Here’s How One Family with Triplets Cooks in Their Tiny RV Kitchen

updated Jan 21, 2020
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If you’ve ever complained about the size of your kitchen, the Mullinax family probably has you beat (and they’re proud of it!). Allison, Bryan, and their 7-year-old triplets Charlie, Emmie, and Addie, have lived in an RV for six months, trading bigger comforts for an adventure on the road. “We are currently driveway dwellers here at Bryan’s parents house in Georgia for just a few more days until our adventure continues. Next up, Florida then the West Coast,” Allison told us. 

Bryan and Allison started documenting their lives as “#fulltimervers”on Instagram (follow along: @draggin_our_wagon). They caught Kitchn’s eye in the Instant Pot Community Facebook group (of course), showing how they cook family dinners on the road in a tiny RV kitchen. Feeling inspired, we decided to ask the Mullinax family of five for their five best tips for cooking in a tiny kitchen. While most of Allison’s tips are targeted for RV living, we think they’re all totally applicable to anyone cooking in a tiny kitchen.

1. They rely on their Instant Pot.

“Probably the number one tip I would give anyone living on the road in a small space is to get yourself an Instant Pot. When you’re only working with about a two-foot counter space, a one-pot meal is ideal. And with an IP you’re using electricity rather than your gas stove, which can make the camper feel hot. It’s what we use 99 percent of the time if we’re cooking a meal. Join a group that shares recipes (we like Instant Pot Community). The number of things you can make in an Instant Pot are endless, from soups, to pasta dishes, to roasts, the list goes on. I will never travel without mine!”

Buy: 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo, $79

2. They cut back on cookware.

“When you’re living in a tiny space like we are, it’s important that you only keep kitchen supplies that you absolutely need. We only have one pot and one pan in our camper. Sounds drastic, right? But those two things (along with our Instant Pot) are all we need to whip up a good meal.”

3. They make meals that call for five ingredients or fewer.

“What comes with a tiny home? Tiny storage! Our fridge and pantry area are small. And I mean VERY small!  So, we try to make meals that call for five ingredients or less. This makes cooking quick and easy, but also saves space. “

4. They prep in advance to avoid the dinnertime scramble.

“When you’ve been traveling all day or walking for miles exploring a new city, having a meal ready in 30 minutes or less is key to maintaining happy campers. That’s why meal prepping for the week is very important for us. We stock up on three or four days’ worth of meals that way we waste no time scrambling (something that’s hard to do in a small space!) or wondering what we’re going to make when the clock strikes dinner time.”

5. They take the party outside.

“For so many reasons, we absolutely love to cook outside. One of the biggest benefits is the space. We can spread out and stretch our legs a bit. We usually have a fire going with the atmosphere feeling relaxed. Inside it can can feel cramped at times with two adults and three 7-year-olds. Another reason is that it doesn’t heat or smell up the inside of your camper. Everything stays outside! And lastly is cleanup! Cleanup is minimal and you can walk back into your camper as if nothing ever happened. It’s a dream for tiny living.”

Do you live in a small space? Add your tips below!