As an RVer, you know that there are certain lifestyle changes that come with reduced storage and utility space, but your meal prep routine doesn’t have to be one of them! Check out this helpful guide on how to meal prep like a pro while RVing and you’ll find that the process can be just as easy as prepping at home!
Know Your Limits
There are plenty of factors to consider when planning your meal prep plan, with even more considerations when you’re in an RV! First, you’ll want to determine how much time you’d like to set aside for meal prep. For a total week’s worth of food, a whole day should be designated for an intense meal prep session, so pick a day that you can fully devote to prep. On a similar note, perhaps you’d only like to prep dinners or just lunches, which could cut down on your meal prep time!
Another thing to be mindful of is your drastically reduced storage space. Meal prep requires, for the most part, a great deal of refrigerator and even freezer space to store ingredients before and prepared meals afterward, and this is extremely limited in an RV! This will definitely influence what and how much you make! Just keep it in mind when planning, and it might take you a couple tries to get quantities right, but stick with it!
To avoid total chaos in your RV, it’s important to plan ahead! First of all, it’s better to buy your ingredients right before your meal prep session, that way you don’t have as much to transport! On the other hand, if you’re not going a long distance away, say only a few hours, you can always start out your trip with a meal prep day in your stick-and-brick house and load up your refrigerator and it’ll be one less week that you’ll have to worry about meal prep!
Another aspect to consider are all the tools you’ll need for meal prepping! Make sure you have all the appropriate cookware you’ll need, along with knives, cutting boards, and utensils, but also make sure you bring along storage containers too! Reusable storage containers, freezer zipper seal storage bags, and bento boxes are great for keeping your prepped foods fresh and safe from freezer burn! Pro tip: If you’re going to store freezer bags of meals to cook later, be sure to label what each bag is, and write cooking instructions right on the container for easy cooking!
Most importantly, you’ll want to start out a meal prep session with a detailed meal plan! Sit down a day or two in advance and create a list of all the foods you’ll want to prep, and which days you’ll want to eat them! From there, formulate a shopping list of the exact quantities of what you’ll need, that way you don’t have a lot of leftover ingredients you’ll have to find room for in your RV! There are plenty of great apps out there to help with meal planning and lists, like Pepper Plate, which allows you to import recipes from the web and will create a shopping list for you! It’s available free for both iOS and Android!
Simplify the Process
Meal prep doesn’t have to be hard! Cut as many corners as your budget will allow for and buy precut or frozen vegetables, or even some precooked meat if it works with your recipes! Items like pre-shredded cheese, frozen potatoes, canned biscuits and croissants, and pre-made salad mixes will make life a lot easier and will ensure you don’t have to bring along excessive tools and utensils that will take up precious RV space!
Similarly, even if you don’t want to fully prepare meals, make your whole cooking process substantially easier just by slicing vegetables ahead of time, cooking and shred meat as much as you can, and portioning them appropriately for each meal! If you have the freezer room, you can even go a step further and use muffin tins to measure out portions of stock to freeze and save, and use an ice cube tray to freeze herbs in olive oil to make great cooking starters!
Utilize All Cooking Methods
There are potential pros and cons to meal prepping in an RV! On one hand, if your RV doesn’t have a huge, spacious kitchen with a big oven and tons of counter space, prep may be more difficult. On the other hand, camping in an RV presents many different ways to cook!
First and foremost, you’ll want to get as much use out of your RV’s oven and stovetop as you can, as they’re generally going to be a steady and even source of heat! Don’t be afraid to use your campfire for cooking too, as it’s perfect for grilling meats, but you can cook just about anything over a campfire! While you’re outside, use your picnic table for extra prep space! If you have a portable gas grill, get that fired up for grilling too! Have an outside kitchen with a cooktop? You’ve pretty much hit the RV meal prep motherlode!
If you’re staying connected to shore power, a slow cooker is a fantastic appliance to have at your disposal as they can handle pretty much anything from roasts to soups, breakfasts, and more! Are you dry camping or boondocking? Check out the Wonderbag, which does the work of a slow cooker without the electricity! Just get your dish boiling, cover it and secure it in the Wonderbag, and it’ll cook perfectly up to 12 hours!
Sound doable? Now that you know how to meal prep like a pro while RVing, roll up your sleeves and make your camping life easier than ever! Do you have any tips for RV meal prepping? What are your favorite meal prep recipes? Leave us a comment to share!