If you’re a camper or campervanner who usually opts for a pitch with electricity, you can make the most of your hook-up with a portable stove – from Remoska to induction hobs and even a portable microwave.
It couldn’t be simpler. Using an electric hob or hotplate on campsite mains means you don’t need to worry about running out of gas. It’s also safer than using a naked flame inside a tent or van, of course. Single hobs start at just £15, but can be a bit slow to heat up and cool down.
- Take an extension and use your electric cooker outside or in the awning in good weather.
Use a pressure cooker. It might be a big beast, but it’ll use less gas and can cook a meal very quickly. Plus it’ll double as a mixing bowl. Stow bits and pieces inside it when travelling. I’d always choose a double, short-handled pot for camping because the sticky-out handle of the traditional Prestige ones is a bit of a pain to pack.
Of the electric hotplates we’ve seen, it’s probably best to go for a single hob. That’s because running two plates at once will usually take you to 2500 watts or more. Have a look at the electricity info at the end of this article for more on why that matters.
Lower wattage hobs do cook more slowly, so you need to be a bit smart about how you cook. Boiling a kettle to fill a pan for rice, for example, will be quicker.
We’ve also had a few thumbs-up recommendations from readers for the George Foreman griddles. There are models for every size of family (or appetite) and the smaller ones are low wattage. They’re also very cheap (from around £20) and promise healthier cooking because the fat drains away from the food. Not as versatile as a hotplate or Remoska (see below), perhaps, but not too bulky.
There are few stoves as neat and easy to clean as an induction hob, and we’ve found some cheap portable ones that would be perfect for a campervan or even a tent on a site with hook-up. These hobs work by magic…almost.
Actually, they use a flat ceramic or glass plate with an electromagnetic coil underneath. The surface itself doesn’t get hot, but the bottom of any iron or stainless steel pan placed on it does heat up. It makes for more efficient and faster cooking, plus it’s safer in a small space because, once your pan’s removed, there’s no hot surface.
They’re slim, light and come with a choice of one or two plates (though using remember that using two at once may take you above the wattage your site or sockets can cope with). Best of all, you can buy one for under £30.
Have a look at these other four-star+ models.
We’re not sure about the value of a microwave for camping and campervans, but that might be because we don’t use one at home. They’re probably too bulky for many situations, though there are some more compact models around. You do need to watch the wattage, however. They can be advertised as 800W, for example, but may have an operating power requirement of 1500W or more. Have a look at the section at the end for more on power requirements.
We’d like to know what readers think of microwaves for camping. If you’ve used one and loved or hated it, do let us know in the comments below.
Oh, and we can’t wait to try the portable, rechargeable, battery-powered microwave that fits into a rucksack. It’s not available yet, but watch this space for an early review. At around £90, we may all want one!
People seem to love their 400W Remoska cookers, but they’re not cheap – starting at £150. They are versatile, however – from casseroles to cakes to chickens and more – plus they’re low-wattage and said to be highly efficient.
The Remoska is a Czech invention with a long history and a loyal following. They come in two sizes – the Grand is family-sized and maybe a little bulky for small vans; the Standard is ideal for two people.
We’re about to give one a thorough road-test and will report back as soon as we can. Why not subscribe (for free!) to Campfire Magazine(or follow us on Facebook) and get an update when that review’s online.
Some people have told us they use a halogen oven when camping. Again, they’re not expensive and can be used for all kinds of things – from curries to toast. Their downside seems to be the bulkiness.
What about watts?
The total rated wattage of equipment switched on at the same time needs to be less than the power supplied to you. On a 10A hook-up, you would have 2,300W (2.3kW) of power available. At a 16A site, this would be 3.68kW. You may come across the odd site with only a 4A or 7A supply, but they’re rare.
Remember, though, that an ordinary kitchen kettle can draw 10A or more on its own. Even if you have 16A hook-up, your campervan power sockets may be protected by a circuit breaker of 10A. Consider a special low-wattage kettle and check the wattage on other equipment, choosing a lower wattage if possible. For how to hook-up to electricity, see our feature on EHUs and other power gadgets.
Let us know what you cook on when camping. Just leave a comment below. Off to make dinner now – all those pictures of delicious meals are making us hungry.