Our Best RV Kitchen Appliances are Low Tech Favorites

Every year there’s some new RV kitchen appliance that’s all the rage. But in our rig, the best RV kitchen appliances are low-tech and old school.

A while back everyone we knew was getting a Soda Stream. And last year it was the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Good thing our galley is small and prep space on the counter is precious, or I might want one too. So when a trendy new appliance comes out, we usually skip it. Most of our cookwear is old-school, like our trusty Griswold cast iron skillet.

best RV kitchen appliances
This Griswold cast iron skillet is our go-to pan, every day.

I once had a case of RV appliance envy when those fantastic Keurig machines appeared in many RV kitchens. But again, reality hit. The thing is just too big. And even if it did fit in our kitchen, would I feel good about owning it? Probably not.

Sure, Keurig coffee machines and the like make a darn good cuppa Joe. But oh the plastic waste they generate is atrocious! And although it’s possible to buy reusable K-cups for any of these one-cup brewing machines, cleaning out those K-cups when you’re boondocking wastes water. I own reusable tea baskets and speak from experience.

best RV kitchen appliances
Melita Pour Over Coffee Brewing is easy enough.

Ultimately, nothing can beat our our old-school single serve coffee brewers: Melita pour over coffee makers. They are inexpensive and clean up is as easy as tossing one recycled paper coffee filter away, which I believe probably uses less resources than K-cups.

I’ve noticed that if an appliance gets popular, manufacturers will start coming up with knock-offs. For example, the Soda Stream led to the Fizzini, which we bought because it fits in a drawer and doesn’t sit on our counter top.

best RV kitchen appliances
Space saving soda maker was nice but didn’t last long enough.

After we wore out the Fizzini Carbonated Soda Maker,  we invested in an iSi European-made old-school seltzer bottle which has worked like a dream for years.

Getting back to the Instant Pot pressure cooker craze, we have a cooktop Fagor Pressure cooker instead. I love that it doesn’t require electricity the way the Instant Pot does. 

best RV kitchen appliances
Old school Fagor pressure cooker is the best multipurpose RV cooking appliance.

Cleaning our little kitchen requires a carefully orchestrated dance. One of us cleans up the mess, the other washes and dries dishes. And we both try to avoid elbowing each other in the eye. You’d think there would be enough room for one of those fancy schmancy collapsible dish drying racks for dish drying, but there’s not.

Instead, we use an alternative: a microfiber dish drying mat. It weighs nothing, and I keep it out of the way by hanging it on the oven handle when we’re done using it.

best RV kitchen appliances
A microfiber dish drying mat takes up zero space.

For  many years I talked about how one day when we’re ancient and old, we would upgrade to a giant Prevost and carry whatever the hell we wanted. But the more I think about that, the more I realize that the cost of maintaining one would probably force us to always stay in Walmart parking lots, like this broke bastard.

best RV kitchen appliances
Prevost at the Walmart Campground in Whitehorse.

Plus I know in my heart that a large rig would just feed the Consumer Monster within me. Since I don’t want to return to those days of being a shopping addict, and we can’t afford to do it anyways, sticking with a rig that curtails our ability to acquire excess stuff is the way I want to keep rolling.

Oh hey, wait . . . you’ve probably guessed that the things I’m mentioning here have Amazon affiliate links. I knew you were smart! Of course, if you buy something through one of them, we get a small commission, so thanks.


8 thoughts on “Our Best RV Kitchen Appliances are Low Tech Favorites”

  1. After 3 minutes in the press I pour a mug o coffee and the rest goes in the thermos, the coffee stays hot all morning and sometimes even into the afternoon. If I need to reheat it, I either microwave a cupful, or heat it in a pan on the stove, do not boil.

    The press is easy to clean, add about 6-8 oz of water, swirl and dump into a strainer, 99% of the grounds end up in the strainer, drain and dump in the trash. I only use the strainer for this purpose as it gets pretty stained with coffee oils. Either wipe the remaining grounds out with a half paper towel if boondocking or rinse again if hooked up. The paper towel waste is less than the paper filters I would use to make 4 mugs of coffee.

    • Oooh now I’m REALLY tempted to try one. I see them at thrift stores quite often and Jim always talks me out of the purchase. Thanks for the cleaning tips. Makes total sense!

  2. We do carry an instant pot and use it a lot….we can leave the Crock-Pot at home. The press is a pain to clean so I got a 1 cup at a time Keurig knock off. It’s small and I use the reuseable filter.
    I took everything out of the RV so I will be mindful when I reload in March and revist the need for everything I load.
    Oh…the countertop ice maker must go with us even though it is a space hog.

  3. Great minds, I just wrote a post about our kitchen stuff too! We now have more space than we know what to do with, but all we added was that air fryer. Anything to keep the temperature down inside the RV.

    • Woah! I had no idea you wrote about Your Minimalist Kitchen, love that post! I think you need to come to our rig and assess my cabinets to see what we might be able to downsize, or replace with smaller alternatives. You might have a big rig but you have the right tiny home mindset for efficiency. Good job!

  4. Right on Rene!
    Since we hit the road we had always used a french press to make coffee and a Stanley Thermos to keep it hot. Neither generate any paper or plastic waste. A few years ago we bought a fancy kitchen style thermos at a yard sale for $2, so now out Stanley thermos which is 20 years old and still “works” is dedicated to our truck camper, Elmo. I tried the Melita pour over thing for a while, but I drink 2-3 mugs of coffee each morning and I’m lazy. I don’t want to work for each cup. The french press makes 4 mugs worth and so for the same effort it would take to make one Melita mug I get 4 mugs. The 4th mug becomes my afternoon pick me up around 3pm. I’m old remember. LOL

    I will admit over the years we have succumbed to a few kitchen gadgets. We have a juicer and a crock pot. I think the crock pot might be considered old school.

    • Oh Jim loves his Manly Stanley thermos too! I’ve considered a french press but it seems like a PITA to clean when boondocking. Is it? And how do you re-heat the coffee when it’s been sitting in the press? Does it stay hot for a while?

      I’m envious of the juicer you tote along. Thought about it, but that would be way too much of a space hog for us. Crock pot is definitely old school but super handy for carnivores.


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