What is it about travelling in a van that we vandwellers find so appealing? The freedom that you get from living inside a tiny home allows you to spend more time with your loved ones and to explore new cities and cultures that you might not have experienced before, but it also gives you the chance to be more creative.
For many of us, food is the way to our hearts, and what better place than to practice your cooking skills than on the side of a mountain or at the edge of the ocean, working up some tasty travel-inspired vanlife recipes with your top cooking accessories.
With that in mind, we’ve made a list of the best campervan cookers on the market today that you can use to win the hearts of locals, loved ones, and vandwellers alike!
Cooking in a camper van
Having the skills to make tasty meals in a restaurant kitchen or in your house at home is one thing, but vanlife cooking is a different kettle of fish entirely (that’s a common expression, not how we actually cook fish in our van!).
With so many different cookers and ovens out there to choose from, how do you know which is the best one for you? Will it be able to cope with your crazy calzone skills? Is there an oven that you can use to make cakes in a compact camper van? DON’T TELL ME I HAVE TO GIVE UP CHIPS! All of these questions, exclamations, and more will be answered in our best campervan cookers list!
The Best Campervan Cookers
1. Vango Diner
|Three burners for cooking |
complex meals on the go
|No grill in this model, but there |
is one in the next model up
|Easy to clean after use|
|Piezo Ignition – use less |
|Hooks up to any gas regulator |
I can’t say enough good things about the Vango Diner cooker, and not because we’re being paid to say so or because we want a hundred for the Van Clan fleet. I received this burner for Christmas off my girlfriend Rose (some of you may have read her articles here on Van Clan), and it has been a joy to cook on while we’ve been travelling around Europe.
The problem with most cookers is that they are incredibly hard to clean when your pasta water boils over or you splash sauce underneath the hob. Not only that, but most portable stoves only come with one or two hobs, meaning that if you’re making more complex meals or need to cook two different types of grains or pasta, then you’re looking at a pretty time-consuming meal prep process. The Vango Diner has three easy to control hobs that are spaced far enough apart for you to fit three large pans side by side, and the area under the hobs themselves is closed off by a stainless-steel sheet for easy cleaning after you’ve finished cooking.
The only downside I could think to write about is the fact that our model doesn’t have a grill, but that’s because we purposely went for this option. You can pay £6 more and get the same burner with an integrated grill, but we use our XL RidgeMonkey for veggie burgers, toasties, fish etc, so there really is no need for us to have one. If you’re looking for a portable burner for a long stint of off grid living, then this is the one for you.
2. Omnia Oven
|Cook bread, cakes and |
more in your camper
|Requires heat source |
|Compact and portable|
|Enjoy your favourite |
snacks on the go
|Works with every heat |
The second cooker on our best campervan cookers list is the Omnia Oven, a neat little cooker that’s compact enough to fit inside your cutlery draw and works with any heat source. For those of you unfamiliar with the Omnia Oven, it’s a great little bit of kit that you can use to cook roast vegetables, salmon, cakes, biscuits, bread, brownies, and a heck of a lot more. Honestly, I’ve just spent some time looking over the Omnia recipes that people have uploaded to the internet and my mouth is watering as I write this!
The Omnia Oven has a two-part construction and seals together to cook food to perfection. Whether you have a portable burner or an integrated hob system, you can cook all of your favourite snacks and treats on the go. Who said that campervan food has to be trail mix and pot noodles! At £30 this is a super cheap way of cooking in your van, and it’s so simple that even a baby could use it (although we strongly advise AGAINST this for obvious reasons – babies don’t have the skills required to make amazing tasting cakes. Oh…and the health and safety thing too.)
While this tasty kitchen space-ship might be able to cook your favourite home comforts, the one and only downside
|Fully functioning oven |
and hob combo
|Adjustable heat dials|
and Ignition – no need for
|Can reach temps up to 300°C|
|Sturdy stainless steel |
If you’re the kind of camper that just can’t live without a Sunday roast with all of the trimmings, then the next product will be right up your street. The NJ CO-01 might sound like a distant relation of C3-PO’s for those of you into retro gaming and movies, but it’s actually a super-slick oven that has a two hob burner attached to it. It’s portable as well, so you can always carry it outside and cook in a forest or under the stars if the feeling takes you.
The NJ CO-01 makes cooking Christmas dinner on the go an absolute breeze, and it can reach up to 300-degrees centigrade! That’s definitely hot enough to create the perfect roast potatoes, and the oven space itself is plenty big enough for a prize turkey or ‘
The downside to this cooker is that it’s quite bulky, so if you’re travelling in a Volkswagen Bus Camper and don’t have a lot of storage space, then you might end up having to sit with it on the passenger seat or tucking it up in the bed next to you before you hit the hay. Still, it’s a small price to pay for being able to whack a pizza in after a long day’s adventuring!
|Feel like you’re cooking on your |
cooker at home
|Takes up a lot of space on |
|Works with LPG, Butane, |
|Non- slip feet to reduce accidents|
|Lid acts as a |
If two or three hobs just aren’t enough, then this four top hob from NJ should definitely tick all of your boxes. This is probably the biggest hob burner we are featuring today, mimicking the standard set up that you would find on your oven at home. It works with all three of the most commonly used types of gas and provides you with ample space for making complex or larger meals for the whole family.
The lid on this NJ cooker also acts as a windshield for cooking outdoors too, stopping your flames from being blown out when you turn away to grab a beer. The whole unit is made from ceramic for easy wipe down after use, leaving you with no excuses not to achieve that 5
The downside to this burner is that it takes up quite a lot of space in your van when in use, so you might need to have a special place to store it. It also says that it’s for ‘outdoor use’ only on the website, but this is probably down to the fact that they don’t want anyone burning their campers down. With a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm fitted you’ll probably be fine, but make your own judgements with the information provided in the link above.
5. Smev 9222 Left-Hand Sink with Hob – Micro-Switch Tap
|Sink and Hob combined||Not a portable cooker|
|Space saving inside your |
|Comes with a micro tap|
If you’re looking for a more convenient cooking solution for your small travel trailers or off grid caravan, this Smev left hand sink and hob combo has everything that you need for a top kitchen set up rolled into one, including a little micro tap that you can use to wash your vegetables before frying them off for a tasty off grid snack.
Smev are a very famous name in the campervan world, and this space
The swankiest bit about this Smev cooker/sink combo is the darkened glass splashback that doubles up as a lid when the sink is not in use, providing you with extra food preparation space. The sink has a depth of 152mm, which is more than big enough to store your pots and pans until you can be bothered to wash them up, and two hobs for cooking a large variety of meals.
The downside to this cooker is that it is a fixed burner, so you wouldn’t be able to take it out of your camper and cook outside whenever the feeling took you. If you’re a vandweller who just can
|Incredibly portable||Only has one hob|
|Boils water super quick||Have to have more cartridges|
|Easy to use cartridge system|
The Campingaz Camp Bistro will always have a special place in my heart, mostly because it saved us when our gas canister ran out in Barcelona. You might have one of the best cooker in the world, but when your gas runs out it just becomes a rather useless looking ornament!
It’s a lot harder to pick up gas bottles in some countries than it is in others, so having a spare burner in the back of your van is a great idea for if the unthinkable happens and you run out of fuel half way through cooking your world famous risotto.
Back to the Campingaz Camp Bistro, a useful little burner that you can use in your van, on the trail, in the park, or even on the beach. It comes in a hard and durable case to protect the burner when not in use and which also makes carrying it from place to place a breeze!
This burner is completely electric free and cordless, using gas canisters that slot into the side of the burner rather than relying on a larger bottle and hose combo. It’s super simple to use, and the gas bottles can be bought from most hardware stores around the world! I
t boasts an enamel pan stand that’s big enough to hold large pots, and has an all important Piezo Ignition system, which means you won’t be using up all of the matches that you’ve saved for lighting those romantic love candles you bought your partner last christmas.
While this might be the most memorable burner for me on our Best Campervan Cookers list, it does have the downside of only having the one hob, and the cartridges last for about 90mins on
That being said, this burner does heat water up faster than you could ever believe and cooks soups, sauces, and veggies with ease! It’s perfect for when your main bottle runs out, and trust me when I say that it will definitely happen at some point on your journey!
|Can be used in pretty |
much any heat source
|Needs a heat source|
|Perfect oven for use on|
|Make everything from |
toasties to lasagnes
|Easy to clean|
|Lightweight and portable|
I honestly can’t say enough good things about this next product. When I first moved into my van full time I was convinced that It would be the last time that I ever cooked lasagne or pizza again. I couldn’t see how it was possible without an oven inside the van!
Then we were lucky enough to receive some XL Ridgemonkey sandwich toasters from the amazing people over at RidgeMonkey, and our culinary worlds were turned upside down!
Originally used as a means of cooking up a fisherman’s catch on the side of the riverbank, these little sandwich toasters essentially act as a mini-oven, sealing in steam and slowly cooking cookies, fish, toasties, pizzas, steak or burgers to perfection. So far on our vanlife journey, I have used these little beauties to cook fish fingers in a campfire, veggie burgers on a mountain top, and countless meals inside our little rolling home.
They’re super portable and incredibly lightweight, making them a perfect choice for any camper that likes to cook on the go.
The only downside to a RidgeMonkey (which is incredibly obvious), is that you need a heat source to make it work. If you don’t want to carry a cooker around with you, then they work great in a fire or on top of a portable jet burner. You could even stick one on top of your Trangia if you’re prepared to wait an eternity for your food to cook!
|Low energy consumption||Requires Electrical Connection|
|Cook your favourite stews, |
curries, and casseroles on the go.
|Different temperature settings|
|Tough and durable|
Sometimes you just want to take the fuss out of cooking. Getting off
Slow cookers are the perfect solution for rainy days and lazy afternoons; just throw everything into the pot and let the Quest do the rest! (I’m incredibly proud of that last line).
The Quest has a removable ceramic bowl that can be easily lifted from the countertop to the table for serving. It might be heavy duty and tough to crack, but it’s easy to use and simple to clean. Slow cooking takes time (it’s all in the name), and you can cho
The downside to the Quest is that it has to be plugged in to your 12V system for long periods of time, so if you’re in a shady spot or cooking into the early hours of the morning, then it might end up draining your batteries.
If you have a stellar set
9. MP Essentials Low Voltage Caravan, Motorhome & Home 3 in 1 Combination Cooking Oven, Grill & Coffee Maker
|Oven, Grill and Coffee maker |
all in one
|Not suitable for cooking |
|Brews up to 4 cups of coffee||No hob function|
|Can be used in any environment|
|Compact and space saving|
Every sleeper camper knows that a nice cup of coffee is the miracle cure to get things moving in the morning (and not just your brain – you might need to take a look at our Best Campervan Toilets article if you end up buying this cooker!). The next product on our list can not only whip up a tasty cup of joe, but it has a grill and oven built into it too. How cool is that!
This MP Essentials low voltage cooking companion is perfect for 12V camper systems. It won’t drain your batteries every time you turn it on, and it’s compact enough to fit inside a small cupboard or your bulkhead when not in use.
It can brew up to four cups of coffee and has a removable non-stick hot plate plus a baking tray for cooking up your tasty snack sized oven treats. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a micro camper or a monster camper, this bad boy will sort out breakfast for you in a flash.
The downside is that this product doesn’t have a hob, so you would have to make do with having pasta bakes instead of fresh pasta with a tasty sauce, and because of the size of the oven, you wouldn’t exactly be able to cook Christmas dinner inside it. Having said that, it’s a perfect little cooker for a solo traveller or a caffeine addict who can’t kick the habit.
10. Kampa Freedom
|30L capacity oven||Cartridges don’t last incredibly |
|Use indoor or outdoors|
|Uses gas cartridges, completely |
|Timer function with auto shutdown|
If cooking in the great outdoors gets your meat juices flowing, then the final product on our list will make you jump with joy.
The Kampa Freedom oven is cartridge operated, giving you complete portability and no need to buy different bottles or regulators as you trip off through Europe or across America. If you like cooking big meals for the family and don’t want to waste time using a camp fire, then the Kampa Freedom is a powerful and lightweight solution to all of your problems.
Each cartridge in the Kampa Freedom will give you around 3 hours of cooking time, which is more than enough to whip up some cakes, burgers, or even a big leg of lamb! Now camping doesn’t have to be all about trail mix and nettle soup!
This oven has a timer to remind you when to check your food and an auto shut off so that you don’t end up forgetting to turn it off and ruining dinner. It’s 30 litres which is pretty darn big, and it comes with a carry bag for when you want to take it over to your friends van to show off.
The only downside is that you have to replace the cartridges more frequently than you would a canister, but it’s a small price to pay for a powerful oven that doesn’t need any gas pipes or a permanent housing inside your camper.
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