Jeff’s Handful of Cooking Gadgets

Many of us really enjoy campsite cooking outside our RVs and there are many different pieces of cooking  hardware to facilitate that interest. In truth, to refer to these items as “gadgets” as per the title above may be doing a disservice because “gadgets” are usually left at home or forwarded to Goodwill or Ebay. The items featured here are solid, functional cooking accessories that we use and enjoy.

The RVs we feature as road test vehicles all have functional kitchens but we make minimal use of them. Most of our cooking, weather and open fire restrictions permitting, is done outdoors at the campsite. We just like being outside more than being inside the RV. Cooking outside also helps keep the RV cleaner inside and that makes it easier on us when we tidy up the rig to return it to the dealer or manufacturer after our project is finished. After many years of doing this we like to keep things simple and streamlined and not needing to clean major cooking residue from the RV kitchen area is a significant plus for us.

Following are a few words about each of these accessories and why they’re important to us.

First up is the Rome Industries Tripod Grille. We purchased one of these more than 25 years ago and we use it almost every time we’re out camping. This device is all steel and features tripod support legs plus a chain-mounted round grille that hangs in the center. The tripod is placed directly in and over the fire and the grille height is adjustable by way of the chain and its locking clip. This provides a cooking surface that can be moved to the optimum height above the fire. The grille can support a frying pan, foil-wrapped corn on the cob, steaks, chicken or whatever suits your gastric fancy. It’s available at camping and outdoor suppliers nationwide or for more information:

If you plan to use a propane stove, Dutch Ovens or other tabletop cooking device the GrillGuard is a highly useful accessory. It provides a sheltered spot for your cooking device by placing flat surfaces behind and on either side of the stove and this in turn cuts down on the wind that can blow away some of your heat.

The GrillGuard is all-aluminum, made in the USA, and it folds flat for easy storage and transport. It sets up in just a few moments using the locking pins in the front corners that support the side wings in place. With the cooking device positioned in the GrillGuard your charcoal briquettes or propane fuel will be more effective because less heat is blowing away and the aluminum also reflects some
lost heat back at the cooking gear. Several sizes are available to fit a variety of cooking devices.

Campers find all kind of things to cook over a fire that require a stick or other support device to place the food item over the fire while the cook remains at a comfortable distance. Enter the Grubstick, a device that can tackle most of your handheld over-the- fire cooking needs. The Grubstick kit includes a rubber-cushioned handle with a cooking rod that extends to 30 inches. A threaded collar on the rod end allows attachment of a variety of cooking accessories. These include the basics such as the Grubfork, the Grubcage (a square wire grille backet) and the Burcage (a round wire grills basket). There’s also the Grubtube, for wrapping with dough for cinnamon rolls and the like, and the Grubpocket for cooking pastry cups or bacon. The kits range from a single-user set up to a complete four-piece family-style set. A compact custom tote carrying case makes for easy storage of all the grubstick pieces.

Poaching is a popular way to cook eggs and it can be a bit tricky in a campfire cooking environment. The new Eggs Plus pan is a device that makes poached eggs and many other cooking selections easy. The all-aluminum pan features four circular cooking spots plus a center reservoir area. IN use, the desired food products are placed in the cooking spots and a bit of water is poured in the central reservoir. With the lid in place, the steam from the heated water helps gook the food items to perfection. Pancakes, muffins, hamburgers and other delicacies can also be prepared in the Eggs Plus pan. The pan is made in the USA and has an available lid pad that doubles as a hot pad. Although the pan fits a portable camp stove or RV stovetop it also works well on an open fire and a single stove burner, centrally positioned, also gives good results. This is a pretty cool item that we enjoy having with us on RV trips.

Now and then you have a large crowd of people to cook for, or just a bunch of people cooking together, and that can be a challenge for your average-size campsite kitchen setup. The Lumberjack Skillet from Camp Chef can be an answer to the frying-pan- prepared part of the meal. This all-steel pan measures 20 inches in diameter and about 3 inches deep and can be loaded down with a huge array of eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausages or anything else you need to cool en masse. We don’t use this guy on every RV trip but when a crowd is part of the equation it sure comes in handy. If you keep this pan seasoned as you would a cast-iron skillet or Dutch Oven its cooking surface is somewhat non-stick and fairly easy to clean. If nothing else, cooking with and for a group of people using this pan is a lot of fun. Camp Chef products are available wherever camping supplies are sold. 20.html

- Rome's Tri-Pod cooking grille,
- Grub Stick,
- Nordic Ware Eggs Plus pan,

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