Anyone who has ever been camping understands that there’s just something weirdly satisfying about sharing a meal that was prepared on a messy picnic table, cooked over an open fire (with a few ashes for extra flavor), and eaten with your dirt-covered hands. Maybe the joy comes from the smokey taste of all the food, or maybe it’s the novelty of camp cooking. Whatever it is — it’s freaking delicious.
But preparing a camping meal for a group of people can be a tall task, particularly when you’re fighting for table space or struggling to locate the serving utensils. Being organized should not be overlooked — especially when there are hungry mouths to feed. Enter the camping kitchen: a portable cooking station with space to keep your food, stove, knives, pots, and pans all within reach and neatly arranged.
Check out our recommendations for the best camping kitchens — from simple to deluxe — and have your friends and family raving about their next outdoor meal at a tailgate, a picnic, or fireside at your favorite campsite.
GCI Outdoor Slim Fold Cook Station
Simple, affordable, and lightweight (just under 19 pounds), this cook station is perfect for many occasions. With GCI’s Slim-Fold technology, you can setup and break-down your on-the-road kitchen in a jiffy. This camping kitchen boasts an aluminum countertop that’s strong enough for a heavy camp stove (up to 48 pounds) and a lower rack that’s the ideal spot for your dish bin. Each of the four side tables has holders for beverages, wine glasses, garbage bags, paper towels, and utensils. We love how easy it is to keep all the surfaces clean, too!
Camp Chef Sherpa Table
Not enough cargo space for a deluxe camp kitchen? Camp Chef’s Sherpa table is your space-saving solution. This cooler-sized storage container has four colored bags that keep everything organized. When you get to camp, the telescoping aluminum legs slide out and the roll-up tabletop snaps into place, transforming your storage box into a prep station for drink-mixing and meal-prepping. Bon appétit!
Camco Deluxe Grilling Table
Designed specifically for your camping stove or grill, this table is lightweight, durable, and a breeze to set up. Snap a few pieces into place, hang your spatula and tongs from the hooks, and you’re ready to fire up the grill. The steel frame is stronger than most portable tables, so it won’t collapse when weighed down with a pot of boiling water. And when you’re done cooking, your kids (not you) will appreciate how easy Camco made it to clean all the surfaces of this grilling table!
Coleman Pack-Away Portable Kitchen
If you’re looking for a kitchen that won’t fold under pressure, Coleman’s Pack-Away option is sturdier than most, thanks to its full-sized expanding aluminum support frame. The main table top is ideal for slicing and dicing, while the smaller side table fits a host of Coleman camp stoves and coolers. Tired of asking someone to hold the flashlight on the stove? Hang your camping lantern on the dedicated overhead hook and you’ll be ready to whip up a feast in no time. And when you’re done, this cook station packs away into the main tabletop (hence the name), so you can carry it with the briefcase-style handle to the car like a boss.
CampLand Outdoor Folding Table
If simplicity is key, this versatile camping table is the ticket. It features a tough aluminum top that is the perfect meal prep surface. and it doubles as a dining table — simply remove the polyester storage bag and stow it in the trunk to free up some leg room under the table. The legs are adjustable, too, so you can use it as a coffee table for card games and s’mores while kicking back by the fire.