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RV Cooking On The Road

Review of The NuWave Oven and cooktop

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Being newbies to the RV lifestyle we looked into various alternative cooking options while on the road. Our Fleetwoood Storm has a teeny tiny gas stove and gas burners. Coming from apartment life, we weren’t sure how we would adapt to using such a small oven.

While looking at various RV forums, many people raved about their NuWave Ovens and cooktops. We decided to get one of each. Actually we ended up with two cooktops and one NuWave to give us even more cooking options. We figured it could be possible to use two cooktops at the same time. (One for a skillet and one for a pot).

The NuWave is easy to use and very portable. We really like cooking outside with it. It is a convection oven so cooking times tend to be much different. Basically anything you can cook in an oven you can cook in the NuWave.

It’s easy to find recipes, ideas, and suggested cooking times on the Internet. We tend to cut most cooking times almost in half. Sometimes we just add a few minutes at a time until the food is cooked how we like it.

The oven that we bought includes a liner pan, two racks, and a lid holder. You can use the shorter rack by itself or layer/stack the two racks to hold more food.

One of our favorite things to cook in the NuWave oven is chicken wings. Marinated wings cook up juicy and crispy in a matter of 20 minutes! Yes 20 Minutes! We fill up both racks with the wings. The convention heat Browns the wings right up! We have had people walk past our campsite saying they could smell something way down the road!

We’ve owned our RV a little over one year and have never used the gas oven or burners. We always pull out the NuWave!

We’ve cooked chicken, fish, burgers, sausage, onion rings and even a Thanksgiving Turkey in the NuWave. The Turkey was done in a much shorter amount of time ( about 3 hours) and it was super juicy! We did have to turn the turkey over about halfway through the cooking. That was a little tricky but we did it!

You can use any kind of oven safe pan in the NuWave oven. We have used a non stick cake pan and a small stoneware pan simply because they fit the best. We have bought silicone pans, but haven’t tried them yet. There is no “pre heating” which we really love! You simply punch in the cooking time, temperature and the oven starts cooking right away! That’s a big time saver right there!

The cooktop does require copper bottom induction pans. We bought a set of NuWave brand pots/skillets at Walmart. The cooktop only gets hot directly under the pan. You won’t believe how fast water boils! The pans heat up very quickly. Although the pans are non stick, we’ve noticed that things in the skillet like fried eggs can stick a bit.

We currently store the cooktop and a skillet in the RV gas oven. The NuWave oven stacks in itself and fits great In a large ziplock soft storage tote. We keep the NuWave in an outside bin.

The racks, oven lid, and pan liner clean very easily in warm soapy water. We sometimes use a little cooking spray on the racks before putting meat or fish on them.

The cooktop uses 10.3 amps and the oven 12.5 amps. We did blow the breaker one time inside the RV. Since then we make sure that we don’t run any other appliance ( like the microwave) at the same time as the cooktop. We mainly use the oven outside.

Overall, we are very happy with the NuWave oven and cooktop. They are great additions to our RV.
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RV Cooking – Baked Pork Chops & Scalloped Potatoes

This is my all-time favorite meal!! My grandfather made this for me every time I visited, so not only is it delicious, it is very special. Talk about comfort food ….!

4 – 6 thinly sliced pork chops
5 – 6 potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups milk
2 heaping tablespoons flour
cooking oil

Coat pork chops in flour (not the tablespoons of flour listed).

Heat cooking oil in skillet.

Brown pork chops on each side.

Salt & pepper both sides.

Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.

Spread sliced potatoes (all of them) in bottom of 9 X 13 baking pan.

Place pork chops on top of potatoes.

Mix milk and 2 tablespoons of flour together.

Pour mixture over pork chops and potatoes. If milk does not cover potatoes, add additional milk/flour mixture until potatoes covered.

Bake at 350 for 60 minutes.

For more delicious recipes visit http://www.rv-dreams.com/recipes.html

RV Cooking – Lemon Pepper Corn

This is a nice change from the standard butter, salt and pepper preparation.
You can use different spices for variation, such as chili powder with the mayonnaise, then squeeze fresh lime over corn when done!

Ingredients

Fresh and shucked corn on the cob
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Mayonnaise
Fresh lime juice (optional)

Directions

Coat each ear of corn with some mayonnaise, then sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Wrap each ear in aluminum foil and grill, turning occasionally, for about 5 – 8 minutes. Squeeze fresh lime over corn right before serving for an extra special zing!

Does Fulltime RVing Change Your Eating Habits?

Despite the fact that a lot of high end motorhome builders have eliminated the ‘old fashioned’ oven, it seems many fulltimers still eat much as they did before they went on the road.

In a question posted on a fulltimer’s forum a huge majority of respondents said they pretty well stick with the way they cooked “back home.” How’s that? Here’s a sampling of some of the menu items fulltimers take to eating:

“I cook pretty much everything from scratch, so nobody can convince me that can’t be done in RV living. Lots of homemade soups, stews, chicken casseroles. Breakfast possibly cereal, or just toast & yogurt, and often eggs in many different ways. I bake jalapeno corn bread which is always a winner..hmm, biscuits, bread. Don’t do desserts much either…..so, even RVing equals good cooking.”

“Breakfast is fruit OR muffins OR cold cereal with banana. Lunch is sandwich or leftovers. Supper is normally done in the microwave or convection. We do grill out often, with the favorite being pork steak. Veggies are either canned or frozen “steam fresh” type. In cooler weather we do lots of soups or crock pot meals. We eat out maybe 2 to 3 times a month unless visiting friends or family in their stick houses, then eating out happens more.”

“We seldom eat out. [Hubby] would be willing to go out a lot more often, but most times we enjoy having dinner on trays in front of the TV. RV living has never seemed to impact our way of cooking. In fact I enjoy it more now than I did when I was raising a family, maybe because back then I had to do it; now I choose to.”

Fulltimers also commented that in some ways, traveling has made their eating habits better than when living in a stick built home. “I was going to say ‘we eat the same as we did before we went on the road’ but that’s not true. When our house was anchored we didn’t have access to fresh vegetables in the winter or good seafood on a regular basis. I’m gonna say we eat considerably better and for less money than we used to. Sometimes we have to change the menu a bit based on what is available but so far that has all been for the better.”

Our own fulltime lifestyle has revealed that in the small confines of a trailer without slideouts creative cooking tends to suffer. We generally eat simple meals, nothing elaborate, except when time and inclination hit and we do something really special. But then cleaning up afterwards without a dishwasher generally puts an end to special meals for a few weeks.

This article is a guest post by http://www.fulltimerver.com/

RV Cooking On The Road – Tasty Grilled Portabella Mushroom Burgers And Blue Cheese Grilled Tomatoes

Take a peek inside RV Cooking Show host Evanne Schmarder’s RV pantry and see what she carries along in her RV kitchen then learn how to make tasty grilled portabella mushroom burgers and blue cheese grilled tomatoes.

Easy RV Cooking

Even in cramped quarters and an incomplete kitchen, you can eat like royalty on the road.

One of the secrets of good eating on an RV adventure is simplicity. The other advance preparation.

Before You Go:

Plan your menus. Get out a calendar and figure out a meal plan for each day you’ll be away from home. Photocopy your calendar or daily planner and mark up the photocopy with the meals you have in mind, taking into consideration a kickoff dinner, a special breakfast or brunch, a cookout if you plan to have one (ditto on a fish fry), a final dinner celebration, a potluck with new friends in the camp, and so forth. As you mentally prepare your food plan, note special diets in the group and picky eaters.

Incorporate one-dish meals. Whenever possible, choose one-dish or easy-to-prepare crockery cooker meals. If you don’t have favorite tried-and-true recipes that deliver maximum taste with minimum fuss, check out the BHG.com Food channel for delicious low-hassle options. Spaghetti (good noodles, a good jar of sauce, Parmesan cheese grated in advance), garlic bread, and a simple salad make a fabulous meal after a busy day. A pot of chili with plenty of fun condiments makes a festive dinner. Lasagna and casseroles baked ahead of time and frozen never fail. If it’s going to be chilly or cold, a bowl of hearty soup and some crusty bread go down perfectly. As you sketch out ideas for meals on your calendar, keep in mind that you’ll also want drinks and snacks for in-the-meantime munching.

Make friends with mixes. Check the aisles of a health-food store for ideas on prepared foods that will pack and store well. You can come up with a wonderful light vegetarian meal from mixes that often require only the addition of fresh veggies (tabouli and couscous, for instance). Instead of hamburgers, why not try a vegetarian counterpart like Nature’s Burgers. They come in a dry mix that just requires adding water, shaping into patties, and frying — easy and delicious. (As with anything new, check ingredients to make sure no one in the family is allergic to any part of this product.)

Take advantage of leftovers and double-duty food. As you plan, get the most mileage you can out of ingredients or leftovers you might have on-hand or that you’ll create on your RV adventure. Dinner’s leftover Nature’s Burgers can be crumbled into pita bread with feta cheese and easy yogurt sauce (yogurt, lemon, and dill will do it) for lunch the following day. The eggs you don’t use by the last day can make a lovely frittata with leftover vegetables and meats for a final breakfast or brunch. Make sure biscuit mix is on your list — it is amazingly versatile at breakfast as pancakes, waffles, or biscuits (with honey, jam, or gravy). And cook up some chicken breasts before you go — they can be the centerpiece of chicken parmesan one night and chicken salad for lunch the next day.

MREs give Mom a break. These vacuum-sealed military rations — “meals ready to eat” — come complete. If you don’t feel like cooking every night, MREs offer an option that’s different and full of the spirit of camping. Kids love them. You can find MREs at Army-Navy surplus and some camping/backpacking stores.

Heading for the Store:

Make your shopping lists. Once you have your menus planned, pull out any recipes you’ll be taking along and make copies, from cookbooks, Web sites or recipe cards you have on-hand. Make several lists:

  1. Items you already have and need to bring from home.
  2. Items you prefer to pick up when you get to your destination (assuming there is adequate shopping at your destination — freshness and storage are the considerations here).
  3. Items you’ll want to get at the store before you go.

Don’t forget salt and pepper and a few good spices. (Instead of buying expensive new bottles of spices, just measure out the amount you will need into a mini Ziplock Baggie and identify it with a permanent marker on masking tape.)

At the store. Buy only what you can reasonably fit in the space you’ve got; travel size is more practical than good deals on economy sizes. It won’t do you any good to have absolutely everything you need and nowhere to put it.

Just Before Departure:

Set aside all the food you intend to bring from home, along with the recipes you need, your menus, and your lists (especially the list of what you need to purchase when you get there).

Premix and measure what you can. If any of your meals lend themselves to mixing ahead of time, measure out dry goods into Baggies and ID them with a permanent marker. As with spices, there is no need to bring a whole bag of flour or sugar if you’ll only be needing several cups.

Check our RV Necessities list for a basic checklist of food, utensils, and cleanup items. A simple set of pots and pans, spatula, serving utensils, openers, plates and bowls (paper or Styrofoam if that suits your lifestyle), mixing and serving bowls, disposable storage containers and Baggies in all sizes all are top essentials. You know what you need, and you’ll feel good about getting it all on a checklist for easy reference before you’re in the crunch of leaving.

Local Food:

To fully experience your destination, consider having a meal of a special local dish. Some Internet or bookstore research ahead of time will turn up a specialty of the region you’re visiting. If the dish requires buying special ingredients only available in the region, so much the better — just plan for it by calling ahead to make sure where you can get what you need. Then build the shopping stop into your road trip. It will be worth the effort. You haven’t really experienced a locale until you’ve eaten what the locals eat. Cooking it as a family in your RV can be great culinary fun that gives you togetherness and an opportunity to learn more about the culture of an exciting new place. Don’t be surprised if these special meals become family favorites that evoke marvelous open-road memories in years to come.

Portable Induction Cooktop Perfect For Fulltime RV Living

I have fallen in love with magnetic induction technology and what it’s done for the efficiency in our RV kitchen and outdoor cooking. And if you’ve never seen an induction cooktop in action, be prepared to be blown away.

During the gem & craft show earlier this year at the AVI Casino in Laughlin, NV, I happened by a cooking demonstration booth. What caught my attention was NOT the $6,000 worth of a zillion pots and pans that the vendor wanted to sell me (can we say “snow to an eskimo?”), but rather the cooktop that he was doing his demonstrations on. Now THAT was worth spending a few moments hearing his spiel.

I had heard about magnetic induction about a year earlier, but never got to see it up close and personal and within a few minutes, I knew this cool little gem was going to find its way into our motorhome kitchen as a permanent tool.

 

I mean…  it keeps the kitchen cool, heats things in warp speed, is known for low energy consumption, and the exposed surface is cool to the touch! There are no flames, heating elements or gas emissions and truth be known, I couldn’t tell you if the burners even work on our stove, because this little guy got plugged in the day we unpacked and has been our main source of indoor cooking ever since.

It’s even portable, so when we are outside at the grill and cooking sides, we simply unplug it and set it up on a table outdoors to extend the convenience and eliminate running in and out tending to two cooking areas. Again, because it’s electric and the base stays cool, we can sit it virtually anywhere.

Now, I’m not going to do it justice to try and explain the magic behind the science of magnetic induction – but there are plenty of resources online that can give you those technical details. The only thing you need to remember is that induction cooktops must be used with cookware that has a flat magnetic bottom. This is what activates the heat when the pan is set on top and the only spot that heats up. As you can see in the picture above, the rest of the surface is cool to the touch. Perfect for the girls too who are starting to cook full meals and we now have no worries of burnt fingers or open flames!!

Stainless, cast iron and enamel on steel cookware are all usually going to work fine. (When in doubt, grab an ordinary magnet and if it sticks to the bottom of your pan, you’re good to go!) And when shopping in a store, grab one of their magnets to double check before you invest in any cookware. (You might get a few funny looks – but who cares – you’ll be having fun!)

In my case, I used the addition of our new cooktop as an excuse to invest in a new stainless set from CIA (Culinary Institute of America) because most of what I had was non-stick cookware that had seen better days. And since teflon won’t work with magnetic induction, I took the leap to stainless.  Although at first I was hesitant, after a few weeks – I can truly say I’d never go back.

The only think I might have done different to get even greater efficiency out of the induction cooking setup is to add one or two pieces of stackable cookware to my collection. (Either that or 3 more cooktops LOL). You see, another neat feature of induction cooking is stacking two and three pots high and having them all cook simultaneously and evenly, but it only works if you have a set with flat lids designed for stacking.

During the cooking demonstration I mentioned above, he made a chocolate cake in one, a veggie & pasta side dish in the next (pasta went straight into the pan – no pre-cooking!) and pan seared a steak on the third level – how can you beat THAT for efficiency!?

… Come to think of it, in the name of providing quality information here to all our readers – maybe I’ll go to Amazon and pick up a set of stackable induction cookware and report back! Afterall, it’s the least I can do in the name of helping others! Ha! Greg will love THAT rationale!