Instant Pot Feature Image

Camper Van Travel Hack: Instant Pot Cooking

Are you planning a camper van trip in the UK? Then I have a great travel hack for you! Use an Instant Pot to save space and be more efficient in your cooking. The Instant Pot is a small, do-it-all cooker that can change the way you cook while travelling.

With this guide, you’ll learn how the Instant Pot makes cooking easier and clean up faster, which makes it perfect for any camper van kitchen. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned traveller, this appliance can make cooking fun and stress-free, giving you more time to enjoy the beautiful views and adventures that lie ahead.

What is an Instant Pot?

An Instant Pot is a popular kitchen tool that combines several appliances into one. It works as an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, and food warmer. This all-in-one functionality makes it perfect for small spaces like a camper van.

The Instant Pot runs on electricity, so you don’t need gas. It cooks food fast using pressure, which can save a lot of time. For instance, meals that usually take hours in a slow cooker can be ready in under an hour.

One key feature of the Instant Pot is its smart programs. These settings are designed for cooking specific foods like beans, meat, or rice automatically, adjusting the temperature and pressure for each dish. This makes it easy to use and helps ensure your meals turn out well.

Its design is also suited for travel. The Instant Pot is compact, and its lid locks tightly, important for when you’re on the move. The cooking pot inside is usually made of stainless steel, which is both sturdy and easy to clean—essential when water and cleaning supplies are scarce.

Overall, the Instant Pot is a great choice for camper van travellers who want to cook quickly, easily, and with minimal clean-up.

Why Use an Instant Pot in a Campervan?

An Instant Pot is great for camper van cooking because it saves space, energy, and time. Here’s why it’s so useful:

Saves Space: The Instant Pot combines many kitchen tools into one. Instead of packing a slow cooker, rice cooker, and steamer, you just take one appliance. This helps keep your camper van tidy and clutter-free.

Energy Efficient: Camper vans have limited power, so using electricity wisely is important. The Instant Pot cooks food quickly using pressure, which uses less energy than traditional cooking methods. This means you can cook without draining your van’s battery too much.

Safe to Use: Cooking in a small space can be risky, especially with open flames or hot surfaces. The Instant Pot is safe because it has a locking lid and built-in safety features like pressure control and overheat protection.

Versatile: With an Instant Pot, you can make a wide variety of dishes—from stews to cakes. This is great when travelling to places where eating out isn’t an option.

Easy Clean-up: One-pot meals mean fewer dishes to wash. This is a big advantage in a camper van, where water and space for washing up are limited.

Keeps Food Warm: If you’re out exploring all day, the Instant Pot will keep your food warm until you’re ready to eat. This means you can come back to a warm meal anytime.

Adding an Instant Pot to your camper van makes cooking quicker, cleaner, and more enjoyable, helping you make the most of your adventure.

Technical Stuff: Making It Work


To successfully integrate an Instant Pot into your camper van setup, ensure your power system can handle it. Most models are suited for a standard 220V supply, drawing between 700 to 1200 watts. Always secure your Instant Pot during travel to prevent damage.
To use an Instant Pot in a camper van with a 12V system, you need a power inverter. This device changes 12V DC power to 110V or 220V AC. Make sure the inverter can handle the Instant Pot’s wattage. Also, check that your camper van’s battery and electrical system can support this power use during cooking.

If you plan to use an inverter, talk to a professional. They can make sure your setup will safely meet the Instant Pot’s energy needs.

How Does It Stack Up? Instant Pot vs Other Appliances

When choosing cooking tools for a camper van, it’s good to compare the Instant Pot with other common appliances like stovetops, portable grills, and microwaves.

Instant Pot vs Stovetop: Stovetops need you to watch and adjust them as you cook, and gas stoves require extra fuel storage. The Instant Pot makes cooking easier by managing its own temperature and pressure. It’s also safer since it doesn’t use open flames.

Instant Pot vs Portable Grill: Grills are great for outdoor barbecues and that smoky flavour, but they’re less versatile than an Instant Pot. Grills need more cleaning and open space to use, which isn’t always available during travels.

Instant Pot vs Microwave Oven: Microwaves are quick for reheating and simple cooking, but they can’t do as much as an Instant Pot, which can sauté, steam, and slow cook. Microwaves are fast for small meals, but Instant Pots can cook a full meal more thoroughly.

Energy Consumption: Instant Pots are more energy-efficient for cooking compared to stovetops and ovens that need more time and higher heat. Microwaves use energy only while they cook, but they can’t cook as many types of meals as an Instant Pot.

Space Efficiency: The Instant Pot is better for small spaces because it combines several appliances in one. This saves a lot of room compared to having many different tools.

Ease of Use and Safety: The Instant Pot’s automatic programs and safety features make it easier and safer to use than many traditional appliances. It turns off by itself and controls its own pressure, which reduces the risk of accidents.

Overall, the Instant Pot is a practical choice for camper van cooking. It’s efficient, safe, and can replace several other kitchen appliances.

Energy Usage: Keeping Costs Down

Using an Instant Pot in your camper van helps save energy. Here’s how it works:

Cooks Fast: Instant Pots cook meals quicker than many other methods. They use pressure to speed up cooking, which means less electricity is used.

Efficient Power Use: Although Instant Pots have high wattage, they run for shorter times than ovens or stovetops. This means less power is used to cook.

Saves Energy: Instant Pots keep heat in well because they are well insulated. This ensures that the energy used is focused on cooking your food, not escaping into the air.

One Appliance, Many Uses: It can replace several kitchen tools like a sauté pan, steamer, and rice cooker. This means you only power one device instead of several.

Using an Instant Pot makes your energy go further, letting you cook great meals without using too much power.

Fuss-Free Recipes for the Road

When travelling in a camper van, cooking should be straightforward and enjoyable. The Instant Pot is perfect for this, allowing you to whip up delicious meals with minimal effort. Here’s how you can make the most out of your Instant Pot with fuss-free recipes:

One-Pot Wonders: The beauty of the Instant Pot is its ability to handle entire recipes in one pot. Think stews, soups, and casseroles that combine proteins, vegetables, and grains all at once. This not only cuts down on cooking time but also simplifies clean-up.

Quick and Easy Meals: Recipes like chilli, spaghetti, or pulled pork can be prepared in under an hour. These dishes usually require just a quick setup, a press of a button, and then you’re free to enjoy your surroundings while your meal cooks itself.

Breakfast Simplified: Start your day with minimal fuss by using the Instant Pot for breakfast. Quick oats, boiled eggs, or even an egg casserole can be prepared in no time, ensuring you have a hearty meal to fuel your morning adventures.

Healthy Options: Cooking with an Instant Pot is conducive to healthy eating because it retains more nutrients than some traditional cooking methods like boiling or deep-frying. Steam vegetables, cook lean meats, or make yogurt directly in your appliance.

International Flavours: Embrace the local ingredients and try new recipes inspired by the regions you travel through. For example, if you’re exploring the coast, you might find fresh seafood to make a seafood stew or paella in your Instant Pot.

Energy-Saving Meals: Since the Instant Pot uses less energy, consider recipes that typically require long cooking times, like braises or slow-cooked curries. These can now be cooked much more economically in your Instant Pot.

For specific recipes and more detailed instructions, consider looking up Instant Pot-specific cookbooks or online communities. There you’ll find a wealth of ideas tailored to various tastes and dietary needs, perfect for your road-tripping adventures.

Personal Stories: Why Travellers Love It

Many camper van travellers rave about their Instant Pots, and you can find their stories all over the internet. Blogs, forums, and social media are full of their experiences.

Community Support: Online groups are packed with travellers sharing how the Instant Pot makes their journeys better. These places are great for tips and seeing how others use their Instant Pots in different travel situations.

Versatile Meals: Travellers post about cooking everything from quick rice dishes to complex meals in their Instant Pots. They enjoy using local ingredients they find on their travels, which adds fun to their meals.

Saves Space and Energy: Many stories mention the Instant Pot’s small size and low power use. This is really important in the tight spaces of a camper van where power can be limited.

Easy Cooking: Travellers love that they can just set up the Instant Pot, go explore, and come back to a ready meal. This makes travelling less stressful because it cuts down on meal prep and cleaning time.

Better Travelling: The overall message is that the Instant Pot makes travelling better. It saves time and effort on cooking, giving travellers more time to enjoy their adventures.

Travellers everywhere are finding that an Instant Pot is a great helper for camper van living. It’s not just about cooking easier meals, but about making the whole travel experience more enjoyable.

Maintenance and Cleaning

It’s important to keep your Instant Pot clean and in good shape, especially when you’re on the road in a camper van. Proper care helps your appliance last longer and stay ready for use.

Daily Cleaning: Clean your Instant Pot after each use. The inner pot and sealing ring can be removed and cleaned with your other dishes. Wipe the lid and the outer body with a damp cloth to clean up any spills.

Deep Cleaning: Give your Instant Pot a thorough clean now and then. Take apart the lid to clean the steam release and float valves. These parts can collect food bits and need to be rinsed well. Use a small brush to clear away any stuck-on food.

Sealing Ring Care: Check the sealing ring regularly for any damage or smells. Replace it every year or sooner if it seems worn out. It’s good to have an extra sealing ring on hand.

Storing Your Instant Pot: Make sure the Instant Pot is dry before you put it away. Keep it in a dry place. Leave the lid upside down on the pot to let air flow and keep it fresh.

Electrical Safety: Always unplug the Instant Pot and make sure it’s cool before you clean it. Keep the electrical parts dry to avoid damage.

By keeping your Instant Pot clean and checking it often, you can ensure it works well for all your camper van cooking. This keeps your cooking space safe and your food tasty.

Storage Tips for Campervans

Storing your Instant Pot in a camper van takes some planning. Here’s how to do it right:

Find a Secure Spot: Place your Instant Pot where it won’t move around while driving. Use non-slip mats or build a compartment that fits it tightly. This prevents damage when on the move.

Easy Access: Keep the Instant Pot where you can easily get to it, but out of the way. You want it handy without it being in the way.

Keep It Dry: Always dry the Instant Pot before storing it. Moisture can cause smells or damage. Check that the lid and inner pot are dry.

Use Covers: A protective cover or padded case can shield your Instant Pot from scratches and bumps. It also keeps it clean.

Store Accessories Together: Keep all Instant Pot accessories in one place, like a box or a drawer. This saves time and keeps you from losing them.

By using these storage tips, you make sure your Instant Pot stays safe and ready to use. Proper storage helps keep your camper van tidy and your appliance in good shape.

Social Snippets: Real Tips from Real People

From Instagram to Pinterest, many travellers share their Instant Pot adventures online. They often post about innovative recipes, the best models for travel, and clever storage hacks.

Cooking Through the Seasons

Cooking in your camper van can change with the seasons. Here’s how to use your Instant Pot to enjoy seasonal foods:

Spring: Steam spring veggies like asparagus and peas in your Instant Pot. They stay flavourful and nutritious. Try making light soups with spring greens for cooler evenings.

Summer: Summer is great for fresh tomatoes, corn, and squash. Make quick dishes like ratatouille or corn chowder in your Instant Pot. You can also cook seafood stews or pulled chicken for a lighter meal.

Autumn: Fall brings squash and root vegetables. Use your Instant Pot for hearty stews or to cook game meats. Beef stew and spicy chilli are perfect for filling you up and keeping you warm.

Winter: In winter, go for thick, meaty soups and slow-cooked dishes. Cook potatoes, carrots, and winter squash to make comforting meals that heat you up.

Local Ingredients: Always try to use local and seasonal ingredients. They taste better and help support local markets. Plus, using what’s available reduces your environmental impact.

By changing your cooking with the seasons, you’ll enjoy fresher meals and connect more with the places you visit. Each meal can reflect the local flavours, making your trip more special.

Where to Buy an Instant Cooker

Instant Cookers can be found in your local home electronics retailer. There are also various online outlets where you can get the latest price and even read some reviews. Here are a few models I’ve picked out that can currently be purchased online:

Instant Pot Instant Cooker

Instant Pot Duo

The classic Instant Pot Duo adjusts pressure, temperature, time, and heat to cook food up to 70% faster than other methods and deliver consistent, delicious results every time

Instant Pot Instant Cooker 5.7qt

Instant Pot DUO Plus

Choose a function and set the time, press start, and let the Instant Pot do all the work for you, with handy alerts letting you know when your meal is ready.

Instant Pot 9in1

Instant Pot 9-in-1 Duo Plus

Features 15 smart programs – Pressure Cooker, Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, Steamer, Sauté Pan, Sous Vide, Soup/Broth, Bean/Grain, Meat/Stew, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Steriliser, Yoghurt Maker, Porridge and Food Warmer

In Conclusion

In summary, using an Instant Pot in your camper van makes cooking and cleaning much easier. It saves space, uses less energy, and can cook a variety of meals quickly. This appliance is safe and perfect for the small spaces in camper vans. Keep your Instant Pot in good shape with simple maintenance and proper storage. Enjoy the convenience and explore more with less time spent on meal prep. The Instant Pot transforms cooking on the road into a simple and enjoyable experience.