Feeding myself on the road has always been one of the most difficult parts of full-time RV living. I’m a sucker for In n Out, Whataburger and Chick-fil-a… but once I eat too much of this stuff my body does not cooperate with me on those 10 mile early morning hikes. Once I learned how to prep for a long drive with healthy snacks and stock my RV kitchen with the necessities, cooking and eating healthy on the road became a whole lot easier. Here’s a few items that should have a residency in your RV kitchen:
- I didn’t want to buy into the Instant Pot hype when it first came out. I thought it was another kitchen appliance fad like the electric can opener, but once I used an Instant Pot at a friends house it was game over for me. The Instant Pot is an incredible tool for low-waste, healthy, fast cooking. What makes it especially great for RVers is its ability to cook dry grains and beans quickly and without the risk of an open flame. We keep bags of dried beans in our RV and instead of soaking the beans overnight, then leaving them on the stove top for 2 hours – we put them in our instant pot unattended and can have rice and beans in no time. This also reduces the need to buy canned beans which produce more waste, cost more money and take up more space.
Which Instant Pot is best for me?
Instant Pot has a huge line of products, and there’s one appliance that works best for an RV kitchen because of their ability to be a low-cost, all-in-one appliance.
- The Duo Crisp comes with 2 lids: one for “wet cooking” and one for “dry cooking”. The wet lid can pressure cook, sauté, steam, slow cook, sous vide and warm. The dry lid can air fry, roast, bake, broil and dehydrate. Essentially, this one appliance can be a pressure cooker, rice cooker, hot plate, crockpot, oven, air fryer and dehydrator. There’s a 6qt and 8qt Duo Crisp available, and I would recommend the 8qt. The 6qt air fryer can only fit about 3 medium sized potatoes in the air fryer. And if you’re like me, you’ll want to cook in bulk and store the leftovers in your cooler or fridge.
- I’m not a huge coffee drinker unless I’m out camping. There’s nothing better than taking a morning walk in the mountains in my favorite beanie with a hot cup of coffee in my trusty Yeti rambler. While any coffee pot will do just fine in an RV, a Jetboil french press is great because you can take it backpacking, take it out on the boat with you or fire it up in a parking lot when you need some caffeine on the road and don’t want to suffer through a cup of gas station coffee. If you already have a Jetboil stove, the french press attachment is only about $18.
- Electric kettles are another crucial item for an RVers kitchen. You can heat up a quick cup of tea, make instant noodles, oatmeal and soups or use it with your Jetboil french press and save the expensive propane cartridges for when you’re out exploring. These are inexpensive and can come in handy on those cold nights when you need a cup of hot chocolate around the campfire.
- Nothing fancy here, just a toaster that can heat up your bagel in the morning. While toaster ovens are a bit more versatile, they’re typically much larger and are more of a fire hazard compared to a slot toaster. Just be sure to clean out the crumb tray, or it’ll attract critters sitting in your kitchen.
- Most RVs have a stove or hot plate built in, but if your RV’s kitchen doesn’t have one a Coleman stove is an essential camping item. I would recommend using this outside your RV on a picnic table and making sure you have back up propane tanks to keep it fueled. I’ve lived for months of just this camping appliance alone.
Utensils and Tools:
Heavy metal tongs
Nesting measuring cups
Fork/spoon from goodwill
Dish rags (cheap washcloths)
Dr Bronner’s Dish Soap
Coffee mugs (good for cereal, oatmeal, chili)
Water filter (Berkey)
Cast Iron skillet
Cutting board x2
Chef’s knife x2
Canned tomatoes (or your veggies of choice)
Stay nourished out there on the road, and if we missed any must-haves for RV kitchens, let us know in the comments!