You know the old saying "nothing lasts forever"? Well, my $1.00 hotplates are now retired.
The plates still worked but the plastic moulding which supported the legs had broken, so the unit was no longer stable.
Our local op-shop had a set of $5.00 hotplates the other day and I brought them home. It's hard to go wrong at that price - especially with a money-back guarantee!
There is no kitchen in the van. I cook outside, using one of our folding tables as a bench. It stays set up against the van as there is not a lot of room under our gazebo. (Of course when it rains, I need a Plan B)!
I cook most of our meals using a large electric frypan. It's quite versatile and I've made a variety of meals in it. We don't have a microwave. Rice is cooked in one of our thermal cookers (using the hotplates for the initial heating). From time to time, I use one of our Cobb Cookers for BBQing or cake-baking - if I'm not in a hurry!
I was looking for an easier oven option though and had been researching turbo ovens. The cheapest was the Kmart version - $45.00. Nick and I were out yesterday. We visited our favourite tip shop and spotted a great turbo oven - for $5.00! How good was that?! It didn't come with a money-back guarantee but had seen very little use. Once home, it was washed and put into service!
I had a cake mix, so made that last night. It was jazzed up a bit with some chunks of white chocolate. The turbo oven did fine work and we all appreciated slices of warm cake as a late supper. Yum!
The cake mix had been on special at our local IGA for 69c, only slightly dearer than a generic brand. I prefer to bake from scratch but my limited "kitchen" facilities make that a bit tricky at the moment, so I'm allowed to cheat! The IGA has a small range of baked goods but the prices are around $7.00 for quite basic offerings - yep the oven has already paid for itself!