One of the best parts of motorhome/campervan life for me is the fact that I can self-cater whilst on our holidays. It’s not that I’m tight, I promise, I just really love cooking, and Keith tells me I’m pretty good at it too. On the odd occasion that we travel on longer breaks without the motorhome, after a few days of eating out, I’m itching to get into a kitchen to have a go myself. Unless we are in Japan, where I could have eaten a different dish every single evening for a year and not got bored! Having said this though, Campervan cooking is a totally different kettle of fish compared to cooking at home.
When we had Bluebell the motorhome, we were lucky enough to have a 4 ring hob along with a grill and oven- so actually cooking on the road was basically exactly the same as cooking at home. This was great; a real home from home experience, although over time I became a bit lazy, often opting for meals that I would cook at home, what I call boring mid week meals. Since we’ve downsized to Ruby the Campervan, we’ve lost 2 rings, the grill and the oven. Rather than treating this as an inconvenience, I’m determined to embrace the change and therefore set about researching the best 2 ring recipes around.
I’ve had a few people get in touch with us via Facebook asking about Campervan Cooking so thought I would share my top 5 tips.
Plan ahead… but not too far ahead. You want to eat local produce where possible, so try and plan your route with that in mind- aim to pass by or be close to (walk or cycle) local farm shops. There is no better place to go in search of inspiration for dinner- just make sure you take your credit card if you are anything like us and cannot resist pretty much EVERYthing on the shelf.
Our firm favourite Farm Shop meal is steak, home-made chips, and fried onions/mushrooms, followed by a cheese board to finish.
Be Insprired… There are a handful of books that I keep close to hand when it comes to campervan cooking.
First up we have the Campervan Cookbook I absolutely love this book, it’s written specifically for people who only have 2 rings, and covers Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Puds, and even drinks. The artwork is fun, and there is loads and loads of info to help you enjoy your time on the road, come rain or shine. Next up is a similar type of book but with different and equally yummy recipes The Camping Cookbook We also try and pick up books from this series where we can . We’ve racked up the VW Camper, Scottish, Norfolk, Cornish, just to name a few.
Be Prepared… Keep a few store cupboard essentials on board just in case you’re staying somewhere that has a local fishmonger/butcher that visits the campsite and you’re caught by surprise. This happened to us at Clachtoll Campsite, North West Scotland, last year. We were planning on having a boring midweek meal, but at 4pm we noticed a hive of activity near to reception. The local fishmonger had arrived with a van full of fresh local fish and shell fish. I’ve never moved so fast! We had a stray onion lurking at the bottom of the fridge along with some cream and pasta and of course some white wine and herbs and the next thing we were in food heaven, enjoying a freshly made seafood linguine. One of my favourite nights ever.
A helping hand… I buy occasional boxes from Simply Cook.com which I absolutely love and are great to use in the campervan. Each box (£8.99) has 4 meals in, which you can pre choose online before posting. Each meal is made up of three tiny tubs of paste, which you then add a handful of fresh ingredients to and bingo, you’re eating a delicious and out of the ordinary campervan meal. The best thing is that generally they are hob only recipes and take less than 30 mins to make. You get an easy to follow recipe card and the packaging is tiny- also, the tubs of paste have around a year’s use by date on, so they are great to stash in the van for long tours where you fancy something different. Our favourites are the Japanese Katsu curry, the Ca Kho To fish curry, and the Thai red prawn curry. They do meals other than curries by the way! You can try a box of 4 meals for £1 if you like.
Go Slow… If you are staying on a site that has electric hookup, then invest in a slow cooker to accompany you on your travels. We would not be without ours. There is nothing nicer than going off for a long walk, cycle or an explore and coming back to the smell of dinner nearly ready. I made the mistake of thinking slow cookers were only for winter-time stews, then I came across this book, with 200 recipes for slow cooker meals! Many of which are light enough for summer. Team that with the Schwartz Slow Cooker mixes and we are set for meal after meal of pure yumminess. Our personal favourite slow cooker recipes are Pulled Pork, with homemade Coleslaw and Chips, and Slow cooker ham, egg and chips. Yum.
So there we have my top 5 tips for successful and enjoyable campervan cooking. Stay tuned as I’m going to add a handful of recipes on here over the next few weeks.
Have you got any tips for successful campervan or motorhome cooking? What the best meal you’ve rustled up in your home on wheels? I look forward to hearing them!
Until Next Time