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Camping With a RidgeMonkey

Camping with a RidgeMonkey is nothing like sleeping under canvas with a big brown bear. Camping with a RidgeMonkey has nothing to do with animals at all! What it does mean is a whole new cooking experience when you are camping or in a campervan.

What Is a RidgeMonkey?

I suppose it’s a glorified frying pan. So many people are glaring at me right now saying that I didn’t do it justice. I say “hang on, I haven’t finished yet!” It’s not just a frying pan, it’s two frying pans! Let’s take a look and have a look at some of its best features. I’m going to be talking specifically about the RidgeMonkey Connect Toaster XXL Pan & Griddle Set. We had the original sandwich toaster but the handles broke on it so we upgraded.

Best Features

it has a  Fluoropolymer non-stick coating. I have no idea technically what that is but from the old model, we had for 2 years and used pretty much every day. It means it is amazingly tough. There wasn’t a chip out of the coating, not even the edges! I have never encountered a nonstick coating that didn’t disappear after a year or two. Even our Tefal frying pan lost its coating after about 18 months. Not the RidgeMonkey. Impressive.

Detachable handles. The handles release with the press of a button and a neoprene pouch is provided so you can chuck them inside to take up less space. This is genius because releasing the handles and storing them inside, gives you a nice little square shape that is easy to store. Brilliant!

It splits apart. You heard it right. Not just for ease of cleaning but also so you have two pans in one if you need them!

Why Don’t You Just Get a Frying Pan With a Lid?

  • You can’t just flip a frying pan with a lid
  • Most frying pan lids are glass and they don’t last well when camping
  • Camping needs things that are easy to clean and store
  • Frying pans are heavy
  • Frying pans tend to be solid so take ages to heat up on a windy day outside
  • frying pans are round and awkward to store

I could go on all day but I think some real-life scenarios may be a better selling point. I watched a lot of youtube videos before I bought one but the moment the handle broke, My wife and I both said “put it on the credit card!” The reason for this is because we literally use it every day, not just for camping.

A Day in The Life of The RidgeMonkey

Let’s have a look at what happened today. I understand this may make our diet look rubbish but it just happened that today was a real Monkey day!

8 am My wife heated some pain au chocolat for breakfast. We could have put them in the oven but the RidgeMonkey acts like an oven and you don’t have to wait 10 minutes for it to heat up to temperature. within 3 minutes we had 4 pain au chocolat, tasting fresh, warm, and slightly crispy. Just like they had been freshly baked. I would say the RidgeMonkey is a master at pain au chocolat. In the field or at home.

Noon. Poached egg on toast. Why would you do poached egg in the RidgeMonkey? Simple, a fraction of the water in the bottom of an aluminum RidgeMonkey takes roughly 30 seconds to reach boiling. Crack the eggs in and close the lid. 2 minutes see the eggs perfectly poached because the steam helps too. Imagine poached eggs cooked before you can toast the bread! 2 minutes 30 seconds, done!

5:30 pm Dinner time. spaghetti and meatballs. It was a sunny evening so I thought I would cook in the garden while the kids played out. 2 ring burner sees a regular saucepan with the spaghetti boiling. Meatballs placed in the RidgeMonley to brown. This is easy because you can vigorously shake the RidgeMonkey to keep the balls turning. After 5 minutes, chuck in a jar of meatball sauce and close the lid for 20 minutes, shaking occasionally.

What Else Can You Do?

3 times in one day! that’s unusual but 1 or two times a day is not. Sometimes for lunch, I’ll throw two of those part bake baguettes, and within 10 minutes and a couple of flips, they are done. If I did them in the oven then it would be a 10-minute heat-up time too.

Other regular dishes include omelettes, chips, and fish fingers for the kids, we don’t like deep frying and dry frying makes fish fingers extra crispy. My wife often takes things out of the oven to give them a final crisp in the RidgeMonkey.

part bake baguettes
part bake baguette

Is it Really Good For Camping?

All these quick meal ideas can be done in the campervan while camping with a maximum of two rings. The fact we use it at home so much is a testament to how useful a tool it is. The main benefit out on the campsite is, that it doesn’t let the heat blow away so express cooks things. I remember cooking sausages on a windy beach on a griddle plate once. It took over an hour to cook those sausages. The RidgeMonkey would have had them done in 10 minutes and I would have only had to shake or flip to turn them rather than struggling with a fish slice trying to roll them and keep the sand off them.

See if the RidgeMonkey made it onto our Festival Campervan top 10

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