RV Cooking with Kelly

By:  Kelly Barnett

20th Dec, 16

I enjoy cooking. Baking? Not so much. I'm no gourmet chef but we don't go hungry.

When we purchased our Heartland fifth wheel I had never used a convection oven (a microwave/convection oven was standard in our 5th wheel) and was actually quite terrified at the thought of learning to use it…let alone actually using it!

Thankfully, when we picked our Landmark Key Largo up from the RV dealer they offered classes on certain aspects of RVing - convection cooking being one of them. I was so excited to get some direction on how to use the appliance other than as a microwave.

The gentleman that presented the class did an excellent job and provided a hand out with a lot of great information. I took copious amounts of notes and went home ready to try out my new-found knowledge.

That was 5.5 years ago, and I haven't looked back. The convection oven no longer scares me, and I find it just as easy as using a regular old oven now. Matter of fact, I even put together and presented a 'Convection Oven' class at the Heartland National Rally a few years ago.

We try to conserve propane as it's an added expense. Most RV parks/campgrounds provide electric with a campsite so we try to stick to using electric…so I've never used the propane oven or stove other than to check that it worked when we did our Pre-Delivery Inspection ... oh, and for extra storage.

Instead of using the propane stove we purchased an electric double burner but it didn't last much more than a year so we replaced it with something similar. Eventually we purchased the NuWave induction burner and when you bought one you got a second one free….so we have two!

The NuWave works great! They heat up quickly and water boils super fast. Popcorn? Almost as fast as popping it in the microwave…but we prefer 'real' popcorn, LOL. Plus, they cool off pretty quickly so you really don't have to worry about burning yourself on a hot burner once you're done cooking.

A couple of things to keep in mind. The burner draws quite a bit of amperage so even on 50-amp service I can only use one at a time without blowing a 'fuse'. I've learned to 'juggle' between the two when cooking and do just fine.

The other thing to remember is that you must have cookware that is a magnetic-based material, such as cast iron or magnetic stainless steel.  While shopping for our cookware we brought a magnet with us or stopped in the hardware department to borrow one…it helped a lot!

For grilling we originally had a Weber Q 120 and it worked great…no complaints whatsoever. However, eventually we decided we wanted something a little larger. When we cooked a complete meal on the grill or had guests for dinner it was pretty tough to squeeze everything onto the grill.

After 3 years, we upgraded to a Weber Q 220 which has a larger grill surface area and is perfect for us. We also have a cart on wheels for it to sit on and both the grill and the stand fit easily into the basement for storage.

Most recently, I got into the Instant Pot craze.  What is an Instant Pot, you ask? An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker that can also be used as a crock pot, rice cooker, steamer or an electric skillet.

I have never used a stove top pressure cooker, but I remember my mom using one and it always seemed so 'involved'. An Instant Pot is not 'involved' at all, in my opinion.  But the Instant Pot just makes life seem so much easier!

I've made soups, stews, a whole chicken, super yummy macaroni & cheese, roasts, pulled pork, and various other things. It makes the best hard-boiled eggs…super creamy with no green around the yolk.

Plus…get this…I've made cheesecake…more than one cheesecake…in a pressure cooker! Yes, no lie. I'd never made a cheesecake in my life but with my Instant Pot they've become a staple dessert!

I also use a microwave rice cooker that I purchased from Pampered Chef several years ago and love. It's nice and light-weight which is always a plus for RV living. 

In addition to those gadgets, we have an electric skillet, a toaster, Pizza Pizzazz and a Sweet & Easy Snack Machine for making yummy 'real' popcorn. I had a slow cooker but gave it away when I got comfortable with my Instant Pot.

We've tried to keep our 'gadgets' to a minimum as we're always aware of weight limits so if we can find something that takes the place of several appliances it's a huge plus.

Kelly Barnett

Kelly Barnett

RV There Yet Chronicles

My husband, Michael, and I have been living fulltime in our 2011 Landmark Key Largo since April of 2011 and LOVE every minute of it. 

When Michael retired from the US Army in October of 2012 (after 29 years of service) we hit the road and haven’t looked back. 

We usually work in the south Texas oilfields in the winter and spend time with our two sons and their families in the summer. We travel and sight-see as much and often as possible.