Cooking kit made specially for campers can be a bit utilitarian – and it’s not always great quality.
So, we’re always looking out for kitchen equipment that’s well-designed, multi-use and easy to pack. Here’s some of the best.
Latest update: March 2021
All our reviews at Campfire Magazine are independent and honest.
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Instant Pot for electric cooking
If you have a campervan or caravan or room in the car plus electric hook-up, the Instant Pot is a great way to cook your meals quickly and economically. From stews in 15 minutes to perfect rice and even cakes and yoghurt.
Basically, it’s a clever electric pressure cooker that also slow cooks and steams. The 3-litre (3 quart) Mini is our choice for camping and is also big enough for a decent meal for two or three at home. Well, enough soup for five!
If you have a larger campervan, motorhome or kitchen (!), the usual 6-litre Instant Pot is probably worth the extra few pounds or so. They’re quite big, but not heavy.
Keep an eye out for our special feature on camp cooking with an Instant Pot…coming soon. Meanwhile, here’s tonight’s Iranian stew with dried lime and dill. Yum.
Cool camping fridge
A Dometic compressor fridge. The fantastic new CFX3 35 (32 litres) is expensive but brilliant for two or a small family. It stays cold whatever the temperature outside.
If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, go for the great CDF range, which worked perfectly for us for years in the UK and Europe.
See our fridge guide here for how to choose.
Wash and drain your camping pots
A great idea for camping, and so simple. It’s a portable washing up bowl with two carrying handles and a plug/strainer. You could use it for preparing veg and salads too, or even as a handy washing sink for wild camping. There are three colours to choose from.
We’ve got a feature on camping washing up gear too.
The best camping table
Stable, lightweight, cheap, not fiddly…what more could you want.
You’ll also find it branded Nestling if the more expensive Uquip aluminium table. The (individually) adjustable-leg Uquip aluminium table is great for uneven ground and folds easily into a bag. You’ll also find it branded Nestling if the Uquip is out of stock. There’s also a large version should you need it.
Hand-powered food processor
Make speedy work of chopping without electricity or batteries. There are a few hand-operated food processors out there, but this Zyliss one is the most popular and the sturdiest. Will make hummus and dips, but they won’t be supersmooth. Absolutely fab!
Safety knives with sheath
Sharp knives are safe knives, as all the best chefs know. However, a sharp knife in the bottom of a camping bag is an accident waiting to hurt.
These Joseph+Joseph Elevate knives come with a protective sheath. The blades are silicon-coated stainless steel.
Space-saving wonder pans
These Tefal Ingenio pans and frying pans are indeed ingenious. The handles detach and reattach at the click of a button, there are lids with folding handles for when you’re cooking and plastic lids for using the pans as bowls and storage.
Non-stick aluminium and stainless steel options, sets or single items.
The stainless version is probably too expensive just for camping, but there’s a five-piece set, which is cheaper than a lot of camping sets.
Proper coffee hand-pumped
If you’re a fan of really good coffee, you’ll love this Wacaco Nanopresso.
We were sent one to try and thought we’d never use it…but, it’s now our main coffee-maker at home and when camping.
Perfect espresso (add water/milk for Americano etc) in a few pumps of the pressurised plunger. Standard and large versions and an adaptor if you MUST use capsules. Not cheap, though!
Stackable, multifunction bowls
We love our stainless steel bowls for all our home baking and mixing. They’re even more useful when camping. These bowls (five of them) are great because they have lids, plus interchangeable centre bits for grating, slicing etc. Mix in them, measure in them, serve in them. Perfect and indestructible.
Folding potato masher
So, this is a decent Joseph and Joseph potato masher if space is tight, but…
If you’ve never used an old-fashioned wooden masher, you’ve got a treat in store. Not only are they simple and beautiful, they do the job of mashing potatoes (and chickpeas and more) with no washing up issues.
For all your kitchen kit
The Andes kitchen storer. Room for crockery, pots and pans, plus lots of pockets. An essential to keep things neat and to hand.
Over-sink folding colander
So far, this is the best folding, collapsible colander we’ve found. The arms extend so you can leave it hovering over a sink to drain and it’s big enough for salads or veg.
And not at all expensive. Comes in a choice of green or red.
Beeswax wrap instead of clingfilm
Cut the size you need for wrapping sandwiches, using to seal bowls or for wrapping around loaves to keep them fresher. We struggled to find individual wraps big enough for large loaves, so this is a super alternative.
There’s a metre x 33cm on a roll. You can rinse it in cold water and use it over and over.
See more green camping ideas in our special feature.
Reusable coffee cups
We’re NEVER using a throwaway cup again, so here’s our favourite to take along to the coffee shop.
The Joco Cup is the right size for a decent Americano, is nice to hold and a pleasure to drink from. We use the cardboard packaging to hold our camping cutlery!
See other reusable and insulated travel mugs too.
Avoid plastic when you can! It’s easy when bamboo crockery is as lovely as these bowls, plates and more. Lightweight, very stylish.
We’ve got more to look at too, including beautiful enamelware and even wooden plates!
Read our round-up of the best alternatives to plastic plates and bowls for camping.
The best kitchen stand
We tested lots of camping storage cupboards and kitchen stands in our special feature on camping cupboards and camp kitchens, but the Campart Valencia. really stood out. Aluminium top and even a sink! There’s a smaller model too.
See more in our camping cupboard and kitchen stand feature
Share your favourite bit of camping kitchen equipment and let us know why it works so well for you…leave a comment over on Facebook.