Top 12 RV Kitchen Must-Haves

To prepare for writing this I actually just got out the items I would keep if I had to give the rest up. I did not include dishes, silverware, etc but just items to cook with! I do have another post about stocking an RV kitchen but this is much more specific & less of an overview. I am writing this assuming you like to cook but also need to have options for quick nights too & because your kitchen isn’t large, like mine!  I will write a Part 2 next week on additional items that are the “extras” that I don’t want to give up but aren’t as necessary as this list but it will contain items that I will recommend you consider if you enjoy cooking & want to take your game up another notch! But for today, let’s start here.

1. Hot Water Kettle

This is the best thing ever! I use this hot water pot every day, multiple times a day! We boil water for coffee & tea. We boil water for oatmeal & grits & for drinking water (we double filter our water but if we are in an unsure location it offers an extra layer of security!)

2. Coffee/Tea maker or system

The Gator French press is the right size (3 cups of coffee) and easy to use & store. We don’t have room for a coffee maker on our counter so this is an awesome option!

3. Cutting Boards &  4.Thermometers

I have 3 of each. You will learn quickly that you have to “learn” your equipment (like your oven, convection, etc) so thermometers let you check your meat temperatures but also casseroles etc. Also, you will need a candy thermometer to carefully monitor any oil or hot liquids you have on the stove top. And yes, it can be used for candy, custards, etc too!!

5. Knives & a Stash of utensils – whisks, spatulas & spoons

Not much explanation needed here with knives —>this is a handy way to store them! This magnetic knife strip came from Ikea & was easy to install!  I am kind of cheating by calling this one item (forgive me!!) I had a collection of whisks in my sticks ‘n bricks. I went down to 2 – a balloon & a flat. The rest is pretty easy to see. There is a turner spatula (to flip pancakes, etc) that isn’t in the picture. This crock is museum puttied to the counter so it can move if needed but doesn’t need to be when we drive!

6. Pots & pans

You will need a basic set with all the pieces — in my opinion. I kept my All Clad from the house. If you only have room for a few, pick a sauce pan with a lid & a small & medium skillet. They sell sets that stack if your space is tighter. A brand a lot of people like for the stacking ones is Magma. The handles even detach & can be sold on Amazon!

7. Cast Iron Pans (at least 2 sizes) &  8. Stack-able Stainless Steel Bowls

I use my cast iron all of the time but they are especially great in this life of less because they can be used outside & in the oven also! Stainless bowls are great because of how they stack but also they are not breakable, easy to clean & non-reactive! I use the small ones for mise en place all of the time. The tongs you see should be included with the utensils — they are my most used utensil.

9. Blender/Food Processor System

This cupboard also holds a toaster, but I could survive making toast another way if needed. This Ninja Blender/Food Processor Replaced 2 separate appliances I had before (so there;s only one base now) and I love it. I wasn’t sure if I would but it gets a thumbs up for sure!!! I did not keep my KitchenAid stand mixer because I don’t bake very often but this system work great with the dough blade too and there’s even smoothie (or small batch dressing etc) cup that comes with it!

10. Canning & Misc. Jars (pint & maybe some smaller & larger depending on space)

I use large jars to store flour & pasta etc …. you want to be “pest resistant” when living in an RV — just in case! We have never had an ‘guests’ but that could be because of how I store things — NO ACCESS! It also keeps product fresher & easy to access. I use the canning jars to can small batch, store bone broth, dehydrated foods or small amounts of pantry staples, to mix dressing in … you get it! I just keep a flat of 12 under the bed along with the pickles, etc that I have canned!

11. Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker  &  12. Air Fryer

These are kind of the stars of the show some weeks! I will admit, I resisted ON BOTH … but now I wouldn’t trade either! I have never been a crock pot or small appliance user but this lifestyle has called for some ‘alternative thinking”. We just recently bought the air fryer — frying with oil in a pan or pot is dangerous in an RV. This appliance fries without oil. I did not believe I would like it that much — but we love it!! Get these appliance & use them for all of there functions  — they do SO MUCH!! There is a Ninja appliance out now that would combine these into one called the Foodi. Look into it as if I could go back I would do that! (It wasn’t available when we first got the Instant Pot)

I hope that this list helps. Know that we camp in a style that mostly has use plugged in to power. If you plan to mostly boondock, some of these items would come with limits on when you could use them on battery power.

HONORABLE MENTION- Immersion Blender (it’s the red ‘stick blender’ in the top picture. I love mine to use for soups & sauces so if you make many of these it’s worth not dirtying up the blender!

PT 2 – RV Kitchen Extras OR  “nice things to have” in your tiny kitchen for the budding gourmet – Coming Next Week!

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