Choosing The Best Camp Kitchen For You

Spoiler Alert: Conquerwild named the GCI Outdoor Master Cook Portable Folding Camping Kitchen as the best camp kitchen!

Cooking while camping can be a bit complicated. You’re not going to have a good time doing it unless you have the right equipment. A solid camp kitchen setup can mean the difference between a gourmet meal and an atrocity.

If you have a camping trip coming up and can’t find the best camp kitchen for you, I’ve got you covered. Here are the top 6 portable cooking stations out there, reviewed in detail:

The Products I’ll Be Reviewing

GCI Outdoor Master Cook Portable Folding Camp Kitchen – Best Camp Kitchen Overall

Who says “bare bones” can’t also be super efficient? The GCI Outdoor Master Cook Camp Kitchen is a great, one-piece folding set that’s wonderful for preparing meals outdoors. My favorite aspect of this product is its limitless counter space. There are 3 folding side tables, leaving you lots of room for a stove, cutting board or whatever else you may need. All this can be folded up into one flat, compact, 22.4 pound package for easy transportation.

One of this kitchen’s best features is its collapsible, softshell sink. Pair this with the lower drying rack and you’ve got a great outdoor dishwashing station. Also, a lantern pole overhead means that you can cook after sunset with ease.

To Sum It Up:

This GCI Camp Kitchen is versatile, portable and efficient for cooking outdoors. The only real downfall to this kitchen is the lack of enclosed cupboards or protection from bugs. Either way, it earns my title of “best camping kitchen.”

Pros

  • Heat-resistant aluminum countertop.
  • Easy setup and transportation.
  • Lots of counter space.
  • Lantern pole.
  • Collapsible sink with drain.
  • Drying rack.
  • Sturdy, powder-coated steel frame.

Cons

  • Has no enclosed cupboards.
  • Doesn’t come with a carry bag (though it does have a strap for carrying).

Outsunny Aluminum Portable Camping Kitchen – Camp Kitchen With The Most Storage

If you’re looking for a quality camp kitchen that checks all the essential boxes, Outsunny’s got you covered here. Weighing in at only 18 pounds, this set is easy to carry and super sturdy. It’s got 3 roomy counter tops- 2 of which are made from moisture-resistant MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and 1 from aluminum.

The upper counter is ultra strong with ample room for a 2 burner stove. It’s also complete with a windshield for quick and easy cooking. The set has 5 cupboards, each of which is protected from bugs with mesh. As far as size goes, this kitchen is 68.25 inches long and 43.75 inches high (measured up to the top of the wind screen). When you’re ready to transport this set, you can pack all this down to the size of a briefcase.

To Sum It Up:

The Outsunny Portable Kitchen is great if you want all of the core essentials covered. When it comes to extra features, this set seems to be lacking. You’re also not going to get the same level of quality that you would with more expensive options. However, at the end of the day, this kitchen does its job quite well.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Fold out construction and simple setup.
  • Includes carry bag.
  • 5 cupboards with fixable mesh screens.
  • 4 tabletops.
  • Includes windscreen.

Cons

  • Clips for the mesh are weak.
  • Not many special features.

Giantex Folding Grill Table – Best Value Camp Kitchen

This product from Giantex is another top notch portable kitchen for camping. It includes all the basics that the Outsunny has with some added features and extra stability. This model includes a removable windscreen, 2 side tables, a paper towel holder and a zippered cupboard with 2 shelves.

It takes only one person and a few minutes to set up this budget camp kitchen. It’s also moderately lightweight, weighing in at 21 pounds. The main countertop is made from heat-resistant aluminum and boasts an impressive 44 pound weight limit. There’s also a steel lower shelf where you can store everything from cutting boards to backpacking knives.

To Sum It Up:

This camp kitchen is definitely efficient and reliable, but it’s got less counter space than some of the others on this list. I would recommend it for tent campers who are looking to do some simple meal prep.

Pros

  • Includes PVC carry bag.
  • Simple setup and take down with folding design.
  • Non-slip, rubber feet.
  • Quality zippered cupboard.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Durable MDF board
  • Table tops have non-slip buckles.

Cons

  • Only 1 cupboard.
  • Main countertop is small (26” x 16”).

Coleman Pack Away Deluxe Portable Kitchen – Most Lightweight Camp Kitchen

When it comes to lightweight products, no camp kitchen can compete with this product from Coleman. The Pack Away Deluxe weighs in at under 14 pounds, thanks to an aluminum frame. It’s complete with a lantern hook, pantry shelves, mesh storage bag, a removable sink and several other features.

The main counter is 39 inches x 20 inches, which is pretty respectable for such a light set. It’s also made from moisture-resistant MDF which holds up quite well in damp conditions.

To Sum It Up:

Unfortunately, this product is the least sturdy and reliable camp kitchen on this list. This is unusual to say about a Coleman product, but it’s true. At the same time, the Pack Away Deluxe’s lightweight nature is enough to make it stand out. That’s why I’ve included it on this list. If easy transportation is your main concern, this camp kitchen is definitely worth purchasing.

Pros

  • Most lightweight portable camp kitchen.
  • Removable sink.
  • Includes compact carrying case.
  • Pantry shelves.
  • Paper towel/hand towel holders.
  • Lantern/laundry hook.

Cons

  • Lacking quality in terms of build. 
  • A bit expensive.
  • No windscreen.

GCI Slim-Fold Camp Kitchen – Most Affordable Camp Kitchen

The Slim-Fold Camp Kitchen is another fantastic product from GCI. Not only is it built solidly, but it’s ultralightweight as well! This camp kitchen was cleverly designed with versatility in mind. Every corner of this product is multifunctional. Each of the 4 side tables can be used as paper towel, wine glass, towel or garbage bag holders. Also, the one-piece folding design makes it beyond easy to set this kitchen up in seconds. 

The main aluminum countertop can support up to 48 pounds. This is probably more weight than most camp chefs will ever need. There’s also a great lower rack designed for dry storage that holds up to 25 pounds.

To Sum It Up:

I love this portable kitchen for its simple, yet versatile design. It makes incredible use of its surface area with multi-faceted folding tables. It’s also the most affordable camping cooking station on this list. If only this product had a collapsible sink- then it would be the ultimate portable camp kitchen.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Affordable.
  • Heat resistant aluminum countertop.
  • Compact and easy to set up.
  • Sturdy and well-made.
  • High weight capacity.
  • Extra features on all 4 side tables.

Cons

  • No sink.
  • No enclosed cupboards.
  • No windscreen.

SylvanSport Outdoor Camp Kitchen – Most High Quality Camp Kitchen

If you’re looking to upgrade to the next level of camp kitchens, you may decide to go with this product from SylvanSport. This thing is big and heavy. It looks more like a barbecue grill than a typical camp kitchen setup.

This massive outdoor kitchen weighs 45 pounds and has an integrated, weather-resistant carry case. Setup is surprisingly easy, especially for its size. It’s got an adjustable aluminum frame with 2 large, unique bamboo countertops. The set also includes a steel windscreen, a big sink basin, enclosed shelves and adjustable storage cubbies.

To Sum It Up:

If you’re doing some car camping or don’t need to travel very far, then you’ve got a nearly perfect product here. The increase in price means that you’re getting improved space, features and (for the most part) quality. If you don’t mind splurging, this is a phenomenal outdoor camp kitchen setup.

Pros

  • Quick and easy setup.
  • Aluminum frame with adjustable height.
  • Weather-resistant, integrated carry bag.
  • Adjustable storage cubbies.
  • Removable sink basin.

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky.
  • Expensive.

What To Look For In An Outdoor Camping Kitchen

If you want to make the best of your outdoor meals, you’re going to need a quality camp kitchen to work with. The question is: how do you know which product to buy?

Not every product on the market is going to be worth your money. At the end of the day, you need to figure out what your priorities are.

There are also specific factors that everyone should look for in a camping kitchen unit. Keep an eye out for durability, easy setup, portability, counter/storage space and special features.

Let’s dive into the details, shall we?

Two people sitting outside having a meal next to a truck.

Durable Camp Kitchens Work Best

While cooking outdoors, you may have some environmental factors working against you. These can include rain, wind, insects, extreme heat or extreme cold.

Your camp kitchen should be able to withstand most of these conditions. This means that it needs to be made from strong materials.

The frame of a portable camping kitchen table should be aluminum or another type of steel. This will offer you the most protection over time.

Aluminum is also one of the best materials for countertops- especially when it’s heat-resistant. This way, you’ll be able to use a camp stove without destroying your set.

While MDF (medium-density fiberboard) may not be the strongest material for countertops, it’s lightweight and cheap. If you decide to go with MDF, make sure it’s moisture-resistant.

It’s also important to take a look at the weight capacity of your kitchen’s tables.

You can’t have durability without stability. This means finding yourself a camp cooking station that isn’t going to fall over while you’re using it. Make sure that the legs are sturdy. Rubber non-slip feet are a great way to stabilize your camp kitchen.

Find A Lightweight Portable Kitchen

Portable kitchens are meant to be used in an outdoor setting. This means you’re probably going to have to transport it from point A to point B. The heavier your product is, the more difficult this will be.

The best camping kitchens out there are both lightweight and compact. Many of the products on the market(such as the Outsunny Portable Aluminum Camping Kitchen) can fold down to the size of a briefcase. It’s also convenient when a kitchen comes with a convenient carrying case.

Find A Camping Kitchen With Simple Setup

Transporting your camp kitchen is one thing, but setting it up is another. Do your best to find a product that is easy to set up. I find that folding camp kitchens work the best.

The best camping kitchen table is one that takes only one person and a few minutes to set up. Nice and easy.

No matter which product you buy, you should always practice setting it up before you hit the road. This will ensure that everything goes smoothly while you’re camping.

Sufficient Counter Space

Cooking in a kitchen without enough room can be a nightmare. Your camping cook station should have enough counter space to create the meals that you want. 

Of course, this comes down to preference. If you’re just looking to make some PB & J sandwiches, you don’t need much room. If you plan on preparing a 4 course feast on the other hand, you’ll need a ton of space.

Check out the dimensions of your kitchen’s main counters. Does it have side tables? These can make a world of difference when it comes to preparing meals.

Two people cooking a meal on a camp stove near a truck.

Don’t Forget About Storage Space

A quality camp kitchen should have a good amount of storage space. Cooking often requires lots of different equipment. It’s important that you have a place to store it all.

Some products have shelves to store your instruments. Some have covered cupboards. Some have both.

Certain camp kitchens (such as the GCI Master Cook) have drying racks for your freshly washed bowls, backpacking mess kits and utensils.

Special Features Are Key For Camp Kitchens

Aside from the basics, many camp kitchens include special features that set them apart from the rest. For example, both the GCI Outdoor Master Cook and Coleman Pack Away Deluxe include a removable sink.

Many camp kitchens also include a lantern pole. These usually extend a few feet above the counter and provide a nice place to hang a light from. This will make cooking at night a possibility.

If you’re a bit short or tall, you might also want to choose a camp kitchen with adjustable height (like the SylvanSport Outdoor Camp Kitchen). This way, you can raise or lower the counter as you please.

Some other great features to look for are windscreens, towel holders and non-slip tabletops.

Conquerwild’s Conclusion

Whether you’re Gordon Ramsey or a complete newbie, cooking outdoors is something that everyone can enjoy while camping. Having a quality camp kitchen can make that experience much easier for you.

If you want to find the best camp kitchen setup possible, look for a product that’s durable, lightweight, convenient and versatile. Although there are lots of great products out there, one camp kitchen seems to stand out above the rest.

My Top Pick Is…

The GCI Outdoor Master Cook!!

Overall, this product does the best job of balancing efficiency with portability, ease of setup, maximum features and durability. It’s a great choice for camp cookouts, backyard barbecues or any other outdoor event.

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