Campervan Cooking: Tips for Meal Preparation on the Go

Tapping into campervan cooking tips will make all the difference when it comes to meal preparation on the road. Managing limited space and storage from the get-go is essential. Being well-prepared and adhering to some of our campervan cooking tips  and suggestions, you’ll find the experience more enjoyable, and most importantly, nourishing.

There’s ample kitchen space in Achtung Camper Campervans and Motorhomes, but let’s face it they are not the size of what you are used to at home and therefore, you do need to adapt your culinary ways.

To get you started and on the right path, we have compiled a few tips that’ll make life a little easier when it is meal time at your camping spots. Here you go!

Meal plan
The first mental shift you need to make is to choose recipes that only require one or two pots or pans. There’s no room for multiple pans when you will only have two burners to work with. It’s also worth writing a meal planner for your getaway, even if it is only for a few days at a time. You will need to be conservative with your grocery buying and restrain yourself because it is not the time to fill a shopping trolley.

Be a mindful shopper
Stock up on your essentials such as spreads, rice, pasta, oil, flour, salt, pepper, stock cubes and condiments before you hit the road. If you’ve got a selection of your favourite herbs, spices and sauces in the cupboard, you can quickly turn a bowl of bland rice and tuna into a spicy and tasty dish. If you cannot get your hands on fresh herbs, then downsize your supply of dried herbs into smaller and stackable containers. They’ll last longer and squeeze into the cupboard better too!

Fridge capacity is also a driving force in limiting your food shopping. It’s no longer the size of your fridge at home!

Chopping block
It’s easy to run out of space in a small kitchen at mealtime and one quick fix is to place your chopping board over the sink (as we do with our campervans) or on the stovetop. It’s not only a space saver, but if you situate it over the sink, your vegetable peelings and scraps are neatly collected in the sink, as well as creating more bench space.

Cook outside
If you are at a place where fires are allowed, then build one and take the cooking outdoors. In a matter of moments, you’ll achieve that delicious smoky flavour with your food, as well as it keeps the food splash mess outside. Food seems to taste better cooked over an open flame too, whether it be barbeque meats, portobello mushrooms or buttermilk pancakes. On the safety side, always place a bucket of water on standby next to the fire and remember to pack marshmallows because devouring that melted goo is the best way to end the day.

If fires are not allowed locate a barbeque if you do not have one, as most camping grounds supply barbeques for guests to use. Utilising a barbeque means cooking odours and mess are kept outdoors.

One pot wonders
These time-saving and efficient recipes will be your best friend! Mastering the ability to cook for a family, couple or individual from one pot is the goal when camping. If you have landed at a destination for a few days and fires are permitted, then this is an opportunity to slow cook a curry or meat, soup or even bake bread. If not, kick the Webasto Diesel inducted cooker or Primus Kinjia two-burner outdoor stove into gear, both options are available with Achtung Camper Campervans and Motorhomes. Some meal ideas to add to your repertoire include pasta dishes, risottos, stir fries, curries, chilli con carne or stews. Check out Tania’s recipe for one pot pasta and eliminate and add ingredients to suit your tastes.

Local goodness
As you embark on your adventure keep an eye out for farmer’s markets or roadside stalls for local and freshly picked produce. This will encourage you to eat cleaner, healthier and utilise what is in season. It will also educate you on what flourishes in which region, eg. bananas, pineapples and mangos in Queensland, barley in Northern Territory, tomatoes and broccoli in Western Australia, canola in Victoria and South Australia, lentils and potatoes in South Australia and much more, plus plenty of overlapping.

One beauty is the avocado, as it must be the most versatile fruit going around. If you are a fan then they can be a quick snack on the go by itself or spread the flesh onto crackers, smash it up with lime and salt to fast track it into guacamole for tacos, try it added to your scrambled eggs or top off a salad to pad it out.

Dual purpose
Think saving space and use your cooking pot as a bowl for serving salad. Once you get into the habit and make these small changes, you won’t even question it.

Washing up
Avoid having to scrape pots before you cook your next meal and clean up immediately after eating. I know it can be a drag, but if you do you will be thankful that you get to start with a clean slate. Remember to soak any pots, pans or dishes that require soaking. It’ll save you a lot of agony in the morning when you are keen to get to hit the beach, slay the bike trail or walk the tracks.

Cable Beach, Broome

Talking coffee
Most of us savour a freshly brewed coffee in the morning and camping does not mean you need to miss out on one of life’s greatest pleasures. There’s a range of products on the market to achieve a café style coffee at your campsite, but a good old stove top percolator has been doing the trick for years. However, if you are keen to step up your coffee game visit Alternative Brewing for some serious shopping. If that’s not an option, there’s usually a decent café not too far away…

Suggested kitchen tools:

Heatproof Gloves, CAOS
Kinjia Two-Burner Outdoor Stoves, Primus

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Words by Jacqui Taylor.
If you’ve have any additional tips, email jacqui@achtungcamper.com.au.