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The life of Pie, or Cooking with a Ridgemonkey

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    #46
    TheOldHobbit

    Van cooking, especially small van is different to home. If you have hook up then you can take an induction hob, small oven, microwave or whatever. However if you are just in the van with gas, options become more limited (excluding BBQs)

    I think the options are:

    Van gas rings. Just using the two rings and normal saucepans, frying pans etc. More items can be cooked if you use a steamer (eg vegetables steaming, whilst pasta or potatoes are cooking beneath)

    Double Skillet/Ridgemonkey - two frying pans that lock together to form a great tight space and so cook like an oven . With dryish ingredients the pans can be turned over to get even browning on both sides. The DS will cook an amazing range of things from a full roast chicken to making bread. The smaller RM is useful for toasted sandwiches, pies, pizza etc. Can be used as a regular frying pan too.

    Insulated cooking. A Mr D Crockpot (we now also have a homemade equivalent) can slow cook stews etc.Just simmer for 10 mins on a gas ring, lock away in the insulated box and it just needs the minimum of reheating when you reach your destination several hours later, having slow cooked all day. Mr D does a bain marie and has recipes for puddings and even bread. We also have a largish wide neck vacuum flask so grains like rice, or pasta can be cooked by pouring boiling water on, sealing and leaving for about 15 mins or so - saves on a gas ring.

    I'm sure others will have other ideas but I think those are at least some of the basics.

    The big trade off, especially on longer trips is space. For example we we'd love the versatility of a double skillet but it just wouldn't fit in our R20. If you get things to be dual purpose then it's better. For example we recently replaced our frying pan with an RM. We can use the RM for frying but it adds the ability to cook pies etc and takes the same space as the frying pan. Similarly, we made our own insulated cooker because we found a great pair of stacking saucepans (with folding handles). So we can use then as regular saucepans or just the larger one as an insulated slow cooker using Liz's home made insulation jacket. The pans live inside the jacket when traveling so the extra ability of a slow cooker, one again, takes (almost) no additional space.

    It takes years to slowly optimise YOUR van to meet YOUR needs. You will almost certainly buy things as a good idea only to become redundant a year or so later. We change something every trip and have been in the this van for nearly 8 years. Cooking is very much part of that evolution. We like stews and the convenience of a hot meal within a few minutes of parking up so our insulated cooker is used a lot. Others have produced some fantastic Sunday roasts using their DS, others might be happy living on toasted sarnies, pies and baked beans in their RM.

    Chacun à son gôut

    Comment


      #47
      Last night I goty a bag out the Freezer and I couldn't work out what it was. This morning it came apparent that it
      was the Hog Roast we got from Kingsbury. So today instead of doing Bacon I'll use the pulled Pork in a Panini
      for my lunch in the RM .
      Be Free, Be Safe, Be Happy and most of all Enjoy Yourself

      Comment


        #48
        If you are on hook up it makes sense to use it and save your gas, therefore something like a halogen would be useful.
        One of the advantages of a gas oven is that where ever you park up, especially when the weather is really cold, you can cook a "proper" meal (I know, I know, it's not really proper food but......) We have parked on the seafront before now and I have cooked chicken and (oven) chips.

        Yes a Ridge Monkey can cook you a pie but I'm not sure you could get anything else in with it.

        You could serve it with pasta or rice from the wide necked flask a la Brian (we have one too after Brian recommended that way of cooking and it's excellent, I've even boiled eggs in it (Eggs at room temperature. This is a must - or pop the eggs in boiling water as you are packing up to leave the site. Drain eggs, pop carefully into the flask and pour on more boiling water. A couple of hours later when you are ready for a break, you have hot boiled eggs !)

        I know some members avoid cooking when away because it becomes a chore. For me it's an adventure to see what I can serve up in a limited space and with limited facilities. Of course, I have an advantage of some of you, in that my kitchen at home is not much bigger than the space in the van so I'm used to it

        As with most things, you'll learn as you go along, just what suits you and what you are prepared to put up with

        It's fun trying it all out though

        Comment


          #49
          Based on what we are hearing, it would seem its definitely "horses for courses". As ex caravanners we have always gotten use out of our onboard oven and when the Nu Rio had one we saw this as an advantage. Either way, it is fitted so we will definitely use it. So much to learn.......

          Comment


            #50
            2018-05-05 184848-2574186.JPG

            2 Lidls Panini's with Pulled Pork.
            Be Free, Be Safe, Be Happy and most of all Enjoy Yourself

            Comment


              #51
              TheOldHobbit We use the oven in our van a fair bit but as SandraM says if you are on electric it makes sense to use an electric gadget to cook with after all campsites to charge the earth for electricity even though we have small motorhomes and use very little compared to the large gin palaces you see on some sites.

              When forced to pay for electric we use a Remoska a lot, it saves gas and we cook some lovely meals, here’s our review



              If we are not on electric we sometimes use the double skillet instead of our van oven, here’s our review, it’s gone a bit squashed but you get the idea



              Here’s some recipes we’ve done on the hob only.

              https://community.smallmotorhome.co.uk/articles/recipes




              Graham
              Did you know you can follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or you can visit us at our Website

              Comment


                #52
                I second the Remoska having had two over the years (one a replacement for when the original glass shattered whilst I was cooking pork chops!! Ruined his dinner it did!

                They are expensive though. I note that they appear to have done away with the glass viewing circle now. They are so versatile

                Comment


                  #53
                  Once again, the fountain of knowledge on here is outstanding......... The Remoska looks like a nice bit of kit and certainly has it uses, but if I'm honest we would likely not get a great deal of use from it. I may be overthinking things at the moment, but we are trying to be a minimalist as possible to conserve room, but once we get up and running (fingers crossed) we will learn a lot more as we go on. Thank you.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    It's a good idea not to rush in straight away (ie stay away from camping shops until you need to go in to get something you have planned to buy because I guarantee you will buy things you never even thought of before you went in!!)

                    Comment


                      #55
                      How come we have 4, soon to be five pages of '101 things to do with a monkey'?
                      Haven't we got anything better to do?

                      er, no, it's too hot to go outside.
                      suivez l'aventure

                      Comment


                        #56
                        IT might be hot (indeed it is hot - really really HOT!) but I am sowing and planting in an effort to get things done. Not cooking though, not even in a Ridge Monkey (just to bring it back to the thread

                        Comment


                          #57
                          I picked up a Ridge Monkey, and now have an addiction to toasted cheese sandwiches!
                          Many thanks for the recommendation !!

                          Comment


                            #58
                            Well we've been away in the van for a while and had several pies etc in the RM. Liz now has it off to perfection, preheating the RM slightly first and removing the foil from the pies. Result, piping hot pies with a well cooked firm,almost crunchy, pastry all around. And it is a quicker/easier meal with less washing up than chops or burgers and especially nice if you can find small batch or home-made pies.

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by Graham View Post
                              TheOldHobbit We use the oven in our van a fair bit but as SandraM says if you are on electric it makes sense to use an electric gadget to cook with after all campsites to charge the earth for electricity even though we have small motorhomes and use very little compared to the large gin palaces you see on some sites.

                              When forced to pay for electric we use a Remoska a lot, it saves gas and we cook some lovely meals, here’s our review



                              If we are not on electric we sometimes use the double skillet instead of our van oven, here’s our review, it’s gone a bit squashed but you get the idea



                              Here’s some recipes we’ve done on the hob only.

                              https://community.smallmotorhome.co.uk/articles/recipes



                              Hmmm, I'm suddenly peckish .

                              Comment


                                #60
                                My goodness you live well and healthily when camping.

                                Comment

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