Because they are vehicles that can include lots of furniture and other items, holiday caravans are much like homes. The enjoyable thing about them is that they are on wheels. When touring around the country with your own caravan, you are the one who decides how to decorate the place and what things to include. A fully equipped holiday caravan comes with bedrooms, a dining area, a toilet, a shower, a lounge, and a kitchen.
When on the road, there may not always be a restaurant nearby. In that case, you can make use of your holiday caravan kitchen, should you have one. If you have all the essential items necessary for preparing meals, you should be able to master self-catering in no time. When cooking for yourself, you can also opt for healthy foods and carefully choose what you eat. With only a few essential and often multifunctional items, you can actually do miracles in your holiday caravan kitchen. These items can easily be bought from most supermarkets, or ordered via online auction sites, such as eBay.
With a kettle, you can boil water, and once you have the hot water, you can use it for a variety of things. Most caravans have electrical sockets, so you can easily plug in your kettle. You can also recharge your caravan's batteries if the caravan park has a special outlet, so the power should not be a problem.
Things You Can Prepare
You probably enjoy having a cup of tea or coffee, be it in the morning, during the day, or just before bedtime. However, hot water can also be used for cooking some simple dishes, and this is handy when you do not have extra time or if your holiday caravan does not have a cooker installed. Use the kettle for preparing instant meals, such as porridges, noodles, and soups that can be made in a bowl. Today the selection is very wide, and you can find many special meals that are heated inside their packet. You just need to add hot water and then close the packet. Your meal should be ready in about ten minutes. A special heating pad inside the packet generates heat because of an exothermic reaction. The meals resemble home-cooked meals and include dishes such as casseroles, curries, pastas, and stews.
2. Cutting Board
The cutting board is an essential item for those who enjoy salads, and it is useful for many other dishes as well. Although your holiday caravan kitchen may come equipped with a special surface designed for cutting, most of them do not. Therefore, you should pack the item and take it on the trip. If you prepare your meals from scratch, then some cutting is involved, one way or another. You can try chopping up the vegetables on a plate as well, but it is much easier on a proper cutting board, because it is level.
Choosing a Cutting Board
When it comes to choosing a cutting board, both the size and material should be considered. Take into the account the countertop space available in your caravan kitchen. You should be able to find a spot where the cutting board fits. In addition, think of the foods that you are going to chop on the board. If you use the board for large chunks of meat, the board should also be bigger. In fact, the cutting board can be relatively large, even as large as the countertop itself. Then it becomes a handy workstation. As you also have to clean the board often, it should be able to fit into your sink.
The main materials for cutting boards are synthetic substances and wood, both with their advantages and disadvantages. Many people prefer synthetic or plastic cutting boards, because they come in many shapes as well as colours and can thus enhance the style of the kitchen. Compared to a wooden board, a synthetic board also weighs less and is easy to take with you on your holiday. However, the plastic boards stain easily and can wear your knives out too quickly. Some people also consider synthetic boards to be unhealthy. If some pieces of wood get into your food, you probably will not be poisoned, but plastic can be harmful to you in the long run. When using a wooden cutting board, you should also clean it properly by scratching off all the food remnants. For a longer lifetime, you may oil the wooden board every once in a while.
3. Plastic Bowls
Plastic bowls come in many different sizes and are either rectangular or round. They have multiple fields of application. You can use them for storing your food items or leftover food, for instance. Certain plastic bowls can also be put into the microwave, and you can thus use them in order to warm up your meals or even to cook a quick microwave dish. You can also eat out of these bowls.
Opt for bowls with lids, because these keep all the aromas and flavours inside without making the contents of your entire fridge smell and taste like the food you are storing in there. If the bowl is deep enough, you can also mix ingredients together in it. In fact, even shallow bowls can be used if you are whisking eggs for an omelette. The best plastic bowls are also elastic, meaning that they do not bend or break easily. They are also known to be resistant to chemical attacks and can withstand acids, for instance.
4. Wok Pan
A wok pan is shaped like a bowl, and thanks to this unique characteristic, you can use it for many different dishes. In fact, this is the only pan you need in your touring kitchen. The wok pan has wide and tall sides and thus it can hold the food inside easily. The sides are generally cooler than the base, so you can push the ready bits of food onto the sides, while the rest cooks in the middle. You can toss and turn your stir-fry vegetables without having to worry about dropping them off on the floor. A wok can hold a lot of food and is thus good to have if you are cooking for many people. Besides stir-fries, you can use it for risottos or even transform it into a saucepan. As a wok is deep, you can boil water inside it and then use it to cook porridge for breakfast. You may even try boiling some pasta, if you wish. In this case, choose a pan with a lid in order to keep the heat and steam inside. If you only get to take one pan, then choose a wok.
5. Chef's Knife
Without a good knife, cooking during your holiday can be much more tedious. You do not have to take a whole range of knives with you, as one good sharp knife can be used for many different tasks. Invest in a proper chef's knife, also known as a French knife. Although it might seem initially expensive, this knife is sure to pay off soon, as it can be used for everything. The knife chops, slices, dices, minces, cuts, and juliennes food. If maintained properly, a French knife stays sharp, and you can tackle almost any food. The best shape for a chef's knife is a wide triangular blade that narrows at the tip. This shape allows the blade to rock back and forth on its tip when you are using the knife.
Chef's Knife Materials
When buying a chef's knife, it is important to choose the right material for your needs, as this influences the knife's cutting abilities. The material refers to the knife's blade. The following chart gives you an overview of different materials and their features.
High Carbon Stainless Steel
Wear resistant, lighter than steel, flexible, great for boning and filleting, stays sharp
Tough, may discolour when in contact with acids (citrus fruit), rusts when not in use, stays sharp for a long time
Rustproof, difficult to keep sharp
Tough, sharp, does not discolour
Of the knives presented in the chart, probably the high carbon stainless steel one is the best. Its advanced features make it a great universal knife. However, this is also reflected in the price.
Buying Holiday Caravan Kitchen Items on eBay
When looking for any of the essential items for your holiday caravan kitchen on eBay, you can start out on any eBay page by typing your query into the search box that you can find at the top. Once you receive the initial search results, you can specify the search terms by adding some extra keywords or by clicking on related searches that may bring you closer to the kind of item you are after. For an even better overview, sort the results by auction time or price. This should give you a good idea of the price ranges, and of when the auctions end.
Read the detailed item listings and browse the photos, making sure that all the specifications fit your needs. You should also pay attention to the size of the items, as you probably do not have too much space to spare in your holiday caravan kitchen. Should anything remain unclear, you can always contact the seller and ask. Other things you may want to enquire about include delivery, payment methods, packaging, refunds, and exchanges.
When going on a holiday in your caravan, you are basically taking a moving home with you. Caravan holidays mean self-catering, and it is great to have a kitchen at hand where you can prepare a healthy meal no matter where you are. Provided that a cooker or oven and maybe even a microwave is already installed in the kitchen, you should pack five essential items that you can use for most of the jobs that need to be done.
With a kettle, you can boil hot water that you can then use to make hot drinks and even food. When in a hurry, you can opt for instant meals, such as noodles and porridges. A kettle is particularly useful when your holiday caravan kitchen has no oven.
On a good large cutting board, you can chop, slice, dice, mince, and julienne your food. If you use a high-quality chef's knife, you then have no need for any other knives. The cutting board can be either plastic or wooden, while knife materials include titanium, stainless steel, carbon steel, and high carbon stainless steel.
In plastic bowls, you can store and even cook and heat your food if you have a microwave. For making a wide range of dishes, from stir-fries to pasta, choose a large wok pan that you can use both for frying and boiling, thanks to its special shape.