Man cooks on portable barbecue outside his van, mountain view

Unique Ways to Cook While on the Road

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Man cooks on portable barbecue outside his van, mountain view

Cookin' Up Adventure

This article originally appeared on

When you think of camping food, what first pops to mind? It might be s’mores over the fire or burgers on the grill. Or maybe you’re pining for some fresh fish you just reeled in to fire up into dinner.

But when you’re traveling in an RV with a kitchen onboard, “camping food” takes on a whole new meaning. You could be dining on spaghetti bolognese or a fresh, crisp salad with homemade dressing. If your rig has an oven, warm, scratch-made cookies are totally doable, too!

As exciting as it is to be able to create your favorite homemade recipes on the road, there are also some more unique and interesting ways to whip up a tasty meal when you’re RV camping. For example, you can even cook a meal using nothing but the power of the sun — and we aren’t talking about powering your microwave with solar panels!

Related: Handy RV Meals that Don’t Require Refrigeration

Ethnic young man cooking eggs in motorhome

Cooking Aboard Your RV

When you’re looking for ideas for RV cooking, you’ll likely come across many bloggers talking about meal planning and easy recipes that are easily adapted for cooking in your RV on the road. (We’ve got some favorites of our own, too.)

Of course, what you’re able to actually make inside your rig depends a lot on what kind of RV you’ve got. In a big Class A motorhome, cooking might be just about the same as it is at home, where you’ve got an oven, a stove, a microwave and a full-sized kitchen.

But not all RVs are created equal. (And even if you do have all the gizmos, sometimes it’s just nice to step outside the box a bit.) So here are some RV cooking hacks and tricks you might not have already thought about.

Related: 16 RV-Friendly Meal Hacks for Delicious Eats On the Road

RV Kitchen
Fisherman preparing dinner on campfire, adventure lifestyle camping fishing concept

1. Cook on the Campfire

Yes, this one might be a little obvious, but you already thought about it for a reason. There’s just something magical about transforming fresh ingredients into a hearty meal over an open flame.

And don’t think this will only work for marshmallows and s’mores. You can cook bratwurst, kebabs, and hot dogs over a roaring fire, too — or anything else you can imagine if you get a portable campfire grill. Fresh trout, charred veggies, mmm. And all made better by the beautiful outdoor surroundings.

Related: 20 Cheap Campfire-Friendly Meals

Preparation of chicken wings

2. Use an Instant Pot

So many RVers swear by this device. It does everything from pressure cooking to sauteeing all in one small, RV-friendly footprint. You can even make a cake in it.

The Instant Pot is an especially great investment if your rig doesn’t have any kitchen appliances but a microwave. After all, you’re going to get sick of TV dinners eventually.

Related: 50 Simple, Cheap, and Delicious Instant Pot Recipes

Living in a Van
Adult woman using the oven in her caravan
Su Arslanoglu/istockphoto

3. Make Like Goldilocks and Get the Size Just Right

If your RV’s kitchen design does include an oven, it’s likely not as large as the standard one you’ve got in your house.

That’s why you have to make sure you have the right equipment to effectively use it, such as cookie sheets or muffin tins that are the right size for the job. Individual “mini pie” pans are also a great idea because you can arrange them inside your oven however you need to. You could totally use them for savory applications like mini quiches or frittatas, too.

Cooking in an RV oven is a great way to make everything from baked goods to roasted meat, but you shouldn’t use the oven in an RV while you’re driving. (I know; we wouldn’t have thought that needed to be mentioned but you’d be surprised what some people ask.)

Related: How to Choose the Best RV Oven or RV Stove Oven

Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe

4. Harness the Sun’s Power

Want to get seriously outdoorsy? How about cooking using absolutely nothing but the power of the sun?

A solar oven allows you to do just that, and it barely takes up any room in your RV. If you’re headed off-grid to do some boondocking and don’t want to create a smoky fire or run the generator, this is the perfect way to still eat hot meals.

The Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe comes complete with a thermometer and a variety of cookware, so you have everything you need whether you want to dehydrate your own jerky or bake cookies. (Yes, really.) Some recipes might take a little longer than they would in a traditional oven but just set it up while you’re out exploring and come home to a fresh, delicious meal.

Image of cooked homemade pizza baking in oven, cooked on pizza stone for thin and crispy base, pepperoni and fresh basil leaves on top

5. Try Out a Pizza Stone

If you’ve never used a pizza stone before, be prepared to ditch take-out pizza once and for all. This simple ceramic piece of cooking gear guarantees you a crisp, crusty underside every single time, whether you’re at home or on the road camping. You can also use it for a ton of other recipes, too, from chicken fingers to cookies.

But in an RV, it’s even more useful. A pizza stone on the bottom of a gas oven —which your RV’s almost surely is — actually aids in distributing heat more evenly, which means everything you make will come out better. You could also use it on top of the grill.

Related: We Tasted 13 Frozen Pizzas and This Is the Best

Steak on rv grill

RV Cooking Essentials

As you can see, the list of RV cooking gear and kitchen supplies is much more involved than just a plain old stove and microwave although we’ll admit, every once in a while it’s nice just to throw a bag of popcorn in for movie night and enjoy it only moments later.

No matter what you end up eating or how you cook it, take advantage of the opportunity to cook the meals you love in exciting new ways while you’re on the road — and most of all, enjoying the results of your efforts while surrounded by your favorite people. Bon appetit.

Related: 22 Important Things to Consider Before Buying an RV