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DIY Portable Outdoor Kitchen

We anticipate cooking outside a majority of the time on our trip so setting up a functional, portable kitchen was a priority. I had a wish list of functionality I wanted for the kitchen so I decided early on we should make a custom one ourselves. I had my eyes peeled when I went to thrift stores and estate sales looking for a piece I could retrofit. I was rewarded last weekend when I found a vintage, dead-stock, military medical cart at one of my favorite antique stores in Tulsa, The Retro Den.


Above is a before picture and several after pics. I wanted a sink that I could hook up to a hose. The cart came with a bowl that I knew would make the perfect sink basin and a removable pail which solves the issue of grey water collection. I drilled holes in the stainless steel with a specialized drill bit and attached a faucet. I bought a cap for one of the water inlets and an adapter for the other water inlet that allows me to hook up a garden hose directly. I drilled a hole in the bowl and installed a drain and pipe to direct the grey water. The whole bowl and pail can easily be removed to dispose of the collected water. I also attached a basket to hold soap and sponges within easy reach.


The other side of the cart had a place to hang a paper roll which works great for a roll of paper towels. Beneath it I mounted an enamel tray where I can store magnetic spice jars, a kitchen timer and such. Plates and Utensils are stored in waterproof jute storage pockets that I hung on the cart rail using shower curtain hooks. Our propane camp burner can be set up on the carts top surface or when we need the counter space it can be stored on the shelf below. the propane tank and pots are also stored on the lower shelf. Lastly, I attached a battery operated grill light to make the kitchen more functional after dark.


The trailer itself may be far from ready but we now have a functional outdoor kitchen. I can't wait to cook a big camp breakfast, a favorite camping tradition, with the family!



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