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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and this leaves many RVers wondering what they will do for Thanksgiving dinner. While many people will head to campground-hosted events or go out to eat for the holiday—mainly in an effort to avoid cooking in their tiny kitchens—there’s no real reason you couldn’t go all out and cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in an RV.
That said, cooking a large meal in such a tiny space certainly is a bit more challenging. Fortunately, there are ways around these challenges, along with plenty of opportunities to make the experience a nice one rather than the frustrating day of cooking you might imagine.
In fact, by making a few simple changes to the way you cook your Thanksgiving dinner, you should be able to get things together without much trouble at all, and you may even be left wondering why you ever dreaded or avoided cooking in your home-on-wheels.
Wondering what these changes might entail? Below are our top 5 tips for cooking Thanksgiving dinner in an RV and making it a pleasant experience you’ll want to repeat for years to come.
#1: Invest in Electric Appliances
First and foremost, we highly recommend investing in a few electric appliances. Doing so will allow you to cook more things at once, which is extremely helpful in an RV setting where you likely only have two or three burners and your oven is far smaller than those found in houses.
Some of our favorite appliances are:
- Instant Pot — Perfect for cooking anything from pieces of turkey or a small chicken to mac and cheese, the Instant Pot is our go-to electric appliance. In fact, when the first dish is done, you may find yourself moving it from the Instant Pot to another container so you can use the appliance for a second dish.
- NuWave Oven — If you plan on doing a lot of baking, a NuWave Oven can be an absolute lifesaver. Everyone knows that RV ovens can’t hold a whole lot, and they have a tendency to cook unevenly. A NuWave Oven will cook evenly every time, allowing you to bake a pie or casserole while the RV oven is being used for something else entirely.
- Induction Cooktop — There is never enough stovetop space when cooking for a crowd. Luckily, an induction cooktop can help increase your stove space by quite a lot. Not only that, this cooktop may come in handy later when you need to cook but don’t want to use propane.
Electric appliances can be extremely helpful when trying to cook multiple dishes at once. Just remember that these appliances do pull quite a lot of power. It probably isn’t a good idea to use more than one of these things at a time, especially if you’re on a 30-amp hookup.
Even so, using just one electric appliance in conjunction with the propane oven and stovetop will make things go much more smoothly.
#2: Spread Out the Cooking
There is absolutely no reason that all of the Thanksgiving dinner cooking needs to be done on Thanksgiving Day. Instead of trying to cook everything in one day—in one tiny space, no less—spread things out over a few days.
There are a number of dishes that can be made in advance and still taste wonderful. By cooking those things ahead of time, you’ll reduce stress on the holiday itself and make things run a lot more smoothly.
Some examples of dishes that can be prepared in advance include:
- Other baked goods
- Potato and macaroni salads
- Veggie trays
#3: Set Up an Extra Prep Surface
Sometimes the biggest issue when it comes to cooking Thanksgiving dinner in an RV is finding prep space. RVs are notorious for their lack of counter space, and this is especially frustrating when you’re trying to prepare a large meal.
Combat this problem by setting up a folding table for additional prep space. This will give you plenty of space to spread out while chopping, seasoning, mixing, and more.
#4: Take It Outside
If your RV isn’t big enough for that folding table prep space, or your oven isn’t big enough for your turkey, you may need to take things outside. Setting up a couple of folding tables along with an electric appliance outside of your RV is a great way to expand upon your cooking space.
Additionally, many people like to grill or smoke their turkey, or even fry it in an outdoor deep fryer. This frees up the oven for other things, and all three methods result in a seriously delicious bird.
#5: Share the Work with Friends
Finally, there is the option of sharing the workload with friends. If you can match your travel plans with those of some of your RVing friends, setting up a get-together is the logical thing to do. This allows you to celebrate with loved ones, and it means everyone can cook just a couple of dishes to share, rather than any one person taking on the job of creating an entire meal.
Not sure how to find friends on the road? Fulltime Families is a wonderful place to start. Learn how you can join us here so you can enjoy your RV Thanksgiving dinner with some new friends.
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