My husband, a contributor to Coach-Net, suggested I submit some articles for publication. He believes I have some unique perspective to share with other members. While my husband is an expert on most RV topics, there are many things that I handle during our travels, which, like many of you, contributes to a successful partnership and marriage. We have discussed my authoring an article on RV cooking for quite some time, but honestly, I don’t believe I do anything differently from other RVers, but some of my tips may come in handy.
Depending on the type and size of RV you have, the kitchen space is likely much smaller than what you have at home, although the reverse may be true if you have a large RV but a small home kitchen. Regardless, your coach and home share most of the same amenities, and the kitchen is no exception. You still need the same dishes, pots, pans, etc., but I have found that it can be more challenging to find ingredients to make specific dishes, that’s all. This has more to do with not necessarily knowing the best places to purchase fresh ingredients. We often rely on campground staff and hosts for this information.
I have made a personal challenge for myself, much to my husband’s amusement and daughters’ admiration, to use virtually no propane while at RV parks. This essentially means not using the stove. There is no specific reason for this, other than to conserve LP (Liquefied petroleum gas), which I prefer to save for dry-camping. Although this does mean diligently monitoring and controlling the current draw if we are limited to 30A service. I have an electric skillet and make many dishes with it, including pancakes, eggs, bacon, stir-fries, etc. I even boiled pasta in it once! We also have an electric rice cooker, which I use for its intended purpose of making rice, but I have successfully boiled eggs in it as well (I have to manually turn it off when they were done to prevent the keep-warm from engaging).
Slow cookers and one-pots are awesome and can be used to prepare many different dishes. This includes chili, soup, and yogurt, but they also do a very good job on baked potatoes! I just foil wrap them as I would if I were going to bake them in the oven. Make sure you don’t under- or over-cook them.
Finally, there is our convection/microwave oven; cookies and cakes galore! I still have to attempt to bake bread, but that challenge has been accepted and will be attempted soon.
The moral of the story is to make sure you pack the same small kitchen appliances in the RV as you have at home (or wish you had at home). If you can, purchase duplicates so you can keep them in your RV. Learn to use them to their full advantage (and then some), even if you are not so inclined at home. Wal-Mart, Target, and Fry’s Electronics are great places to stock up on small appliances, as well as anything else you need or forgot, but there are also other places. You will find that cooking in the RV can be an escape from the mundane and you may even find it is something you look forward to. Your family will certainly appreciate the range of dishes you can prepare, I know mine does. You can even make it a family affair. And don’t forget about grilling meat and veggies on the barbecue outside (we mustn’t forget about THAT handy appliance).
About the author: Steve Froese
Steve Froese, an avid RV owner, traveler, and Coach-Net member since 2013, is the principal of “A Word to the Wise Technical Communications”, a published RV author, certified RV technician, and licensed Professional Engineer. He frequently collaborates with the “RV Doctor”, Gary Bunzer, and has worked with the RVIA/RVDA as a technical and training writer and consultant. Professionally, he works as a quality engineer and musician. Watch for more of Steve’s work in upcoming Coach-Net publications.
Edward L. ~ “I have been a member for many years now. Coach-Net has never let me down when I need assistance. They provide great service and are always very timely.”