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If you’re new to camping then you might be wondering why you need a special camping kitchen and not just a simple fold-up table. Ask anyone who camps regularly why a camping kitchen table is better and they will give you a handful of reasons why this is one of the best purchases you can make. The problem with camping, is that you are creating a portable ‘home’ with limited space. As well as your essential camping equipment such as your tent and sleeping bags there are a number of other items that will make your camping experience more enjoyable and your life a whole lot easier. A camping cooking table is one of these items. In this article we will look at the best camping kitchens available. We reviewed the top products and highlight their best features. If you’re still confused about which type of outdoor camping kitchen to buy, then read our guide which outlines the best features. We also answer your most commonly asked questions: why you need a camping kitchen and whether or not it’s worth trying to construct your own.
The Best Camping Kitchen
What caught our eye with this product is its special patent-pending design using Slim-Fold Technology. This makes it absolutely perfect for camping as you can not only set up the camping kitchen fast, you can also pack it away quickly and it won’t take up a lot of space in your car or tent. The portable camp kitchen comprises a lightweight heat-resistant aluminium countertop, four handy plastic fold-out tables and a lower rack that is used for storage. The design has been carefully thought through and includes everything you need for cooking while camping. On the camping table there is a handy drinks holder, stem glass holder and hooks that can be used to store cooking utensils or a garbage bag. Super sturdy, the powder-coated steel frame may be lightweight, but it sure is strong.
Lightweight Camping Kitchen
Design Utilizing Slim-Fold Technology
Easy Set Up
Strong & Durable
- BrandGCI Outdoor
- Weight18.9 Lbs
Ideal For Camping With Extra Hooks/Cup Holders For Storage
Folds Flat For Easy Storage
Can Take 300 Lb Weight
Plastic Side Tables Not Suitable For Pans
Use On Level Ground
If you’re looking for a camp cooking table with plenty of storage space for utensils and a large countertop for your grill then this folding grill table by Camco is a good choice. The camping cooking table has a large tabletop and two side shelves and lower shelf where you can store pots, pans and a grill. There are also handy hooks and a paper towel holder where you can hang a garbage bag or utensils. This is a lightweight table which has been manufactured from strong steel, and it comes with a durable carry case that makes transportation super simple. It’s fast to set up and take down, and one of the best features is that it folds down to just six inches so it doesn’t take up too much space when storing in your vehicle or home.
Camping Table Made From Steel
Carry Case Included
Easy Set Up
Large Tabletop & Two Side Shelves
- Weight27.5 Lbs
Folds Up Small (Just 6 Inches Width)
Fiberboard Side Tables Not Waterproof
This pack-away portable camp kitchen offers fantastic value for the money and lots of space for you to prepare your meals. This has one of the largest table areas we have seen on a camping kitchen table, so it’s perfect for preparing meat, fish and vegetables. There is a side stand that is ideal for stoves and coolers as well as hanging hooks and an additional mesh storage shelf that offers the best solution for plates, ingredients and more. An unusual feature of this outdoor camping kitchen is the lantern hook, which is located at the center of the table, providing a handy spot to hang your camping lantern when the sun goes down. The sturdy aluminium frame is simple to set up and fold down and the camping kitchen fits easily into a carry case (which comes included).
Aluminium Camping Kitchen
Camping Lantern Hook
Easy Set Up
Carry Case Included
- Weight13.4 Lbs
Easy To Store & Set Up
Good Value For Money
Fiberboard Table Not Waterproof
Could Be Sturdier
Manufactured from one of the most popular materials for camping kitchens, this model is made from aluminum which is lightweight and durable. The fold-out camp table provides ample space for food preparation and a covered space below the table for utensils, ingredients, pots and pans. This is a very simple table to set-up and take down and it’s also easy to carry and transport. One of the benefits of the zippered storage compartments is the fact that it can keep your food protected from bugs. Anyone who has ever camped near water or in a hot country will recognise how useful this feature is!
Aluminium Camping Table
Ample Storage Space
- Weight15.6 Lbs
Lightweight & Easy To Transport
Lots of Food Prep Space
Keeps Bugs Away
MDF Table Top Not Waterproof
No Safe Space For A Grill Or Hot Pans
Don’t be fooled by the size of this relatively small camping kitchen table as looks can be very deceiving. The Sherpa Camp Table & Organizer provides the perfect solution for those looking for the best camp kitchen with sink. This camping kitchen contains a roll-out waterproof aluminium table top which is perfect for use as a dining table or food prep space. Underneath the table, you will find four storage bags which are fully removable. Here you can store your ingredients, cooking utensils and crockery and the blue storage bag has a waterproof lining so you can use it as a kitchen sink. This is a lightweight table which is easily stored away. The legs compress down and the bags fit neatly inside the storage compartments. Padded carry handles make for comfortable transportation.
Roll-Out Table Can Be Stored Away Easily
Four Storage Compartments
One Waterproof Compartment Can be Used As Kitchen Sink
- BrandCamp Chef
- Weight13.45 Lbs
Durable & Strong
Lots of Storage Space
No Hooks or Side Tables
Cooking a meal for your family can be quite a challenge when you’re camping and have limited storage and prep space. Washing up can be even more of a challenge when you have a pile of dirty plates and a tiny bowl and a bottle of water to wash them with! Luckily this camp kitchen with sink provides the perfect solution to this problem. The washing table contains two sinks and has been specifically designed for use outdoors. The sinks also have removable drain plugs. This is a portable table that collapses for easy storage. You can use it a number of different ways too – why not cover up the sinks with the lids and use the space to prepare your food?
Two Deep Sinks
Removable Drainage Plugs
- BrandColdcreek Outfitters
- Weight31.1 Pounds
Super Durable Polyethylene Material
Converts To Flat Table
No Storage Space
This portable camping kitchen has many features that caught our attention. It provides everything you need for a camping trip, including plenty of space to store your utensils, food and pans, lots of cooking space and a removable sink. This is the best camp kitchen of its kind as it offers so many useful features that campers will have plenty of use for. There is even a hook for your camping lantern so you can illuminate the kitchen when there is limited light. The special design also allows you to fold up the table easily, fitting into a compact case for easy transportation and storage.
Portable Kitchen With Removable Sink
Plenty of Storage
Camping Lantern Hook
- Weight31 Lbs
Versatile Portable Kitchen
Large Food Prep Space
Sturdier Products on the Market
If you are looking for the best camping kitchen then you won’t be disappointed with this model, which offers some seriously impressive features. Ideal for large groups, this spacious camp kitchen provides ample space in the storage shelves for all of your ingredients, cooking utensils, pots, pans and much, much more. In fact, there are five MDF cupboards that are sturdy and spacious. The countertop is made from durable aluminium and is perfect for food prep and cooking, and what makes this really stand out from the others is that is also has a windscreen that protects your food from wind and retains heat for faster cooking. The entire kitchen can be folded down and it fits perfectly into the carry case that is included.
Durable Aluminium Countertop
5 x MDF Cupboards With Bug Screens
Windscreen For Faster Cooking
Portable & Easy To Store
- Weight18 Lbs
Ideal For Big Groups
MDF Not Fully Waterproof
Takes a While to Set Up
This outdoor camping kitchen can be taken with you anywhere as it’s portable and comes neatly packed into a carry bag with carry strap which is included in the price! Not only does this camp kitchen contains an aluminium work surface which is perfect for storing grills or preparing food, but it also has a removable windscreen made from steel, which blocks out the wind and keeps the heat in. There are several side tables which are stain resistant and easy to clean and lots of storage underneath the table so you can keep all of your cooking essentials neat, protected and organized. The frame of this kitchen has a special powder coating which makes it resistant to corrosion, weather and rust. The fabric has a PVC coating which makes it water-resistant too.
Aluminium Countertop With Removable Steel Windscreen
Spacious Storage Cupboards
- Weight30.5 Lbs
Helps Keep You Organized On Camping Trips
Easy To Clean
Windscreen Ensures Faster Cooking
Not Fully Waterproof
Takes a While to Set Up
This may have a simple design but don’t let that stop you from taking a proper look at this camp table which has been manufactured from good quality materials. The camp table has been made from UV protected, high-density polyethylene with powder-coated steel – which means that it can handle any weather condition and is 100% waterproof, unlike many other products on the market which are only water-resistant and can warp easily. This 4ft table is not only stain resistant but it’s also super easy to clean and assemble. Next to the table there is a heavy-duty grill rack that folds easily inside the table, a paper towel holder and a garbage bag holder. There are also several utensil hooks so you can have all your cooking tools handy whilst preparing your outdoor meals.
Camping Table Made From Durable Polyethylene
UV Protected & Weatherproof
Heavy Duty Grill Rack
- Weight25 Lbs
One of the Sturdiest Tables on the Market
Easy To Assemble & Store
Best Camping Kitchens Buying Guide & FAQ
Below we will look at what you should look out for when buying a new camping kitchen. We will also answer your most commonly asked questions and tell you why we believe that owning a camping kitchen is essential if you take your camping seriously. Do you need additional waterproofing protection? Is it easy to make your own camping table?
Keep reading to find out...
What to Look Out For When Buying a Camping Kitchen
Below we have highlighted what features we feel are the most important when looking to purchase a camping kitchen:
- How Durable is it?
One of the most important things to look out for when buying a camping cooking table is how durable it is. There is absolutely no point buying a table that will collapse when you load it up with a grill, not only is that inconvenient, but it’s dangerous too! Look at the construction of the table, whether the table has strong legs and look at the material in which the table has been made.
- What is it Made From?
The material which your camping table has been made will determine how durable it is, whether or not it will be protected against weather conditions and how heavy it is to transport so you will need to pay attention when looking at camping kitchens what the main material is. Many tables are built from MDF which is lightweight and inexpensive but not fully waterproof. Unless you have additional weather protection, if your table gets wet then it’s likely to warp and change shape. Look for lightweight aluminium tables with powder coated legs for extra durability.
- Does it Have Storage?
Another important feature. A table without storage is just a table! A decent camping kitchen will have a heat-proof table top which can hold a grill or hot pan and preferably have lots of storage for your ingredients, crockery and more. Look out for handy utensil hooks and paper towel holders too. Some tables also have a special hook for a camp light in low-light situations.
- How Easy is it to Transport and Store?
No point buying a camping kitchen if it’s going to be cumbersome and a nightmare to transport! Look for tables which fold down easily, can be set-up equally as fast and fold up nice and small for easy storage. Many camping kitchens come with their own carry cases too which is very useful.
Best Camping Kitchens FAQ:
Q: Do I need a full kitchen?
A: If you go camping once every ten years then you probably don’t need a full camping kitchen! If you take camping seriously and enjoy cooking whilst in the outdoors (and surely this is one of the highlights?!) then it’s definitely worth buying a camping kitchen. You could just take a fold-down table and your own storage, but a specially-designed camping kitchen has been made for portable use and a full kitchen will contain everything you need to cook a full meal for you and your family. We think it’s well worth the investment.
Q: Where should I set it up?
A: Never and we repeat ...never set up your camp kitchen inside your tent! No matter how large your tent is, cooking inside is dangerous and can cause fires or can make your tent damp and create a build up of carbon monoxide. You will need to set up your camp kitchen away from your tent. It’s advisable to have a waterproof open-sided gazebo or tarp cover to keep the rain off and unless your kitchen contains its own, a windbreaker to protect the flames and keep the heat in.
You May Also Like Our Review of the Best Rooftop Tents
Q: Do I need additional waterproofing protection?
A: Unless you are camping in a notoriously hot area then it’s wise to use additional waterproofing protection. The best way to keep your camping kitchen dry is to have a tarp cover or open-sided gazebo overhead. This way your food won’t get wet and your flame won’t go out if it starts to rain. This is particularly important with tables made from MDF fiberboard which tend to warp when wet.
Q: Can I construct my own?
A: Yes of course! But why would you?! Camping kitchens are relatively inexpensive and if you buy a good quality table then you’re going to get many years’ use from it. A camping kitchen table isn’t just a table. Most have been designed to withstand heat from a pan or grill and they’re portable and can be assembled and disassembled easily. Another important feature of a camp kitchen is that it often has lots of storage and some even contain sinks that double up as food prep areas. All in all, a specially-designed camping kitchen is going to make your life a whole lot easier and your camping experience more fun. Of course you can construct your own using an aluminium fold-up table with separate storage, but we prefer to buy them ready made for purpose!
Our Top Pick
We took many things into consideration when looking at the best portable camp kitchen on the market. We looked at the design, the type of material that it was made from as well as additional features that made it stand out. One of the most important things for us is the ability to set-up a camping kitchen easily. No one wants to be fumbling around with a complicated table. The
GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Outdoor Cook Station came up number #1 for us as it had a special patent-pending Slim-Fold design that ensures that it’s both fast and easy to set-up and fold down. This particular camping kitchen folds up small too so won’t take up too much storage space - also a big bonus! The main countertop is made from lightweight aluminium and there are four fold-out tables which are super handy for all your cooking equipment and ingredients. We also liked that it had hooks for utensils or a garbage bag and several drinks holders - even one for wine! Both lightweight and strong, you really can’t go wrong with this choice!