5 Helpful RV Cooking Hacks

The art of RV cooking has evolved greatly over the last few decades; each passing year brings more ways to customize a motorhome’s kitchen to address the unique preferences of your family. You want granite countertops and dual ovens? Done. How about a full-sized dishwasher? For a certain price, you got it. Whether you’ve stepped up the lavishness of your RV kitchen to achieve the home-away-from-home feel or you opt to stick with the tried and true single oven, refrigerator, and limited counter space, these simple yet effective RV cooking tips are meant for chefs of all sorts.

You’re guaranteed to have a better, more carefree cross-country journey when you’ve planned ahead, especially when it comes to packing the RV. You should always be sure to secure all items in the kitchen (from spices and condiments to heavier countertop appliances) and, to take advantage of all available space, stock the cabinets with only foods you’re likely to eat.

We know you have favorite serving bowls and nicer utensils at home that you rely on, but on the road heavier, bulkier dishware becomes more a hassle than a luxury. With confined kitchen space, cleaning these items can get downright frustrating. Swap your fine china for inexpensive patio-style tumblers, dishes and utensils, made from recyclable plastic that’s durable but not unattractive.

Certain foods should be kept away from the RV kitchen, especially if you plan on taking an extended trip. Pasta, all things fried, and most batch-cooked meals require a great deal of propane, draining your tank before your eyes and generating a ton of heat in your sleeping space. To conserve energy and make nights more comfortable, trade out difficult dishes for less heat-intensive alternatives that utilize the oven for a short period of time.

A great way to stay out of the RV kitchen while still cooking at “home” is to utilize the grill as much as possible. However, limited freezer space calls for creativity when it comes to enjoying carnivorous meals out on the road. We like to marinate meats in zip lock bags and freeze them in the days leading up to a trip. Store them in the RV fridge or a cooler—they can be used as cold packs—and grill them up as they thaw.

Rather than having to coax a burner to light and sapping your propane tank, try to use appliances that can plug into a portable generator or a campground power source. Electric skillets get the job done for most breakfast recipes, and the slow cooker, beloved in all RVing circles, requires minimal energy to make a meal throughout the day.

You don’t have to be a professional chef to create tasty RV meals on the road that the whole family will love, but you can always make your job a little bit easier by incorporating these expert RV cooking tips into your routine.

Interested in more information about cooking in your RV? You might like:

Campfire Cooking: One Skillet Breakfast Hash
5 Easy RV Meals For Your Next Road Trip
RV Meal Planning On A Budget

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30 Responses to “5 Helpful RV Cooking Hacks”

  1. John Piro

    I hope I’m no going to get nickel & dimed ! I get the sense from my initial experience that may be the case. Why? Because I am resented with a cost to view any of the videos I supposedly paid for with my $2.95 first year offer?????

    • Customer Service

      Hello John,

      Thank you for contacting us.

      To view the full-length videos, you will need to login to your membership on the website with your email address and password. Here is a link below to watch a short video on how to use our site: https://www.rvrepairclub.com/video/navigate-rvrc-website/

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      RV Repair Club Video Membership

  2. Cynthia Haig

    We are moving into our RV full time in a park – wondering if installing a normal run. Of the mill dishwasher is ok or should I purchase one made for RV

    • Customer Service

      Hi Cynthia. If you have the room for it a normal one is fine. RV dishwashers are just made small to save up room in the limited space. You will want to check the counter top height and width of the cabinets to make sure you have the room but most of the time a regular one would work just fine.
      Dan-RV Repair Club

  3. George

    We use a Induction hot plate for inside cooking and a Smoke Hollow grill. We also carry a 12″ electric frying pan.

  4. Andrew

    Life is too short but we can make it very enjoyable with travel to beautiful places and enjoying the moment with RV. I have a 2016 27′ Sunseeker. it has a very good cooking kit. but I bought an RV stove for outdoor cooking. there are some helpful cooking tips and idea in the post. Thanks, may it help me

  5. Sam Bullard

    Fairly new to the RV circle, though I have been able to cook out while camping, and have used most of the suggestion, while working with the Boy Scouts. That was a great way to learn for other Scouts and there Leaders. Just waiting for Mary to retire and hit the road. Pre-planning is the key for successful RV trips.
    See you around the camp fires

  6. Dennis Bulver

    I want to learn how to manually put my main slide out IN should the 12V motor fail. I have not been able to locate the motor yet. Any advice appreciated

    • Customer Service

      Hello Dennis,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on manually retracting your slide room we need the make, model, and year of the rig and the type of slide/mechanism. We have videos on line regarding the Lippert Components Inc (LCI) slides for larger hydraulic slide such as the dinette and couch with the motor in the front compartment and the BAL AcuSlide cable type slide with the motor inside typically over the ceiling of a bedroom slide in trailers and 5th wheels. If you can provide more specific information on the type of slide mechanism we can assist further.

      David RVRC Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.

    • Tall man

      Induction cook top replaced gas cook top . this keeps heat down saves space. Cooks faster can set timer and preferred heat.
      Open window a creak to let out humidity
      We live in our unit 9 mo
      Out the year love the life stile

  7. William

    We used to pack all sorts of foods in glass containers and put the leftovers in containers. Plastic zipper bags work for almost everything and save a ton of weight and space. Then just wash and towel dry to reuse.

  8. Donald

    We find that an electric induction eye cooks well with very little excess heat stressing the air conditioning in the Alabama summer heat. We prefer it to using the propane any day.

  9. Bill

    For stays of 2 or more days, I set up a portable camp kitchen under my main awning and run an extension cord from the power pedestal to power my electric hot plate, 40 cup (2.5 gallon) coffee maker which I use for hot water to wash dishes, and power my Coleman thermoelectric cooler. I prefer to keep all of the cooking odors and moisture out of my rig where they seem to linger long after a meal has been prepared. The camp kitchen and two wash basins allows me to keep most of my cooking utensils outside and clean. When I need a second burner I can either light off a single burner butane stove or my two burner propane bottle stove. The only thing on my kitchen countertop is an electric coffee maker.

  10. Dr. Gordon Hills

    What about “Insta- pots? Are they as useful in the rv as I have been told?

    • Customer Service

      Hello Dr. Gordon,

      We have an insta-pot at home and use it occasionally, however I have not seen the benefit of taking it on the road? But then again, I do most of my cooking outside on the campfire or grill?

      David RVRC Video Membership

  11. Bob

    We’ve found that foil-pack meals are easy, great and extremely tasty. Plus, they cook outside. Of course, we also have several frozen meals premade for the microwave and/or slow cooker. The frig is filled with fresh fruits and veggies and condiments. And nothing can beat a New England boil over an open campfire and served on spread out newspapers over the table. Make it simple but keep it elegant – no need for hotdogs.

  12. Ken & Paula Marks

    Crockpot meals are great. Use crackpot cooking bags for easy cleanup. Inexpensive online.

  13. Jeff

    Electric Fry Pan crock Pot and a small portable ice machine and a soda stream make life so much more enjoyable and energy efficient

    • Paul

      This is a good site to start. I would ask a lot of questions and go camping a lot. Take the camper out to a local campground to learn how it all works and talk to other campers as they are very helpful and friendly.

  14. wayne

    we have found that trying to cook as much as we can before we leave has helped a lot. also, when we are on the road we may stop and get something from a restaurant. a lot of times it is more than we may want. the heck with dogie bags, get a people bag, 2nd meal while on the road. especially if you like ribs. go ahead and get the full slab, just throw in microwave to warm and another meal a couple of days down the road.

  15. Rosa

    I find it easier to cook my pasta and meat sauces at home, then freeze in Ziplok bags to take camping.

    • Cindy

      I too try and prepare and freeze as much as I can but gotta say the Instant Pot and the Fasta Pasta, along with the Crock pot and Foreman grill, are got to haves in the RV kitchen!!