When experiencing a life on the road in a caravan, the term “Kitchen Essentials” takes on a whole new meaning. initially when we started to condense our home kitchen into the space that was available in our caravan we were met with some interesting decisions. What to bring, what to leave behind and where the hell are we going to put that!
Although the kitchen in our Jayco camper offers very practical storage, we still have very modest space limitations. Every item we bring needs to be justified, be practical and of course be useful.
So obviously the hot dog maker, the donut machine, the expensive fine china and the oversized coffee machine had to stay at home.
In saying that- we also needed to still be able to cook a variety of meals. BBQ’s are great but having one every night can tend to get a bit boring. We ended up chosing a few appliances to bring with us that we think have come in very handy and have still allowed us to make lots of different meals despite being on the road. Diversity is the key to keeping meal times interesting- no matter where you are.
The most handy appliance we brought with us was a Convection Oven (turbo oven).
The amount of different foods you can cook in these make them ideal for travellers. They take up a little bit of room but they take the place of so many other items.
Cook roast dinners (they do the best roast chooks)
Bake cakes, scones and bread (dampers)
Cook lasagna, pies, Quiche, pizza, nachos, finger foods (fish fingers, nuggets, chips etc), sausages, meat, potato bakes, vegetables- the list is nearly endless.
Use it as a grill, a steamer or just like a normal oven to cook or reheat food.
The best thing is that you can cook outside with it so the van doesn’t get filled with the aromas of your cuisine (as nice as it may smell).
Our model is 1300w and can be run off our Genquip 2kva generator without a struggle.
Other items include:
A pie maker- this may sound like an unusual thing to bring however we all love pies! They are cheap and easy to make. The pie maker takes up very little room and lets us indulge occasionally in some home-made treats. We often do a big cook up of pies and freeze them to have later. The fillings can be anything you wish. We also enjoy making dessert pies with canned fruit fillings etc. a cheap and easy way to keep meal times interesting.
Although we have cooked homemade pizza in our turbo oven, our pizza oven does a much better job. It also is very handy to toasting homemade nachos. We don’t have these foods very often but we still enjoy the easy friday night dinners and the pizza oven gives us a few more options.
We bought along a 6 litre Dreampot which still allows us to cook some of our favourite meals such as pickled pork, corned meat, soups and casseroles plus many other things (I talk more about cooking with the Dreampot on another page).
As far as everything else in the kitchen, we used the K.I.S.S method (keep it simple stupid). We bought a large stainless steel kettle instead of electric because we can use that anywhere and dont need power. We didn’t bring a toaster but can use the grill on our stove. We bought an electric hand blender which is great to make baby food, milkshakes and to whip cream etc.
Our saucepan set has folding handles and the frypan and two saucepans can stack neatly inside each other for compact storage.
We use a set of good quality plastic canisters which is part of our freshield vacuum sealing system.
All our cups and dinner set are from OZtrail and is made from melamine. It is light weight and very tough and can withstand being bounced around inside the camper as we travel. A few plastic bowls, a strainer and food grater make up the rest of the kitchen.
The cutlery draw is nothing more than the usual “absolute” essentials. We figured if we needed something we would either improvise or simply just buy it along the way.
The purpose of this article is to simply give an insight of what a travelling family may take along with them. When we first started planning we often asked what other travellers used so we thought we would share our kitchen with you.