How To Make A Portable Kitchen

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I’m updating this post I wrote several years ago on making a portable kitchen. It can be used for an emergency kitchen to take to a church or school after a disaster, and it’s perfect for camping. Most schools are equipped to cook meals, or at least some of them are.

The church in our area has a policy that people can’t use the kitchen stove to cook or bake anything. You can only reheat or keep a casserole warm. If we had an emergency it would be my last choice to go to try and cook for people there. I would hope that in a disaster the policy would change and people could use it as a backup emergency kitchen.

Danish Whisk

I recently visited my daughter and her family for four wonderful fun filled weeks. I tried to give my very ambitious daughter a little break by making a few meals each day for her and the family. You know it’s funny how I assume everyone has a Danish whisk, or a hand mixer, or whatever. You know, like everyone even knows what a Danish whisk is.

I had never heard of one until my friend, Melissa Richardson who wrote the book: “The Art of Baking Bread with Natural Yeast” introduced me to one. She has since written another natural yeast book, but she showed me how to use one of these: Danish Dough Hand Whisk / Mixer 11″ or 14″

I prefer the 11-inch one because the metal whisk end will fit inside a wide mouth mason jar to make natural yeast, salad dressings or whatever you may need in the jar. The large one is too large for the jar opening. The large one is great for cake batter, pancake batter or muffins, etc.

Please picture me at my daughter’s home in her kitchen fixing meals without my usual kitchen tools. She has plenty of my favorite kitchen tools, but she had some measuring cups I could not read the 3/4 or 1/4, etc.

Good Measuring Cups/Spoons

I know it’s because my eyes are not as good as they used to be, so of course, I ordered her a set of my favorite measuring cups: Measuring Cups 7 Piece with New 1/8 cup (Coffee Scoop) by KitchenMade-Stainless Steel-Nesting set. and my favorite measuring spoons: CIA Masters Collection 6 Piece Measuring Spoon Set

The old ones she had worked great for my daughter over the years, but I could not see the amounts on any of them. My point today is, if by chance our neighborhood or community at large had to gather at a local building, such as a church or school, will the kitchens be equipped with utensils we need?

I’m sure we would all make do, but if we can plan in advance we are ready to prepare and serve the meals to feed some very hungry people after a disaster or unforeseen extended power outage. Or maybe even something worse.

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Now I call this my mobile portable kitchen, but I did not put cookware, dishes or silverware in this container. I did put serving utensils and so much more, but I wanted something I could transport very easily. It’s ready when I need it at a moment’s notice.

Portable Kitchen

Prepared Chicks

My friend, Lisa, and I were talking about this portable kitchen idea because we both are prepared chicks and we decided this is what we both needed. I didn’t put any food in this gem because we have critters here in Southern Utah.

But I will tell you this, I am prepared to cook anywhere. I will grab my cast iron pans, paper plates, cups, plastic silverware and I’m good to go. They are placed neatly next to each other right next to my 72-hour kits. This container is the one I bought, it’s a Stanley Fatmax on Amazon: Stanley Fax Max.

All we need is food, a stove and we are good to start fixing meals most anywhere! Yes, I can cook anything outside with solar, wood, propane, briquettes, etc.

Mobile Portable Kitchen

I have a FREE PRINTABLE below listing all of the items for each compartment in the Stanley Fat Max for you.

Mobile Portable Kitchen

I will tell you row by row what I put in each section. The first top “tool” container/compartment sits in a slot on top of the top opening that has my dishwasher liquid soap (in a ziplock bag). I have 2 light sticks and six kitchen knives enclosed in knife sheaths. This section sits on top of the second compartment. A portable kitchen, who can use one of these for camping?

Portable Kitchen

Top Compartment:

Dishwasher soap

Six kitchen razor-sharp knives with protective sheaths, 8″ chef knife, 8″ slicing knife, 7″ Santoku knife, 5″ Santoku knife, 5″ utility knife and a 3″ paring knife. Chef Essential 6 Piece Knife Set With Matching Sheaths, Black

Two light sticks

Two bottle openers

Second Compartment:

Flashlight: batteries do not store well here in So. Utah so I opt for solar flashlights. This is the one I recommend: Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel

Silpat mat: you can use these inside cookie sheets, but you can also set hot pans on it.

Hand-egg beater: Danesco 12-Inch Rotary Egg Beater

Rolling Pin: I use a rolling pin to make cinnamon rolls and roll out my pizza dough, I’m sure a lot of people make pies.

Pizza Cutter: I love pizza baked outside on a cast iron pizza pan: Lodge Pro-Logic P14P3 Cast Iron Pizza Pan, Black, 14-inch

Danish Whisk

3-piece silicone spatula set (12-inch, 9-inch, and 7-inch) Heat resistant to 450 degrees

Two stainless steel whisks: one thing I must say, I bought a set of three whisks from Amazon and ended sending them back because they would have bent just scrambling some eggs. I opted for these: Norpro 2314 Krona 9-inch Stainless Steel Whisk and these: Norpro 2316 Stainless Steel Krona Whisk, 13-Inch

Read More of My Articles  What You Need in Your Homestead Kitchen

One pancake turner

One slotted spoon

Kitchen shears with sheath cover

(25)  33-gallon size garbage bags

Tongs: short for cooking and long ones to move the hot coals around if you are using a Dutch oven, etc.

Two aprons with pockets

Third Compartment

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons


Salt & Pepper: I decided against storing any other spices besides salt and pepper (this is my disaster mobile portable kitchen). Need I say more?

Two bottle openers

2 Can Openers


Coconut oil: I chose coconut oil because it will last longer than olive oil, or any other oil for that matter.

Vegetable peeler

Hand sanitizer

Baby wipes

Firestarter: Aurora Fire Starter

Fourth Compartment

Collapsible colanders

Stainless steel bowls with lids: five, three and 1.5 quarts. I need at least a 5 quart to make two loaves of bread. Remember the bowl needs to fit in this Stanley Fatmax. I bought these: Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, Set of 3

Dish Rags

Dish towels

Cloth Diapers: (instead of paper towels), these can be used for so many things. Gerber Birdseye 3-Ply Prefold Cloth Diapers, White, 10 Count

Red silicone hand gloves: heat resistant to 425 degrees Oven Mitts Gloves, Heat Resistant Silicone Gloves BBQ Grilling Gloves for Cooking Baking Barbecue Potholder

Red silicone hot pads

Heavy duty hot pads

Aluminum foil

Plastic wrap

Parchment paper

Ziploc gallon size baggies

Dough scraper: I use this when I make bread, cinnamon rolls and so much more: OXO Good Grips Multi-purpose stainless steel scraper & chopper

Bamboo wooden cutting board with interchangeable plastic inserts: Seville Classics Bamboo Cutting Board with Removable Cutting Mats

Final Word

I actually added more items to my portable kitchen as I filled it because it had more room than I thought. One thing I added was a rolling pin and a pizza cutter (not shown in picture). It has plenty of room for several spices or small containers. I also added a package of baby wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer (also not shown in picture).

If your family likes spending time in the mountains, by the lake, or just around the corner at the local park, you’ll love having one of these Stanley units.  Stanley is known for quality as evidenced by the great tools they make. If cared for, this unit will last you a long time.

Consider buying one as a family and be willing to share for all to enjoy. Get one and start making some memories, besides being as prepared as possible for the unexpected events that come our way when we least expect them. Please let me know if you make a portable kitchen! Enjoy!

FREE PRINTABLE: Portable Kitchen Contents by Food Storage Moms May 2019

First Aid Kit

How To Clean Cast Iron

12 thoughts on “How To Make A Portable Kitchen

  • May 2, 2019 at 7:34 am

    I do not see a manual can opener in your list. We have a similar set up for camping, but it includes pots and pans and paper goods. Ours is in a heavy plastic square container that can be padlocked as we frequently camp in bear country.

    • May 2, 2019 at 8:00 am

      Hi Liz, thanks for catching that. I need to add it to the list. You can see the can openers on the table, I just forgot to type it in. Thank you so much! I’m fixing the list right now! Linda

  • May 2, 2019 at 9:39 am

    I guess I am planning only for myself! I don’t have the room (in an apartment) to store more than the kitchen I have for camping. Well, actually I have two. I camp in primitive settings (I re-enact the Fur Trade Era pre-1840 and cannot have a kitchen that is not made of wood) so I have limited “container” space. I have all the things I need to cook in the great outdoors for a 10 day rendezvous but it will not be sufficient to cook for a large gathering. One of my boxes contains my dishes, silverware, knives, wooden spoons, measuring utensils, kitchen rags, salt and pepper (when I go, I add other spices as needed for my menu), oil, recipe cards (I purchased a 3X5 spiral bound from the office supply store in the school section) with recipes as well as my DO heat chart; basically all the things I need to use while cooking for myself. The second box contains my cast iron tortilla cooker (useful for anything that needs to be cooked on a flat surface), my very small skillet, my coffee pot, and my fire starters.

    My two kitchen boxes are not very portable in an emergency, however as they are not on wheels but have to be carried. If I have time in an emergency, I will load them into my car along with my tent, sleeping bag, emergency bags, etc. If I don’t have time, I do have a way to cook in my larger rolling emergency bag but it will be extremely basic! I have a small pot to heat food and water and a long handled wooden spoon, a butcher knife and a paring knife, a small cutting board but little else in the way of “kitchen” items.

    I am sorry to say that, in a disaster situation, I will not be trying to feed the masses. I will be looking out for me and possibly one or two others. If I lived in a house or had a garage to store things in, I would gear up for more but my vehicle has limited capacity as well.

    • May 2, 2019 at 10:14 am

      Hi Leanne, you are doing what is right, my friend. This post is to help those who do have room to store stuff, can go camping and have the know how to cook for large groups. I have cooked for large groups hundreds of times. We all bring stuff to the table, whether it’s for ourselves, two people or dozens. We are all prepping because we know it’s the right thing to do. Linda

    • May 2, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      I was just going to point out, that if you weren’t sure you had everything, go camping at a primitive site. You beat me to it.

      • May 2, 2019 at 11:46 pm

        Janet, I have been primitive camping for 60 years!! I will never say that I have it all together but I can survive for 10 days with only basic hygiene and minimal cooking!!! I love it and pray that I can continue my “hobby” for a few more years.

    • February 1, 2021 at 9:23 am

      Maybe one of those rolling luggage carts or a couple of rolling duffle bags that are large enough to hold the boxes?

      I’m in an appartment also and I’m disabled so my go-bag is a rolling suitcase and a backpack that is strapped to my rollator. It has a small basket under the seat that I can use for any last minute items.

      • February 1, 2021 at 11:14 am

        DavetteB ~ My emergency bug out bag(s) – one is a rolling suit case (carry on size), a rolling duffle bag – pretty big and a couple of smaller duffle bags. I have practiced with the 2 rolling bags with the smaller duffle bags on them. Challenging but do-able! I don’t plan to carry much in the way of “kitchen” items but have some very basic cooking tools. Guess the thing I am looking at is in a bug out situation that is immediate (i.e. leave in minutes) I will take just my bug out bags and do the best I can. If I have time to load my car, I will be able to take much much more (if I have a few hours to load the car).

  • May 2, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Hello! I’m Beth and my husband an I camp as often as possible and in areas where amenities are not available. So I wanted to share a couple of things we have done.
    For our silverware (spoons, forks, and the like) I use a plastic pencil case the one you can get anywhere for a dollar, but luckily I found one that’s more slender and for my husband an I that works. But if you have a larger amount of family the larger one is better.
    instead of using plastic ware we use the cheap real utensils from any dollar type store cause they are reusable (don’t get the ones with plastic handles they tend to come apart) and who needs more trash in nature.
    We have steel buckets like mini trash cans because they can be put on an open fire to boil water for washing dishes, bathing and such, we got ours I think at Ace Hardware. Before we got these we used some reclaimed roasting pans out of a couple of electric roasters that no longer worked.
    I have not got to use the tic-tac method for spices because we don’t use them and they are small and we love our seasonings so I just take the whole containers and they don’t take up too much space. For our salt and pepper I use the disposable plastic ones and you can get mini funnels to refill them instead of throwing them away an they last longer than the cardboard ones.
    For food storage I reuse jars of all sorts, but I’m thinking of using plastic soda bottles because they are thinner and won’t break, I have funnels so they could be filled easily.
    Last summer we stayed on the river close to us and because our youngest daughter was expecting we got a toilet seat with a lid that fits on a 5 gallon bucket, you can use the products that goes into rv toilets to keep the smell down and I recommend digging a hole to empty contents if there is no where near to discard.
    And we do love our cast iron pans!
    I also recommend getting a plastic container with a spigot it helps make washing hands easier.
    A few years ago my husband took a 55 gallon barrel and put a spigot on it put it in between two boards on the bed of our pickup (yes he screwed them down) put the barrel in between them so it wouldn’t roll filled it with water so when we needed water we would just turn the spigot on. We use this mostly when where we are at the water is too muddy to use. If we are somewhere where the water isn’t muddy then we take a little less water for drinking and cooking.
    For an idea in recycling and creating table and seating that is collapsible we could use old ironing boards but they have to be the sturdy ones. This is our next project. You can either apply wood to the board or make a top and apply the bottom to whatever you are going to use as the top. Anyway this idea is so that you can have a table and seating that will fold flat for space saving.

    • May 2, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Beth, your comment is a gold mine of ideas!! I love all of them! Thanks for sharing your tips, I could almost visualize you and your family camping near the riverbank! Oh, how I love to camp! Great tips!!! Linda

  • May 2, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    I do apologize for not saying this earlier! I love your portable kitchen!


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