Cruising down the canal on your boat with the family makes for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. While most boats will come with a small kitchen to do some basic cooking, one of the many joys of a canal holiday is stopping off to enjoy food in local pubs (see our canal pub listings) and from fresh produce farms.
However, having the whole family with you can mean that stopping off in pubs on a regular basis can get a little expensive. To enjoy the outdoors and spend some time cooking for yourself, how about cooking a barbeque in an outdoor oven?
You may be surprised that an outdoor oven can go well beyond some sausages and baked beans. You can eat some wonderful homemade food on a barbeque — and with the aid of a small kitchen on your boat, it makes food really easy to prepare before finding a good spot to stop and eat.
What to Bring
With an adequate outdoor oven, you won’t need to bring much cooking equipment with you. Barbeques are all about eating with your fingers, so forget the knives and forks — but bring plenty of napkins! A sharp knife will be needed for cutting and some small plastic bowls and plates will be useful. There may be somewhere nearby to collect some wood for a barbeque, but bring some charcoal with you in case you can’t find any.
In terms of food, buying local produce from villages is a wonderful way to enjoy fresh food and support the local economy. Fruit, vegetables, fish, cheese and meat should all be available nearby. If there is something specific you have in mind for cooking, you could always bring some of those ingredients from home.
What to Cook
Forget everything you knew about barbeques and think outside the box. One of our favourite barbeque foods is pizza! It was our love of pizza that inspired us to create our portable pizza oven . You can really easily cook one, too. If you don’t have the time or enough ingredients to prepare the base, you can always bring some prepared pizza bases with you. Then all you need is some tomato sauce and cheese (which you can buy locally), create toppings to suit your taste, and voilà!
Pizza is a sure-fire way to make everyone happy on holiday. However, there are lots of other barbeque delights you can cook. Jacket potatoes (bring some foil to wrap them up in), grilling freshly caught fish, vegetable kebabs or even paella can all be cooked. Just don’t forget to bring a pan!
Get the children involved
Our final piece of advice for cooking on your holiday is to get the whole family involved. We’ve found it’s a great way to get the children excited about cooking. They can prepare food on the boat, such as making the pizza (they can even make fun pizza faces ) or putting their favourite veggies on a kebab stick, then bring it out to the barbeque to cook themselves. Remember to bring oven gloves to keep the cooking safe for younger children.
Barbequing is a great alternative to the pubs and local eateries on your trip, and there is so much food you can cook for the whole family!
Karen and Tim love outdoor cooking. They created the Aquaforno portable wood-fired pizza oven, see https://aquaforno.com/. Easy to carry and offering a multitude of cooking options, they bring it on all of their holidays (and use it at home in the garden, too!).
Thanks to Karen and Tim for this article.