Cooking Thanksgiving dinner in a small area, like a RV kitchen, is challenging; although, not as challenging as the Pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving. They didn’t have any ovens!
If you’re cooking in your RV this season, don’t let a small kitchen get in the way of having a spread that will impress even the in-laws!
We’ve come up with some great solutions to some common “small kitchen” problems. With these tips, you’ll be cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner in no time!
Overcoming small ovens
One problem that RVers have is cooking a turkey in a small oven. I’ve been in almost every RV at our RV Dealerships, and believe me…those ovens are small! This becomes even more problematic when cooking other sides. Here are a couple of suggestions that will make you look like a brilliant chef this holiday.
Buy a smaller turkey. This may seem obvious, but if you don’t have many people to serve, this is the perfect option. As a kid, we had plenty of leftovers! If you’re planning on quite a few people, simply buy two small turkeys, instead of one large. They will cook faster.
Cut the turkey in half. By cutting the turkey in half, you cut down your cook time and can also fit your bird in the oven easier. Most grocery stores will gladly cut it for you! You can take this one step further by breaking the turkey apart in several different pieces.
Have a ham. I know, I know, how could you NOT cook turkey on thanksgiving day! However, a ham will fit much easier into your oven and even leave extra oven space.
Buy a remote thermometer. A common struggle with small ovens is maintaining an even temperature. You want to keep the temperature of your oven high by not opening the door. A remote thermometer like the ones here on Amazon, will do the job!
Testing 1…2…3. Because cooking in a smaller oven is so different, test it out with a couple small chickens. This will give you a general idea of what struggles you may face and how to overcome them. The last thing you want is a burned turkey on Turkey Day!
Cooking the Sides
If you’ve decided to cook a turkey, no matter what size it is, it will likely take up most of the oven space. We wouldn’t want to miss out on all the tasty pumpkin pie, green beans, and sweet potatoes! Here are some great ideas to keep you from having a one dish dinner.
Cook Ahead. Many side dishes can be prepared a few days ahead. Although, it may not be as “fresh,” it will still taste great. Dishes like sweet potato casserole and cranberry salad are great examples.
Make it a potluck. Tell your friends and family that you will provide the main dish and ask them to bring one side dish. This makes it easier and more cost effective as well.
Buy your sides. Buying sides from a place like Whole Foods or your local grocery store will save time and effort.
Use a slow cooker. Using a slow cooker or crockpot is an excellent way of cooking turkey or a side. It can also keep things warm while you prepare other food. It doesn’t take a lot of power…which is a bonus!
Other cooking ideas!
Deep fry: This is a method of cooking your turkey that has become more popular over the years. Some benefits include:
Cooking outside: By cooking outside, you leave the mess outside too!
Tasty and moist: Deep frying a turkey gives it a different, but good taste. It also leave your meat moist.
Grilling: Grilling gives you more flexibility in the kitchen. While your sides bake in the oven, your turkey can me smoking outside! Allrecipes.com gives some great ideas and recipes if you want to go this route.
Order your bird: If you want to go a super easy route, there are places you can buy pre-cooked turkeys. They would simply require reheating. Buy a turkey from a high quality restaurant or a speciality store. It’s Thanksgiving after all!
Bonus: Visit this website for great instructions on how to cut that bird!
If you’ve had any experience with baking a turkey in your RV, share your ideas in the comments below! We at Florida Outdoors RV wish you a blessed Thanksgiving Day!
Make sure to check out our Thanksgiving Recipe by Cheryl Norman!