There are a few things to consider for a happy van-chef to avoid hunger, stress and smaller desasters.
Here I listed the most important ones:
- Rule number 1 and definitely the most important one: always (absolutely always!) have stock for at least two meals / days. There is nothing worse than going to bed with a rumbling stomach. There should always be some pasta and pesto in stock, or some flour and eggs to make some pancakes. You never know whether you might be stucked in traffic or whether there is a supermarket nearby.
- Check your water resources every day. You need water for almost every dish or at least always for the dishwashing afterwards. The same for drinking water. One day a couple knocked on my van late at night and asked for water as they were searching for a place to stay all evening and forgot to refill their water tanks. But without water there was no possibility to cook the pasta. Luck for them I had enough 🙂
- Do have a second gas bottle or a backup stove. I always have a portable stove with me in case my installed stove isn’t working anymore or running out of gas. It’s perfect as a backup.
- You are living, cooking and sleeping on a very small place. Use an outdoor cooker (portable stove) for cooking outside to avoid intense smells in your van. You don’t want your bed sheets smell like the food you had days before.
- Open the windows whilst cooking inside. First it’s not healthy to breath in the toxic vapors of the gas and second you avoid humidity inside your van. Humidity can cause mould which has a negative effect on your health, too. Humidity isn’t healthy for your car either (think of rust).
- Think ahead before planning your meals of the week. For example cook twice the quantity of side dishes to use half of them the next day. Therefore you don’t just avoid the waste of energy but time and nerves!
- Take a sharp knife of a higher quality with you. There is nothing more annoying than prepping a meal with a sh*** knife. You rather smash the tomato instead of cutting it into slices. Nobody wants to have the mess inside of the van!
- Spices! Never underestimate the power of spices. Of course the most important one is salt. But there are so many other good ones! Carrying a great variety of spices with you doesn’t take a lot of space but brings you much more taste into your meals.
- Think multifunctional! There isn’t much space within your van. That’s why multifunctional devices become so important. Think about every tool whether you actually need it or whether another item could replace it easily.
- Have snacks with you! Following rule no. 1 there is nothing worse than a rumbling stomach especially when you are stucked in a huge traffic jam or when you are in a hurry.
I am sure there are plenty of other things to consider but from my point of view these are the most important ones. Follow these ones and you won’t suffer of hunger or unnecessary stress.