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Step Into our RV Kitchen for a Tour while we Prep Dinner

Impromptu RV Cooking Show!

Impromptu RV Cooking Show!

We’ve had several requests to do a ‘RV Cooking Show’.

We’ve been hesitate to share about our cooking – while we can occasionally make a tasty meal, we really don’t consider ourselves chefs or foodies. What could we possibly impart upon others?

The other evening we were already planning to make chicken fajitas, one of our more elaborate meals we make in our kitchen.

What the heck – we turned on the camera and started broadcasting via Facebook Live  (something we’re doing more and more often when we have time & bandwidth).

It was SUPER fun! It was like having friends over for dinner – except, we can’t teleport the end results to them.

The end result! Scrumptious chicken fajitas!

The end result! Scrumptious chicken fajitas!

In the course of bringing our virtual friends into our kitchen, we ended up sharing so many little tidbits about everyday life in an RV that we really never even think about.

Like, where we store our paper towers and trash can.

We gave a tour of our all-electric RV kitchen, how we organize things, power manage our batteries & shore power while we prepared our meal live on camera answering viewer questions.

Considering we’ve never done anything like this before, we’re thrilled with the casual approach and the positive response.

So, we’re sharing it here too (careful, it is 40 minutes long). Below the video,  you’ll also find our ‘recipe’ and more information on the kitchen gadgets we showcased in the video.

In this video, we’re also experimenting with our new Mevo camera by Livestream. It auto-selects multiple camera angles for us – hopefully creating a dynamic experience for the viewer. It’s frame selections certainly aren’t perfect, and we’re still getting the hang of it.


Chicken Fajita ‘Recipe’

We’re not much on following recipes, but here’s my best shot at writing down the way my family has served fajitas for decades.

Step 1:

Starting at least the morning before preparing, marinate chicken breasts (or whatever proteins you’re using) in lime juice, garlic salt, garlic powder and chili powder. (Or whatever other flavors you like – we also use Tajin.)

Step 2:

About 30m before meal time, start grilling the marinated chicken breasts.

Optional: Make & serve margaritas!

Step 3:

While the chicken is grilling, start prepping the sides:

  • Chop sweet onions & peppers (we use a combo of yellow & orange), and sauté’ in a large covered pan with butter
  • Make queso (Melted Velveta, butter & milk + Rotel – simple!)
  • Chop lettuce
  • Warm up black beans (from a can, or we make our own in our Instant Pot in batches)
  • Make or open up fresh salsa
  • Shred some cheddar cheese (or open up a package)
  • Anything else you like on your fajitas
Assembling fajitas for our Thanksgiving dinner with friends Jil & Tom.

Assembling fajitas for our Thanksgiving dinner with friends Jil & Tom.

Step 4:

When chicken is done grilling, slice and add to pan of peppers & onions – and allow to simmer together for a few minutes.

Warm up tortillas.

Step 5:

Assemble fajitas into tortillas (or serve over tortilla chips, or make a salad) to taste!  We usually do this assemble your own buffet style. A second round of margaritas usually fits here too.

Enjoy!

(Also note, the rule in my family was whoever’s fajita fell apart first had to do dishes.)


A Note about our All-Electric Kitchen

Our kitchen is a bit unique for non-modern RVs.

When we bought our bus over five years ago, the propane systems were in pretty bad shape. So, at the time, we ripped out all of the propane and went all-electric.

Storage cabinet where our old stove & oven used to be.

Storage cabinet where our old stove & oven used to be.

Some of the modifications include:

  • We took out the propane oven/stovetop and converted the space to a storage cabinet for electric accessories that we bring out when preparing meals. This is where our Instant Pot, Induction Hob and rice cooker reside.
  • We replaced our 3-way propane refrigerator with a Vitrifigo Danfoss Compressor style fridge that runs off 12v and 120. We installed it in early 2012, and overall have been pretty happy. Our biggest complaints are: 1) the freezer just doesn’t get cold enough to keep ice cream frozen  and  2) like many RV fridges, it doesn’t have a defroster.
    • Energy Report: We can run it off our solar/battery setup and we generally consider about 300-400w of our solar array to be dedicated to the fridge. In our energy audit, we estimated it consumes about 500 watt hours a day to run.

We get around the ice cream thing by only splurging occasionally on a pint that we can consume the same day we buy it. Overall, it’s probably a good thing (smile).

Other posts about our kitchen renovations:


Favorite Items in our Kitchen

In this video, we showcased some of our favorite kitchen gadgets – which you can learn more about below.

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Corelle Dishes

When selecting dishes for an RV, you want something light weight and non-breakable. We also like something stylish.

While Corelle are made of glass, you’d think they wouldn’t fit the bill. But they do. We’ve been traveling with ours since we bought our bus back in 2011 (they were actually one of the first things we bought and they influenced our overall interior color scheme). And we haven’t had a single break, chip or crack.

They’re super durable, don’t take up much space, clean easily, are super light, microwave safe, come in dozens of patterns and are pretty darn affordable. You can purchase them online, in department stores, Corelle outlet stores (where you can also pick up replacement pieces or extra servings) or even find them in thrift shops or garage sales.

Dometic Microwave Convection Oven

Using our oven to bake cookies!

Using our oven to bake cookies!

We’ve now had our Dometic Microwave Convection oven for going on 3 years, and continue to love it. Thus far, it’s held up really well. We love the dual purpose use of it – so we’re not taking up space for both a toaster oven and a microwave. We’re not major bakers, but do find that it heats pretty evenly on the things we do prepare in the oven.

Since we don’t have a traditional RV oven, it’s been super useful for us.

Energy Report: When we’re having really abundant solar days, we do actually bake when not hooked up to shore power. But mostly we use just the microwave to quickly zap something when off grid.

Instant Pot

Our Instant Pot next to our old rice cooker 

Our Instant Pot next to our old rice cooker

When we first got our Instant Pot nearly two years ago, we honestly weren’t quite sure we ‘got’ what all the buzz was about. It was counterintuitive to the way we prepare meals (ie. making it up as we go).

But now we love our Instant Pot and it’s become an essential part of our kitchen. We’ve been expanding our repitore making black beans from scratch, roasting turkey, pulled chicken, boiling eggs, chili, soups and curries.

One day perhaps we’ll turn on the camera again for some Instant Pot meal preps. (You just never know when we’ll pop up live on Facebook these days!)

If you’re unfamiliar and Instant Pot is a combo pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, soup maker and more. Great for RVing as it serves multiple purposes (although we do still keep a separate rice cooker – as we often want rice as a side with what we’re making.)

Energy Report: It does use a bunch of energy to get up to heat initially, but once it comes up to pressure – it uses hardly any at all as the pressure itself keeps the heat. Overall, we hardly notice it in our energy budget.

We actually purchased the ‘Smart’ model with BlueTooth to control from a smartphone – but have honestly found it more gimmicky than useful.  You’re probably just fine saving the bucks and getting the basic model (unless you want geek points).

Induction Cook Top

Making spring rolls, using the induction cooktop.

Making spring rolls, using the induction cooktop.

We love love love our induction cooktop. Since we took out our stovetop, this is our only stovetop option. We currently only have one portable hob, and it suits us just fine.

We love this thing – it uses electromagnetic energy to excite the ions in a ferrous metal pan. There’s no heat loss, because the cook top is not creating the heat.

All of the heat is created with the pan itself, going directly into the food. This is fabulous for a small RV space, especially on a hot summer day when you’re already struggling to keep the interior cool.

For more Info: How Induction Cooktops Work

Energy Report: While it does use quite a bit of power upfront, it heats so efficiently & quickly that we end up not using much power overall. For instance, it only takes about 4 minutes to bring water to a boil. We do most our cooking in the 500-700w setting. We use it all the time when off-grid relying on solar & lithium batteries. A typical meal (such as a stir fry) generally just depletes our battery bank by less than 25-30 AH.

On a future renovation round, we’ll likely re-do our countertops and build in a two burner induction stovetop. They’re becoming quite common on modern RVs, and the prices have come down considerably.  (Update, now that we’re on our boat – we purchased the dual stove top and LOVE it – the bus will be getting this upgrade too!)

Tip: If you go induction, you will need ferrous metal (magnetic) cookware. They’re really not all that difficult to find. When we were shopping for ours, we just took a magnet with us to the store – if it stuck, it’s induction compatible!

Global Chef’s Knife & Knife Rack

Who says you have to put up with flimsy ‘camp’ knives? Yes, you can bring your good stuff with you on the road. And a quality sharp knife is so much safer than a dully crappy one.

Our Global knives and knife mount.

Our Global knives and knife mount.

 

We selected Global Knives because they are a solid piece of metal – there are no bolts, screws or places for bacteria to grow. We found this important for RVing, because we don’t have a dishwasher to sanitize things.  They feel absolutely well balanced in both our hands as well.

Over the years, we’ve been building up our collection. We have a full size chef’s knife (newest addition), a smaller cook’s knife (which now feels super tiny) and a vegetable knife.

We also recently added a magnetic knife rack to our kitchen for storage. While it seems strong enough to hold them while in motion, we don’t want to risk flying knives in event of an accident or rapid stop – so the knives do still ride in a drawer.

We took a knife class a couple years back, and I have found joy in chopping things.

O-Grill

We discovered this stylish looking grill from a fellow RVing friend, and knew it was the right one for us. The legs fold up, and you store it vertically – it’s prefect for storing our bays without taking up too much space. It can use the little 1lb canisters, or a hose to a full size tank.

We’ve had it now 5 years, and it’s holding up quite well and we enjoy it regularly when we’re set up for more than a couple days.

And of course, because ours is blue (they come in a variety of colors) .. it matches the bus quite nicely.

Grocery Bag Trash Can

Yes, we primarily use reusable canvas grocery bags. But we also re-use regular plastic grocery bags as our trash bags.

This trash can is made to hold them and fits right under our sink. Perfecto for our smaller RV space, and keeps us disposing of trash more frequently than larger bags.

So instead of buying trash bags, we just skip the reusable canvas bags every so often to refresh our supply. Especially before heading somewhere that bans plastic grocery bags.

Spice Rack

Love our Spice Stack!

Love our Spice Stack!

When you’re looking around your RV space, you have to assess the space you have available and then start thinking about solutions for storage. When we were getting to know our bus, I took measurements in the cabinet above our (then) oven and went shopping on Amazon.

I found this pull down spice rack that fit perfectly. After five years of use, we still love it.

 

Honorable Mentions:

And not specifically featured in our video, here’s some other kitchen gear we absolutely love:

  • Aeropress
    Extra counter space for cooling or dish drying when we need it!

    Extra counter space for cooling or dish drying when we need it!

    I love making coffee in this press. Super simple, fast, easy clean-up and just takes hot water & grounds (no electricity).

  • Cork Pop – Our favorite way to open wine.  Jab the cork, press the air canister, and voila. Open.
  • Ice Maker – Chris considers ice a food group, and this Dometic ice makers keeps soft crunchable ice cranking. We keep it in our bay.
  • Safe Cut Can Opener – I love can openers that make a clean cut and leave the lid able to be reused for left overs.
  • Roll up dish rack – This rack is awesome! It rolls up for easy storage under the sink, but comes out when we need extra dish drying space. It’s super strong (great for drying the Instant Pot) and is heat resistant so can double as a cooling rack. It also comes in multiple colors to match your kitchen decor.

Here’s some of our other RVing Gear Posts:

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27 Comments - Still Plenty of Room for Yours!

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  1. Very cool info – Thank you! we purchased a 5qt Insta Pot because of your recommendations & Thank you – its been wonderful – don’t use it enough quite yet – fun to look at this stuff while you two are chatting & cooking

  2. I really enjoyed this video style. It is helpful to see how you manage in your small kitchen. I am going to try the insta pot due to your love of it. Thanks again.

  3. Liked the video. I learned a lot. I’m looking to eventually take that big trip around the U.S. in an RV, and I’m soaking up all the knowledge I can. You two have been very helpful. Thank you so much.

  4. Thanks for the ‘Cooking Show,’ I really enjoyed it, even though I thought you ate veggie, gluten free diets, no chicken. I liked learning about the appliances you use too. What a silly boy Chris is, to think that a cooking appliance makes a great birthday gift for his sweetheart, because a lot of care went into the choice. Sounds as though he just needed to prove that he’s a computer geek. If he keeps that up he could find himself cruising in the dinghy of the new boat without a lifesaver….lol

    • I was at first a bit upset he bought me a cooking appliance for my birthday… but then again, Chris is an every day giver, not an ‘occasion’ giver. He brings me joy and delight all year round. The thought behind the induction cooktop was actually quite special – we had just gotten the bus, were stuck in AZ in the summer (120+ degree days) and the propane stovetop was unbearably hot.

      And while we eat veg quite often, we’ve never claimed to be vegetarians. Well, maybe while in the midwest, where chicken is sometimes considered a vegetable.

  5. I loved watching the cooking video and all the info you mentioned. We moved into our motor home about 5 months ago and I’m enjoying my instant pot more and more each time I use it. I def found there to be a learning curve with it. I’m
    Vegetarian and gluten free. What kind of tofu do you use in your fahijtas – firm, extra firm, frozen first or not, etc. Thanks again. Anita

    • I’ve actually never made the fajitas with tofu (at least, not this style – we have used the ‘Beyond Chicken’ veg/GF substitute for a quick version of this). This is one of the few meals where I’ll indulge in chicken every time over going totally veg – probably for the nostalgia.

      But I would imagine the firmer the better for grilling?

  6. Just to verify…does the inner pot on the Instant Pot come out for cleaning? I’ve been looking to replace our 1 piece ceramic slow cooker that’s a bear to get into the sink to clean without getting water into the heating element for awhile. This looks like it would both do the trick and be reasonably storable in our rig but I don’t want one that doesn’t have a removable pot the food is cooked in. It wasn’t clear on the Amazon page.
    Thanks.

  7. Loved the cooking show… ya’ll have so much fun together!! Hoping to get my channels up and running in the next few months as we just bought our RV n moved in full time. If you get to the Bonita Springs area this winter stop by for dinner and a glass of wine (or 2…lol).

  8. Love you guys! Thanks for the great content including the energy info. I appreciate all the time it takes to put this post together and I really enjoy them. I vote for more cooking posts in the future!!

  9. I hate to be a pest, but your all electric culinary stuff reminds me again that I really want to read your “5 Year” comparison/summary of your batteries/solar. What’s a matta you?
    Be safe, thanks for sharing your amazing life.

  10. The cooking show was a lot of fun! Enjoyed you in your almost natural habitat! 😉 Keep up the good work you two, we really appreciate all the work you put in to everything! Will continue watching – uh – not in a creepy way just following your blog. 😉

  11. I would love to bring my french press in the trailer, but don’t think I can get it clean without getting grounds into the gray tank. How does the Aeropress clean?

    • Super easy. You just push the press all the way through, and the ‘puck’ of grounds ejects right into the trash can. Assuming I’m awake enough to aim correctly, there’s usually very little grounds left to rinse away in the sink. Then you just rinse the Aeropress. The syringe style pretty much self cleans the rest of the unit.

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