RV Tips For Beginners – RV Cooking Tips

This Is All The Space We Have To Cook In!!!

Cooking in an RV is not the same as cooking at home. It’s also quite different from camp cooking – of course in good weather and nice temperatures you can use a tabletop gas grill just like camping, but we are talking about indoor cooking here. The way you go about the task of cooking in an RV depends a lot on the size of your stove and kitchen. We have a 3-burner stove in Joey, our motorhome, that is sufficient for our needs, and our previous camper had a 4-burner stove that was very small. We have learned to work with our limitations, and there are a number of them that  can affect how you make meals in an RV.

One major limitation is the number and types of cookware you can have in your kitchen. Unlike a house where you can fill up the kitchen storage space and use the basement or garage for overflow, the pots and pans and gadgets you can have in an RV are limited to what is really necessary. We made a list of rv kitchen necessities for your amusement. It differs for everyone, but there are a few basics. You need a couple of good saucepans with glass lids, a couple of different sizes of high-quality skillets with lids, and a good-size pot for soups and pasta. A colander, a cheese grater, and a griddle are nice to have. With those pans, a couple of good spatulas and big spoons, and a propane stove you can really be cooking with gas. Don’t forget that the fewer pans and other kitchen utensils and gadgets you use, the easier your clean-up will be – always a plus in an RV!

Unlike a house where you can fill up the kitchen storage space and use the basement or garage for overflow, the pots and pans and gadgets you can have in an RV are limited to what is really necessary. And that differs for everyone, but there are a few basics. You need a couple of good saucepans with glass lids, a couple of different sizes of high-quality skillets with lids, and a good-size pot for soups and pasta. A colander, a cheese grater, and a griddle are nice to have. With those pans, a couple of good spatulas and big spoons, and a propane stove you can really be cooking with gas. Don’t forget that the fewer pans and other kitchen utensils and gadgets you use, the easier your clean-up will be – always a plus in an RV!

Which is one of the major advantages of RV cooking – no electric stoves. I don’t know how many houses and apartments I have lived in that had electric stoves, but I hated them all. A gas stove gives you instant, adjustable, and intense heat, and when you turn it off, it’s really off, not continuing to cook for several minutes. And an RV gas stove usually has enough space for a large skillet and a couple of saucepans, unlike a camp cook stove, so you get the best of both worlds.

Another limitation, though, is space for cooking. Counter space is usually very small and can be a challenge, but you can always use the dinette table for chopping and preparing or lay a cutting board over the sink. Stovetops do have their limits, and ovens can be on the smallish size. But if you make up your mind to use as few pots and pans as possible you can make some pretty good meals. Your cleanup task will also be a lot easier. While I try to make one-dish meals whenever possible, sometimes you just have to have another pan on the stove. The microwave is also very handy for side-dishes and leftover warmups, and ours gets used quite a bit every day. In an RV it’s much more a part of the whole cooking a meal process than in a house.

Refrigerators in RVs tend to be on the small side as well, unless you live in one of those monster-size motorhomes, so you have to plan meals for shorter periods of time. But that helps you to keep fresher ingredients, and to be more frugal in the long run. You should make a shopping list based on a meal plan for a week or so, and only get what you need. You don’t have space for a lot of unplanned, impulse purchases.

So, with a supply of basic spices and seasonings, the requisite cookware, and some fresh, high-quality ingredients, you’re ready to cook. We are gluten-free now and have been for the last few years, so our recipes are wheatless, but can usually be adapted for wheat users. I try to be creative and improvise as much as I can, but there are some favorites that we’ve come up with over the last couple of years. In future posts I will share some of these favorite recipes for simple RV one-pot cooking, so stay tuned.


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