Why use a camping barbecue?

Whether you are a pro at camping or this is the first time you are renting a campervan, you have surely wondered what is the best way to eat during a road trip. Different options are available to you! Why choose a barbecue when campervanning?  Whether you own a campervan, want to buy one, or […]

Whether you are a pro at camping or this is the first time you are renting a campervan, you have surely wondered what is the best way to eat during a road trip. Different options are available to you!

Why choose a barbecue when campervanning? 

Whether you own a campervan, want to buy one, or whether this is the first time you set foot in a campervan, a barbecue is a great resource when it comes to preparing meals. Here are some advantages of choosing this type of device for your travels.

  • If you are travelling in a warm season, you may prefer cold meals, such as salads or sandwiches. However, if you plan to be on the go for a while, you will end getting bored with the same food option. 
  • However, cooking inside a vehicle, however spacious it may be, can be unpleasant, especially if you are cooking up dishes with strong and persistent smells. Indeed, since the kitchen is often located right next to the beds, you may fall asleep while still smelling your dinner.  
  • The best would therefore be to barbecue. Ideal for cooking outside your van, the campervan barbecue allows you to cook different types of food simply and conveniently. There are folding barbecue grills and others with reduced dimensions to store and move around easily. 

A word of advice: if you plan to go through several cities, regions or countries, take the opportunity to eat something local. This is an excellent opportunity to expand your palette and especially to learn more about the typical gastronomy of the places through which you pass.

How do you choose your camping barbecue? 

To select the barbecue grill that best suits your campervan needs, certain criteria must be evaluated. Your thinking should be based on your preferences, habits and lifestyle. Consider, for example, the following: 

  • Do you go camping in the middle of nature? 
  • What kinds of foods do you usually eat? 
  • How many people do you usually cook for?
  • If you are an owner, are you considering renting out your campervan? 

What you need to know to choose the right barbecue for campervans: 

  • First, it is important to note that campervans (just like classic cars) are limited in terms of weight. The permissible gross vehicle weight (GVW) of class B vehicles, such as classic campervans, must not exceed 3.5 tonnes. In addition, converted vans and trucks have very little space. Thus, it is advisable to choose a compact camping barbecue that is as light as possible. 
  • There are gas, charcoal or electric barbecues, but whatever type of appliance you are looking for, you always have the option of purchasing one in one of the different variations available. Indeed, for your campervan trips, the most suitable models are the compact barbecue (with very small dimensions, which can be placed on a table) and the foldable and/or portable barbecue grills (easier to store and which may or may not be fitted with wheels for easier movement). 
  • Lids on camping barbecues can act as a windbreaker to keep food warm. 
  • Certain lids can also be used for cooking food. 
  • Those with a built-in thermostat let know right away if the barbecue is ready for use.
  • A barbecue allows you to cook food in different ways. You can, for example, choose grilling, baking, roasting or steaming. A domed lid is ideal for steaming or even smoking food for added flavour.

In addition, below is a short general guide to the different types of camping barbecues grills, along with some of their pros and cons. 

Types of campervan barbecue grills: 

Advantages Disadvantages
The gas barbecue grill is connected to a bottle of liquid gas by a pipe. When the bottle opens, the liquid evaporates and turns into gas. Then just press a button to turn it on. This camping barbecue heats up instantly and cools quickly after useThe risk of fire is reduced because there is no blaze You can control the cooking temperatureIt does not emit smokeYou can use the gas cylinder in the kitchen of your campervanIt also works with a small dimension gas cartridge and is easy to carry
Gas cartridges must be recycled: it is, therefore, necessary to leave them in specific collection points, which are not necessarily present on your route. 
The charcoal barbecue grill, which as its name suggests, requires light charcoal to make it work, with a piece of newspaper for example. This is the “authentic” barbecue grillIt gives food a pleasant light smoky tasteIt allows for more intensive cooking of foodNot having a thermostat, the temperature is regulated by controlling the quantity of oxygen available by opening and closing the cover. With this campervan barbecue, it is necessary to transport charcoal to be able to use itIt gives off a lot of smoke Some campsites prohibit its useSmoke and odours can bother other campervansIt is important to check that the appliance is off and to choose the place where the ashes are to be emptied due to the risk of fire.
The electric barbecue is equipped with a resistance that emits the heat which will cook the food. This type of camping barbecue must be plugged into an electrical outlet to operate. It does not require the use of a gas cylinder or charcoalYou can control the temperature and the cooking intensityIt does not require a lot of energy to operate; a 220V outlet is sufficientIt consumes the already limited electrical resources of campervans It is less mobile than other types of barbecue since it must be plugged into an electrical outlet

Now it’s up to you to select the device that will best meet your needs from the ones we’ve outlined above. Here, you can find some example.

In short, although you have several options when it comes to preparing meals during your stay in a campervan, the barbecue has many advantages. It allows you to reduce the costs related to the trip while avoiding you to dirty the kitchen of your campervan as well as to have certain smelly nuisances after each meal prepared inside. Especially if you are travelling in summer, take advantage of the good weather and pleasant temperatures to sunbathe during lunch, or to dine while admiring the sunset. Indeed, when you find an idyllic place, there is nothing better than to enjoy a good grill in front of a breath-taking view.

About the Author

Sabrina Riechers