It’s a common misconception that convenience and budget have to be on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to eating and travelling.
We’ve already discussed how you can eat well while travelling Australia in a campervan in our article on Healthy Snacks for Your Next Road Trip and 10 Quick and Easy Meals to Make in Your Campervan.
There are also some other ways you can both stretch your savings and maximize your convenience. These 10 campervan kitchen hacks will make anywhere you are in Australia a top dining destination!
Use magnets to your advantage
- Refrigerator spice rack
To make the most of your small kitchen space, but have it still feel like a real kitchen, everything should be used as resourcefully as possible. This method uses otherwise barren space to add both function and style. You can find instructions on Dav.i.son showing you how to make these attractive little magnetic spice jars.
- Build magnetic racks for the side of your fridge
There’s nothing wrong with small, but you can go even bigger of course. Just follow these instructions on building a large magnetic rack for the side of your fridge (or any available vertical kitchen surfaces.)
Use existing space creatively- Both inside and out!
- DIY plate rack
Meg and Trevor at Oliver and Rust made this DIY wall plate rack, which is a great storage solution for larger items like platters and cutting boards. They have a tutorial here on how to replicate it as well.
- Use Lazy Susans in your cabinets, fridge, and under your sink.
Use a Lazy Susan in your fridge for storing condiments, jars, and tubs. This saves room while also making everything more accessible, and you can even pack additional smaller stuff on top of it.
Lazy Susans are a not-so-hidden secret of home chefs, and really give that “kitchen feel” to any space.
In addition to inside the fridge, you can put a Lazy Susan under the kitchen sink, or in a cabinet to store cleaning products. This helps keep the area neat, organized, and convenient to get to.
Become a master road chef (with a few simple recipes)
Now that we’ve discussed what to do to save space, you’ll need to know what to do with all the food you put in that saved space.
As experienced campervan chefs know, you don’t need a huge kitchen space and tons of fancy equipment to serve a fantastic meal for yourself and your fellow travelers.
Here are a few easy recipes to hack yourself to master chef status.
- Tuna Salad
This simple but delicious tuna salad recipe takes only 15 minutes, and serves 4.
In a large mixing bowl, combine one 5 ounce can of tuna, one 15 ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), two chopped hard-boiled eggs, one diced and peeled cucumber, and one head of iceberg lettuce torn into bite-size pieces.
Toss well and add French dressing to taste.
- Foil Pack Mushrooms
This recipe requires only 35 minutes and a few simple steps.
You’ll need 24 fresh crimini mushrooms (stems removed), 4 chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, 1/4 cup olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Preheat the grill for high heat, and lightly grease 4 large sheets of heavy-duty aluminium foil.
Stuff each mushroom with equal amounts of green onions and pine nuts. Place 6 mushrooms on each piece of aluminium foil. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Seal the foil around the mushrooms, forming 4 packets.
Place the foil packets on the preheated grill, and cook 20 minutes, until mushrooms are tender.
- Easy Stovetop Peach Cobbler
For dessert, try this easy stovetop peach cobbler recipe. You’ll need a 29 ounce can of sliced peaches, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional), 1/4 cup white sugar, a 9-ounce package of yellow cake mix, and 4 teaspoons of margarine.
Discard 1/2 of the juice from the peaches and pour the rest into a saucepan. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar. Empty the cake mix on top of the peaches in an even layer. Place the margarine on top of the cake mix in the centre.
Cover saucepan with a lid and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once you see steam escaping the saucepan, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Do not lift the lid during this time! Remove from heat and allow to stand with the lid on for 15 minutes before serving. The cake mix should look like dumplings.
Now that you’ve enjoyed a nice meal in your well-arranged kitchen, you’ll want to make sure it stays presentable.
Some of the best hacks for campervan living and travel are all about learning where you can use what you may already have – for multiple purposes.
- Find a not-in-your-way spot for those dishes you just washed
One novel way to keep recently washed pots and pans out of your way while they dry is to tie a belt around a small tree outside, and hang your pots and pans from there. This keeps your kitchen clutter-free, and anyone who notices you doing this will instantly see how clever you are!
- Clean and disinfect your cutting boards and surfaces with baking soda
It’s easy to trap bacteria and germs on cutting boards, so you want to be sure to clean and disinfect them thoroughly. You can do this by putting baking soda on the cutting board or cutting surface you used. Then use a sponge dipped in white vinegar to scrub it in even more thoroughly. Afterwards, rinse everything with hot water and wipe the area dry.
- Clean tile grout and other kitchen surfaces with toothpaste
To clean up all the crud that accumulates after you’re done preparing and cooking food, scrub the areas with whitening toothpaste. You can also make a paste of your own with baking soda and water. All you have to do is let the paste sit for a few minutes – then use a damp cloth to wash it off.
Well, there you go! These kitchen hacks should make it even easier to get out and enjoy the amazing rewards the campervan life and Australia have to offer!
Get a quote on a campervan and begin your culinary adventure on the road now!