The great thing about a motorhome or campervan is that you can choose to travel where you want, stop when you fancy and eat where and when you choose. If you prefer to park up near a restaurant or café then why not?
But with a gas hob available in your mobile home you can cook up a meal at any time of the day. Most motorhomes have a three-burner hob, while campervans have a two-burner hob so you need to plan what you will have for meals. The key is to use less pots and pans, and choose one or two-pot dishes where you can.
On top of this, no one wants to be slaving over a hot stove while they are on holiday so less is more when campervan cooking.
Catering for yourself also lowers the cost of a holiday. You can buy ingredients from a supermarket, local market, farm shops or roadside stalls during your travels. Then store them in the handy campervan cupboards or fridge and cook your meals when you want them. All this will save you money on eating out.
The tools of the trade
Open Road Scotland motorhomes offer a range of cooking facilities. The larger motorhomes have a three-ring gas hob, large fridge and gas grill/oven. The smaller motorhomes boast a three-ring gas hob, large fridge and gas grill/oven.
In an Open Road Scotland campervan you’ll find a 40-litre fridge and a two-ring gas hob.
Cooking and eating utensils and cooking pots and pans come as standard. So all you need for a feast is the ingredients and an imagination (or a few handy recipes, see below).
The holiday vans also have seats and a table inside or you can eat outdoors when the weather is favourable.
Keep it simple
A motorhome or campervan is inevitably smaller than the kitchen you use at home. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because you will find all you need is close at hand but planning a full Sunday roast in a van will take a lot of effort.
With only two or three gas burners and in some vans, just a grill or small oven, you need to think simple but yummy, especially if you are cooking or two to four people.
Go for one pot, or possibly two. Imagine a grill and oven that cooks half of what you are used to cooking at home. But this doesn’t mean you need to survive on beans on toast all holiday.
For ease, shop bought sauces for pasta or meat and soups heated up in a pan; bacon and eggs cooked in a frying pan; or sauted fish and boiled potatoes make perfect sense while on holiday.
Use the grill for toast, to go with the soup, or fried breakfast, or you could heat up ready meals in the oven (if your van has an oven).
Back to basics
Cooking from fresh is a great way to enjoy the flavours of locally sourced produce. Scotland is famous for its fabulous natural larder so you could choose to create tasty meals from ingredients found on your journey.
10 great campervan recipe ideas
1) For breakfast how about cheesy scrambled egg croissants? Buy local free range eggs wherever you can for a tastier brekkie.
2) If you really can’t stand missing out on fast food such as pizza but you want to make your own meals, how about no-oven pizza? Cooked in a frying pan yet still very healthy, this meal will be a winner with kids.
3) With only two or three rings and limited space it can be a difficult task cooking a traditional fry up breakfast for the family. Instead, try this One Pan Breakfast.
4) For sausages with a twist, cook Sticky Cider & Mustard Sausage Wheel with salad. You might be lucky enough to find home-made sausages at a farm shop or farmers’market.
5) Keep the pan cooking to a minimum by serving your meal on grilled toast rather than with rice. This mushroom stroganoff is a delicious dish for lunch or dinner. Foraging for your own mushrooms will only add to the taste sensation!
6) Martin Dorey, author of the Campervan Cook Book has some great ideas. Use the plentiful nettles found growing wild in Scotland and add some bought bacon (Ayrshire bacon very tasty!) for Stinging nettle and bacon soup
7) Hunt for mushrooms, search beaches for rock samphire and buy free range eggs for this Parasol Mushroom and Rock Samphire Omelette. Check out Galloway Wild Foods for samphire if you happen to be in southern Scotland.
8) Buy locally caught mussels and cook up Mussels in Coconut Milk and Coriander
9) Adjust the ingredients to suit the season for this delicious One-pot Italian Vegetable Risotto.
10) And for something sweet? You could buy bars or chocolate, dip marshmallows in hot chocolate drinks or eat fruit and yoghurt. But, then again, you could make something a bit different such as Chocolate Honeycomb Bites. This is a great recipe for the kids on a rainy day.
Please so tell us about your culinary campervan delights. We might even start a blog of your favourite recipes.