The Omnia Stove Top Oven – helping vanlifers everywhere suddenly have access to the appliance they likely miss the most.
One main thing that many vanlifers sacrifice when moving into a van full-time is the ability to bake or cook anything in an oven. While living without an oven might seem trivial, you’ll soon realize how many meals require an oven once you don’t have access to one anymore! The Omnia Oven essentially replicates a normal oven through its circular formation and multiple layers. The layer that you put in the food to cook has a lid and an under layer, acting as a sort of tray. With the hollow center, the entire contents of the oven are able to cook thoroughly and evenly, as a normal oven.
While all of this sounds great in theory, it’s hard to know what you can trust until you’ve tried it yourself, right? So, we’ve put the Omnia stove top oven to the test, using it in a real-life van cooking situation. I was isolating in the desert for COVID when one of my fellow quarantiners turned 30. I wanted to make a nice breakfast surprise, so I decided to bake cinnamon rolls in my new dish! Here’s my Omnia oven review, based on first-hand experience.
- Base: Stainless steel, high-quality SS430
- Omnia Pan and lid: Aluminum
- Diameter: 8 inches, Pan volume 2 quarts, Pan height 2 3/4 inches
- “Utility height” including knob: 5½ inches
- Weight: Approx. 1.1 lbs.
Stars (out of 5): 5
Price: About $67 USD/$95 CAD
Pros: Semi-compact, efficient, lightweight, simple, does its job!
Cons: Can be harder to clean without soaking (this is why the silicone inserts are so important!)
Quick Summary of Omnia Stove Top Oven
For vanlife, road trips, and camping, the Omnia Stove Top Oven is incredible. It allows you to have access to more cooking and baking than ever before as a portable oven. It basically allows you access to something that you have to say goodbye to when. you decide to hit the road full-time, baking and cooking in an oven. The Omnia is extremely lightweight and super easy to handle. While it is definitely not dirt cheap, it is no more expensive than a nice pot or pan and is well worth the money, especially if you use it frequently. You suddenly will have access to so many things you couldn’t make before: cookies, enchiladas, pizza, you name it!
To test out the Omnia oven, I decided to make my friend Henry cinnamon rolls for his birthday breakfast. While I didn’t make them from scratch (boo – I know) they still turned out incredible. Here’s how it went.
The Omnia oven comes in a black back already pieced together as it should be. The one thing you do need to add is the screw on topper, which basically allows you to grab the lid and remove it when it’s extremely hot while being used. The main compartment, that you’ll be cooking in, is in the middle, and it has a little sort of tray on the bottom. Super simple. You just set it directly on the stovetop as is.
It’s worth noting that I didn’t have the silicone insert, which I would highly recommend purchasing. It will make your time cooking much easier, and clean up even faster. It basically acts as a non-stick surface between the food you are making and the oven ring itself. I read a few other “how-to” articles online before starting and saw multiple recommendations to do a quick wipe through around the interior ring with butter. So that’s how I started! In hindsight, I’m super glad I did that. It made the world of a difference.
While the size may not be much a deal to most, as a person who lives in a van full-time and shares her space with a live-in partner, this stove top item isn’t exactly small. It’s totally doable, but you will need to make as much space as say, a large pot. I ended up traveling most days with it in the front of my car under the driver’s seat, instead of making room for it in a drawer. With that being said, I’ve never regretted making space for it in my van. It’s definitely been a wonderful addition that I’m glad to have. The black cover bag is also wonderful for transportation, and for not being able to store it in a drawer. Even when it’s out and constantly being moved around my van, it is all protected from the encompassing cover.
I will be honest when I say that without the silicone mold, baking in this does have a rougher clean up in a van. Most vans don’t have hot water, so you lose the ability to soak a dish like this. However, if you do a quick wipe through before baking anything with either butter, Crisco, or oil, you will really help the cleanup process. With the silicone mold, clean up is EXTREMELY easy. This is definitely an accessory that I would say is worth purchasing if you’re going to use the Omnia oven.
The thing about value, in this case, is that unless you have a propane oven in your van or trailer or travel car, there really is no other replication. Sure, you can use a cast iron pan and put a lid on it but you may have trouble cooking things all the way through. So in the sense of value, this item is wonderfully priced for what it is. I could see it being cheaper possibly, but I could also see it being way more expensive, and even then, I would still buy it. There is nothing else like this out on the market, and as a person who gave up the ability to bake ANYTHING in an oven for 3 years, the value is well worth it, if not more.
Conclusion on Omnia Stove Top Oven
Overall, the Omnia oven does exactly what it is supposed to, is fairly priced, and compact enough for road and vehicle travel. While I definitely expected it to be a little thicker/more sturdy, I’m very happy with how lightweight and portable this item is. I’ve now made a birthday cake, cinnamon rolls, cornbread, and more in my Omnia oven. I can’t recommend it enough if you’re a heavy car camper, vanlifer, or road traveler in general.