Camping kitchens will make your next outdoor adventure a lot more comfortable.
I used to use a small camping stove on the floor, but it was so annoying having to balance my pans on such a tiny piece of cooking equipment.
I would have to constantly hold on to the handle of the pan while bending over in an uncomfortable position. My back would be killing me by the time I finally got a hot meal in front of me.
Now, bringing a camping kitchen isn’t going to be possible for a thru-hike. But if you’re car camping, you should definitely invest in one.
You’ll keep all your kitchen utensils organized, and you’ll be able to cook safely in a standing position.
This article will review 8 of the best camp kitchens in 2021, so you can invest in the right equipment for you. Let’s get started!
8 Best Camping Kitchens Review
Camco Deluxe Folding Grill Table
I like to keep my camping setups minimal, so the Camco Folding Grill Table would be my choice. You can set up this portable grill stand in less than a minute, and it folds up nice and small when not in use.
You can put your camp stove on the middle table and use the side tables for chopping or storing ingredients. I would bring along a cutlery organizer to put on the bottom shelf, where I would also keep my cups and plates.
There is a paper towel holder and plenty of hooks for cooking utensils. The aluminum frame is well made and durable; just be careful about the tabletops. If you get them too wet, they can start to warp. So, mop up any big spills quickly and don’t leave the table outside in the rain.
For the price, the quality is very good. You should be able to stand comfortably while you cook, and it all packs down neatly into a durable carry case.
Camp Field Camping Table
This simple camping table with storage can quickly be transformed into a low-budget camping kitchen. I would place my stove on the left-hand side and put a chopping board on the right-hand side of the table.
You can store dry food in one of the hanging bags, and your kitchen set can go in the other. I like that you can zip these up to protect your food and dishes from dust or insects. You can put your cooler next to your setup to have your fresh food on hand.
This table is affordable and compact. It doesn’t have many fancy features, but it will give you a safe and stable cooking surface and plenty of storage space. It has adjustable legs, but it’s still pretty low. You would probably need to kneel to use this table comfortably, which is a drawback.
Some people report that this product arrived damaged, so double-check yours carefully upon arrival. But most users seem pleased with the quality, so I would definitely give this camping kitchen a chance.
GCI Outdoor Master Cook Portable Camp Kitchen
The GCI Outdoor Camp Kitchen is the best overall choice. It has tons of features to make life easier when you’re cooking your camping meals.
One of the nicest touches is the lantern hook above the center of the kitchen, so you don’t have to stumble around in the dark after sunset! There’s also a built-in soft sink with a drain, so you don’t have to trek off to the washing-up facilities on your campsite.
When you’re not using the sink, you can put on the hard cover for even more table space. There’s plenty of room for your camping stove on the top level, along with a food preparation area and side tables to store your condiments.
Beneath the counter, you’ll find another three shelves for storage. There’s a paper towel holder, wine glass holders, utensil hooks, and a place to hang your garbage bag.
The whole thing folds up and down in a minute, and it has a built-in carry handle to make it easier to move around. This camping kitchen is heavier than the others I’ve mentioned, though. So, make sure you’re comfortable carrying 22 pounds before proceeding.
CampLand Folding Cooking Table
This camping kitchen is lovely. It was almost my top choice but if I’m honest with myself, I do prefer a bare-bones setup. However, for a family car camping trip, this is a really great option.
I love that the stove area has a wind barrier, so you don’t waste cooking fuel. You’ve got the benefit of zip-up hanging storage to protect food and plates from creepy crawlies, and there is counter space on either side of the cooking station.
You also have a lower-down shelf, so there’s plenty of room in this compact kitchen setup.
The CampLand kitchen packs down into a carry case for storage, and there’s a place to hang your lantern in the evenings. Overall, the user reviews for this camping kitchen are very positive.
However, some people are disappointed that the quality isn’t as good as the more expensive REI version that this seems to be copying.
If you are looking for something guaranteed to last for years, you’ll have to part with a bit more cash.
VBENLEM Camping Kitchen
This camping kitchen is pretty similar to the CampLand table above, but it has more zip-up storage bags to protect your food and equipment. It still has a wind barrier to protect your stove and two side tables.
This model’s side table is also slightly bigger, so you’ll have more space to spread out if you’re cooking for a crowd. This camping kitchen doesn’t have the lantern stand that I like to see, but there’s no reason you can’t use it with a head torch in the evenings.
Like many camping kitchens, the side tables are made of chipboard that can’t get too wet. It’s okay if you get some spills on it, but you shouldn’t leave it outside in the rain. This really annoys some users who want something more durable.
However, if you want a fully weatherproof table, it probably won’t be portable and foldable for camping.
So, considering the price and the intended use, this is a pretty decent piece of kit. The customer service team is accommodating, and the included carry case makes transportation easier.
Coleman Pack-Away Portable Kitchen
The Coleman Pack-Away Portable Kitchen is really well designed. It looks great, and it’s easy to use.
In addition to the stand for your camping stove, you have a place to hang up your utensils and a hook for your lantern. There is plenty of counter space, too.
This camping kitchen has a mesh storage shelf beneath the main table area, but that’s the only place where you can really keep your food.
I love that this table is affordable and lightweight. But it doesn’t have much room for your ingredients or cookware, so you’ll have to bring boxes or bags to seal your kitchen supplies in.
That lack of storage does mean that this camping kitchen folds up particularly small. It weighs only 14 pounds, which is much lighter than some of the other products I have recommended in this article.
The user reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but some people say it’s made too cheaply. If you’re looking for something really solid, this might not be the best choice for you.
Camco Grilling Table with Side Tables & Cup Holders
Do you remember my top-choice grilling table? This model is similar, but the side tables have been replaced by something more weatherproof. The plastic shelves have built-in cup holders, so you can enjoy a cold drink while you’re cooking your camping feast.
I would personally go for the slightly cheaper and less weatherproof version. This is simply because I put my camping kitchen beneath a marquee to protect it on rainy days.
But if there is any chance that you’ll be cooking beneath the rain, this would absolutely be the better choice.
There’s a bottom shelf for storage, but you might want to bring a sealed plastic box to place on it. This will ensure that your food stays protected from the elements.
Trail Kitchens Camp Kitchen with Integrated 2-Burner Stove
Most camping kitchens are cheaply made. If you want something heavier and more durable, you’ll have to sacrifice too much on portability. Your kitchen will be heavy, and it won’t fold down small enough to be useful for your trip.
The Trail Kitchens Camp Kitchen is an exception.
This is a solid and durable camp kitchen that comes with a built-in stove. There’s a drawer for cutlery and a small cupboard to store food or plates.
As expected, this isn’t as portable as the other camping kitchens I’ve recommended.
It packs down into a large cube, but it doesn't lie flat like the others when they are in transport mode. In addition to the stove, cupboard, and two side tables, you have a couple of hanging shelves.
However, this doesn't have as much storage as some of the cheaper models, and it’s a lot more expensive than the others.
If cheap workmanship frustrates you, this will be the best choice. It’s a top-quality camping kitchen that anyone would be proud to own.
It costs considerably more, but at least the gas stove is integrated, so that’s one less thing you have to buy.
What to Look for When Buying a Camping Kitchen
I’d honestly be surprised if at least one of the camping kitchens I recommended in this article wouldn't be a good fit for you.
But if you still don’t feel that you’ve found the best choice, this buying guide will at least help you determine what to look out for in stores.
You need to be able to pack your camping kitchen with the rest of your kit. Ideally, it should fold down nice and flat, so you can slide it against the wall of your trunk and leave more space for everything else.
Also, make sure it's light enough that you can carry it comfortably but heavy enough that it feels stable when you set it out at camp.
Some camping kitchens are super simple, while others have tons of features. Neither is better or worse; it just depends on what you want to get out of your kit.
Here are some of the things to look out for:
- Comfort - Can you stand comfortably while cooking? Or would you need to bend down or kneel?
- Storage - Does it have any cupboards or zip-up storage to protect your food from bugs? How much storage space does it have?
- Counter space - Is there enough room for food prep?
- Extra features - Are there any extra features like a lantern hook, drink holders, or paper towel stand?
- Camping stove - Is there a built-in stove? If not, will there be enough space to set down your existing burner and still have preparation space?
- Durability - Is it waterproof? When it comes to camping kitchens, many table surfaces don’t do well in the rain. Look for metal or plastic surfaces if you’ll be using your kitchen in the rain.
- Sink - Is there a built-in kitchen sink where you can wash dishes? If not, is there space to keep a washing-up bowl?
Bigger isn’t always better. There’s no point in having an enormous camping kitchen if it takes up lots of space in your tent.
And don’t forget that you shouldn’t use camp stoves in confined spaces because the risk of fires or poisoning is too high.
You can use your camping kitchen in an open-sided marquee or a large screen room with plenty of airflow. Ideally, you want to use it outside.
To be completely honest, most camping kitchens won’t last forever. This is because, to ensure that they’re light and portable enough to camp with, the materials used can’t be as robust as those for a fixed grill stand.
If you’re spending several hundred dollars, you’re going to get something considerably more durable.
But the quality difference between a $90 camping kitchen and a $150 camping kitchen is not that significant. Go with the size and design you like, but of course, you can check out user reviews to see how the product performs.
If you’ll be using your camp kitchen outside, look for durable worktops like plastic or stainless steel. This will help keep your kit in shape for longer!
Top Tip: Many reviews online are fake these days, but you can run product pages through free software to see what percentage of reviews are legitimate.
A camping kitchen will take your cooking game to the next level. It is so much more comfortable to cook in an organized space where you can stand up.
Personally, I’d go for something straightforward like the Camco Deluxe Folding Grill Table. If you’re on a budget, the Camp Field table is another nice, simple setup with storage bags underneath. It’ll make your cooking experience comfortable, but it’s nowhere near as good as the GCI Outdoor Master Cook kitchen.
No matter which option you choose, I wish you a great camping trip filled with delicious meals and happy memories!
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Rachel is a freelance adventure writer and founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad. When she isn’t writing, she can be found wild camping in the mountains and swimming in the lakes of Europe.