Best Cooking Utensils for Van Lifers: Space-Saving, Multifunctional, and Essential Tools for the Road

Every square inch of space is valuable, and your kitchen is no exception when you’re living out of a van full-time. Because of this, it is absolutely necessary to pack cooking utensils that are adaptable, don’t take up much room, and are functional. In this article, we will introduce you to some of the greatest culinary utensils for van lifers. These tools will make the process of preparing meals simpler, more convenient, and even more pleasurable. Let’s plunge in!

Collapsible Measuring Cups and Spoons

Cups and spoons for measuring ingredients are vital for precisely following recipes, but they can take up a lot of space in your kitchen. When it comes to van life, having collapsible measuring cups and spoons might make all the difference. They are made of silicone, so they are not only lightweight but also simple to clean and fold down to a size that is much smaller when they are not in use. You may easily keep them in a drawer, or you can use the built-in loop to attach them to a hook in your home.

Nesting Bowls and Mixing Cups

Choose bowls and mixing cups that can stack inside of one another to save on storage space and maintain a tidy kitchen. The fact that many sets come with lids makes them an excellent choice for preserving leftovers or preparing ingredients in advance. Look for sets that are built of long-lasting materials such as stainless steel or plastic that does not contain BPA to ensure that they can withstand the rigours of travelling.

Multifunctional Spatula

Any kitchen designed for van life absolutely needs to have a spatula with multiple uses. These multipurpose tools typically have three distinct edges: one that is serrated for cutting, one that is flat for flipping, and one that is curved for scraping. They are excellent for everything from slicing vegetables to frying eggs, and they can take the place of many cooking utensils in the area that you have available.

Folding Cutting Board

Van dwellers can benefit from another creative solution for saving room in the form of a cutting board that folds up. It can serve as a level surface for chopping, and then, with a simple fold, it can be transformed into a chute that enables you to conveniently move ingredients to your saucepan or skillet. When you are finished using it, it can be folded down into a small space, making it simple to put away in a kitchen cabinet or drawer.

Compact Can Opener

A compact can opener is an important piece of equipment for the kitchen of any van. Choose a model that is compact and lightweight so that it can be quickly stowed away in the drawer where your utensils are kept without taking up an excessive amount of room. This multitasking device, which is quite small yet packs a significant punch despite its diminutive stature, comes equipped with a bottle opener on several models.

Silicone Tongs

Not only are tongs with silicone tips excellent for holding and turning food, but they are also kind to non-stick cookware and won’t scratch the surface. They are versatile tools that can be put to a wide range of uses, from grilling burgers to arranging salads. When looking for a pair of shoes, look for one that has a locking mechanism so that you can save even more room.

Collapsible Colander

It is possible to steam food while using a foldable colander, which is ideal for draining pasta, washing fruits and vegetables, and other similar tasks. These heat-resistant silicone colanders fold down flat for simple storage but expand to their full size when you’re ready to use them. They are an efficient use of space that may be implemented in the kitchen of any van life.


When it comes to the organisation of meals as well as their preparation, having a kitchen that is outfitted with cooking items that save space and serve several purposes may make all the difference. If you make the investment in these vital items, you will be able to take delectable home-cooked meals with you when you travel without having to give up any of the crucial room in your cramped kitchen. Happy cooking, van lifers!

© Copyright Van Life Companion 2023