Always On Liberty's Top 5 RV Kitchen Essentials

By:  Lisa & Dan Brown

27th Feb, 17

Having been on the road now for going on three years, we've learned quickly what we need, wish to have and what we dream about having in our RV galley. When we sold our Kentucky home, we had to pare down to living in a 42' 5th wheel with limited galley kitchen cabinet storage and counter space.

The things I miss most are my KitchenAid mixer, my big Cuisinart food processor, place settings for 12, my 20-piece Food Network cookware, heavy handcrafted stoneware dishes and bowls, and baking supplies and pans out the ying yang. Since we are so limited now in size, weight and storage, I've learned to adapt to my galley space constraints.

So, instead of my big honkin' food processor, I've opted to a small one-cup mini food chopper (which even now, I 'really' don't need). Instead of my beloved gorgeous KitchenAid mixer, I bought a small hand mixer and well, though I miss my big toaster oven, I've resorted to a small 2-slice toaster. The list goes on and we work with what we can have.

That said, having to admit I've had to forgo having some of my favorites, I still have my "RV Galley Must Haves". Here are my top 5:

1) MAGNA NESTING COOKWARE - Since space is limited to just one drawer for my cookware, I've opted for my Magna Induction Safe Nesting Cookware. Induction-safe cookware seemingly is a bit more pricy than the regular, but I love it! The set I selected has 3 graduated-sized sauce pans that shares a lid, a large soup/stock pot and large fry pan that shares a lid and two removable handles for easy compact storage. Stacked all inside each other takes less than 20" cubed. Since I have extra room, I did after 2 years, purchase a grill surface non-stick pan with glass lid and a bigger non-stick pan with lid for bigger one-pan meals. Our set cost about $200 on Amazon.

Image courtesy of Magma Products

2) NUWAVE INDUCTION COOKTOP(S) - I learned about these immediately after moving into our first fifth wheel toy hauler. I joined an RV Cooking Facebook group that had members raving about them. So what's a girl to do? Buy TWO! These are wonderful and safe to use in lieu of using your propane while hooked up to electricity. Now that we have our Heartland Landmark that has induction safe cooktop, we still kept our NuWave Induction Cooktops for cooking messy and greasy foods outside. We noticed they went down in price from the $100 each that we paid. SCORE!

3) COLLAPSIBLE KITCHEN BOWLS & GADGETS - That whole new 'space prohibited' thing kept drilling in my mind shortly after moving into our 5th wheel. No longer having an array of stainless steel colanders, big stoneware bowls, cute measuring cups and spoons, etc. I had grown to love my silicon/plastic collapsibles. There are several companies who manufacture these; Progressive and Squish being my favorites. I admit, I'm a touchy-feely shopper, so I would go see it in person at a store that I really think would be useful and would then search on Amazon to buy it for less. Included in my 'collapsible collection' are a salad spinner, a very large salad bowl, a mixing bowl, colander, produce washer/keeper, and measuring cups. Collapsed, they take very little space and stack nicely or slide in on their sides. Oh, did I mention that we also have two collapsible dishpans, dish drying rack and yes, even a collapsible laundry basket!

4) HERB & SPICES - I use herbs and spices like an artist uses multiple hues of paint on their palette. I found these awesome stainless, magnetic Grundtal spice tins at Ikea! I also found a metal magnetic board in the office supply section at Walmart for them to stick on. I adhered Command Strip Velcro to the back of the magnetic board to our tile backsplash, filled my tins with my favorites and stuck 'em to the board! VOILA! Oh, and they are quite the conversation starter when we invite guests and friends into our home on wheels. EVERYONE asks 'where did you get those!?' Each set of three stainless tins cost $8 at Ikea. We have 5 sets.They travel well; no sliding off and the herbs and spices never spill out.

5) Instant Pot - saving the best for last, it is probably my most favorite. If ever I were stranded on an island with one electrical outlet, this thing is sailing in a dingy with me to the beach! My Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker has replaced my rice cooker, crock pot, roasting pan, and big stock pot! No kidding!! This push-button appliance is so simple to operate and easy to clean and store. When I make my stews and sauces, I simply brown the meat, onions, etc. in the the same stainless removable pot! No extra messy fry pans to clean! My 6-quart Instant Pot pressure cooks, stews, roasts, makes yogurt, cooks rice, steams and bakes!  I've even steamed spaghetti squash in it! I purchased a glass lid separately (an IP exclusive) to use instead of the pressure cooking lid for my slow cooking soups, stews and roasts in which I want a little less moisture pressure buildup.

So, those are our Top 5 Must Haves in our RV Galley. What I've learned is if a recipe or meal calls for an array of other kitchen gadgets or appliances that I don't have in my galley, it's just not getting cooked or I make friends with our RV neighbors to see if they have one which makes for great friendly conversation.  I'll make them a deal...lend me your mixer and I'll bring some goodies back when I return it. We've learned to improvise with our cooking tools but we still eat healthy and still about 90% of our meals are cooked 'in RV' (I guess we can't say 'in house'?). You just have to be selective and space and weight conscious.

Lisa & Dan Brown

Lisa & Dan Brown

Dan & Lisa Brown are known as "Always On Liberty". They are two Coasties (30 years Retired & Veteran) who fought Mother Nature guarding our coasts and saving souls now travel between them with their two Maine Coon Cats. They have been full-time traveling since 2014 with their 2016 Heartland Landmark 365 Ashland (formerly '16 Heartland Cyclone 4100). They are avid hikers, ADV motorcycle riders, bloggers and travel enthusiasts. They enjoy visiting, hiking and riding our National Parks, Monuments, Historical Sites, Battlefields and strange places. 
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