Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cooking in an RV

Food is a big part of our life.  Craig likes to pick out interesting recipes, shop for the ingredients, and  I enjoy cooking them. 

Mostly, I enjoy is eating them!

As I look forward to the day we are full timing I have been thinking more and more about how small  RV kitchens are, and wondering how I'm going to create the types of meals we have become accustomed to. 

But, the more I read and the more I think about how I do things now, the more comfortable I am becoming with the idea of an RV kitchen.

I have been working my way thru the RV cooking and kitchen talk threads on the RV Dreamers forum site. Many of my questions have been asked and answered by others there.

Many of the full time bloggers write about what they prepare and post recipes. Some, like Laurie and Odel have a whole side bar of recipes that look very interesting. Knowing they have done some very interesting cooking in their RV is encouraging.

I've also been working my way thru the many episodes of the RV Cooking Show.

The recipes Evanne demonstrates are not very complicated, nor exotic, but for me watching her cook in a small space has been interesting.  

I have noticed that although I have a very large kitchen, I actually do most of my prep work in a very small area.  If Craig helps, which he often does, he takes his cutting board to our seating area of the island.  

My biggest set back is, or was, the pile of dishes I would accumulate and all the cooking "things" and ingredients that got left out on the counter while I cooked.

I do think it's all a mater of changing habits.  Changes that are for the good whether I stay in a sticks and bricks or get to move on to an RV.

I started changing last year.  It was one of my first accomplishments toward my RV dream.  I used to leave dishes in the sink and pans soaking overnight.  I try not to anymore.  (Well, almost never.) Most nights all of the dishes and pots and pans are done and put away.

I have always been a fan of "cooking shows."  And when preparing a dish with many ingredients I usually try to get them cut or prepared and put into separate bowls before I actually start to cook.  I have been known to measure spices or sauces like soy sauce into little cups so I don't have to fumble about when it's time to add them.

I think this is a very important habit to have.  Not only to have the ingredients measured and ready to use, but to have any preparation mess and tools cleaned and put away before starting to cook, and then to keep washing up bowls and tools as you go.

Earlier this week we made ribs in the crock pot.  Since we had some left over I decided to make stir fried rice the next evening.  I had some rice in the freezer because for the first time I had doubled the amount of rice I cooked and froze what I had not used.

Instead of using a lot of bowls, I used coffee filters to put my cut up carrots and vegetables into before cooking.  

Four less dishes to wash! I could have used one for the meat as well.    I also used a prepackaged "fried rice seasoning" which made things even easier.

My kitchen is one thing I will miss, but I think we will continue to enjoy delicious and creative meals on the road.

Of course there will always be nights like tonight,  tired from removing wall paper all day, when I ask Craig to bring home 

A true no mess dinner!



  1. Hmmm...measuring ingredients for recipes!!! Just throw it all in the crockpot with a little of this and a little of that and then go have fun. (just kidding, sorta!) Your idea of using the coffee filters is a good one. When we had our other RVs through the years, it always seemed to be less trouble than I anticipated when I cooked. Just being out and enjoying God's creation can make anything taste good and keeping things cleaned up is a big help. I'm going to check out some of those links in your post. Thanks.

  2. I think you have the right idea. I think when we have a big kitchen we spread because we can. In our smaller RV kitchens we just learn to do the same things in a smaller space. I love cooking shows too and now that I have more time I actually cook more and try more recipes than I did when I lived in a S&B.

  3. I love the idea of using coffee filters! In fact, I'll bet they would be useful in a lot of other ways. You could buy a large amount pretty cheap, I'll bet, at Costco. Hmmm... I'm going to Google that. I haven't seen any of the recipe places you mentioned. Think I'll visit and see what they have. Thanks for the tips! :)

  4. Now that were a right thoughtful, good post, but I'm a thinkin' that once ya are a livin' in yer RV, yer gonna be revolutionarying yer cookin' some more.

    Nilda got the dirty dish deal done solved. She got herself a dishwasher, me, which she makes sure to use everytime she does some cookin'.

  5. I think if cooking is important to you at home, you'll find a way to make those same kinds of meals in an rv. I am a simple cook and sometimes feel guilty that I don't cook all the fancy recipes that my friend does. Then I realize, as long as I have some meat, veggie and starch we're fine!

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  7. Great post. It took me a year living in our RV to learn how to cook in a convection oven -- I tried to make it must more complicated than it actually In reality, my convection oven tells me exactly what to do:)

  8. All I know is that whatever comes out of our RV kitchen is every bit as good and tasty as our kitchen at home!

  9. I am not sure too much will be different in the RV than at home. George is my sous chef..he does all the prep, and I do the cooking. He likes to chop up things, and puts it all in sections on paper plates. I do like you do with spices, pre measure them into little glass bowls. I hope I'm not disappointed that the RV kitchen is small!

  10. Great thinking Merikay! It's definitely going to be a change for you two! But with both of you working at it, cooking in the RV will work out, I'm sure! You just have to remember that the RV projects are partnerships!


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