Camping is a fun way to spend time with friends and family. One of the most enjoyable parts of camping is cooking your meals. Setting up an outdoor camping kitchen allows you to prepare your food in a safe, accessible way.
Camping cookware includes plates, pans, and utensils that can be used to cook your meals. Grilling is a popular way to prepare food while camping, so plenty of space is needed for the grills. And of course, there needs to be a place to put the cooked food after it is cooked!
There are many ways to set up a camping kitchen, but most include some combination of the above components. Now let’s talk about some specific components of a basic camp kitchen and what options you have for them.
Whether you are camping in a tent or in a cabin, there are some basic necessities for setting up an outdoor camp cooking area. This article will discuss some of the basics and some more advanced tips on how to build an outdoor camping kitchen.
Organizing a camping kitchen
A well-organized camping kitchen makes setting up your camp easier and faster. You will also be safer and more efficient if you have everything you need in an organized manner.
You will need a place to put things like pots and pans, spices, utensils, and food. A tent shelf or table works well for this. Depending on how long you plan to cook for, how many people are eating, and what kind of cooking you will be doing, a good size for your tent shelf or table is a foot by eight feet.
Having proper storage for all of your cooking supplies is essential. Trying to fit everything into small containers can be dangerous, though- it may result in breaking some of them due to being pushed around in the tent when it rains or gets moved around by other things.
Bringing the right tools
Having the right tools will simplify your camp kitchen setup and cooking process. You do not need to go out and buy a new collection of gear, but making sure you have everything is important.
Pot holders are essential as you will need to handle the pot directly while cooking. A pan handle holder is also useful as it allows you to turn the pan or pot over without having to worry about it falling over.
A knife is needed to chop vegetables and meat, so make sure you have a good one that feels comfortable in your hand. A sauce pan and frying pan are also needed cookware for some recipes.
Lastly, a trash can is needed to keep your site clean! Most campsites provide one, so check if you need one and where it is located.
Bringing the right ingredients
Having all the right ingredients for making food is also a key part of having a good meal outdoors. You will want to have a variety of foods that are easy to cook and prepare.
You also want to make sure you have enough food for everyone, as well as enough of each ingredient. For example, you do not want to run out of bacon for the hundreds of different recipes that use it!
Disposable pans are great for having adequate space to cook and prepare food. You can also use heavy duty aluminum foil to cover the ground and prevent spills or burnt spots.
Having adequate cooking utensils is also important so that there is not too much trouble cooking your meal.
Prepare quick and easy dishes
While camping, people tend to spend more time around the campfire and eating. It is a great time to relax and enjoy the nature around you and the people you are with.
That said, it can be tricky to cook meals that are quick to prepare and taste good. While you can always cook elaborate dishes, people will enjoy them more if they are ready quickly!
Many campers recommend preparing dishes in advance. This can be done the day before or even a few days before depending on the dish. It is also helpful to have utensils that are portable and easy to clean.
Some recommendations for easy camp cuisine are grilled foods, pasta, oatmeal, and burritos.
Bring non-perishable ingredients
While you can find pre-made pasta sauces and sausages at the grocery store, bringing your own meat broth and spices will save you time and money in the long run.
You can also bring your own rice or quinoa, as well as dried fruits to use in recipes. Having these ingredients already means you will not have to pay high prices at the store for them, too!
Besides saving time, having your own ingredients will also ensure that you have the best quality ingredients. Fresh herbs and spices will add a ton of flavor to your dishes, too!
Another ingredient that is helpful to bring is lime juice. It is used in many recipes, so having some already prepared will save you time hunting it down at the store or online.
Having the right utensils will make cooking and eating much easier. You will need a way to cook, so bring a camping stove or at least a lid and stand for your pot.
You will also need a way to eat, so bring forks, spoons, and knives. If you plan to do some baking, bring a bag of pans to use for dishes as well.
It is also recommended to have at least two of each utensil in case one gets lost or damaged. This way you still have a way to cook and eat!
Utilize space efficiently when packing these items to save weight and room in your backpack or luggage. By doing this, you will be able to bring more food and fuel for the camp site.
Light is your friend
When it comes to setting up your camp, light is a necessity. You will need light to find things, to set up your camp, and to cook your food.
Depending on what season you are camping in, you may need more or less light. During the summer, it is easy to find things as it is lighter out! In the winter, it is harder to find things and set up your camp due to the snow cover.
A good idea is to set up a light tent a day or two before going camping to practice and get familiar with things. This will help you become more efficient when setting up your camp the day of.
Having several sources of light is also important. If one source fails, you have another to rely on! Having at least one flashlight per person is recommended.
Camping can be fun and refreshing, but if there is no light, then everything stops! Make sure to be thorough in providing light for your camp.
Keep it clean
A large part of camping is respecting nature and each other. A big part of that is keeping your camp area clean. You should always wash up after using the bathroom and before eating food.
Likewise, you should sweep away any leaves or dirt that you pick up to make a clean surface to sit or lie on. You can also use a tarp or tent footprint as a clean surface to set up your tent on.
Keeping the area around the fire pit and cooking area clean will ensure that no one gets sick from dust or grease. Once you are done with your camp outing, you can help out by picking up any trash left by others.