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Best Camp Kitchen for Car Camping

9 Best Camp Kitchens for the Outdoor Chef

Beautiful scenery, peaceful settings, family fun…there’s plenty to love about camping, but the food takes each adventure to a whole new level. No culinary experience quite matches that of chowing down on a meal freshly prepared over the campfire or two burner stove after a long day of outdoor adventure.

The downside? The food prep process can prove messy and time-consuming. Thankfully, a myriad of implements are available to ease cooking hassles, especially for those on the go and unable to take advantage of established grills or fire rings. The right camp kitchen can make all the difference, as we’ll demonstrate below.

9 Best Camp Kitchens

We’ve collected as much data and reviews from multiple sources to build this list of the 10 best camping kitchens, perfect for cooking on all your car camping trips. We selected and ranked these kitchens based on quality, utility, consumer sentiment, and our own experience with camp cooking. It’s time to raise your cooking game up off the ground with one of the best camping kitchens for the money.

1. Mountain Summit Deluxe Gear Roll Top Kitchen

Mountain Summit Gear Deluxe Roll Top Kitchen

Editor’s Choice – Best Camp Kitchen Table: Organization is a cinch with this cleverly designed and well-constructed camp kitchen, which includes a variety of surfaces and compartments. Take advantage of two aluminum roll-top stations and two foldaway side tables. The kitchen’s versatility is further expanded by its detachable storage compartment, which includes two shelves. The frame is quick to set up and tear down — and a bag is included to ensure easy transport.

  • Shelves: 4
  • Side Tables: 2
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 13 lbs – 8 oz

If you’re on the hunt for a more affordable option, you should check out the basic Roll Top Kitchen from Mountain Summit. This model is identical in form to the Deluxe but has one less side table and no nylon side compartment. For a smaller, simpler kitchen this is a great choice.


2. Bass Pro Deluxe Camp Kitchen

Specs & Features

  • Shelves: 5
  • Side Tables: 2
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 36 lbs

Best Camp Kitchen with Sink: The Bass Pro Deluxe Camp Kitchen will make you feel like an outdoor chef. This comprehensive kitchen set provides ample space for meal prep, as well as special storage areas for spices, utensils, and paper towels. Keep select items safe in the zippered pantry, which includes two shelves and a wire rack.

With a weight limit of 90 pounds, this kitchen can accommodate heavy gear. Its feet are adjustable, so you can easily maintain a level cooking surface if you’re forced to set up your kitchen on uneven terrain. After you’ve finished preparing a mouthwatering meal, you can easily clean up the mess in the removable plastic wash basin sink — and with tools stored on the kitchen towel and dish rag rack.

From setup to cleanup, you’ll find every stage of meal prep straightforward and enjoyable with the Bass Pro Deluxe Camp Kitchen.


3. GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station

Specs & Features

  • Shelves: 2
  • Side Tables: 4
  • Frame Material: Powder Coated Steel
  • Weight: 18.9 lbs

Why You’ll Like It: Convenience is guaranteed with the GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station, which can be broken down almost instantly due to its impressive one-piece design. The frame is constructed from durable powder-coated steel, while the top is made from aluminum.

The kitchen’s four multi-use side tables come complete with wine glass storage, utensil holders, and several other features designed to make the model that much more versatile. The sturdy lower rack can handle up to 35 pounds, with each side table accommodating an additional 30 pounds. This high weight capacity is especially impressive given the unit’s total weight of just 18.9 pounds.


4. GCI Outdoor Master Cook Camp Kitchen

Specs & Features

  • Shelves: 2
  • Side Tables: 3
  • Frame Material: Powder Coated Steel
  • Weight: 22.7 lbs

Best Portable Camp Kitchen Setup: If you demand a camp kitchen that can be set up and taken down in an instant, you’re in luck: the GCI Outdoor Master Cook Station offers the full kitchen design you desire with none of the setup hassles. Featuring GCI’s patent-pending Slim-Fold Technology, this impressive camp kitchen is loaded with special features. These include beverage holders, hooks for garbage bags, and a telescoping pole that allows you to light your cooking station via lantern. These extras are helpful, but they never get in the way of the set’s main purpose: transporting your camp kitchen virtually anywhere in record time.


5. Lifetime Folding Tailgate Camp Table

Specs & Features

  • Shelves: 1
  • Side Tables: 1 Grill Table
  • Frame Material: Powder Coated Steel
  • Weight: 19 lbs

Why You’ll Like It: Although it’s primarily designed for tailgating, this camping table also offers the full range of features necessary for a successful car camping cookout. This kitchen is available in multiple sizes; for this list, we’ve highlighted specs reflecting the four-foot version. No matter the size, it features a high-density polyethylene tabletop, which can be used for prepping or serving food. The table is available with a heavy-duty grill rack, which includes a convenient utensil holder.

Resistant to both stains and UV rays, the Lifetime Folding Tailgate Camp Table can stand up to heavy use. No, it doesn’t offer as many shelving solutions as its counterparts — but for those who prefer a simpler solution, this lack of special features may ultimately prove a strength. This product is a great option if you desire a simple multi-function table that will serve you and your loved ones well during both camping trips and tailgating parties.


6. Coleman Pack-Away Portable Kitchen

Specs & Features

  • Shelves: 1
  • Side Tables: 1 Grill Table
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 13.8 lbs

Best Coleman Camp Kitchen: Coleman once again comes through with a reliable camping product. This particular camp kitchen is ideal for those who already tend to gravitate towards Coleman products, as it is specifically designed to accommodate Coleman coolers and stoves. Highly durable, this impressive table can easily handle a variety of heavy items, including gas stoves, pots, and pans — despite its decidedly low weight of just 13.8 pounds. The mesh shelf plays a surprisingly significant role in maintaining stability; sufficiently heavy items placed on this shelf add enough tension to keep everything in place. A compact carrying case is included to keep your table safe and to enable easier transport between camping locations.


7. Camco Deluxe Folding Grill Table

Specs & Features

  • Shelves: 1
  • Side Tables: 2
  • Frame Material: Steel Frame, Aluminum Top
  • Weight: 27.5 lbs

Why You’ll Like It: Few camp kitchens fold down quite as small as the Camco Deluxe Folding Grill Table, which, when taken apart correctly, can be stored at a height of just six inches. The frame is both lightweight and durable, thanks to its steel construction. Meanwhile, the tabletop is crafted from aluminum, which allows the entire table to remain shockingly light. A bag is included for storage purposes; after you’ve taken this easy-to-move table apart, you can store it in the included bag wherever you happen to find space. Be sure to pack this camp kitchen if you intend to switch your campsite on a regular basis.


8. Camp Chef Sherpa Table

Specs & Features

  • Shelves: 2
  • Side Tables: 0
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 13.5 lbs

Why You’ll Like It: You’ll feel like a true chef every time you prepare a meal or snack at the Camp Chef Sherpa Table. It might not look exactly like your standard camp table, but therein lies its strength. The table’s four zippered compartments can be used to store several specially designed bags, where you’ll keep utensils, ingredients, and more. One of these storage bags includes a special liner, which allows it to be used as either a cooler or a sink. The kitchen’s expandable lower divider is specifically designed to accommodate a Mountain Series camp stove. Its design may not be typical, but it’s a great option for anybody looking to do away with the complication of extra side tables and other implements.


9. Cusinart Take Along Grill Stand

Specs & Features

  • Shelves: 2
  • Side Tables: 2
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 18.9 lbs

Best Camping Grill Table: Simple, yet effective, the Cuisinart Take Along Grill Stand offers everything you need for a successful camp cooking experience. This table can be set up in just moments without any use of tools. Its two side trays can easily be flipped up if desired. If left down, however, the trays will accommodate up to six cups. Cuisinart’s convenient tables also feature eight hooks for tools. Situated below the main shelf and attached side tables, the kitchen’s extra shelf is best reserved for cooler storage. Altogether, the table can accommodate up to 35 pounds.

Although technically designed for use alongside Cuisinart grills, this stand can easily be adapted to fit your unique needs. If you’re looking to take the Cuisinart path, you’ll want to pair the table with the Cuisinart Petit grill and your favorite Cuisinart cooler.


How to Choose a Camp Kitchen that Actually Works

No two camp kitchens look exactly alike. This can make it difficult to choose the right model, but it also ensures the availability of niche options to fit every situation. Despite their inherent versatility, most camp kitchens share a few key similarities. This is especially true of the high-quality kitchens outlined in our best-of list above. The following are among the features most worth examining as you select a camp kitchen that meets your unique needs.

  • A Rigid Frame: The last thing you need when cooking a delicious meal is for your kitchen’s frame to collapse. Not only would this be extremely annoying, but it could also prove a safety hazard if you’re working with a gas stove or sharp utensils. A rigid frame constructed from steel or aluminum ensures that your camp kitchen remains in place throughout the meal prep process. While your camp kitchen’s frame should be rigid enough to remain in place, it should also be lightweight enough to ensure that you can easily set it up or take it down as you move from one camping location to the next. This may seem like a difficult balance to strike, but many camp kitchens manage to accomplish both ideals. 
  • Cooking Area: As a car camper, you can’t depend on picnic tables or other surfaces for preparing your meal. Your camp kitchen may prove your sole source of surface area. The ideal kitchen is large enough to provide space for chopping, cleaning, and otherwise assembling ingredients — but not so large that it’s difficult to maneuver when you’re finished with your meal. Above all else, your kitchen’s cooking area should be sufficiently sized to accommodate your stove. A compact kitchen may seem ideal, but it will do you little good if your preferred stove doesn’t fit.
  • Storage: Camp meals are far easier to prepare when all tools and ingredients are placed within easy reach of the chef. Shelves, compartments, and other storage features allow you to keep essentials within a small space so you never need to search for equipment. Ample storage space is particularly valuable if you intend to prepare multiple meals at the same location and prefer to avoid setting up and taking down every time you eat.
  • Portability: The concept of camp kitchen storage also involves how the table itself is folded down and where it can be kept when not in use. Can it be collapsed into a small size and kept within compact vehicles? Is it light enough to maneuver on a regular basis? Many camp kitchens come with helpful carrying cases or bags, which, ideally, will include handles for easy transport.
  • Weight: Weight is always a factor when it comes to outdoor gear, and camping kitchens are no exception. For lighter kitchens, go for aluminum framed setups with the bare minimum number of surfaces. If you are car camping only, maybe the deluxe camp kitchens would be totally fine.
  • Side Tables: Side tables allow you to instantly expand your kitchen’s surface area while keeping its transport size to a minimum. They’re also ideal for storing items that might not fit onto standard shelves. Depending on its size and design, your camp kitchen could include anywhere from one to four side tables. Those with fewer side tables may fold down quickly but at the potential expense of space or versatility. The more side tables, the more items you can prepare simultaneously, leading to a broader range of meal options.
  • Dirty Dishes: Every good kitchen includes a sink — and camp kitchens are no exception. Although not all camp kitchens come equipped with solutions for dirty dishes, many boast sinks or other options for cleaning and reusing utensils — or, at least, storing utensils until they can be cleaned elsewhere. This might not be an outright requirement for all car campers, but it can be a helpful inclusion during longer trips in which access to conventional sinks is limited. Dish-cleaning solutions vary from one camp kitchen to the next. Some kitchens include specially designed basins, while others rely on special linings situated within specialized storage bags. Neither approach is inherently better; it all comes down to personal preference.
  • Lighting: After a long day of hiking or outdoor fun, you may find yourself preparing meals late at night, with only the moon and stars to guide the way. Lanterns and flashlights help, but can only be placed so close to your cooking station; although some campers have been known to place lanterns directly on stations, this could prove both inconvenient and potentially dangerous. Thankfully, many camp kitchens come with built-in tools to help light the way. Typically, these take the form of lantern poles, which are easy to adjust. By providing a targeted source of light, these features significantly extend your available timeframe for cooking on the go.
  • Extras for the Chef: A variety of extra features can be added to make the chef’s experience that much easier and more enjoyable. Ultimately, these features aim to put storage within easy reach. Depending on the model, extras could include spice racks, utensil hooks, and storage bags — to name a few. These extras sometimes add slightly to the ultimate setup timeframe, but most car campers would argue that the convenience they deliver is well worth the extra two minutes of setup. 

Get Cooking: Which Camp Kitchen is Best for You?

Your kitchen setup can completely transform your car camping experience. The right table could reduce both the stress and time associated with camp cooking. Once all of the essential ingredients and tools are within easy reach, you can craft your dream meal as you see fit. It’s high time you discovered for yourself why camp kitchens are such an integral component of car camping!


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