Forming Up My Camp Kitchen

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GLOCKer

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Marietta, Georgia, USA
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Unfortunately, I've elevated eating food to a hobby in my life. :laughing: My fat ass loves cooking and a good meal! In fact, I have a food blog with FoodTribe!!! I've been putting readying my truck for overlanding, and I have(a little more than) the bare necessities to accomplish getting out into the wild for a few days. The one thing I'm not screwing around with is my meal situation and I'm looking to go a little overboard there. Here is what I have so far:
-Coleman 2 burner cook stove
-Webber camp gas grill
-Single cup k-cup coffee maker (electric)
-Alpicool 48 quart fridge/freezer
-Food prep surface
-Two frying pans (one small, one medium)
-Measuring spoons and cup
-Box to use as a chuck box
-Dual fuel generator/inverter

What I (think) I still need:
-Tongs
-Spatula
-Dishes
-Utensils
-Small travel spices (salt, pepper, garlic, crushed red pepper, dried thyme, rosemary) Some of this will come from my wife's garden!
-Wash basin for dishes
-Clean water RotoPax
-Grey water storage jug

It looks like I will be adding:
-Solar generator
-Another Fridge/freezer
-Electric camp grill

What other items should I consider? Is there something I'm leaving out? Is there something you can leave home without?

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Downs

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Why is your propane stove in a pelican case? That's a good way to take a good compact stove and double or triple it's size unnecessarily, they're pretty tough as it is.
 

GLOCKer

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Why is your propane stove in a pelican case? That's a good way to take a good compact stove and double or triple it's size unnecessarily, they're pretty tough as it is.
The stove fits perfectly in the lid! My plan is to make some straps to secure it into the lid and then make separate compartments in the main part of the case to hold dishes and stuff. The case will be my chuck box!
 
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Downs

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The stove fits perfectly in the lid! My plan is to make some straps to secure it into the lid and then make separate compartments in the main part of the case to hold dishes and stuff. The case will be my chuck box!
That makes sense.
 

Road

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I suggest reusable containers for your fridge.

I prefer same-sized square containers, like Ziploc makes, for fridge storage. I have a mess of different sizes, though the ones that get used the most are the 4oz squares. I keep condiments in them, olives and jalepeños, etc instead of whole bottles, especially when the bottles get half empty or more. Saves a ton of room, and that they stack so nice is convenient. Square containers are more efficient than round containers at saving space in your fridge.


ziploc-squares_0561-900.jpeg
Here's how much space I typically save when on long adventures. All the containers on the left were in my cooler; most half full or less.
I transferred everything to the Ziploc 4oz Squares on the right. Big savings on space, and more efficient use of energy for the fridge. The less air space in a fridge, the less it has to work.
...

ziploc-squares_0560-800.jpeg....fridge-efficiency_0581-800.jpeg
4 oz Ziploc Squares; labeled and saving space. If it's something that needs it, I date it so I know how old it is. Image on right shows where I keep them in my fridge; the upper back part over the compressor, along with butter, jams, etc that don't need the deep cold of the front sections. Ziploc freezer bags are wicked handy to have, too, for storing stuff in spaces in between other things.

You might also want to get a bunch of the small freezer blocks and some sort of thermal cover.

I keep a small soft-sided cooler with a mess of small freezer blocks and refrigerant gel packs. When something gets taken out to cook up for a meal, a block or gel pack takes its place, keeping the fridge full and working less.
A thermal cover, like the blue/silver one in the image above, is great to contain the cold in a top-opening fridge. I just fold back the half that covers what I'm after, instead of exposing the entire contents to the ambient temps. Can make a big difference on hot summer days.


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I do the same thing with juices and milk, etc. I keep any nice glass containers like Pure Leaf Tea bottles. They make perfect space savers for liquids and are way easier to stuff down into available spaces than a large jar is.

I've found I like having a good set of dedicated camp kitchen knives, too, especially a good 8" Chef's knife with its own sleeve. I like having a sharpening steel for my kitchen knives, as well. Cheap enough to get and easy to store.

I love my camp kitchen and love to cook when camping, and the easier and more efficient my setup is, the less hassle it is to find things and get to experimenting with camp meals.
.
 
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Roam Bearded

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One of our favorite hacks is packing condiment packets instead of bottles. Ketchup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce, honey, jelly etc. All of those bottles take up precious space that should be reserved for craft beers lol.
We'd done a video recently on the 3 main storage cases we haul, kitchen, food and miscellaneous. Maybe it'll give you an idea, maybe it won't haha. It works for us and we really enjoy cooking at camp.
 
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slomatt

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Great point on the square containers @Road. I tend to use a miss-matching selection from our kitchen which never nest efficiently, it makes sense to have a dedicated set all of the same size.

Here's some info on v2 (after 15+ years) of my kitchen setup.
 

Roots66

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We keep it simple-ish. 77qt Lifetime cooler for the cold items, 55qt Lifetime cooler for the non-perishables, and a Plano Sportsman for all the gear. My wife pre-makes all the meals ahead of time, vacuum seals them, and then freezes everything. This helps us in many ways: 1) The food now becomes part of the cold packs which keeps the volume of items in the cooler down. 2) Makes everything easier to prepare since it's simply heat & eat. 3) Disposable freezer bags eliminates the amount of things we have to carry back home. Agree with the dedicated, nesting containers as well as the condiment packets. Another tip we have learned is having fresh eggs vs store bought means we do not have to keep them cold, saving space in the big cooler. I am currently in the planning stages of replacing the Plano box with a homemade Chuck Box....once I can afford the lumber again.
 

Ragman

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This topic is one that has so many solutions and ideas and they are as varied as everyone's different tastes. For me there seems to be two categories 1) every day items and 2) trip specific. When kitting out, and despite being an avowed gear junkie, I try to look for things that can pull double duty and try to determine the trip parameters before I leave. What I mean by this are things such as potential weather, possible fire bans, trip length, access to restocking etc. Getting a feel for this is helpful to minimize what you take -as a fire ban would mean I only take my fueled stoves-wood burners. So for me I would break it down into categories-Basic always there items such as cookware (I would add a sauce pan or smaller stockpot and something to heat your coffee water to your list), eating utensils and cooking utensils (do you need tongs if you are only using a stove/grill or can you turn the sausage with a fork?), plates, cups etc-here I would say pay attention to what you use at home to see what is common. Then I would look at the condiments and ingredients and see what you use -can one good spice mix be used instead of 5 different spices type of consideration and what condiments are you going to use-I find that using dry mustard powder is easier to carry than a bottle of mustard and you just have to mix with water to get the amount you need and powdered milk for recipes.

As far as actual storage I agree with @Road that taking easily stackable containers is the way to go-we use a number of containers that originally held ham lunch meat....I also like the single wall Kleen Kanteens to carry liquids.

At the end of the day I expect that you will do some trips and come back each time knowing what you used and what you didn't have to carry-ultimately you will narrow it down to the kit that fits your cooking style the best.