7 Camper Van Kitchen Essentials to Make Cooking a Breeze


Photo Credit: Muse & Co. Outdoors

Camper van kitchens are one of the greatest parts of having your own little home on wheels. Cooking is a notoriously arduous task when camping, so having a dedicated countertop, stove, sink, and even fridge is a huge improvement.

Still, no camper van kitchen can quite match the ease of cooking at home. Without luxuries like an unlimited water supply, an oven, and ample cabinet space, you’ll need to tweak your cooking habits a bit to adapt to the van life.

Fortunately, there are some great products out there that can help you take full advantage of your camper van kitchen. Use these Sprinter van kitchen essentials to master the art of preparing food in your van!

1) Steel + Enamel Dishware Set

Plates, bowls, and cups are true essentials for any kitchen. When it comes to choosing dishware for a camper van, there are some special considerations that should be taken into mind.

The main challenge when selecting camper van dishware is that ceramics can break easily due to the bumps and turns of the road. It’s not impossible to have ceramic dishware in a camper van if they are stored very carefully, but it’s much simpler to go with a sturdy material like enamel-coated steel.

We love this dishware set because it’s sturdy, easy to clean, and takes up minimal space in your Sprinter van cabinets. Plus, enamel-coated steel dishware has a great retro look and feel and is a much classier alternative to plastic dishware.

2) Nonstick Cookware

A good nonstick pot and pan set is a camper van kitchen essential. Why? Because using nonstick cookware is going to save you precious dishwashing time (and water).

We’ve all experienced trying to clean a pot or pan that has food crusted to its surface. This is a task that can take as much time, scrubbing, and water as washing all of the rest of a given meal’s dishes, combined!

While extra scrubbing and rinsing might be a minor inconvenience in your home, it can be a real problem in a camper van. Saving water is important when washing dishes in a van, so having cookware that can rinse off quickly after use is critical!

3) Collapsible Tupperware

If your house has a drawer or cabinet that is overflowing with poorly organized food storage containers and lids, you’re definitely not alone. Organizing tupperware is tricky, but you simply can’t afford to take up a lot of space in your van’s kitchen cabinets with food storage containers.

That’s why we love these collapsible silicone food storage containers! This set includes 4 containers of different sizes. When they’re not in use, they collapse down to 1/3 of their original size. The silicone material is completely food safe and it resists sticky foods, so you can clean them quickly after use. Plus, the lids latch securely to the body of the container, so you can bring some leftovers along in your backpack when you head out for the day.

4) Mini Hand Coffee Grinder

Who says traveling in a Sprinter van conversion means you have to drink bad coffee? A key to having a great cup of coffee on the road is using freshly-ground beans. But bringing along your electric grinder from home isn’t practical in a van because of the space it takes up and the electricity it consumes.

That’s why a good-quality portable coffee grinder is a great addition to your camper van kitchen! This Japanese-made grinder is adjustable so you can grind beans for the perfect cup, whether you’re using a drip, french press, or another method. It’s only a few inches tall, so it takes up almost no space in your van’s cabinets. We love the morning ritual of grinding fresh coffee while enjoying the view at our campsite.

Photo Credit: Muse & Co. Outdoors

5) Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers a great addition to your camper van’s kitchen. You can use a pressure cooker to make anything from steel cut oats to stews and soups. Because pressure cookers cook foods at higher pressure, cooking times are reduced.

Pressure cookers allow you to make delicious one-pot, home-cooked meals in your van, without taking all day to prepare your food. They are especially useful when you’re camping at high altitude, where things take longer to cook.

Some of our favorite foods to prepare in the pressure cooker include stews and soups, yummy rice dishes, tender meats, and staples like rice and oatmeal (which can be cooked in a fraction of the time using the pressure cooker).

6) Mesh Strainer

A strainer is a great multi-purpose tool for your camper van kitchen. One stainless steel mesh strainer can accomplish the tasks of multiple other kitchen accessories. We use our strainer for all of the following tasks:

  • Straining pasta (bye-bye, colander)
  • Rinsing rice before cooking
  • Catching seeds when juicing lemons
  • Rinsing fruits and vegetables in the sink
  • Steaming vegetables
  • Washing and drying salad greens

These are just some examples of kitchen tasks that can be accomplished with a strainer. We use ours just about every day in our van and it removes the need to carry many other tools.

7) Insulated Mug

Insulated mugs, or ‘travel mugs’ are a camper van must-have. They are capable of keeping beverages hot for long periods of time. Whether you want to bring some hot cocoa out by the fire, or keep your coffee warm for longer in the morning, the way to do it is with an insulated mug.

Another reason travel mugs are great for camper vans is their spill-proof lids. This feature is a must-have for those days when you get up, make coffee, and start driving. And, if you accidentally leave your mug on the kitchen counter and start driving (we’ve all been there), you can avoid a major spill.

These camper van kitchen essentials can help you master the art of preparing food and drink on the road! Of course, your van will need a great kitchen to begin with—one with ample cabinet space, and great features like a built-in sink and fridge. Muse & Co. Outdoors vans include all these features, and a lot more. Head over to our details page to learn more about our builds!

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