven that makes the spindle necessary and also burns the bottoms of things like pie crusts. 

I saw a more stable microwave-convection oven in Fry's Electronics the other day, but I think the dimensions won't work in here.  Otherwise, I'd dump this Sharp in a second.

--pat
 

blsmith25

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Hi,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you.
Mine is a Sharp Carousel Grill2 something or other (I forget what the last word is on the bottom of the door), but it sounds like it's the same as yours, Betty.
It's also very stable at the moment. I put the insides together and drove and didn't hear any rattles and it looks like it's got good support. Maybe Pat, yours didn't come with the turntable support that fits onto the spindle? I think I remember reading problems about that in another area on this forum.

So, in the book it says that they have a cookbook specific for this oven. Do either of you have it? Is it worth it?

I bought an easy brownie mix so I could try it out, so one day I will try that and see how it works. I never did get trying it out this past weekend... simply ran out of time.

B.L>

 

Betty Brewer

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blsmith25 said:
So, in the book it says that they have a cookbook specific for this oven. Do either of you have it? Is it worth it?

Hi B.L.,
I just looked at the cookbook which came with my oven and it is for the microwave portion only.  I have taken many many classes at the FMCA rallies on how to use this contraption.  I learn something new each time.  I would not buy a special cookbook for the convection portion.  Especially if you already have lots of  cook books.
Basically  the oven functions, (after you read the manual to figure out how to turn it on)work exactly like a regular oven.. for example if my corn bread  muffin mix says to bake corn bread at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, that is what I do in this convection oven.  You will have to have pans that allow your food to turn as the hot air for the convection portion will brown one side too quickly if left in a stationary position during cooking. I also learned to use a regular old fashioned oven thermometer to adjust my heat.  Depending on your power source, the oven may not register accurately.  My convection reads low so I bump up the temps called for.  You will need either your generator  running or to be hooked up to 30 (or more amp power)  to run it for any periods of time.  Don't be afraid of it.  Unless of course you really like to eat out! ;)

Betty
 

Bob Zambenini

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blsmith25 said:
Hi,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you.
Mine is a Sharp Carousel Grill2 something or other (I forget what the last word is on the bottom of the door), but it sounds like it's the same as yours, Betty.
It's also very stable at the moment. I put the insides together and drove and didn't hear any rattles and it looks like it's got good support. Maybe Pat, yours didn't come with the turntable support that fits onto the spindle? I think I remember reading problems about that in another area on this forum.

So, in the book it says that they have a cookbook specific for this oven. Do either of you have it? Is it worth it?

I bought an easy brownie mix so I could try it out, so one day I will try that and see how it works. I never did get trying it out this past weekend... simply ran out of time.

B.L>

I have the Sharp Carousel also and its a winner. You should have got some metal racks and perhaps a cookbook with it. The metal racks are used to cook with the convection mode  as you need to 'suspend' things in mid air. Should be diagrams or photos in you book. These are rather bulky and take up drawer space.

When we got ours in 1999 we went to some sessions at FMCA and other rallies and they were helpful, but the convection is not as mysterious as its first made out to be.

I cook with it in convection with no problem. It really just an electric oven. There are some things you can use a combo of microwave and convection, but I have never done this except in thawing things.

I agree you don't need a special cookbook for convection. Your Sharp instruction book will give you the sequence to set temps.

Good luck and try it and you will love it.


Cheers, Bob


 

Marsha/CA

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BL,

As Bob says in his post, be sure and use the metal racks that came with the mic/oven combination.  You should have two racks, each a different height.  If you try to bake by putting the pans directly on the turn tables it will not work; everything needs to be suspened so that the air can circulate under and around whatever is baking.  I have an electric stove at home that has a convection oven and it cooks just like my motorhome mic/oven combination.  I think they are great to cook with.

Marsha~
 

Woody

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>>Mine is the Sharp on the ridiculous wobbly spindle, so it doesn't turn safely<<

Pat,

Your Sharp Carousel should have a plastic ring that fits over that spindle. The ring has little rollers along its outside edge. With that ring in place even the heaviest container is stable.

Woody
 

blsmith25

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The only things that came with my mic/oven is a metal turntable support that goes into the spindle, a metal turntable which it says you could cook directly on it for some things, one metal rack which stands on the metal turntable about 3" high or so, and the instruction manual/book.

I have a really large 30A cord that hooks into the camper, but to hook to household power, I only have an adapter to a "normal" extension cord that would be used for regular outdoor appliances. Is this enough to run it for for awhile or do I need something heavier? I don't want it to overheat or cause an electrical problem. What would I look for?

Also, I forgot to say that I don't know if it's vented outside or not. Not likely since I don't see any vent hole on the side of the camper.

I leave the metal rack inside the oven and put a paper towel between the feet and the turntable in case it decided to rattle or something. It rides well. I don't hear a peep from it and it doesn't take up shelf/drawer space like that either.
 

Pat

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Woody:  No plastic ring.  I have a heating element on the floor of the microwave.  I have posted pictures of this thing in another topic.  It's just a bad design.  I saw one the other day with the plastic 3-wheel support, and I'd like to get it, but the dimensions might be different than I have.  I'll start looking for an RV shop that would know how to evaluate this setup and whether they can replace this.

--pat
 

blsmith25

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Hi Pat,

I reread and looked at your other post. Did you get a solution yet?

Nobody mentioned that the metal turntable support that sits on the spindle may be improperly made/faulty. Sometimes parts do not get made quite right in the factory.
Have you requested they send you a new one to try out a different support? The hole for the spindle on yours may be too large, hence the wobbliness when you place anything on it.
When I put mine together, mine seems stable and based on your pictures, our ovens look exactly the same.
The manual that was posted is the same as the manual that came with my oven.
Anyways, it might be another idea if you already haven't done that and maybe the new one you would get would make your problems disappear and you won't need to look for a whole new oven. Even if you had to order one from their parts department to test it out, it would still be cheaper than a whole new oven.
Alternatively, perhaps the spindle itself was manufactured just a bit too small for the support. However, if that's the case, I'm not sure if you can replace the actual spindle since that might involve taking the oven apart.
I would suggest getting a new metal support and if that doesn't work, won't they replace it with a new oven for you? I guess it's not under warranty anymore? That should fall under replacement for factory defects...  How old is your oven?
 

Pat

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bl: 

The complaint about the turntable problem in the Sharp was initiated with both the mh plant and Sharp two days after installation.  They did send a fellow out in AZ, who is an RVer and who pronounced the thing dangerous for in an RV.  All he did was order replacement parts that are as useless as the originals.  I have a total of three turntable supports and two turntables.  All wobble.  The thing that holds the turntable support in place, that little spindle, has just a shallow slot in it that supposedly holdes the turntable support, which has a tiny bar inside the tube that fits over the spindle. 

What I reached at Sharp was apathy, ignorance, complete lack of cooperation, and the most absurd policy of all:  Complaints are turned over to the very engineers who created the poor design. 

You must have levelers on your motorhome that make it very level every time you park.  I don't.  I have to use plastic blocks under the wheels.  Lots of trial and error, and on muddy, uneven, rutted sites, impossible to level at all.  This kind of turntable doesn't belong in an RV. 

Right now I'm as level as I've ever been.  It's nearly perfect.  The turntable still wobbles.

I will eventually find a place that can replace the oven.  Mine is a small size, by the way.  I understand from Sharp that they originally designed this thing in a large size oven and just cut it down to small, expecting it to work the same.

This just turned into one of those unfairnesses in life.  One of these days I'll scrounge up the dough to replace it.  I'll be closer to Junction City OR next summer.  Anybody know anybody there who can replace it?  Or even better, someone in Mesa/Phoenix area?

By the way, in the Sharp that bottom burner tends to cook the daylights out of stuff.  I use the second turntable nested inside the first one to create an air pocket and insulation.  Helps with pies.


--pat
 

blsmith25

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Hi,

Well, I used my oven for the first time Friday night. I got to my friends house to camp overnight and do some baking to try it out. I just made a brownie mix with some cherries. There was a recipe on the box that looked better than just plain brownies, so decided to try that out.
Well, I parked and didn't think about the fact that I'm not all that level. So, I prepared all the stuff and figured out how to get the oven going so it would preheat while I was fixing and mixing. So, here I am all ready to go and put my pan in the oven and of course I'm not level, so it slides down to the wall and of course nothing will work that way. So, now what to do? Well, I had to turn the oven off, disconnect everything, get out the brand new lego leveler blocks that I figured I wouldn't be bothered with for one night and work on leveling the van. So, by the time that we figured that out and got the van a little more level (it still wasn't level at all, but it was a lot better), I had to wait for the oven to reheat and figure out something to put under the pan to keep it from sliding around. I had some silicon spatulas that were non slip so took those apart and used them since I didn't have anything non-slip that was heat resistant. So, those worked really good. Aside from programming it using the compubake cycle instead of manually, I had to put it in for extra time and take it out early since it was beginning to burn and bubble over, but it worked out pretty good and the spatula ends worked great and the brownies taste absolutely delicious! Can't wait for lunch today to have some more!
So, I've seen those flat silicon pads that are heat resistant in the store, so I'll be looking for a couple of those for use under the pans on the turntable since I'll never truly be level and just in case, at least it will keep the pan in place and not go up in flames. My oven had no problem supporting a 8x8 pan full of cherries, and brownie mix. It was actually quite heavy and am glad it works so nice.
Actually, I also cooked my first breakfast yesterday beside the ocean... Worked great also! It was wonderful.  :D
 

Tom

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Our prior Pace Arrow motorhome didn't have levelling jacks and I was not especially fussy about levelling. We used one of those circular bubble level indicators and I'd made some wooden ramps/blocks, but I sure didn't spend a lot of time getting it "level". If it didn't feel like we were walking uphill or we didn't roll out of bed, I figured we had it about right.

I don't ever recall having a microwave problem because the plate/dish slid to one side. But I'm thinking it probably didn't have a rotating plate either. Maybe "we" used to manually rotate the food periodically (?) I'll have to ask the cook when she gets home.
 

blsmith25

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Well, I wasn't especially fussy about spending the time to level it when it was just parked for a night, however, when I couldn't bake (which was the whole point in going over there so I could plug in and have a good place to park and bake), I had to fix it, or at least try. I was far from perfectly level, but level enough that the dish didn't immediately zoom to the side, but it was still drifting downhill. That's where that silicon stuff comes in real handy. I'm glad I had those spatulas. I'll be getting me one of those flat mats just for those purposes. Maybe even a few of them.  :-\
BTW, we felt like we were walking uphill or down when in there, but didn't roll out of bed. The crack in the sofa when it folds down keeps me in the bed when I sleep width-wise...  ;D
I guess it's the non-stick bakeware that I was using. It was plenty slippery, but the slope was enough that it slid down immediately and heavy enough it wouldn't rotate so I had to do something. Going into the house to bake it would have defeated the whole purpose of trying out the oven to learn how to use it and how it worked.  :D
All fun and games and learn to expect the unexpected I guess and now I know if I want to use the oven, I need to be mostly level...  :p
 

Pat

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BL:

I wrote a reply that disappeared into cyberspace when I clicked Post, so this may be a repetition.

Your first experience with the teflon-on-teflon was exactly the same as mine.  Imagine a pot of boiling liquid come pouring out at you when you open the door.

I found some silicone pizza liners that just about fit the inside of the turntable.  The first time I tried to preheat, the bottom heating element caused the liner to smoke and balloon up.  Almost had a fire. 

I use a sheet of aluminum foil a little wider than the turntable and smush it across the bottom and into the edges of the turntable.  The rough surface of the foil keeps cooking pans in place.  And, of course, it keeps the turntable clean.  Parchment paper is almost as good.

Another thing to be careful of is pans that are too heavy.  I use a glass baking dish for rice pudding, and it's almost too heavy.  That flimsy slot tends to slip when the spindle is trying to turn the turntable support.

Anyway, I'm glad to see someone else has experienced this weird Sharp oven.  Mine will be replaced when I find a place capable of taking on the task.

--pat
 

blsmith25

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Hmmm... the silicon spatula ends that I put in to hold the pan in place got a little warm, but the oven was at 350 for preheat and 20 minutes or so of that temperature, so I didn't expect them to stay cold. I'm wondering if because you put the silicon in there for the preheat when no food was in there if that's why it did that...? Maybe it's surface area of the silicon? They advertise that stuff as being heat proof and you can even use the glove in a campfire if you dare to get that close... So much for that theory from what you're saying... :-\

Anyways, what I don't get is why aluminum foil is suddenly acceptable in this microwave without causing fireworks. Do you take it out when it's being used as a straight microwave or does this microwave work differently from regular microwaves? I'm scared to try that since when I was younger learning to use the microwave, my teacher put some foil in the oven and showed us what would happen if we used it and told us it would ruin the microwave. I've been scared of that ever since... I guess I could have used parchment paper, but at the angle I was at, it wouldn't have been enough.
 

Pat

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bl:

Wait.  I didn't read carefully enough or explain right.  For microwaving, the silicone pizza thing works great.  For convection cooking, where preheating takes place, the silicone smoked and ballooned, even though it's rated for 450 degrees.  I think the preheating gets hotter. 

I use the silicone for microwaving and the aluminum foil for convection baking.

--pat
 
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