How to Build (or Buy) the Ultimate Camping Kitchen (2023)

How to Build (or Buy) the Ultimate Camping Kitchen (1)

As a general rule of thumb, all food tastes better when you’re camping.

Maybe it’s because camping typically goes hand in hand with exhausting outdoor activities that tend to build up a wicked appetite. Maybe it’s because camp meals are typically cooked over an open flame—which is always the superior method of cooking.

Regardless, if you’re an avid camping enthusiast, you know the importance of having a great camping kitchen set up.

Here we will walk you through the ultimate guide to either buying or building your perfect camp kitchen.

Table of Contents

(Video) Ultimate DIY Camp Kitchen

    Decide: Build or Buy?

    Deciding whether you want to build or buy your dream camping kitchen is a big decision. Building will give you the greatest flexibility and creativity in creating your dream camp kitchen set up.

    Conversely, deciding to build your camp kitchen will take much more time and expertise than just buying a premade kitchen.

    Ideally, take a look at some of the different pre-made camp kitchens listed below and figure out if any of them can support your dream of becoming the ultimate camp chef.

    If none of them are truly going to assist you in creating the most mouth-watering camping mealsto impress your friends—it’s time to roll up your sleeves, grab your tape measurer and get to work!

    The Best Camp Kitchens You Can Buy

    Here are some of the best camp kitchens on the market:

    1. Best Overall: GCI Outdoor Master Cook Station

    How to Build (or Buy) the Ultimate Camping Kitchen (2)

    The GCI Outdoor Master Cook Stationis the ultimate cooking set up for advanced and budgenoning camp chefs. With ample counter space, room for your camp stove, cooler, and even a portable stove— this popup station provides everything you’ll need in one convenient place.

    The built- in collapsible sink comes with a foldable cover that creates more food prep space. There is also a built in paper towel holder, wine glass holder, and ample storage space.

    While this camp kitchen does fold up for transporting, it does take up a bit more space than some of the other options on this list.

    2. Best Portable Camp Kitchen: VBENLEM Portable Camping Kitchen

    How to Build (or Buy) the Ultimate Camping Kitchen (3)

    The VBENLEM Portable Camping Kitchentruly comes with just about anything you could ever need in a camp kitchen. This camping kitchen folds up very compact for ease of transportation and carrying, while also featuring a detachable three-tier organizer to keep your stored goods dust and dirt free.

    (Video) Ultimate DIY Camp Kitchen (Chuck Box)

    This camp kitchen offers ample covered storage for all of your camp supplies and cooking utensils, plus a pop up windscreen to ensure you can cook in conditions that are less than ideal.

    3. Best for Overlanding: Ikamper Aioks

    How to Build (or Buy) the Ultimate Camping Kitchen (4)

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    The iKamper Aioksis ideal for bringing along on your overlanding adventures because of its sturdy construction and portable design.

    This kitchen features an extra long folding camp table so you never have to run out of food prep space, cooking room, and space to hang out. Each of the legs on the table are adjustable so you never have to worry about setting up on uneven ground.

    This camp kitchen also has two built-in burners that make set-up and tear-down even easier.

    4. Best Budget Pick: VEVOR Aluminum Portable Folding Picnic Station

    How to Build (or Buy) the Ultimate Camping Kitchen (5)

    The VEVOR Aluminum Portable Folding Picnic Stationpacks in plenty of bang for your buck! Complete with four separate stations for storing your camping stove, washing dishes, food prep, holding your spice rack, or any other important camp kitchen essentials— this station will not leave you wanting more.

    This camp kitchen may be smaller than some of the other options on this list, but it is ideal for those hoping to save on space.

    This camp kitchen also comes with a pop up windscreen so cooking is possible even in less than ideal weather. It also comes with a two-tier canvas zippered pantry to protect your kitchen essentials from the elements.

    5. Honorary Mention: Cabela’s Deluxe Camp Kitchen

    How to Build (or Buy) the Ultimate Camping Kitchen (6)

    The Cabela’s Deluxe Camp Kitchenpacks in tons of different features in one lightweight and ultra-portable design.

    This camping kitchen features a spice rack, utensil hooks, a lantern pole, food prep space, a side table, a hook for paper towels, and even a zippered fabric pantry.

    (Video) Camp Kitchen Basics - A primer for building a car camping kitchen

    This option is very affordable in comparison to some of the other options on this list, and provides everything you’d need for the ultimate camping kitchen.

    Howto Build Your Own Camp Kitchen

    If none of the options on this list are going to give you the ultimate camp cooking experience, then it may be best to build your own. For those who want a compact camp kitchen setup, you may want to consider building or buying a chuck box.

    We have an entire guide to building your own diy chuck box. We lay out all of our favorite chuck boxes you can purchase, and even link to different diy plans you can download.

    Chuck boxes are essentially compact versions of camping kitchens. They are meant to be an all-in-one kitchen that is ultra-portable and perfect for overlanding, tent camping, or even just a weekend trip to the mountains.

    The downside to building your own camping kitchen is that it will obviously take much more time than buying a pre-built one. You may think at first glance that building would be the more cost effective option, but deciding to build could actually end up costing much more than buying one outright.

    Between rising costs of lumbar and potentially needing to buy the right tools—building can very easily cost you much more.

    However, designing, building and executing the construction of your own perfect camping kitchen is an undeniably rewarding experience. Plus, you’ll get to include every feature you’ll ever crave in your ideal camp kitchen.

    You can also save money by using a portable fire pit to cook over. This isn’t the most advanced solution, but it works if you’re on a budget!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Here are some of camping kitchen frequently asked questions:

    What do you need in a camp kitchen?

    What you need in a camp kitchen will depend on what kind of camp chef you are. This will depend on whether you are someone who typically camps in big or small groups, and whether or not you will be camping as a family, or just a solo traveler.

    (Video) Best Camping Kitchen In 2022 - Top 10 Camping Kitchens Review

    Your camp kitchen should include some of the most important and most used essentials in your home kitchen. If you need a ton of counter space for food prep at home, you will most likely crave that on the road too.

    Walk through the entire experience of cooking some of your favorite meals on the road. Will you want a place to put your spices, a paper towel holder, a built in sink or extra table space? Or is having the ultimate compact camping kitchen your ultimate goal?

    How do you store a camp kitchen?

    Storing your camp kitchen will depend on what rig you take on your camping trip. If you’re keen on overlanding, consider the fact that all of your things will most likely be bouncing around in your trunk. This means you will want to store your valuable camping kitchen securely in a sturdy container.

    Always be mindful of how you are storing your propane as well. Propane tanks should always be placed upright and in a ventilated space away from your cab or sleeping area.

    OtherCamping Tips & Gear

    Creating your perfect portable kitchen is such a fun way to elevate your camping experience. Regardless of whether you decide to build or buy, there are some important things to consider in creating your ideal camp kitchen setup:

    1. How Will You Wash Dishes?

    Washing dishes is probably no one’s favorite chore. It definitely isn’t mine! It is always worthwhile to make this dreaded experience as pain-free as possible. Consider purchasing a camp sinkto make this a more pleasant experience.

    2. Will You Have a Cooler or Fridge?

    Maybe your overlanding setup is dressed to the nines in solarand all the latest technology. You may consider purchasing a plug-in fridge for your adventures. If not, you may want to consider bringing along a traditional cooler.

    If you’re not wanting to fuss with either option—don’t fret. There are tons of different meals you can make that do not require refrigeration. We wrote a whole guide to 101 non-refrigerated meals for camping.

    3. How Much Water Should You Bring?

    Bringing enough water is essential for your camping trips and overlanding adventures. Unfortunately water takes up tons of space and there is no way to make it lighter. Not having enough water or a way to filter more is a quick and easy way to ruin a camping trip.

    If you’re still in the market for the perfect water storage solution for your adventures—here is the ultimate guide to overlanding water storage.

    (Video) Family Ultimate Camping Kitchen Setup. Tips , Tricks and more!


    What is the best material for camping dishes? ›

    For instance, stainless steel and titanium camping dishes are generally more durable than enamel or plastic, while enamel dishes show fewer scratches from a knife and fork than other materials.

    What is the most efficient camping stove? ›

    Staff Picks
    • Best canister stove overall for performance, durability & weight: MSR PocketRocket 2 & MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe.
    • Best value canister stove system: Jetboil Flash.
    • Best budget ultralight stove: BRS 3000T.
    • Integrated canister stove system with simmer control & wide cookpot: Jetboil MiniMo.

    Are camp kitchens worth it? ›

    If you like to camp in one spot more than a single night and/or you like to cook and eat well – then a camping kitchen is a great way to go. It allows you to stay organized, keep all your dry foodstuffs, pots and pans in one place, provide a cooking space and can deal with the dishes afterwards.

    How do I prepare for camping for the first time? ›

    General camping tips
    1. Always plan for bad weather.
    2. Check the weather forecast.
    3. Plan your activities in advance.
    4. There's nothing wrong with being over-prepared.
    5. Look out for camping sales.
    6. Take a first aid kit.
    7. Use a packing list before setting off.
    8. Don't pitch up under a tree.

    How do I start my own camping business? ›

    How to Start a Campground or RV Park
    1. Pinpoint what kind of park you want to open. ...
    2. Create a Business Plan. ...
    3. Secure a loan if needed. ...
    4. Research the region. ...
    5. Get the permits. ...
    6. Build relationships with your community. ...
    7. Create a website and find software. ...
    8. Marketing.
    23 Feb 2021

    How can I make my camping more convenient? ›

    Some ways you can make tent camping more comfortable include purchasing comfortable sleeping accessories, creating a bedtime routine, finding a level campsite, keeping food outside of your tent and making sure you have a light nearby.

    How much food do you need for a camping trip? ›

    A reasonable goal is about 1½ to 2½ lbs. of food (or 2,500 to 4,500 calories) per person per day. A person doing 10 miles of strenuous hiking with a 4,000-foot climb will obviously burn more calories—and need a lot more food—than someone covering a few miles of relatively flat trail who plans to chill at the campsite.

    What food should I bring for 4 days camping? ›

    Here are the 10 best foods to bring camping.
    • Dehydrated Foods. A personal favorite of mine is the Mountain House brand. ...
    • Trail Mix, Nuts, and Bars. PIN IT. ...
    • Instant Mac & Cheese and Cup Noodles. PIN IT. ...
    • Chili. PIN IT. ...
    • Beef Jerky and Dried Fruits. ...
    • Instant Coffee Packets & Tea Bags. ...
    • Sandwich-Making Materials. ...
    • S'mores Ingredients.
    23 May 2017

    How do you preserve food for camping? ›

    How to keep your food supply safely stored while you're out camping in the wild.
    1. Remove Packaging and Consolidate.
    2. Keep Coolers Cool.
    3. Use Bear Bags and Bear Canisters.
    4. Don't Leave Food Unattended During the Day.
    5. Store Food Away From Your Tent at Night.
    6. Popular Videos.
    21 May 2021

    Which stove is best for kitchen? ›

    Summary Of The 10 Best Gas Stoves In India In 2022
    S No.Product NamePrice (in INR)
    1Prestige Marvel Glass Top 4 Burner Gas Stove6,171
    2Sunflame GT Pride Glass Top 4 Brass Burner Gas Stove4,650
    3Lifelong Glass Top Gas Stove, 4 Burner Gas Stove3,099
    4Elica Vetro Glass Top 4 Burner Gas Stove4,299
    9 more rows

    What type of stove is the most energy efficient? ›

    Buy a gas oven.

    In the gas vs electric stove debate—in terms of energy efficiency—buying a gas range is the way to go. Customers who use natural gas have experienced lower energy costs than those who use propane, fuel oil or electricity since 2010. It heats up faster and costs less.

    Which cabinet brand is best? ›

    Best Kitchen Cabinet Makers of 2022
    • Best Overall: KraftMaid.
    • Best on a Budget: Ikea.
    • Best for High-End: Starmark Cabinetry.
    • Best for Customization: Wellborn Cabinet.
    • Best for DIY: CliqStudios.
    • Best Ready-to-Assemble: The RTA Store.
    • Best for European Style: Porcelanosa.
    11 Sept 2022

    What is the most comfortable and efficient kitchen layout? ›

    One of the most appealing and efficient kitchens are the G-shaped kitchens. This will allow you more room to move around and are typically much more appealing to the eye. Usually, a G-shaped kitchen will consider of an island that will become very handy while preparing meals and serving.

    What is the importance of camping essentials? ›

    Camping Gear Keeps You Prepared

    In matters of camping, it's generally a good rule of thumb to prepare for the unpredictable. The more prepared you are on this trip with the right camping gear means you can stay a little longer next time, confident that those extra batteries or pump will be there if you need them.

    Why is preparing for camping important? ›

    Adequate trip planning and preparation helps backcountry travelers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably, while simultaneously minimizing damage to the land. Poor planning often results in miserable campers and damage to natural and cultural resources.

    Why is it important to plan before camping? ›

    Simply put, a Travel Plan IS your first line of defense. It let's folks know where you are going, and how long you will be there, and when you will return. When heading out to the backcountry it's always a good idea to leave a plan of your trip with friends or families.

    Is a campsite business profitable? ›

    In North America, the campground franchise can make 80% of its annual returns over only three months. This period is usually between June throughout August. The campground business is very lucrative, but only if you do it right. Owning a campground or RV park is not for everyone.

    Is buying a campsite a good investment? ›

    Generally, RV parks offer a higher ROI than most other types of commercial properties. According to most sources, you can expect anywhere from a 10% to 20% return on your initial RV park investment.

    What is the 28 day camping rule? ›

    At present, farmers and landowners can operate a campsite on their land for 28 days every year without applying for planning permission.

    What skills do you need for camping give at least 5 examples? ›

    10 Essential Camping Skills Every Camper Needs To Know
    • Geography Knowledge. In the area of Google Maps and all the digital tools, good command of geography seems outdated and simply old-fashioned. ...
    • First Aid. ...
    • Animal and Plant Recognition. ...
    • Proper Planning. ...
    • Building a Campfire. ...
    • Cooking. ...
    • Survival Skills. ...
    • Mental Stamina.

    What is the most popular way to camp? ›

    Tent Camping is the most common type of camping, typically at a campground in a state or national park. Most tent campgrounds have restrooms with running water and allow you to drive up to your campsite.

    Which of the equipment in camping is the most important? ›

    Tents. First and foremost, you'll need shelter. A tent should be right at the top of your priority list.

    What are the 3 most common types of camping? ›

    Today, there are several different types of camping, but the main camping methods are backpacking, car camping, and glamping. These top 3 types of camping styles provide options for every level of camper!

    How much water do camping meals need? ›

    When going on a camping trip, you need to bring approximately 2 gallons of water per person per day or about 7.5 liters. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about purifying it unless you go camping somewhere without the convenience of drinking water nearby.

    What do you need in a chuck box? ›

    A chuck box is essentially a kitchen in a box. It stores your cooking stove, fuel, pots, pans, utensils, and food.

    How heavy is a chuck box? ›

    Depending on the weight of your gear, a fully stocked Chuck Box weighs on average 50 lbs.

    What is a box Chuck? ›

    A chuck box, also called a patrol box or grub box, is a device used by campers for storing the many items associated with a camp kitchen. When packed up, it looks like a large box and traditionally contains kitchen items such as cooking pots, pans, plates, utensils, and cleaning items.

    Why is it called a chuck box? ›

    The term encompassed beef, vegetables, bread, dessert, coffee and anything else that could be eaten. On the ranch, the hands ate “chuck” at the “chuck” house. Goodnight's all-purpose compartment on the back of the Army wagon became the “chuck” box. And a wagon with a chuck box became a “chuck” wagon.

    What are the holes in chucks for? ›

    They exist for air circulation and to put a lace through, however many people don't see the point of putting a lace through those holes. Converse are meant to be worn without socks(yes not even no show socks) and the two holes help keep your feet cool.

    What should be in a scout patrol box? ›

    The typical contents of a patrol box include a propane stove, pots and pans, 2 dish tubs, soap, cooking utensils and other items your scouts will need for outings. The patrol boxes were made from fir plywood 9/16” thick for the most part.

    How big is a chuck eye? ›

    Crowd Cow's standard chuck eye steak comes in at 6oz, and they describe it as “Cut from the 5th rib of each cow… takes after its Ribeye Steak cousins for tenderness and marbling. “

    How big is a whole chuck? ›

    Beef chuck is a huge primal cut that comes mainly from the shoulder section of the steer, as well as parts of the neck, ribs, and the upper arm. The entire thing can weigh more than 100 pounds, and it makes up fully 30 percent of an entire side of beef. (This beef cuts diagram shows where the beef chuck is located.)

    How big is a chuck roll? ›

    The chuck roll is a large (approximately 20 pounds) boneless subprimal piece made up of the long section of meat between the ribs and the backbone. A skilled butcher can remove the ribs and backbone in one piece, and this piece of meat can then be divided in half.

    How old is the chuck box? ›

    The Chuckbox opened its doors in 1972 and the Tempe staple has been feeding generations of families and many ASU students and faculty ever since. Grandparents now bring their grandchildren to The Chuckbox. In Facebook post on July 1, The Chuckbox announced its 50th anniversary and thanked supporters.


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