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7 Useless Grilling Tools

7 Useless Grilling Tools

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A roundup of ridiculous grilling gadgets and equipment

When it comes to grilling, and cooking in general, it’s easy to get wrapped up in buying fun gadgets and kitchen products. But when you stock your house with a bunch of useless tools that you only use once, you end up having a graveyard of novelty items collecting dust (think golf-themed BBQ tools).

Sure, it's fun to have some cool gadgets, but there has to be a limit — and they should be ones you actually use. To help you avoid wasting your money and precious storage space, we asked The Cooking Guy Sam Zien and Food Network’s Aaron McCargo what they thought were some of the more ridiculous tools out there and came up with a few of our own.

McCargo has some words of advice for the hard-core grilling people who have all the specialty tools: "People get way too sensitive and paranoid about what’s going on out there. You don’t have to be gentle, nothing you do on a barbecue is really tender anyway." So this summer, put away the briefcase of tools and "let grilling be grilling."

Let us know if you’ve spotted any over-the-top grilling equipment that should be added to this slideshow!

The Meatwave

Less than a week until the Meatwave season starts up! My excitement level is about to burst as my mind swirls with thoughts of the waves of meat that are about to hit, and all the deliciousness they will surely bring. Thinking about it made me start thinking about you, and although I provide some excellent recipes to feed your hungry bellies, I've never mentioned the tools to make that happen. So without further ado, I present another installment of Meat Tips, this time focusing on the gear needed to get your meat grilling right.

Chimney Starter

To grill, first you need fire. To get that fire going you must never use that nasty, nasty lighter fluid that takes forever to burn off and leaves food tasting like the exhaust of chemical plant. All that's needed to get the job done right every time is a chimney starter.

Bunch up some newspaper in the bottom, then pour the charcoal on top, light the paper and you'll have a fire ready to grill in about 15-20 minutes without fail and using no chemicals. I'm quite fond of this Weber model, which has a large charcoal capacity and is sturdy enough to keep lighting fires for years on end.

Welding Gloves

Fire's hot, so you need some protection, which is where these welding gloves come to your aid. After years of constantly replacing grilling mitts&mdashwhich can't always hold up to the high heat of the grill&mdashI've made the switch to welding gloves, which are made to handle some extreme temperatures. Affording more dexterity than mitts and giving better heat protection, a good pair is something every griller needs. I use a pair like these 16" Leather Forge Welding Gloves, which provides some nice added heat protection almost up to my elbows, letting me really get in there and work the grill with no worries.

Grill Brush

With proper protection, it's time to jump into the heat and clean off that dirty grilling grate with a strong and sturdy grill brush. It took me a really long time to find the best grill brush, and like the gloves I use, the one that works best is built first for welding. This welding brush is superior to any brush marketed towards grilling uses with much sturdier bristles that don't fall off and do the job of scrubbing off stuck on food really well.

Grill Thermometer

With a clean grate, it's time to throw down some meat, right? Well, it'd be best to know the temperature of your grill first. Even though you can get a good reading of a fire's temperature using your hand, for barbecue and indirect cooking, I've found a grill thermometer indispensable. With a range from 150-550 degrees, it's perfect for keeping an eye on the grill's temperature&mdashknowing exactly when it's time to get the meat going or when the fire's dying and needs replenishing. I've always used the Weber replacement grill thermometer and have no qualms with it. Cheap and effective, it just needs the occasional cleaning to keep reading accurately. If your grill doesn't have a space for a thermometer like mine, you can simply drop it in the top air vent and you'll be good to go.


The grill's clean and at the right temperature, alas, it's time to add the meat! Getting meat on and off the grill is simple with the perfect set of tongs. I recommend investing in two pairs of tongs, since two are often needed for those heavier cuts of meat. I also like having at least one long pair&mdashallowing you to work a safe distance from the fire&mdashand a shorter pair&mdashletting you get in closer when needed. The OXO line of tongs have stood up for years on my grill, and the locking mechanism is incredibly handy.

Basting Brush

While the meat's on the grill, it's often nice to add some flavor in the form of a sauce or mop, for which you'll need a basting brush. Like the tongs, I always like to have two different sizes of basting brushes, equipping me for the larger and smaller tasks. Since a lot of grilling recipes have you brushing on liquids while cooking, I think you'll be at a bit of a loss without some good brushes&mdashthe best being the silicone models which making cleaning the brushes a cinch&mdashthe ones above have been used for years and they're still looking brand new!

Instant Read Thermometer

Meat's been cooking and has been brushed with a tasty sauce, but is it done yet? The most surefire way of knowing is getting an instant-read thermometer. There's no better around than the Thermapen, which takes highly accurate readings in seconds.

Probe Thermometer

I rely mainly on my instant-read thermometer, but use probe thermometers often as well. Offering the ability to continually monitor the temperature of the food and/or the grill, they take the guess work out of how everything is cooking. The Thermoworks Smoke model offers a dual channel and remote monitor, so you don't have to be next to the grill to keep an eye on things. If you own a smoker, the UltraQ from the BBQ Guru not only can monitor three meats plus the pit at once, but also hook up to a fan to keep the temperature in the smoker always on point as well as control and record everything through the cloud.

Fire Extinguisher

Lastly, the most useless and useful of all the grilling gear, a fire extinguisher. Chances are, this will never see any action, but it's best to have one nearby in case the unthinkable happens. At my old apartment, I had a nosy neighbor who was absolutely convinced I was destined to burn down the neighborhood each time I grilled. Although in her whacked out mind&mdashwhere the smell of barbecue incites fear rather than droll&mdashthe presence of a multi-purpose fire extinguisher didn't quite put her at ease, but it did for me, and that's all that matters.

Now armed with all the right gear, it's time for you to take your meat to flames and enjoy the summer ahead. I, for one, cannot wait. Even though I grill all year, these last six days before the Meatwave starts are excruciating&mdashjust sitting in anticipation to share the meat with everybody else. So close, yet so far. but until then, I wish you all happy grilling.

12 Ways to Enjoy the Best Grilled Salmon

Although there's a world of flavor enhancements you can create with marinades, rubs, and sauces, grilled salmon tastes great even without any sauces and seasonings. The natural oils found in salmon help keep the flesh moist and flavorful when it's cooked over high heat. Plus, these oils contains a high amount of an unsaturated fat called omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for maintaining your heart health&mdashanother plus that makes salmon such a great choice for grilling. Fire up your appetite for grilled salmon with these top-rated recipes.

7 Ways To Use The All-in-One Cast Iron Grill

From a favored secret recipe to the lucky pan that cooks every dish to perfection, we all have that one trick up our sleeve to wow our guests for dinner. Our trick is the Barebones All-in-One Grill––which is more like an entire coat full of tricks. The All-in-One really has it all: a cast iron wok-shaped grill base and a domed cast iron lid, a grill grate that fits in the base, a baking steel that fits in the grill base and over the tripod, a tripod stand that fits a charcoal tray and its windshield, as well as a grate lifter and a belt to hold it all together while you travel. All these pieces of the cast iron grill combine to create multiple cooking configurations so you can go from sautéing to grilling to baking without looking for a different pan.

The All-in-One Grill has been a best-seller since it first launched, and people are catching onto the magic it brings to outdoor cooking. Read on to see just a handful of ways you can use the All-in-One to showcase your outdoor cooking skills and impress your friends and family.

1. It’s right there in the name, so go ahead and use it as a grill.

The All-in-One Grill is self-contained so you can use it practically anywhere. Set up the tripod, or simply nestle the cast iron grill base into a fire-safe place, add hot coals, and use the grate lifter to settle the grate over your coals.

What makes the All-in-One cast iron better than any other barbecue pit?

  • The grate has a cross-hatching pattern so you can cook smaller items like asparagus or flaky fish, and they won’t fall through to the coals below
  • You can line the grill base with tinfoil before adding coals so when you’re done cooking and everything is cooled-down, cleanup is a breeze
  • Because both the base and the lid are cast iron, you get a more even distribution of heat throughout the cooking process so your foods get fully cooked while still having the benefit of direct heat to sear or char to your heart’s content

2. Shake up your outdoor menu with a care-free stir-fry.

The biggest challenge with making stir-fry at home is keeping the kitchen clean and not setting off the smoke detector, which is why you should stir-fry outside. The All-in-One Grill doesn’t just look like a wok, it is a wok, so follow these steps and toss the burgers aside for a night:

  • Set up the cast iron wok in the tripod with the coal tray below
  • Build up a large mound of hot coals using a charcoal chimney
  • Use a low-smoke oil like sesame or walnut and generously oil the interior of the grill base
  • Once the oil is shimmering hot, almost to the smoke point, add all your veggies and any meats, then continuously stir using a wooden spatula until everything is cooked to temp
  • Add spices and additional flavored sauces just before serving

3. Break out of routine and whip up a creamy fondue.

The depth of the All-in-One Grill base is perfect for melting together some of your favorite cheeses with a little bit of white wine or beer. Bring along your favorite veggies to dip, as well as some slices of meat and some fresh sourdough bread to dip into the warm, gooey fondue.

Cleaning the cast iron grill after making fondue is easy:

  • Wipe the remaining cheese from the cast iron with a paper towel or rag
  • Add fresh water and bring to boil over a fire or with coals
  • Scrape the interior of the grill base as the water boils
  • Dump the water and wipe the interior again to remove any last remnant of cheese - a stainless steel cleaning mesh makes quick work of removing stuck or burnt-on foods
  • Thoroughly dry the entire All-in-One base, then add a protective layer of oil to the interior

4. Get the grill on the table and serve some brunch tacos.

There is a reason that roadside tacos from a truck or stand taste the best - they’re cooked outside. Bring together your favorite friends for a tabletop taco brunch and show off your multi-functional All-in-One cast iron grill.

  • Set the tripod up on the end of the table and get a set of coals glowing (Hot tip! Try using binchotan charcoal, which has a low smoke output, so nobody will mind having the grill on the table)
  • Put the charcoal in the charcoal tray on the tripod and set the All-in-One base on the stand
  • Saute a few vegetables then add some eggs to bring together a scramble
  • Pull the hot base off the tripod and set it onto a trivet in the center of the table - it will keep your scramble warm while you finish prepping your tacos
  • Keeping the tripod and charcoal in place on the table, add the baking steel on top
  • Finish your brunch prep by warming your tortillas on the baking steel

5. Spend more time gazing into the fire and less time stirring.

There are few things more mesmerizing and relaxing than a fire crackling under a wide-open sky. With the All-in-One Grill, you can set up your fire and prep your dinner, then spend the rest of the evening staring into the flames while your meal cooks slowly over the coal tray.

Some great foods to slow cook with the cast iron grill include:

  • Pork shoulder with potatoes and carrots
  • Brisket with wine and onions
  • Sweet potato stew

Start with the charcoal tray higher in the tripod to initially sear your protein and saute vegetables, then add water, vegetable broth, or another liquid of your choice. Bring everything to boil, then drop the charcoal tray to the lower setting to maintain an even, low heat. Now, turn your eyes to the fire and relax while the cast iron grill does the work for you.

6. Reward yourself with a perfectly-cooked catch of the day.

There is no better ending to a fishing trip than enjoying the catch of the day for dinner. With the cast iron All-in-One, your catch of the day can be grilled, steamed, or smoked. Follow these steps for perfectly smoked trout or smoked salmon.

  • Soak a few handfuls of cedar wood chips about 30 minutes before prepping your coals using a charcoal chimney
  • Set up the tripod and coal tray, then add the hot coals
  • Place the All-in-One cast iron grill base on the tripod and add about one cup of water to the bottom, then add the pre-soaked wood chips
  • Place a seasoned filet or full fish on the grill grate in the base
  • Place the lid on the grill and tend the coals to keep them heating the base of the grill

As the water in the bottom of the grill heats, it will steam and cook the fish. When the water cooks off, the wood chips will begin to smoke and infuse your fish with a pleasant aroma and flavor.

7. Raise the stakes with a braised appetizer.

Break out of the veggie platter routine and prepare a hot appetizer for everyone to enjoy. One of our favorite ways to use the All-in-One cast iron grill is for braising, which is an excellent way to prepare baby artichokes. Follow these steps and make your next appetizer feel like a special event.

  • Set up the tripod and load up the coal tray with a tall pile of hot charcoal
  • Oil the interior of the cast iron grill base and let it heat thoroughly
  • Add prepared baby artichokes and toss gently to get a light char while preventing sticking
  • Once the artichokes are charred to your preference, add lemon juice, white wine (or a broth of your choice with some white vinegar), garlic and water to mostly submerge the artichokes
  • Drop the coal tray down to the lower position, or open the wind block to allow for more air to pass between coals and the grill base to drop the temperature
  • Simmer artichokes for 20 minutes or until tender

Using the All-in-One cast iron grill to expand your outdoor menu will elevate your dining experiences from backyard barbecues to campground cookouts.

5 Steps to Perfectly Grilled Meat

Grilling meat is a pretty basic concept. It’s grilling meat well that gets more complicated — but not much, once you commit these meat commandments to memory.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Who doesn’t love the seared crust on a steak? These caramelized bits form once meat comes into contact with the hot grill grates. Pat meat dry first, using paper towels or any clean, lint-free kitchen towel — this removes any excess moisture that would otherwise steam-cook the meat, which would inhibit caramelization.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

2: Season with Salt and Pepper Just Before Grilling

Salt pulls moisture to the surface, so save the seasoning for the very last moment to keep that process from kicking off and thus rendering patting the meat dry useless!

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

3: Leave It Alone on the Grill

Once the meat is on the grill, resist all urges to touch or lift it until it releases from the grill naturally. This will aid in solid grill marks (read: flavor) and keep the meat from tearing. Once the browning (or fond) forms and the meat releases, turn it often as you finish grilling, to allow even cooking.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Once meat is removed from the grill, two things begin to happen:

1) A process called “carryover cooking” begins, where the temperature of the meat continues to rise, resulting in a difference in temperature upward of 10 degrees F.

2) When meat is hot, its physical structure loosens and weakens, making it less able to retain juices (flavor alert!) once removed from the grill, meat cools and returns to a stable physical structure that is able to retain its flavorful juices.

So, in a nutshell, let steaks rest for about 10 minutes, and give bigger cuts upward of 20 minutes for juices to settle down.

The 11 Most Useless Food Gifts on the Internet

It’s that time of year again! It’s disconcertingly warm, Republicans are mad at Starbucks, and websites are full of gift guides. Yes, the holiday season is upon us, and that means you need to find presents for the food lovers in your life.

Shopping for adults can be difficult, especially if they’re fortunate enough not to really need anything. And really, many of us already have way too much stuff. Fifty years ago people wore the same hat for like a decade, and now everyone I know owns four different gadgets that make coffee. Not to mention, you could probably just smash the beans with a rock and boil them in a pot if it really came down to it. But sometimes it’s nice to have nice things, and it’s even better to get those nice things as gifts. You have to be careful, though. One man’s idea of a nice gift is another person’s “Well, my uncle got me that and he likes to visit so I can’t really get rid of it…” To help you out, we put together this list of food gifts to avoid.

How to use the Blackstone griddle accessories kit?

The Blackstone griddle accessories kit involves several spatulas and cooking aid such as dispensers and a scraper. These accessories can be used for the betterment of the griddle. There are several purposes that these accessories can fulfill if used in the proper way.

  • The spatulas provided with the kit can be used for cooking and frying different proteins. The spatulas are perfect for flipping patties and burgers. They have been specially designed in a way that does not hamper the surface of the griddle.
  • The dispensers provided with the accessories kit can be used to hold oil of your choice. These oils can then be poured over the surface to help season the griddle to perfection.
  • The dispensers can also be used to hold sauces such as hot chili sauce and mustard. It makes it easy to use when making burgers or sandwiches as it reduces the chances of spilling over.
  • The scraper is another important accessory which you get in the kit. The scrapers aid in scraping off gunk and grease from the griddle. This comes in handy when you don’t have a copper brush to help you scrape it off.

How to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen: 7 Simple Tips for Creating More Space

Great things can come out of small spaces. In an age where minimalists are growing in numbers and more and more people are ditching their oversized lifestyle for something much simpler (think Tiny House Hunters for all you HGTV fans), it&aposs normal to make do with much less. However, for a lot of us (depending on the city you live in and where you are in your life), tiny kitchens are the norm whether we like it or not, and sacrificing on kitchen space doesn&apost mean having to sacrifice efficiency in cooking good food. For all the college students, post-grads, and anyone else who finds themselves with seriously limited kitchen space, here are my top tips on how to stay organized.

1. Stash the big appliances

Having a tiny kitchen doesn&apost mean you&aposre resigned to having zero larger appliances, like slow cookers, blenders, etc., it just means that you may have to get more creative with storing them, which is totally doable. If your kitchen probably lacks in counter or cupboard space, look elsewhere. If there is space above your cabinets (as in directly on top of the cupboard), utilize it. P.S. a small step ladder is a great addition to the kitchen. Or that seemingly useless cabinet tucked above your fridge? Place larger appliances or even large pots and pans you don&apost use as often up there. If you can condense items in your pantry to open up a shelf, you can place equipment there. And if you still feel you&aposre lacking the adequate storing space, create some. Consider investing in a kitchen prep table or island block equipped with plenty of storage space and shelving.

2. Make your walls do work

Master the art of vertical space to keep your area uncluttered, and looking/feeling more spacious. Installing some shelves on the walls can help you clear out additional storage space in your cupboards and allow you to make a mod eclectic display of your dishes--two for one efficiency. Depending on what&aposs spelled out in your lease, you may need to receive special permission before installing heavy-duty shelves into the wall if you are renting, but some rental companies will actually take care of small renovations like this for you if you ask (pocketing the cost and making sure the job is handled professionally). From some landlords&apos perspective, making the apartment or house more livable for you is increasing property value in two ways--this makes you more likely to renew a lease for next year and any special updates can give the property higher appeal for the next potential tenant. Point being--it never hurts to ask. Other ways to master the vertical space include pulling your knives out of the drawer and/or get that honking butcher block off of the counter with a magnetic knife strip and set up a rod to hold other regularly used utensils or coffee mugs from hooks like these.

3. Maximize counter space

Meal prep can be inherently "messy"--think chopping up produce and laying all of your other ingredients out like you&aposre "supposed to" to make cooking dinner quick and smooth sailing. When you&aposve got restricted workspace (i.e. countertops), the clutter just piles up faster and becomes more overwhelming. The first thing to do is to clear your limited counters of anything that isn&apost essential (refer back to #1 if you&aposve currently got large appliances taking up 75% of your work surface area). Keeping the counters clear additionally makes cleaning up significantly easier, as you aren&apost moving around pieces of equipment and canisters to wipe away hiding food scraps. Now, does it require a little extra effort to pull your blender out of a cabinet when you want to use it for your breakfast smoothie? For sure. But get over it. The kitchen is a hard-working area in most households, and making that small space feel less claustrophobic requires putting a little more effort into creating efficiency. Herein lies another benefit of investing in a kitchen island block.

Now, if your sink is practically larger than the amount of counter space you have, try placing your cutting board over the sink to create more work area. Not only does this expand the work space, but it allows you to brush any produce scraps off of your board and right into the sink. Not all cutting boards will be great for this, some be way too small--you need something that&aposs long enough to extend well over both ends of the sink so that there is no wobbling or potential for slipping. But if you feel space maximizing trick could be helpful for you, buy a cutting board specifically for it.

4. Capitalize on your kitchen&aposs inherent efficiency

A major pro on the pro/con list for tiny kitchens is that most everything you need is within reach. There&aposs no scurrying across the kitchen for a spatula when there&aposs no room to scurry in your kitchen. everything is right there. Still, it&aposs important to be mindful of your kitchen workflow to help you out on this front. This might mean storing your spices in a cabinet with close proximity to the stove for easy access or making sure a knife strip is positioned above the area you&aposre most likely to be meal prepping. Creating the most functional kitchen mean making sure everything is exactly where you need it to be.

Grilling the Pork Chops

After seasoning the chops, follow these grilling instructions to give them the best flavor and texture.

1. Heat the grill.

If you have a gas grill, turn the heat to high. If using a charcoal grill (our preferred method), build a multi-level fire by banking your coals so that they're about three times as high on one side as on the other. Leave roughly one-fourth of the bottom of the grill free of coals, so you'll have a designated "safe zone" in case the chops begin to scorch during cooking.

2. Set out your grilling utensils.

You'll need a sturdy pair of grilling tongs, the plate you're using to hold the raw pork chops, a clean plate or cutting board for holding the grilled chops, and a clean rag or supply of paper towels. If you have a meat thermometer, set it out beside the grill as well.

3. Grill the meat.

Sear pork chops for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side over high heat, then transfer them to the spot where the coals are lowest to finish cooking. Cover the grill and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes more, checking every few minutes. If the meat begins to scorch, move it over to the "safe zone" for the rest of the cooking time.

If using a gas grill, transfer the chops to the lower section of the grill after searing them over the high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cover the grill to finish cooking.

4. Remove the meat from the grill.

Once the pork chops have cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, they're ready to be removed. Use tongs to transfer them to the clean plate or cutting board, and cover them with foil to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides, and don't plan on having any leftovers—these chops will be good to the last bite.

Pro Tip: If you're pressed for time, or if you just can't find suitable center-cut bone-in rib chops for your gathering, go ahead and substitute boneless chops instead. These will only need to be cooked for 2 minutes per side over the medium-hot coals, and removed to the lower heat to cook, covered, for 5 minutes more. Be careful not to overcook them—these chops will get unappealingly dry and tough if the internal temperature rises over 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Skewer Station: The Dumbest In Grilling Tools

Listen people, if you really want to have a successful grill-out there are only a handful of things you need. For one, you need a grill. It doesn't have to be a new one. It doesn't have to be gas or charcoal. It doesn't even have to look like much of a grill at all. It just has to be able to hold charcoal or work with a propane tank -- and it has to allow you to cook your food over fire.

The next thing you need is food. When it comes to grilling, the most important thing is definitely the food. You want to make sure you have enough of it for everyone. You'll want to stay focused and not burn the food. And you should pay particular attention to getting the best flavor.

If you have food and a working grill, you don't need much else. Barbecue tongs or a fork are nice and make handling food easy. It's a good idea to have a clean plate or platter handy to put the cooked food on. But that's it. You don't need a fish basket. You don't need grill clamps. And you absolutely do not need a skewer station.

Unless you're hoping to sell a skewer or two, there is no reason to display your food in this way. Not only is it cooling down your grilled food faster, but it looks incredibly dumb. Just use a plate guys. It doesn't take up unnecessary room in your kitchen it doesn't cost extra and it just works better overall. Let's put an end to stupid grilling tools once and for all. Please.

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10 RV-Friendly Meals To Cook While Camping

Cooking while camping can seem like a daunting task. Problems like food storage, time management, and limited counter space can make having home-cooked meals seem impractical. Even with access to electricity, you might be tempted to skip the wholesome meals and head to a fast food restaurant.

On the other hand, it’s important to remain happy and healthy on the road. Preparing ahead of time for what you’re planning to cook can turn a slightly intimidating experience into a simple and efficient one.

Pantry essentials

  • Spice mixes: Rather than packing loads of individual spices, choose from a few versatile combinations. Taco Seasoning, Italian Seasoning, and Pumpkin Pie Spice are some great options.
  • Canned goods: Reduce cooking time and improve storage by stocking up on canned beans, tomatoes, and fruit. Cans are cheap and easy to stack—just remember to pack a can opener.
  • Sauces: If possible, mix up your own sauces and dressings from scratch before you begin a trip. Homemade sauces will taste better and can be easily preserved in mason jars.
  • Dry goods: Be sure to pack staple foods such as rice, pasta, dried fruits, oats, and nuts, especially if you’re planning to cook your own dishes.
  • Snacks: Try to find healthy, non-perishable snacks like trail mix or beef jerky. It helps to have something you can throw in your backpack for a hike or day at the beach.
  • Baking mixes: Instead of filling your cupboards with flour, baking soda, sugar, and other baking essentials, use pre-made flour blends. You might be surprised by how much you can make with a box of pancake mix.
  • Local foods: Try to find fruits and vegetables at local farmers’ markets or roadside stands. If you’re near a fishing source, plan your meal around freshly-caught trout. Pack non-perishables in your pantry and eat fresh when you can.

Cooking methods

  • Cast iron skillet: No kitchen implement is more versatile for camping than a cast iron skillet. Use it on the stove, in the oven, or over the fire for an easily washable, non-stick cooking surface.
  • Slow cooker/Pressure cooker: Although they consume more electricity than other methods, slow cookers and pressure cookers are convenient for days when you’re short on time. The Instant Pot serves as both, with nine different settings for cooking meals.
  • Solar oven: Though it may seem unreliable, a good solar oven can be a worthwhile investment. Even without direct sunlight, some can reach temperatures up to 400° Fahrenheit, allowing you to cook almost anything as well as sanitize your drinking water.
  • Microwave oven: Though it can take up a lot of your precious counter or cupboard space, a microwave oven offers more convenience than any other cooking method, as it can quickly cook or reheat almost any food.
  • Aluminum foil: Never underestimate the power of good old aluminum foil. Whether cooking on the stove, in the oven, or over the fire, foil is often a necessity.

Below are some easy recipes to cook in your RV or campsite. Try them out when you’re craving a home-cooked meal, either for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

1. Stovetop Stuffing Scramble

This scramble is easy to make. Photo from Recipe 4 Living

Enjoy the smell of Thanksgiving all year round with this easy-to-make scramble. Using nonperishable stuffing mix, you can have it ready to serve it as a savory breakfast, lunch, or dinner in less than 15 minutes. Cook in a cast-iron skillet over the fire or a camping stove, or use the sauté feature on an Instant Pot.

2. Basic Omelette

Omelets can be served any time of the day. Photo by Igor Miske/Unsplash

Omelets are another easy dish that can be served any time of day. Requiring only a few basic ingredients, you can easily whip it up in a cast iron skillet. Add whatever’s available to you—basil, pine nuts, mushrooms, tomatoes, or cheese.

3. Panini

Paninis can be made on the grill or over the fire. Photo by Shanice Garcia/Unsplash

Spice up your boring sandwiches by throwing them on the grill. Fill your panini with meat, cheese, and condiments of your choice, then brush the outside with butter or olive oil. Wrap the sandwiches in aluminum foil and place on a camping grill with a brick or cast iron skillet on top.

4. Macaroni With Sausage & Bell Peppers

You can make this dish over the fire or on a stove. Photo from Julia’s Album

For simple preparation and easy cleanup, cook pasta, meat, and vegetables in the same cast iron skillet, either over the open fire or on a camping stove. Try this recipe for a wholesome spin on macaroni and cheese.

5. Grilled Fruit Kabobs

A simple and healthy dessert. Photo from Allrecipes

Craving something sweet? Grill seasonal fruit over the fire or grill for a simple and healthy dessert. Serve with vanilla ice cream for a special occasion.

6. Five-Minute Oatmeal

Whip up breakfast for the whole family in just five minutes. Photo from The Typical Mom

Whip up breakfast for the whole family in just five minutes using an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, oatmeal can be made on a camping stove in about 15 minutes.

7. Lasagna Casserole

Lasagna casserole, perfect for cold nights. Photo from The Typical Mom

In chilly weather, nothing sounds better than a home-baked, comfort food casserole. Not all RVs are equipped with ovens, so this pressure cooker alternative is a delicious way to go.

8. Foil Pack Fajitas

Wrap your fajitas in foil and cook them in the oven, on a grill, or over the fire. Photo from Kraft

Throw together this easy dinner on a night that you’re in a rush. Wrapped in foil, these fajitas can be cooked in an oven, on a grill, or in the ashes of the campfire. The best part? There are no dishes to wash!

9. Avocado And Bacon Chicken Salad

A refreshing lunch. Photo from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

For a refreshing lunch, mix up a quick chicken salad using avocado instead of mayonnaise. Since it lacks condiments, this meal saves room in your fridge and is a bit healthier. Serve on hamburger buns, lettuce, or half of a fresh avocado.

10. Lemon Pepper Salmon With Zucchini

Make it seafood night. Photo from Pixabay

If you’re camping near salmon fishing grounds, make the most of your catch with a few simple ingredients. Cook in a cast iron skillet covered with foil, either in your oven or on the stove.

Cooking while camping can be difficult, but with an abundant stash of recipes and ingredients, you can enjoy your favorite home-cooked meals on the road.

Watch the video: How we do Pork Ribs