Kmart stocks just about everything you need for your camping kitchen. But is the stuff any good at such a low price, or should you look elsewhere? We gave Saphira a small budget to grab the whole Kmart Camp Kitchen and find out.


Ah, car camping. All the benefits of the great outdoors without any of those pesky weight limits. Goodbye lumpy oatmeal and ramen dinners, hello big fry ups and chili con carne.

But purchasing your car camping set-up can be an eye-watering affair and a major barrier to getting out there.

This is why Kmart’s car camping kitchen range recently caught my attention.

Editor’s recommendation — also from Saphira, read: Kmart Versus Jetboil – Lightweight Camping Stove Comparison


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Kmart is well known for their low prices, which is both a blessing and a curse. It goes without saying that Kmart’s ‘race to the bottom’ comes at the expense of the environment and questions around human labour rights.

Although it would be nice if we could all afford top of the line, ethically manufactured goods, that’s not possible (especially nowadays, when we’re all feeling the pinch in a big way). And, unfortunately, even expensive gear isn’t always ethically made.

One way to do your bit within your budget is to think about the other end of the sustainability cycle and avoid discarding what you’ve purchased. By choosing materials which are well-designed and durable, we can extend the lifetime of our gear.

With that in mind, I went to Kmart to see if their budget car camping kitchen gear is worth it.

I looked at the affordability, functionality, durability, and aesthetics of each item.


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review

One happy shopper. Thanks for the pocket money We Are Explorers!


Editor’s recommendation — also from Saphira, read: I Tested All of ALDI’s Cheap Hiking Gear Over 100km

Everything I purchased in my Kmart Camp Kitchen:

Here’s a list of essential gear for your camp kitchen by We Are Explorers featuring more traditional outdoor brands.

For me, the below list was a great place to start if you’re a beginner or building a camp kitchen from scratch.

  1. Campmaster Portable Gas Stove ($25)
  2. Cast Iron Pan ($17)
  3. Cast Iron Pot ($15)
  4. Cast Iron Griddle Pan ($12)
  5. 12 Piece Enamel Dinner Set ($25)
  6. 4L Enamel Kettle ($12)
  7. 6 Cup Espresso Coffee Maker ($10)
  8. 500mL Enamel Mugs ($3.50 each)
  9. 160mL Enamel Espresso Mugs ($3.50 each)
  10. Camp Toaster ($5)
  11. BBQ Spatula & Tongs ($9)
  12. Portable Wine Cups ($3 each)
  13. Collapsible Sink with Plug ($19)

Total Cost: $169


Estimated cost of equivalent budget-end products elsewhere: $305+ (savings of $136+)

Estimated cost of higher quality/brand-name products elsewhere: $500+ (savings of $331+)

Overall, my impression is that Kmart’s camp-kitchen gear costs about half of what similar budget-end products cost at the likes of BCF, Anaconda, and so on. And obviously the savings are even greater compared to the mid-range alternatives.

Read: The Dark Side of Cheap Gear

What you’d still need to finish your camp kitchen:

  • Table
  • Chairs
  • Chopping board
  • Knife

Wondering where you can get these other items? Also, Kmart. D’uh.

Now let’s take a look at each piece of kit.


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review

1. Campmaster Portable Gas Stove ($25)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


This single-burner gas stove is the heart of the camp kitchen. It comes in a nice khaki green colour and is well-priced.

It burns through 160g of gas per hour – so you’ll need about a standard 220g Butane cannister per day ($1.50 each), more if you do elaborate dinners. I found it a pain to use in windy conditions, but I think that’s universally a problem for gas stoves. I’d consider getting a dual-burner if you’re going to be using this regularly, else you’ll be stuck with one-pan/pot recipes.


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: Great price for a camp stove.

Functionality: Works fine, except when it’s windy. Can be a pain to clean.

Durability: Pretty good.

Aesthetic: Nice khaki green.

2. Cast Iron Pan ($17)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


You can use this 2.5kg pan on an open fire or on a camp stove and at 29cm, it’s big enough to cook for two. With cast iron pans easily retailing for hundreds of dollars, this $17 alternative got me wondering what you actually get out of more expensive cast iron pans (aside from, hopefully, more ethical manufacturing conditions).

It turns out that cheaper cast iron is rougher and more porous than the high-end stuff. Apparently, this means it’ll take longer to season properly and become ‘non-stick’ – a quality you get straight out of the box with a spensier cast iron. So, if you don’t love this pan immediately, don’t chuck it out! Give it a bit of time (and grease).

My experience? I cooked fried eggs on it straight out of the box and didn’t end up with my eggs stuck to the pan at all. Then, I fried sausages, salmon (with the skin on), chicken, and more, and absolutely never had anything stick…


Affordability: A quarter of the price of other cast irons on the market.

Functionality: It may need some time to ‘season’ properly, but it’s not a big deal. The handle is maybe a bit short for such a heavy pan.

Durability: Cast iron lasts forever, so it’s hard to go wrong.

Aesthetic: Cast iron pans are pretty much always black and always heavy.

3. Cast Iron Pot ($15)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


If you’re looking for a pot hardy enough to handle being thrown in an actual fire, look no further than this cast iron pot.

It has a 1.8L capacity, which I reckon is big enough to serve two, and weighs a tonne (actually 2.58kg). It’s very affordable and will probably last longer than humanity itself (though, at this stage, that’s not saying much).


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: As cheap as cast iron gets.

Functionality: Does what it says on the box.

Durability: Cast iron lasts forever, so it’s hard to go wrong.

Aesthetic: Black and heavy, like all cast iron.

4. Cast Iron Griddle Pan ($12)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Each to their own, but I’m fine frying up my bacon, sausages, and other griddle-niceties on a plain old cast iron pan *shrugs*. So, for me, this is an unnecessary purchase.

On the other hand, if this is up your alley, cast iron lasts just about forever, so at least it’s a once and done purchase and not a throwaway. Keep in mind it’s not massive, so it’s best suited for two campers.


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: Cheap as chips.

Functionality: Works fine for two serves, though may need time to season properly. Probably unnecessary if you have a pan.

Durability: Cast iron lasts forever, so it’s hard to go wrong.

Aesthetic: It’s pretty cute with a nice handle.

5. 12 Piece Enamel Dinner Set ($25)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


This 12 piece enamel dinner set is super charming and brings all the camping vibes. It includes four sets of plates, bowls, and mugs. It’s dishwasher safe, which is always a plus, and the enamel is durable.

Kmart also sells a 24 piece plastic dinner set for half the price, but you’ll be replacing it a lot sooner (the plastic version has cups instead of mugs plus cutlery, too). Plastic is a ticking time bomb where this enamel set will last yonks. My only gripe is with the mugs. I find the mug itself gets ouchy-hot instantly but my coffee/tea doesn’t stay hot long. And the lip on them is weirdly annoying – it’s got a weirdly unfinished, raw edge quality to it. I’ve started avoiding using it after just a few weeks.


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: A bit of an investment.

Functionality: You can definitely eat food off of it no worries. Dishwasher safe! The mug has a weird lip which I hate. Enamel also tends to cool down your food/drink (but can be hot to touch itself).

Durability: Enamel has good durability over plastic alternatives.

Aesthetic: A classic camping set in navy blue.

6. 2.4L Enamel Kettle ($12)

Like any camping kettle should, you can boil water in this bad boy either over a stove or on a campfire. It’s nice and light. It has a wide bottom for stability which also suits the gas stove well.

To pour ALL the water out you essentially have to invert the whole thing. Personally, I find it a bit clunky looking and would rather have a billy with a whistle.


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: At just over a tenner, this is a bargain.

Functionality: You can’t get all the water out of it. Nice stable base.

Durability: Nice and robust.

Aesthetic: A classic camping kettle.

7. 6-Cup Espresso Coffee Maker ($10)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


This espresso coffee maker (aka Moka Pot) is dishwasher safe (but I found it discolours right away) and doesn’t require any coffee filters or the like.

It’s sturdy and can take a beating but the base is too small and precarious to work well with the camp stove, so it loses a lot of points there.

It makes good, strong espresso which you can turn it into a long black by adding hot water. But it takes ages. If you blast a Moka Pot with a full flame it will ruin your coffee, so you’re in for a long wait for your cuppa.

Personally, I prefer a Jet Boil + AeroPress set-up because it’s way quicker (but there are a lot of ways to make camping coffee).


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: Cheap.

Functionality: Slow to brew and too small to safely sit on the camp stove.

Durability: Sturdy and re-usable, with no disposable filters needed.

Aesthetic: Pretty stock standard. Discolours in the dishwasher.

8. 500ml Enamel Mugs ($3.50 each)

There are three designs in the 500ml size – a grey ‘Awesome Brews with Awesome Views!’, an orange ‘It’s Great to be Outdoors’ and a grey-blue ‘Been There Drank That’. For the smaller kids’ sizes, there’s a black dino mug that reads ‘Roarsome Adventures’ and a purple unicorn mug that reads ‘Magical Adventures’.

The lips on these have a way better finish than the otherwise identical mugs that come in the 12 piece dinner set.


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: As good as it gets.

Functionality: Dishwasher safe.

Durability: Enamel is a durable material.

Aesthetic: Cute as designs!

9. 160mL Enamel Espresso Mugs ($3.50 each)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


A standard espresso is 30mL, and coffee snobs say that cups larger than 90mL spread the crema too thin and cool your espresso down too quickly. So, if you’re a caffeine aficionado, these mugs will absolutely not do by a long shot (pun intended).

My partner and I split the brew from the 6-cup Espresso Coffee Maker between our two cups like the depraved coffee drinkers we are, and liked it. They won’t break and they do the job, so I say they’re fine. (How long does it take to drink a 30mL espresso anyway?)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: Weirdly not cheaper than the enamel mugs which are three times as big.

Functionality: These won’t cut the cheese for coffee connoisseurs.

Durability: Enamel is a durable material.

Aesthetic: The white and blue design is very classy IMHO.

10. Camp toaster ($5)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


I’m torn on this one. It’s only a fiver and, well, it does work at toasting bread. But it’s a bit gimmicky and in my opinion is you can just dry toast your bread on the cast iron pan without needing a separate contraption… Just whack the bread on before the eggs and bacon and you’ll be right as rain.

It seems unnecessary to me, and for the sake of Mother Earth, I reckon skip this one!


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: A bargain!

Functionality: It says it’ll toast bread, and it does.

Durability: Not terribly flimsy, but I doubt it’ll become a family heirloom.

Aesthetic: As nice as a camp toaster can look.

11. BBQ Spatula & Tongs ($9)

This pair were probably the losers of my haul. Maybe it’s my tiny lady hands (rolls eyes), but I found them massive and unwieldy and far better suited to a BBQ than a camp stove (and, to be fair, they’re labelled as such).

The spatula is too large to work for the 29cm Cast Iron Pan, and just won’t do for eggs, so you’ll need another one anyway. I will say the tongs have a nice lip to them that make them cherry tomato friendly, and they are sturdy and of good quality.


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: Two BBQ essentials for under a tenner.

Functionality: Large and unwieldy, but the tongs have a nice lip.

Durability: Nice and sturdy.

Aesthetic: Big.

12. Collapsible sink with plug ($19)

I bought my first camp sink a couple of months ago (from Kings, $24.95) only for it to start leaking basically immediately. By comparison, this sink is a bit sturdier, with a good, solid drain.

My main gripe is the bottom of it is entirely flat, without any slope towards the drain, so any bits of coffee ground or food don’t drain well. With long-term, daily use, it’s advisable not to collapse it every time to extend the lifetime of the silicone sides (store stuff in the tub instead of packing it down).


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: I’d say this is pretty expensive (by Kmart standards) for being a silicone tub?

Functionality: Fairly good, but the water could drain better.

Durability: I’ve seen worse.

Aesthetic: I am unaware of any aesthetic trends in the camp kitchen sink world.

13. Portable Wine Cups ($3 each)


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


These wine cups are gimmicky, won’t last, and represent the worst Kmart has to offer.

While the design is fine – and will allow you to enjoy a Cab Sav in your camping chair’s cupholder for a week or two – the plastic execution leaves a lot to be desired. In fact ours were cracked by the time they got home.


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Affordability: Two gold coins and they’re yours.

Functionality: They hold liquid but that’s about it.

Durability: Gimmicky cups with plastic that cracks within a handful of uses.

Aesthetic: Not as cool as other portable wine cups I’ve seen.

Overall Verdict?

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by Kmart’s camp kitchen range.

With a tonne of cast iron, enamel, and stainless steel options, even the budget-conscious car camper can choose durability and do their bit for sustainability (but do check out your local op-shop or Facebook Marketplace, too).


Kmart Camp Kitchen Review


Some of the gimmicky stuff, like the portable wine glasses and the camp toaster are probably just destined for landfill, so I’d give them a miss.

But overall, I’m quite pleased with what I got for my money.


Images by Saphira aka @hikertrashling

We Are Explorers provided Saphira with a budget to spend at Kmart to construct her dream (albeit, budget) camp kitchen. She was allowed to say whatever she wanted about the products and keep them afterwards.