Last Updated on December 9, 2021 by Chris and Lindsay
One of the best parts about RV camping is spending time outdoors. And one of our favorite parts of being outdoors wherever we set up camp is cooking delicious food in our RV outdoor kitchen.
Every RV is different. And every RVer has a different thing in mind when it comes to setting up an outdoor camping kitchen.
In this post, we’ll share the top things you need to purchase for your RV outdoor kitchen and give you some great ideas for how to set up your kitchen in a way that is functional and efficient for your camping experience.
If you’ve read our post on setting up the best RV campsite you’ll further appreciate many of the things we suggest as they are part of our comprehensive RV must-have list.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain links to products we think you’ll like. If you purchase any of the products through the links below we’ll receive a small commission. As full-time RVers, we know our RV products well and only recommend those that we either own or would consider owning ourselves.
RV Outdoor Kitchen Essentials
Before we can help you design your kitchen space we want to share some of the top items we own and suggest you include in your camping kitchen setup. There are some great kits you can buy that have a lot of these things included.
But as we like to only invest in the products that work best for us, with the overall quality and value we appreciate in only buying things once, we’ll outline the best outdoor kitchen essentials for you to mix and match with what you may already own.
By far the first and most important part of any RV outdoor kitchen is the grill. And far and away our favorite grill is this Blackstone griddle. While it won’t leave the classic char marks from a standard grill, its versatility makes it an incredible option.
From cooking pancakes for breakfast to burgers or steak for dinner, the Blackstone griddle takes away the need to have additional pots and pans.
Crack and egg and cook up some fried rice, shred potatoes over the griddle and turn them into crispy hash or sear a sandwich into a melt.
Interested in shopping for other RV grills? Check out our RV Grill Buyer’s Guide HERE to learn more about other great grill options we think you will appreciate.
With every grill option comes the need for grilling utensils. And if you’re looking for one kit that contains pretty much every utensil you need, all while storing easily and taking up little space, you’re in good hands with this set.
Highly rated in value for the quality of the utensils, its portability and the fact you have virtually every cooking tool you could possibly need in your outdoor kitchen, this 25-piece set is your one-stop-shop to accompany your RV grill.
Primary RV Kitchen Devices
We have a core set of RV kitchen devices that we use on almost a daily basis. If you’re setting up in one campsite for a while you’ll want to pull these out and incorporate them into your outdoor kitchen. These are a few of our favorites that we use indoor and out.
READ MORE: Check out all of our top RV Kitchen Accessories in this post.
You can’t count on having a picnic table at every campsite, particularly if you enjoy dry camping and boondocking as much as we do. And you really should NOT count on using that picnic table as a stand for your grill. This is the number one reason why fewer and fewer campgrounds offer picnic tables as unfortunately too many RVers are ruining picnic tables with their grills.
However, having a moderately sized foldout table like this one gives you the room you need to spread out your grill, food prep and utensils as well as the flexibility to be able to set it up wherever you like.
Of course, it also doubles for any other outdoor needs you may have while camping – from dining to playing games or working on the road.
Foldout Camping Chairs
Camping chairs are one of the top RV essentials that virtually nobody forgets to pack when camping. And with all sorts of shapes and sizes of chairs, it can be hard to pick the right one.
We like this option because it is one of the most comfortable camping chairs on the market and it packs away nicely so we can quickly grab it as we’re setting up camp.
While you may not use this chair to set your table for a more formal dining experience, it is great to have next to the grill to kick back and relax between flipping burgers or steaks.
There are all sorts of roll-out mat options for your campsite. We have always been fans of sandless mats because, well, who likes to track sand all over their camper or motorhome?
This sand-free mat is great because it is large enough to cover decent space around the campsite and it folds up to a small space you can easily stow.
Of course, it functions great and is a good value at its price point. We set our table on the fringe of our sandless mat and build out the rest of our kitchen with the idea that everything we need is contained within or around the perimeter of the mat.
No outdoor RV kitchen is complete without a nearby source of water.
Whether you want to rinse fruits and vegetables before serving them up, want to keep up with washing dirty dishes or need to wash your hands after handling food, having a portable water container is a must-have for any camping kitchen.
Simple is almost always better for this purpose, which is why we prefer this container to meet our needs.
Aside from having water to cook and clean with, keeping drinking water outside is incredibly convenient when you plan to spend most of your time outside.
While you can most certainly combine your kitchen water container for this purpose by only putting drinking water in it, having a separate drinking water container is an easy and affordable solution.
Add one of these water dispensers to a standard 5-gallon drinking water container and press the button at the top to dispense fresh drinking water. You can set this container on one end of the kitchen or keep it close to the RV door for convenience day and night.
Collapsible Wash Bin
Collapsible bins are incredibly practical throughout your RV. But they are especially important when it comes to keeping up with dishes in your outdoor camping kitchen. We set our collapsible wash bin beneath our water container and stack our dirty dishes in them as we use them.
Whether cooking utensils, food prep dishes or any plates, bowls or silverware we use for our meals themselves – everything goes into this wash bin.
Then we can drip water slowly from the water container and wash the dishes in such a way that the soapy water slowly fills up the bin as you are washing.
This way you are never wasting any water – a particularly good practice when you are boondocking.
15 Amp Extension Cord
We always keep a 50′ standard 15 amp outdoor extension cord for setting up our outdoor kitchen. Most formal campsites in campgrounds will provide a power box with your 30 and/or 50 amp outlets for connecting your RV. But there will also be one or two 15 amp outlets for a standard extension cord.
Whether you have electric kitchen appliances like our favorite Instapot, electric griddle or other devices or just like the convenience of being able to plug in your cell phone charger while you hang out outside, having an extension cord and perhaps an additional heavy duty power strip will add convenience to your camping experience.
Table Cloth + Clips
If you end up with a picnic table at your campsite there’s a decent chance it is run down or covered in grease or leftover dinner from the camper who stayed there the night before.
Having a nice tablecloth to cover this adds a nice touch to spruce up your campsite. Of course, wind can always ruin the party, so having some basic table cloth clips will help keep your tablecloth in place throughout your entire stay.
It’s hard to find a place to camp that doesn’t come with its own set of flies. And every RVer knows that flies make it difficult to enjoy the great outdoors.
So while you’re using your citronella candles and Thermocell repellant to keep the mosquitos at bay, add one of these food covers to keep the flies away from your delicious camp food.
Whether you want to pull out your picnic serving utensils and condiments for every meal or would rather leave them on the picnic table, having a picnic caddy is a great way to keep everything organized.
We’re a fan of both of these options because they fit everything you could need or want for your camping meals.
Popup Trash Can
We used to hang an old grocery bag to a corner of our picnic table and call it a trash can. But between our curious and ever-hungry dogs, flies and the weather these didn’t seem to do the trick.
Investing in a pop-up portable camping trash can is a great way to solve all of those issues. Grab 2 if you want to separate recyclables from trash.
Portable USB Speaker
Now that you have all of the major things you need for your outdoor kitchen you can focus on the things that spruce it up and give it the comfort you want in a great campsite.
One of the best ways to upgrade your outdoor kitchen is by adding these portable speakers to your setup.
Hook up your phone via Bluetooth and set the speaker wherever you like. Remember to put it on the charger overnight and you’re good to go all day.
If you’re dry camping or boondocking away from everyone but you want to take this camping setup with you make sure you have a great generator that can power up any of your kitchen devices.
Chances are you won’t need to run it for long. But we’ve definitely relied on our Honda 2200 generator to give us the power to run our Instapot and electric skillet at times.
READ MORE: Check out this post on all of the great RV generator options if you don’t want to go with a Honda 2200.
Do you have any RV outdoor kitchen favorites that we didn’t cover? Let us know!