When we first started RVing 4 years ago we did not do much RV Cooking. We ate out more than I care to admit. We were really in vacation mode and not in day-to-day living mode. That gets expense FAST!
So we transitioned our “mode of life” from vacation mode to just “normal” living mode. This meant cooking at “home” (in our RV) more and eating out less, meal planning, and regular grocery shopping.
Using Propane For RV Cooking
We mainly used our propane stove and our Blackstone Griddle for cooking. We even connected a line from our onboard propane tank to hook up to our Blackstone so we would not need any sort of tank for the Blackstone.
This et us cook outside as we realized very quickly that the propane stove put out a lot of heat in the RV. Our A/C was always in competition with the stovetop. The roof-mounted A/C unit putting out cool air while the stove flames were putting out heat.
So, we decided cooking outside when using propane was preferable. But then there would be the occasional rainy day and cooking outside wasn’t as feasible in inclement weather. Plus, I like to cook breakfast in my PJs which I just couldn’t bring myself to do outside the RV. Of if it was later in the day, we did not want to be making noise outside the RV after dark, etc.
As we started cooking in our RV more, we realized some things were not working well with using propane sources for cooking. In addition to putting off a lot of heat, there would be smoke alarms going off frequently. Especially when cooking bacon or other “high-smoking” types of foods.
We found an electric griddle had the same problems – lots of heat put out and finding a place to store it since it’s larger was problematic. It’s also a PAIN to keep clean since you cannot immerse it in water.
A Better Way For RV Cooking. No Propane is Needed!
We started looking at different options for RV Cooking. We decided to give an induction cooktop a try. It had a smaller footprint and eliminated the need for propane. We also purchased a smaller “RV size” instant pot. Since we’ve made this switch, RV cooking has become (literally) 10x easier.
We did have to invest in some “induction compatible” cookware. An induction top is different because instead of using a heating element it basically uses magnetics to create heat in the pan itself. So you need to use a pan with metal to be compatible with induction cooking for this reaction to occur.
We have a two-burner induction cooktop from Fogatti and I have two pans from Cookware 360. (There is a discount for Cookware 360 over on our partner’s page!)
- 【Versatile Induction Cooktop】This electric double burner induction cooktop can work as a standalone portable stove and be placed wherever you'd like, or as a built-in cooktop inset into your countertop and save space. Product size:14 1/8"W x 20 1/2"L x 2 3/16"H, and count min size:19 3/8"W x 13 3/8"L. Suitable for Dorm Rooms, Trailers, RVs and Campers, Boats, or just as an extra stove for your parties and other occasions.
- 【Shared power technology】It is specially designed for RV circuits and the two burners can be independently designed for temperature and time. The total power (1,800 W) is shared between the two burners, which protects the circuitry of your RV.
- 【Multiple Cooking Mode】The 1800 Watt Electric cooktop offers 10 Power Levels from 100W to 1800W, and the temperature ranges from 120 °F to 460 °F, meeting your various cooking needs: simmer, steam, sear, slow cook, deep fry, boil, and grill with ease.
I can use these for most cooking, but another RV Kitchen tool I love is our Instant pot. We eat a lot of rice. The Instant Pot makes cooking rice very easy. Plus it also has a saute button. I use mode to fry up ground beef or turkey for tacos, spaghetti sauce, and more.
- 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer.
- QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING: 13 customizable Smart Programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts and more.
- COOK FAST OR SLOW: Pressure cook delicious one-pot meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods or slow cook your favorite traditional recipes – just like grandma used to make.
Another thing we do to make RV cooking and eating easier is use paper plates, bowls, and compostable cutlery. This is especially helpful when boon-docking and water conversation are a must.
Meal Planning Is a Must
When meal planning for RV living, plan about 1 week at a time. This is because you have limited storage but also we’ve found that you tend to waste less when buying less and eat through what you have on hand first. Plus for some RVers weight can be a factor and you cannot have a month’s worth of canned goods stored in the RV. If you are going to be in a remote area for a longer period of time, you might need more. But for most RVers, 1 week at a time is plenty.
Our “Go To” Rv Meals
- Taco bowl (like regular tacos but with crushed corn chips at the bottom of a bowl and then eat with a fork)
- Orange Chicken/rice. I get this at Aldi’s and it’s super easy and quick.
- Chicken and Veggies. Fresh Chicken sautéd in a pan and then add some veggies, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Easy dinner, low carbs!
- Scramble Bowls. Scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, cheese and avocado (or tomato, etc.)
Other meals we cook in our RV
- Chili (in the instant pot on slow cooker mode)
- Pasta with marinara sauce or butter & Parmesan Cheese.
- Pizza in Convection Oven
RV Cooking is really not as intimidating as it might feel in the beginning. Also, remember you most likely won’t be cooking for a large crowd so you do not need to work about cooking in larger pots/pans. Downsize and keep it simple.