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How To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner In An RV

public domain pictures, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

How To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner In An RV

Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is on the way. If you’re planning on spending the holiday in your RV, you may be wondering how in the world you are going to prepare an entire Thanksgiving meal in your tiny kitchen.

You may even be mentally preparing yourself to drop a few items from your normal menu. The turkey, for one, will surely be next to impossible to prepare, right?

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Actually, no. It is 100% possible to have a full-fledged Thanksgiving dinner in your RV. Not only that but with the right preparation you may even have fun putting your holiday meal together!

Here are our top tips for making Thanksgiving a fun time for everyone in your home-on-wheels. Yes, that even includes the family cook.

1. Think outside the box

When you look inside your RV’s oven, the word “big” probably doesn’t pop into your head. That said, it is perfectly possible to cook a smaller bird in that little appliance. With a disposable aluminum pan that can be bent to fit the oven, you can roast your turkey just as you would in a house.

That said, considering the fact that you will probably want to use the oven for other things—and because the bird will likely use every inch of space the oven has—you might want to seek out alternative cooking methods. Fortunately, there are several other options:

  • Grill: If the weather is nice wherever you happen to be staying, you can put your turkey on the grill. Check out some YouTube videos to learn how to get it just right.
  • Instant Pot Pressure Cooker: Many RVers swear by their Instant Pots. Some even cook pieces of turkey in these small appliances for their Thanksgiving meal.
  • Electric roaster: Electric roasters are available for a relatively low price. Grab one of these and you can rest assured your bird will be perfect.
  • Deep fryer: For those who happen to have a deep fryer on hand, frying is an excellent turkey cooking method.
  • Pre-made: Many grocery stores and some restaurants sell pre-made turkeys. This means you can pick up a bird from one of these places and skip the turkey cooking altogether.

2. Cook ahead

Several traditional Thanksgiving foods can be made ahead of time. Pumpkin pie, for instance, is just as good two days after baking. Deviled eggs and cranberry sauce can also be made ahead and stored in the fridge. Other items that you might consider making ahead of time (and reheating the day of) include green bean casserole and mac & cheese.

Cook ahead and save time on Thanksgiving Day. Photo: Tiny Home Tours, Youtube

Have some things you’d rather not cook ahead of time? Why not just do the prep work? Getting the veggies cut ahead of time can really help you save some time and space when the big day arrives.

3. All hands on deck

If you plan things right, you may be able to put all of your appliances to use at the same time. So go ahead, pull out that Instant Pot, start up your convection oven, turn on the oven, make use of all three of those burners, and fire up the grill. With everything going at once, you will have dinner ready in no time.

4. Set up a prep table

With such limited counter space, you may feel like there is no way you can get everything prepped. After all, how in the world can you cut, mix, and roll when you don’t have a place to put anything?

This is where a prep table steps in. By setting up an extra table either inside or outside of your RV, you can increase your cooking space and reduce the stress.

5. Go outside

By the time you finish cooking, you probably aren’t going to want to clean the entire kitchen before you sit down to eat. Unfortunately for many RVers, the kitchen is in the same space as the dining area, meaning cleanup before sitting at the table is a must.

Outdoor thanksgiving
Head outside for more space. Image source:

You can solve this problem by heading outside to eat. Put out a pretty tablecloth, set up a festive centerpiece, and enjoy your meal in the beauty of the great outdoors.

6. Meet up

If cooking is not your cup of tea, you may find that meeting up with friends and sharing the load is a much more relaxing option. Luckily, many RV parks host some sort of Thanksgiving meal.

Sometimes this meal is catered and requires attendees to pay for their meal; other times it’s a big potluck. Either way, you are sure to have fun meeting other RVers and eating some good food without all the hassle of cooking the entire meal.

Holidays Out
Image source: Unsplash

7. Eat out

Finally, you may find that your campground doesn’t offer any kind of event, or cooking may not be your thing. If this is the case, why not pack up the family and head out? Plenty of eateries stay open on Thanksgiving, and having a nice meal out is a perfectly acceptable way to celebrate.

Xscapers also shares some great Thanksgiving cooking tips in this video:

With these tips in mind, you will be all set to enjoy your holiday on the road. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

See also: Christmas Dinner In An RV: 5 Tips For Making A BIG Meal In A Small Space

1 thought on “How To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner In An RV”

  1. I recall that we did a Thanksgiving dinner with a turkey breast and two turkey thighs. A reasonable amount of side dishes. There were only two of us. We used nothing but the stovetop, oven and microwave.

    We also did two passover seders for seven in our 32 ft 5th wheel and many other festivals (simchot). One year, we even put up a succah outside our trailer.

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