Cooking meals on the road is often defined by a “keep it simple” attitude. We gravitate toward dishes easily prepared on a camp stove like fajitas, tacos, brats, grilled meats, and vegetables, but sometimes we find ourselves craving more. That’s where the Omnia comes in. This lightweight stove-top oven has brought a variety of meals into our life on the road that formerly would have felt near unattainable. Fresh-baked bread, pizza, casseroles, lasagna, quiche, or even a birthday cake are just a small sample of what can be made in this oven that stores away as easily as a pot or pan when not in use. Add in this product’s simplicity and ease of cleaning and you have a taste of why the Omnia is one of my favorite camp kitchen products of 2019.
How the Omnia oven works
Conceptually, the Omnia is as simple as it is brilliant. It’s comprised of a round steel base, an aluminum ring baking pan which sits on top of the base, a silicone interior liner, and a bright red lid. The oven’s conical center allows heat from the stove to rise up through the middle hole and circulate back down onto the food. At the same time, the base is traditionally heated from the bottom like any other pot or pan, which gives you the full and even heating you’d expect from an oven without the complexity and weight.
What we love about it
You can cook a greater variety of food with less effort than ever before.
I’m no chef—not even close. My camp meals used to be comprised almost exclusively of tacos, fajitas, burritos, or sandwiches, with the occasional pot of chili, the canned variety of course. However, the Omnia has changed that forever. We can now bake bread, cinnamon rolls, frittatas, and muffins for breakfast. Lunches range from baked vegetables and meats to casseroles, while dinners include nachos, potstickers, lasagnas, stuffed peppers, salmon, and more. You can even throw in desserts like pies, brownies, and bread puddings; it’s practically limitless. Yet the Omnia does more than expand the number of dishes you can make; it also makes it easier to prepare them. You just throw your ingredients into the oven and let them bake, checking in on them occasionally to see if they’re done. It’s pretty hard to mess up, which is ideal for novice chefs, or even experienced chefs focused on the outdoors. Of course, if you really want a worry-free cooking experience, Omnia sells a recipe book specifically geared for this oven, so you can just drop in what it suggests, set a timer, and know you’re going to nail it.
Cleanup is easier than ever.
When the meal is finished, a cook’s tasks rarely are. There are dishes to do, pots and pans to scrub, and food to put away, but the Omnia can make this process just a little easier. For starters, it allows you to bake everything at once instead of performing a ballet between various pots and pans, so you will only have the single oven to clean at the end of the day. The real time-saver tough is the optional silicone liner, which all but eliminates the need for scrubbing, even when you overcook the meal. Just wipe the liner down with a wet cloth, and you’re done in 30 seconds or less.
It’s lightweight and compact.
Think of an oven, and I doubt anything you’d want to load into your truck comes to mind. Even “camp” ovens have traditionally been heavy and bulky things, so while the Omnia isn’t exactly the size of a Jet Boil, it’s crazy compact and lightweight for its performance. It has a diameter of 9.8 inches, a total height of 5.5 inches with the cover and knob, and a weight of just 1.1 pounds.
Despite its Swedish origin and innovative design, this oven is just $67 on Amazon, which is pretty darn affordable when compared to the $200 Camp Chefs on the market. It’s not as affordable as Coleman’s fold-flat oven, though I feel it packs more convenience and effectiveness for the extra money since the Coleman requires you to use additional pots and pans inside the oven to cook.
The downsides of the Omnia oven
The ring shape limits contents.
If you want to bake an entire turkey on your camp stove, I have bad news, the Omnia’s ring design is going to be a problem. While it has plenty of space to bake a large meal, the hole in the center can force you to think outside the box if you want to throw in large pieces of salmon, pork, or other meats. I’ll admit, the concept is a bit strange at first, but once you’ve done it two or three times, you come to realize the giant circle shape is pretty great. The ring makes everything from egg bakes to pies easier to slice and divide up, with little downside except the struggle with large slices of meat, which I would usually grill anyway.
The knob on the lid gets hot.
Although it’s meant to be a grabbing point to lift the lid, I was disappointed to find the knob gets hot while cooking. You’ll need to grab it with a cloth or mitt when checking the contents if you don’t want to get burned. This also made the lack of side handles obvious, which would be helpful for picking up and moving the oven. Apparently, these are in the works, and I will be testing one of the company’s prototypes shortly.
The Omnia is by far one of the best cooking products I have tested to date. It has made cooking on the road easier and widened our menu considerably. If you have the room for it, I would highly recommend checking this fantastic product out.
To learn more, visit the Omnia website here.