How Easy is it to Cook in a Motorhome? This is just a short overview of how we use out motorhome kitchen area. Keeping yourself fed is quite important if you want to enjoy your time away.
Most motorhomes come well equipped for cooking. They will have at least a two ring burner and a kitchen sink. This is usually more than enough to get by on, especially if you are free camping.
If you are used to your four ring burner in your home the motorhome facilities might take a bit of getting used to. To help you out here are what we have found to make life in the kitchen a little easier.
When you are in your motorhome one of the great luxuries is the ability to cook wherever you happen to be. Space can be a bit of a problem if you are going to be cooking a meal of any size but you soon get used to the limited space and find ways around those problems.
Our Motorhome has a three ring burner. All the rings run on gas. There is a small work area at the cooker but we mostly use the dining table for preparation as it is right there at the cooker and you can sit down.
Cooking in a motorhome can be a bit of a challenge at first, so there are a few things that are nice to have to make the job of cooking as easy as possible. There is no point in making the job of cooking anymore difficult than it has to be.
When we first got the motorhome it was difficult to get out of the camping mentality that everything has to be light and small. You are limited by some extent by weight and space but there is no need to pack like you are camping. When you have a motorhome its almost like having the house with you. This means you can relax a bit and take some items that you would like to have. As you gain experience you can ditch all the stuff you have never used and just keep the essentials that make cooking in the camper a great experience.
Take Pans That Fit on the Hob
This may sound like common sense but when you are new you don’t have that yet. Make sure the pans you intend to take with you can sit on the hob side by side. Motorhome hobs tend to be a bit smaller than a domestic hob so choose your pan sizes carefully. Obviously, there are some pots you will need that will be a bit larger than you would like.
If your hob has a glass cover and you use a large pan at the rear of the hob, next to the glass there is a chance the glass can shatter. These glass covers tend to be expensive to replace. Just be aware of how you place the pans the hob.
A frying pan is always good but be careful with the glass splashback/cover if you are using the frying pan. Our frying pan is quite large and can obstruct another ring. Having three rings though means we can still get the kettle on.
One of our favourite pots is a steamer. This allows you to cook three vegetables at once on a single ring. Always good. Saves on water and gas. This is a great pot to take with you if you can.
We also have a large pot for single pot meals and soups.
Take an Electric Hob
If you are going to be using an electric hook up an electric hob can be a very useful way to save gas. This is great for boiling the kettle or running a pressure cooker, you can, in fact, do a lot of cooking just from a single ring. Most of the modern motorhomes will have an electric ring and a couple of gas rings on the hob.
If, like ours, your hob is a little older then having a separate electric hob that you can plug in when on hookup is a good idea. It will save you gas and therefore money.
We use a single ring induction hob. I like this as it doesn’t get red hot when in use and feels safer to use, it’s also quite light and doesn’t take up much storage space. The only problem with the induction hob is it only works with certain types of pots. Make sure you test your pots with a magnet before you buy the induction hob or you will find you will have to buy a new set of pots to go with the hob. That can be pricey.
We tend to use just ordinary plates, cups and glasses. Saved us buying all new. There is no problem using the crockery you use in the house. These have served us well and with a little care with the packing, they have not broken in transit.
The main problem with ordinary crockery is the weight. It can weigh a lot so you may want to think about that before you try and squeezing in as much as you can carry.
Crockery does break though, accidents do happen so when we get tired of chipped and cracked plates we will probably renew them with an eco-friendly option.
Bamboo plates and cups seem like a good option rather than the plastic ones. Once they are old they are biodegradable, unlike their plastic counterparts.
We have just taken some cutlery from our home. This has worked well, being able to eat with proper cutlery is great. Again you can get very good, light cutlery. Worth hunting down if your payload is an issue.
We always have a few really sharp knives that are good for preparing food. They are every bit as good as the ones we have at home. There is nothing worse than trying to prepare food with cheap, blunt or small kitchen knives. Cooking is difficult enough don’t make it harder for yourself. Bring decent kitchen knives with you.
Energy Saving Tips
When you are out and about energy is a limited resource. You won’t always have access to electric hook up and it’s amazing how quickly you can get through the gas, especially in winter. Although the hob itself does not use much gas it’s always a good idea to conserve energy where possible.
This is great for making a whole meal in just one pot. If you are just using one pot then you are only using one gas ring hence less gas.
They do take a little getting used to but once you have a few recipes under your belt and some good ideas for meals you won’t look back. You can have a freshly cooked meal in very little time.
Make sure your pots have lids and always use them. They will reduce the time a pot takes to boil and will also cut the amount of moisture in the air of the van keeping the risk of mould growth down.
Hot Water Flask.
This is a brilliant thing to do. Get a large flask with a push button dispenser. In the morning boil a full kettle. Fill up the flask – you for most of the day. Our flask will keep the water warm for about 6 hours. The push dispenser means that you don’t have to open the flask and let out the heat within so it stays warmer longer.
Planning Your Meals
This is one of the best things to do. Write a list of the meals you want to eat for the next three to four days (that’s about the max amount of food we can carry). That way you know what to cook and you will know how you are going to cook it. This means that you can really plan what food and the pots you will need to cook the dishes. Obviously, things change sometimes but we always find this helpful.
Prepare Some Dishes
Take a couple of prepared dishes with you. The first couple of days food can be taken care of buy cooking them before you leave and then just pop them in the fridge and they will be ready for you. Depending on the weather a couple of days is plenty to be storing cooked food in the motorhome fridge. Remember that the motorhome fridge is not as good as the fridge you have at home so if its warm you need to plan for that.
Invest in a good Draining Board
For months we put the wet dishes on top of the cooker cover. Not a good idea. The whole worktop ends up drenched especially when we have a lot of dishes, which seems to be all the time. A good draining board will help to protect the surfaces in the motorhome and put the water where its supposed to go, back into the sink.
We got a collapsable one. Sounds great but not as collapsable as I thought. Still, it does a very good job even if it does take up a bit more space than anticipated.
A place for the Bin
The Bin is always a problem in a confined space. Depending on what you are eating rubbish can mount up very quickly. You do not want a large bin as then you will be sleeping with your rubbish and too small a bin will mean you are emptying it all the time. Only you will know what size of bin will work for you. I like the bin to be on the small side so we keep the rubbish in the motorhome to a minimum. This helps the motorhome stay fresh.
Generally we just plastic bag hung on a hook at the door.
Fine tuning the Motorhome Kitchen
Owning a motorhome is a bit of a process. Before we owned the motorhome we thought it was just a case of throwing in a bit of bedding, a few cups and other essentials and drive off into the sunset. In reality, it takes quite a while to get the motorhome ready. There is a constant juggle going on with what you think you need and what is actually useful.
Once you have the useful things sorted you then have to fine tune the best way to use those items within the limits of your motorhome.
Places for tea towels to dry
I always find damp tea towels to be a nuisance. We have some hooks to hang them but I always feel there must be some better way to deal with damp tea towels. I am considering a small towel rail at the door which is also where there are some vents for the heater. So if the heater is on they should dry nicely and if its summer they will dry well at the door. Still not got round to sorting that.
Looking to fit this l towel holder eventually.
The Dreaded Bin
This always seems to be a problem. Having used the motorhome for a while now I think the best place for a bin is on the bottom of the door. Seems to be the only place where it can go without getting in the way too much.
This job, as of writing is still on the to-do list.
Having a second cooking source seems to be quite common. A lot of people seem to be investing in a CADAC or a Cobb. These allow you to fry food, roast, barbeque the food. They tend to have large frying areas and oven setups. They are not cheap. The CADAC uses gas and the Cobb use briquettes. They both have their pros and cons.
We have not quite ironed out exactly what we would use one for. Do we get the CADAC and we have the convenience of gas or do we get the Cobb which apparently, uses hardly any fuel. Will we all be crowded around the Cobb starving trying to get it to light? What happens to the CADAC if we run out of gas? Or if the wind blows the gas out?
So far we have not purchased one but the ability to cook outside in the good weather is appealing. Believe it or not, even here in the UK we get a lot of opportunities to use the barbecue.
Take Your Time
After a short space of time, we soon realised that the motorhome kitchen is great. It is compact but very functional, there is basically everything you need to make some great meals. With a little bit of tweaking, you can fine tune your kitchen to your needs and cook some amazing dishes, with a little bit of planning.
I Hope this helps you to get your kitchen running the way you would like as quickly as possible. It is a process so take your time and good luck.