By Rene Agredano
Storage space is precious for most RVers, especially in smaller rigs. RV kitchens are extremely challenging to keep well-stocked without being cluttered. One way to ensure the most efficient use of your RV’s limited kitchen storage is to only pack cookware and gadgets that have multiple uses.
One of the best examples of a multi-use RV kitchen tool is a cast iron skillet. Although this type of cookware is heavier than lightweight non-stick pots and pans, well-seasoned cast iron cookware is more practical. Well-loved cast iron will develop its own non-stick surface and can be used for stove top cooking, oven baking and broiling. You can even set it over an open campfire for cowboy cookouts. An added bonus of cast iron pans is that they don’t need a lot of water to clean, which makes them great for your boondocking adventures.
A 10-inch skillet is about all you need in your RV. These pans are affordable but vary wildly in price, from generic ones made in China, to classic collector cookware made by Griswold and Lodge. New cast iron must be “seasoned” before a first use, by coating with olive oil and baking in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. With more seasoning and cooking with animal products, a non-stick surface gradually develops. Proper cleaning will maintain the non-stick surface, by rinsing with water immediately after cooking, scrubbing with a gentle, non-metal scouring pad and drying over a low stove top flame. These pans should never be immersed in dishwater, and soap should only be used when a pan gets extremely dirty. If rust appears, scrub with steel wool and repeat the seasoning process.
Keeping cast iron cookware in your RV is a smart way to hit the road, while saving room for more important things, like your favorite foods to cook inside the pan.
Rene Agredano and her husband Jim publish an excellent website about full-time RVing, LiveWorkDream.com.