Omnia Stove Top Baking Oven

No oven?  But still want baked goods — cookies, cakes, bread and more?  You can bake it on the stove top with the Omnia Stove Top Oven.  I’ve tried a number of methods of baking on the stove — in a Dutch oven, with a pressure cooker (both dry and with water) and in a Coleman Camp Oven — and the Omnia is hands-down the easiest and produces the best results.

When a reader recommended the Omnia oven, I decided to buy one and test it out. I love it! I also discovered that Practical Sailor had done a very brief review on the Omnia oven in August 2010 and concluded that it was a good option for boats without a conventional oven.  I totally agree.

How Does the Omnia Work?

Want to bake but don’t have an oven? As long as you have a stove (even a single-burner camp stove), you can bake pizza, bread, cakes, brownies, casseroles and more with the Omnia oven!There are three pieces to the Omnia oven:  a steel base, an aluminum ring-shaped baking pan and the lid. The picture at right shows how it works.

The burner directly heats the steel base, which in turn heats the air trapped between the base and the baking pan.  The burner also heats air that goes up the center of the baking pan and the lid serves to distribute that hot air over the top of the food.

Thus, there’s hot air both under and above the baking pan — and in the center.  A few air holes in the lid allow steam to escape.

It can be used with virtually any type of stove burner — gas, electric or even various other fuels used with camping and backpacking stoves. And it can be used on a grill — making it easier to keep the cooking heat out of the boat.

Using the Omnia

The system is simple:  you place the steel base on the burner and let it heat for about 3 minutes on high.  Put your food into the baking pan and put the lid on it, then set it onto the base.

The instructions say to then turn the burner down to medium or lower.  I found that I had better results if I left it on high just about a minute (to heat the air on top of the food) and then turned it down to slightly higher than medium.

Cooking time is then about the same as with a conventional oven, but don’t take the lid off too often to check, as you let out the hot air from the top each time.

Yes, it’s a little strange to bake without a thermostat to know that it’s at the right temperature, and it will take a little experimentation to know the best settings on your stove.

Why I Like It Better than Other Options

I’ve never recommended “baking” in a pressure cooker, as it is very likely to warp the pan if you use it dry, and using water in it means that your food is steamed instead of baked (fine if it’s supposed to be steamed, not so good otherwise).

A Dutch oven won’t bake as much as the Omnia, it’s hard to keep foods from burning on the bottom and the top tends to be steamed from the moisture driven out of the food (which has no way to escape).

The Coleman Camp Oven is huge and very tippy on a boat unless you engineer some serious tie-downs for it.

After several weeks of testing the Omnia with a variety of dishes, my conclusion is that it’s the best way to bake on the stove top that I’ve ever tried.  If your boat (or RV or any other kitchen) doesn’t have a true oven, I highly recommend the Omnia oven:

  • It’s been designed from the ground up to bake on the stove top — it’s not a jury-rigged solution.
  • The whole thing is smaller and much lighter than a good cast iron Dutch oven (it’s about 10 inches in diameter, 5 inches high, weighs about a pound and comes with a little bag to store it it).
  • You can bake about twice as much in the Omnia as in a Dutch oven (about what would fit in an 8″ x 8″ pan or 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, versus about a 6″ round pan).
  • The results are better and easier to achieve.

When I baked using the Dutch oven, it was hard to keep the top of the baked food from being steamed by the moisture being driven out of the food (read my article on baking in the Dutch oven).  The Omnia takes care of that, with the lid being high enough over the food to have quite a bit of hot air there, as well as having holes to let the steam escape.  My bread and baked goods were very similar in texture to what they were in a conventional oven.

Buying the Omnia

The Omnia isn’t cheap, but it’s not expensive either — about $70 —  a lot less than a new stove with an oven (bonus: nothing to install!).

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54 Comments
  • Shawn Passeri
    Posted at 07 November 2011 Reply

    I have been using the Omni for several years and have baked many things from cakes, brownies, bisquits and breads. I use it on my boat that has a Origo stove and no oven. I Love this item and would recommend this to anybody who does not have a stove.

    Shawn

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 07 November 2011 Reply

      Thanks for adding your experience! I was really amazed at how easy it was to get GREAT results.

      -Carolyn

  • Joe on Facebook
    Posted at 07 November 2011 Reply

    Do you have any idea how exciting this is for me??? My oven doesn’t get hot enough to make flan. Now, I can do it on the stove top! Thanks!

  • on Facebook
    Posted at 07 November 2011 Reply

    Let us know how it turns out — or better yet, post a photo. You’re making me hungry . . .

  • Joe on Facebook
    Posted at 07 November 2011 Reply

    I will. Just as soon as it arrives!

  • Peter Jacops on Facebook
    Posted at 18 March 2012 Reply

    great product indeed!

  • Eniko Ilyes DeMarco on Facebook
    Posted at 18 March 2012 Reply

    Interesting. Just goes to show you how important Internet search is. Thanks for your informative blog. Even when I don’t comment, I enjoy it very much.

  • The Boat Galley on Facebook
    Posted at 18 March 2012 Reply

    Thanks!

  • HR
    Posted at 23 May 2012 Reply

    Exact same stovetop ovens have been sold in the Middle East forever. Google “wonder pot”, there is a Wikipedia article with photos.

    I understand the Omnia is well-made, but it does cost $60+. I bought a Wonder Pot oven in a housewares shop in Jordan last year for $7.50 U.S. It is used on my sailboat’s alcohol stovetop and we’ve had great success with quick breads, yeast breads, cakes, meat loaf, loin or eye roasts, chicken, baked potatos, etc. The “Bundt Pan” wrap-around shape requires one to be a bit creative, but this $7.50 item has changed dinner menus on the boat for the way-much better.. no more do we dream of a $1,000 range with an oven.

    All told though, these stovetop ovens are great fun and work very well.

    • Judiann
      Posted at 22 August 2014 Reply

      I saw the “Wonder Pot” on another site & bought it off Amazon for $55. I am totally new to sailing. We just bought a boat, haven’t even gone out yet..I plan to try out the Wonder Pot this weekend at home here..But you said you bought one for $7.50..that’s a huge difference..The Omnia sounds great but Im not too interested in baking rolls,sweets,bread as I am meats/veggies.. I’ll learn But thx for your inpu t5/23/12.

      • Carolyn Shearlock
        Posted at 22 August 2014 Reply

        Judiann, I think you got a Wonderbag which is a totally different item from the Omnia and its relative the “wonderpot” that is sold in Middle Eastern countries quite cheaply. The Wonderbag is more like a crock pot while the Omnia is for cakes, breads and that type of baking. Both are great on a boat, depending on what you want to do.

        • Tambi
          Posted at 22 February 2016 Reply

          Looking for a cheaper version myself, here is the “wonder pot” on Wikipedia. Haven’t been able to find one online for purchase though…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Pot

          • Carolyn Shearlock
            Posted at 22 February 2016

            They don’t seem to be sold in the US or Canada as far as I can tell.

          • Carolyn
            Posted at 05 January 2017

            Thanks to a poster on chowhounds.com, I found the Wonder Pot version at http://www.weissjudaica.com listed under the “aluminum” then “pots” tabs. They shipped it via UPS to my U.S. address for around $47/total. It seems to be pretty much the same as the Omnia tho I would have liked to have the Omnia’s silicone mold/liner but haven’t been able to find any suppliers who carry that.

            Thanks for all the great stove-top oven tips and recipes! I’m working my way through them while also adapting some of our favorites. 🙂

  • Barbare Plate
    Posted at 25 May 2012 Reply

    I am interested in purchasing the Omnia stove and would like to know where they are available. Thank you.

  • Mid-Life Cruising!
    Posted at 17 July 2012 Reply

    Great information! I love to bake and once we’re living on our sailboat this would be a great addition that we’ve never heard of! We have an alcohol stove, so I’m glad to read the comment above that it works well with that too!

    Thanks again Carolyn for all your great tips!

  • Mid-Life Cruising! on Facebook
    Posted at 17 July 2012 Reply

    Gonna add this to our growing list!

  • Nuno
    Posted at 17 July 2012 Reply

    The even better thing with the Omnia is their absolutely faboulous service. While we were sailing the Med, about four years ago, we bought one that we used daily. 28 feet boat with an 11 year and a 14 year, a dog and two adults demanded a lot of it. But one day during dishing on the deck, the middle part of the oven went in to the deep out of the spanish coast. When back in Sweden after a couple of years, we cleaned up the boat and found the left overs of the Omnia. I decided to take contact with them to see if I could buy just the part missing. Well they not only sended one the day after but also did not charge me anything at all! Very nice in did! Our new boat got an oven but i do prefer to use the Omnia. Easier to clean! 🙂

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 17 July 2012 Reply

      I’ll second that — I’ve had quite a bit of contact with them (getting permission to use a picture of the Omnia in the cookbook, and getting them stocked again on Amazon) and they have been fantastic! Glad to hear that others are having the same great experience.

  • Sascha Hauvn on Facebook
    Posted at 17 July 2012 Reply

    the omnia is perfect, can’t go on holiday without it! LOVE IT! 🙂

  • The Boat Galley on Facebook
    Posted at 17 July 2012 Reply

    Even better news . . . Amazon FINALLY removed the link to the one that’s not in stock . . . so now there’s just one seller listed and it’s IN STOCK!

  • Peggy D.
    Posted at 19 July 2012 Reply

    I just ordered this from Amazon & am looking forward to trying it out! Our 29-year-old Catalina has the original CNG range with functional burners but a nonfunctional oven, & it’s been frustrating me terribly to have to do *all* my cooking on the stovetop or on the grill. Costs a ton to replace the range, plus we’d have to convert over to propane which opens up a huge bag of worms, way more than we’re ready to deal with right now. Thanks for finding & reviewing this item for us — if I make any amazing discoveries while I’m using it I’ll pass them along!

  • Sue Peck on Facebook
    Posted at 03 February 2013 Reply

    We are planning 4 weeks in Desolation Sound next summer and one of these would be lovely as we have no oven…only a 2 burner Origo stove

  • Janice Fleischmann
    Posted at 14 March 2013 Reply

    I am awaiting my Omnia as we speak and a multipot too ! Can’t wait to try them out !
    Thanks for letting everyone know about these great items.

  • Gretchen Hannsz Witzgall on Facebook
    Posted at 14 March 2013 Reply

    on my wishlist…

  • Murray Weppler on Facebook
    Posted at 14 March 2013 Reply

    I have had great success under sail and recommend it for small meals. For crews of four or more the pressure cooker is still better.

  • Cheryl Geeting on Facebook
    Posted at 15 March 2013 Reply

    Can’t wait to try one of your recipes in my new Omnia!

  • Rosamond
    Posted at 13 July 2013 Reply

    Meh. After river guiding for 30 years, I know that your disrespect for dutch oven baking almost certainly comes from lack of experience. A real, solid cast iron dutch oven with legs will out-bake anything else that masquerades as an oven in the wilderness…..especially anything that can be produced in a glorified bundt pan. And it’s a poor craftsman who blames their tools; burnt food in a dutch oven is a sign of impatience and too many coals on the bottom. But your thermos cooking article was right on. I’m using one now for long distance kayak tours, instead of the usual anodized pressure cooker. Saves both weight and fuel.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 14 July 2013 Reply

      Well, on a boat there aren’t any coals . . . just a burner on the stove. And yeah, I’ve done it with okay results, even there, but I find the Omnia a lot easier in the typical boat galley. Glad to know that the Dutch oven works well for you.

  • Maonna Komeri Tamuera
    Posted at 08 May 2014 Reply

    I’m interesting in cooking,baking etc and I’m glad to know about Omnia.I have a question because in my country most people used kerosene stove.Is it okay to use Omnia on kerosene stove. Thanks for letting everyone know about this.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 08 May 2014 Reply

      Yes, it works well on a kerosene stove — it works on almost any stove (the only unusual one is that with an electric induction burner, you need an induction plate).

  • Anne
    Posted at 13 May 2014 Reply

    What concerns me about all these extra cooking gadgets is, how much gas do they use. On our Oceanis 37 we only have room for two x 2.5kg gas cylinders. We are only lightweight cruisers compared with most of you! How much gas do you heavyweights carry?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 13 May 2014 Reply

      I don’t know that you’d call us “heavyweights” — but we had 2 – 20 pound propane tanks on Que Tal and will have the same on Barefoot Gal . . . but she has propane refrigeration so it will last a much shorter time.

      On Que Tal, without propane refrigeration, a 20 pound tank would last us about 3 months and I did plenty of baking. Baking in the Omnia certainly doesn’t use more gas than a conventional oven, but if you’re that tight on propane you might not do any baking. I would have thought that an Oceanis would have a conventional oven — but I also would have thought that it had room for more propane than that, too.

  • Kyrah Drasheff
    Posted at 12 June 2014 Reply

    Hi! Is the Omni good for also cooking casseroles for main dishes? For roasting meat?
    I’m looking for something for our Island Packet 27. We have the original stovetop and uses propane.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 12 June 2014 Reply

      Absolutely! You can do just about anything that you can do in a conventional oven, as long as it will fit in the Omnia. In other words, you’re not going to roast a whole turkey in it 🙂 I’ve done lots of casseroles, hams, chicken pieces and so on — not just cakes and bread. Here are photos of some of the things I’ve done: http://theboatgalley.com/photos-baking-in-the-omnia-stove-top-oven/

  • Terri
    Posted at 05 August 2014 Reply

    My Omnia Oven arrived yesterday, and today I made Jiffy corn bread, per your instructions. It came out PERFECT, and it was SO easy. Thanks for the great instructions! Now, I am not a sailorr or a boater of any kind, in fact I have a ‘land yacht’. I just ordered a Casita Travel Trailer, a TINY little thing with just a 13′ living space, all self contained like a boat, and it sports just a 2-burner stove. I am downsizing from a 35′ 5th wheel, sorta like going from a larger yacht to a dinghy. 😉 Thus my interest in the Omnia Oven. Can’t wait to try more stuff, I am experimenting at home before the Casita is ready to be picked up.

  • Terri
    Posted at 22 August 2014 Reply

    Posted above about the very successful corn bread first try with my new Omnia Oven. Since then I have had 3 more successes and NO failures! Second ‘experiment’ was “Ghirardelli Brownies Mix” (Dark Chocolate) straight from the box per the instructions, PERFECT! Cut them into 12 ‘wedges’ after popping the ‘ring’ out of the pan while still warm. Third came the very easy ‘el cheapo’ Cinnamon Rolls in a tube, per TBG pics at the heading of this page, also a great result. Then I got more adventuresome–at Wally World I found a 21 oz. pouch of “Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie” mix. So, I made up the batch per the alternate “Baking Cutout Cookies” instructions, then divided the resulting dough exactly in half. I pressed half of the dough into the bottom of the (always) Crisco’d and floured Omnia pan, and baked as I had the previous projects, but I would say for about 15 min. (+/-), checking for doneness probably too often. When I could see the edges browned a bit, and they ‘smelled done’, I took them out, let cool for just a couple minutes, then inverted the contents onto a plate. They fell right out, I flipped them back again with another plate so they were right side up, cut into 12 ‘bar cookies’, and…………perfect ‘sugar cookie bars’! I repeated the process with the second half of the dough. Next experiments will be some savory choices. So far I am VERY PLEASED with my Omnia Oven!

  • Lisa Russo
    Posted at 06 September 2014 Reply

    Hi Carolyn,
    I am wondering about the benefits of an Omnia StoveTop Oven in a galley with an oven. I am thinking of just the added cooking space if you were cooking more than one thing at a time that needed an oven. Any other benefits? Someone mentioned their oven does not heat as high.
    Thanks for the great articles!

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 07 September 2014 Reply

      If you’ve got a GOOD oven, there’s probably not a lot of benefits other than the one you mentioned — more “oven” space. If you have a tiny oven or one that just doesn’t heat well, you could well prefer the Omnia. I wrote a little about this from a slightly different angle — people asking me if they really need an oven:

  • Sherlene
    Posted at 07 January 2015 Reply

    I used my Omnia for the first time today. I was a little nervous because I only have an Origo WITHOUT flame-spreaders which meant I had this little flame column going right up the center of the oven and I worried about it being too hot on top and not working like it was supposed to. I needn’t have worried. The potatoes turned out beautiful and it cooked the potatoes on the low setting in about 45-50 minutes. I am happy, happy! Thank you Boat Galley!

  • kriskret
    Posted at 21 August 2015 Reply

    It has been used since ( I guess ) XVII century . – Prodige.

  • LaMarr
    Posted at 31 August 2015 Reply

    I tried the oven on a glass cooktop. I burnt the bottom. it needs to have some air flow for it to work right.

  • Mike n Marjie
    Posted at 15 November 2015 Reply

    Getting ready for some dry camping and this sounds great. I’ll let you know!

  • Göran Lundén
    Posted at 27 May 2016 Reply

    Kanske något för int. Sidan?

  • Melissa Johnson
    Posted at 27 May 2016 Reply

    Keep reminding me if this! I want to get one. I don’t have a stove on the boat but do in the camper. I’m assuming it’ll work there just the same.

  • Kathy Pease
    Posted at 27 May 2016 Reply

    I just used mine for the first time. Brownies. Took twice as long as a regular oven (but I had no idea how hot it was, so take that with a grain of salt) but the brownies were awesome. It says not to lift the lid to look, but how else do you know when they are really done?

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 28 May 2016 Reply

      Try a little higher heat next time and yeah, I do look to check. I just try not to do it “all the time” glad to hear they turned out well!

  • Allison
    Posted at 25 October 2016 Reply

    We have a Wallace Kerosene solid cooktop, 1 burner. The thought of warm brownies with port before bed or hot cinnamon buns after a cold morning of pulling prawn traps has me intrigued. Do you think it would it work with this stove?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 26 October 2016 Reply

      Does the whole top get hot? The big thing is that the heat has to come up through the center as well as under the pan — that’s why an induction burner doesn’t work well (there’s no heat where the pan doesn’t touch the cooktop). It sounds to me like it would work fine as I’m pretty sure the whole “burner” gets hot.

  • Elaine M Langshaw
    Posted at 17 February 2017 Reply

    Thank you so much for posting this information. The Omnia is the up-to-date version of a similar tin that my late mother used all the time for cooking cakes on the top of a gas stove in the 1960s. Her oven was very old and inefficient so the stove top pan turned out better cakes. I still have her old cookware and found it recently in a box, in excellent condition. It has all its parts, including the steel base and an extra flat ring that slips into the cake pan to form a shelf for scones and biscuits. What I don’t have are the cooking instructions, so I am delighted to read your instructions. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have made my day so I can cook down memory lane.

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