I’m updating this post I wrote several years ago in which I detail how to make a portable kitchen. It can be used as 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, but most aren’t prepared to provide emergency services on a scale needed.
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 and provide food service for people there. I would hope that in a disaster the policy would change and people could use it as a backup emergency kitchen. I think it may have to do with insurance and liability issues.
After a disaster, FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is called in to provide disaster relief for those affected by a natural disaster like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, etc. Depending on the type of emergency situation, one of their first concerns is how best to feed those who survived the event. You may think of their support equipment as portable kitchens, mobile kitchens, temporary kitchens, container kitchens, or as a stretch in terms, mobile catering units.
These facilities often come in a trailer that includes refrigeration units, ovens, food preparation (prep) tables, and cabinets for dry storage. As you can imagine, they would also need kitchen cooking items like pots and pans, small stoves, non-perishable foods, utensils, and other critical items they can effectively pack away.
Hopefully, you won’t need to rely on FEMA to help your family survive because as a prepper, you’ve planned ahead and have a well-organized and stocked portable kitchen. If not, we’re here to help you get started.
How To Make A Portable Kitchen
I recently visited my daughter and her family for a few days. 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 is your go-to kitchen item. You know, like everyone even knows what a Danish whisk is. LOL
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, an 11-Inch Danish Whisk
I prefer the 11-inch size 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. that are mixed in a bowl.
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. to get the right measurements.
Good Measuring Cups/Spoons
The old ones she had worked great for my daughter over the years, but I couldn’t 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 all the utensils we’d 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.
I call this my mobile portable kitchen, but I didn’t 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.
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, and 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. From Stanley, I’m sure it’s designed for tool storage on mobile use, but comes in so handy as a kitchen unit.
All we need is food, and a stove, and we are good to start fixing meals almost 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.
I’ll 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?
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
Two light sticks
Two bottle openers
Flashlight: batteries don’t store well here in So. Utah, so I opted for solar flashlights. This is the one I recommend: Goal Zero Solar Flashlight
Silpat mat: you can use these inside cookie sheets, but you can also set hot pans on them.
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 pie crusts.
Pizza Cutter: I love pizza baked outside on a cast iron pizza pan: Lodge Pro-Logic Cast Iron Pizza Pan, Black, 14-inch
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 up sending them back because they would have bent just scrambling some eggs. I opted for these: Norpro Krona 9-inch Stainless Steel Whisk and Norpro Stainless Steel Krona Whisk, 13-Inch
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
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.
Firestarter: Aurora Fire Starter
Stainless steel bowls with lids: five, three, and 1.5 quarts. I need at least a 5 quart size to make two loaves of bread. Remember the bowl needs to fit in this Stanley Fatmax. I bought these: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, a Set of 3
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 Potholder
Red silicone hot pads
Heavy-duty hot pads
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
I actually added more items to my portable kitchen as I filled it because it had more room than I thought. Things I added included a rolling pin and a pizza cutter (not shown in the 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 the 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! May God Bless this world, Linda
FREE PRINTABLE: Portable Kitchen Contents by Food Storage Moms May 2019