Living full time in your RV means that you are performing the tasks of every day living just in smaller quarters and with different appliances.
I have frequently heard from people new to full timing say that they are afraid of cooking in their RV as they are not used to using a convention/microwave oven, which many RVs have. As a result of this, I thought that we would start with my experiences with this combo oven. I am hoping that this will encourage subscribers to chime in with questions and comments about their experiences and suggestions for making great RV-cooked meals using this versatile appliance
First off I want to confess that I am not a great nor a very experienced cook. We are newly “pescatarian” (a vegetarian who eats fish, eggs and dairy) so this means I have had to learn to cook. I am, however, good at following recipes and I am organized in the kitchen. Here are some things I have learned:
- One of the things right off the bat that you learn when doing any kind of meal preparation in an RV is you have to be organized. This means knowing where stuff is that you need and knowing where you are going to put things as you use them. It also means that you clean and put things away as you go. This is perhaps the most important thing.
- When I am going to cook something, I take out all the spices first and following the recipe I measure out what I need for each spice into little glass cups or very little bowls. Cappuchino cups are great for this. I combine any spices that are going to be used together. Then I put the spices back in the storage rack. So before I start cooking I have these little containers of spices all lined up in order.
- As soon as I have a couple of things in the sink, I wash, dry and put them away. There just isn’t room to let cooking stuff pile up.
- Because our induction cook top is under a cover, after a lot of experimentation I bought a silicone mat to cover up all the vents and spaces between the cover that collect food, flour etc from cooking. It’s a simple thing but nothing sticks to it and it even has a place for measuring pie crust diameter (yes you can make pies in the combo oven).
Because I know you will ask,
Getting back to using the convection/microwave oven, I have found that you are only limited as to what you can bake, by the size of the dish. I have cooked casseroles, pies, cakes, pizza, cookies and even loaves of bread. To be honest I have never had anything come out badly because of the oven. Just a couple of things i have learned:
- Because it is a convection oven, it means that it cooks primarily with moving air. The more air can access the pan that you are cooking in, the better it works. So I always put the pan or casserole dish on one of the racks, usually the lowest one. This way, air gets under the pan as well as around it.
- Supposedly the convection oven cooks faster than a regular oven. I have really not found that to be true. To be safe, I always set the timer for 5 minutes less than the recipe calls for and then I check for whether it is done. Usually i need to cook it the extra five minutes.
- Preheat is really important. but it can take the oven a really long time for it to get up to 450 degrees. Often I won’t wait. I will give it 20 minutes or so then i will put the dish into cook and plan on giving it a bit more time.
- Yesterday I cooked a double layer carrot cake. It was amazing. I cooked each layer one at a time as obviously both will not fit into the oven.
So I hope this little post maybe gives you wannabe RV cooks some encouragement. If someone like me can successfully cook in an RV, you can too. Do you have some experiences about cooking in you RV? I hope to hear some comments, ideas, suggestions, and questions. Click here to get in touch!