Cooking in a campervan or a tent, is a different experience and requires a slightly different approach to equipment. We are usually restricted on space and have to think carefully about what we pack. So here we present a few useful things for the campervan cook! These are items we have tried and tested in our van.
Cadac Safari Chef 2 we use this more than any other stove when we go away. They are incredibly versatile and includes everything from a wok to a hot plate. It can be used with regular pans and kettles as well as a griddle for bbq. This size is compact and suited to cooking for 2 in our opinion.
Best of all It’s small and packs away easily into the provided bag. We use the low pressure version, which we find slightly more versatile because you can use this with the larger LP gas bottles but also with the HP canisters in conjunction with the Dual Power Pack adapter. The only criticism is that the gas connector has to be fitted and removed after each use, so that it can fold away. It’s a minor issue but could be so easily resolved by cadac. There is a quick release valve available but unfortunately this also prevents the legs folding away and isn’t much use to speed up setup and take down of your camp.
From cooking your bacon in the morning to a full meal in the evening, you will be amazed how much you can achieve with one of these and how much capacity it has.
Collapsible Spacing Saving Devices
We use both a Collapsible washing up bowl. and equivilent colander, they are cheaply available in shops such as Wilkinson’s and many high street kitchenware stores and help you to squeeze just a little more into your campervan. Don’t forget how important it is to wash your hands when cooking, if you don’t have running water in your camper, this may be the next best option. Alcohol gel is useful but don’t forget it’s no replacement for washing your hands with soap and water.
A folding kettle and steamer are also a very useful item. We have the kampa folding kettle which was pretty inexpensive and packs small. We did look at the Outwell collapsible kettle too which is a lot nicer looking and comes in a variety of colours but we opted for the cheaper option. For a steamer we use a Joseph Joseph Steamer which is adequate and fits in most pans.
Cutting and Chopping
Next we move to food prep with a Folding chopping board which makes things much easier to work with smaller pans and prevents a spillage and subsequent mess. Don’t forget though to prevent cross contamination you need one for veg, one for raw meat, one for fish and one for cooked meat.
Although the folding boards are great to use, we actually tend to use these type of boards in our van day to day, cheap, very thin and thus easy to slide into any available gap (once clean) but big enough to chop most foods. We even use these at home.
Knife Set. Knives are a must if you plan to cook with raw ingredients, but if I am honest I’m yet to find a really good compact set that does the job well. We opted to use these knives with plastic covers to ensure safety when packing away the van and to prevent damage to other items or ourselves.
Spices and herb storage.
We tend to use stackable pill boxes similar to these to carry various herbs and spices without taking up too much space. They aren’t suited for long term storage but are fine for holiday use. We found them cheaply, and although they are not incredibly well made they do work and you can easily add more when you need. Some van owners use magnetic options such as the Ikea Grundtal, although these are quite large in comparison and suited to longer trips. We purchased the stackable grinder, relatively inexpensive we have used with us in the van for a while and find it a handy way to carry larger amounts of herbs and spices.
We also highly recommend the Joseph Joseph Silicone Garlic peeler, simply insert garlic, roll a few times and it is magically peeled.
If you have some useful gear not shown here, you consider a must, then post a comment below and tell us all about it!