Last week I shared my favorite outdoor gear, the clothes, and shoes, etc. that I wore nearly every day on the road in the RV during Project Escape. As I have previously mentioned, when it comes to RVing space and weight are key concerns. Nowhere is that a bigger hindrance for foodies than the kitchen!
In general, we prioritized food. We knew we were going to have problems sourcing certain ingredients we liked, so we brought a lot with us and stored them in our precious cargo area. I want to say as a side note, both inside the RV and in the cargo space below, we never would have gotten everything organized the way we wanted if it hadn’t been for our Container Store storage systems.
Truth be told most of the storage containers we used inside the RV came from our old house in Berkeley. Here is a shot from one of our two closets.
If you could see a 360 of the closet you’d see two things, tons of storage boxes of all sizes all the way to the ceiling and our awesome Elfa storage system from the Container Store that we installed in both closets. When you only have two closets in your entire house, every inch counts.
That prepared us well for the RV!
Being the gourmet cook that Mr. Misadventures is, in our old kitchen he had pots and pans, gadgets, tools, and servings dishes for making everything under the sun, along with about 100 cookbooks. When it came time to pick what he was bringing into the RV kitchen, it was like choosing which children he could bring with him. In the end, I should have selected what to bring because, in a strange twist of events, I became the primary cook. After 15 years of cooking, he basically took the year off!
Given the limited space that both the kitchen cabinets and kitchen counters provided, plus the fact that the counters had to be completely cleared off every time we hit the road, here is what we did end up bringing:
Pots & Pans
The vast majority of the time I used two pots in the photo above. One is the Vollrath fry pan which I used for eggs, stir fries, cooking meat and fish and some dim sum items. We bought it specifically for the RV because it is lightweight. I had never heard of the brand before our trip, but I now highly recommend it, it was perfect for daily use in the RV.
I also used our All-Clad sauce pan and steaming basket we brought from home. I did everything in this! Boiled eggs, cooked Japanese curry, soups, pasta sauce, etc. And with the steamer on top, we steamed vegetables and dim sum. Eighty-percent of any cooking we did on the stove was done with these two items.
We quickly figured out that we needed another pot to boil water for pasta and to make bigger soups. I banned Mr. Misadventures from bringing his big soup pots from home with him for two reasons. One they would take up too much space and secondly, whatever size pot he is cooking with, he fills it, and I didn’t have enough space for all the leftovers he would create. We picked a really light one at Ikea and it was perfect for our needs.
In addition to those three pots and pans, we also had our All-Clad saucier pan for bigger stir fries, an OXO salad spinner (with the amount of salad my Frenchie husband eats, it was a necessity) and two bowls. One stainless steel (another Ikea purchase) and one a cheap red plastic one for salads. Or holding tomatoes like this:
You can see how it all fit below the sink in the RV and how it allowed me space to clear things off the counter such as the large utensils and our toaster.
Dishes & “Glassware”
I put quotes around glassware because in my opinion, glass anything inside the RV is not a good thing. For one it weighs a lot, for two, I am a total klutz and given the small space we have to deal with, I foresaw disaster. As it was we lost three soy sauce bottles to the tile floor during our trip.
Instead, we bought really thin stainless steel cups from Klean Kanteen. We used the 10-ounce size for orange or grapefruit juice wine, and whiskey. We used the pint-sized ones for water, ice tea, or lemonade. We also had 20-ounce insulated versions for coffee, miso, and hot tea. Although personally, I preferred drinking my coffee in my blue titanium mug! It’s definitely the most expensive coffee cup I’ve ever had, but OMG I love it!
You’ll notice a plastic glass in my breakfast photo above. We picked those up at Ikea as well, but I think we had them a week. They got so scratched up from just normal wear and tear, I hated them. After that, we just drank juice in our stainless steel cups. Also in the image above is our dishware. We researched and hunted for the best solution for plates and bowls. We didn’t want anything that was heavy or breakable.
We also wanted something that could go in the microwave without killing us. We didn’t have a microwave in our house in Berkeley or while living in France, so we didn’t have any “microwave-proof” stuff.
We ended up with Corelle. You can buy them at Target and Walmart, but I didn’t like any of their patterns, I wanted something really simple. I liked the City Block design, so we ended up ordering a set from Amazon that included (4) large plates, (4) small plates, and (4)small bowls. Then we added a set of 4 large bowls. They were absolutely perfect for everything! If I had to buy them again I wouldn’t get the small plates, we just didn’t use them.
I made it through the entire year without breaking a single piece, despite dropping items twice, but last week I finally broke one of the small bowls. I’m sad about that, but thrilled the dishes lasted through all our adventures!
Everything I just described fit in the bottom shelf of the cabinet above the sink.
On the (messy) top shelf is our outdoor eating gear. Spending so much time outside during the day meant that I was usually prepared two meals. Either breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner depending on what we were doing. Although we did have two small Klean Kanteen food containers, I mainly relied on our Zojirushi Food Jar for any hot food.
We had already brought our Zojirushi rice cooker and thermos, but as the weather grew cold, we quickly added the food jars to our kitchen gear. We used them almost daily. Soups, ramen, oatmeal, rice, and veggies. Not a day went by that these babies were holding some kind of meal for us. In the thermos, we carried miso or hot tea. They kept our food and drinks hot and packed away easily, I could also easily carry them in my backpack.
We brought our silverware from our old house plus a few utensils (tongs, spatula, ladle, etc.) and spices and that pretty much made our kitchen. We had a cabinet of food storage boxes (also from the Container Store) that we used for leftovers and picnics, but otherwise, we made due with this carefully chosen and lovingly used kitchen gear.
We brought minimal appliances with us, but there was no way we could live without our espresso maker, toaster, rice cooker and kettle – that was the bare minimum and these items were used every day. The rice cooker got tucked into a cabinet under the dining table, the espresso maker and kettle were put into the left-hand sink and the toaster went in the cabinet under the sink. We really didn’t have space for much else.
Whenever the weather was good and we had adequate space where we parked, we barbecued. We used a Weber propane-powered grill, in red of course! I think it is the official grill for RVers, we saw them everywhere, although usually in green. The only other color we saw was our friends we met in Moab and spent a week with on the Oregon coast, theirs is purple.
Using this grill was truly the best part of RVing. We cooked everything on this guy. Meat, fish, vegetables, potatoes, fruit, whatever we could throw on. As soon as it stops raining in Portland, we are pulling that baby out!
How about you? What’s your favorite kitchen gear? What’s your go-to appliance or gadget? Do tell! I’d love to hear.
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