Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

DanM

Travel kitchen utensils

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I am getting annoyed with poorly equipped and mantained AirBnB kitchens. The knives are damaged, basic tools missing, buying salt and pepper every time I travel, etc... I want to make a knife roll for the 4-6 times a year that I travel. These are the basic utensils that are either commonly missing or in poor shape at most apartment rentals. Here is what I have right now...

 

Chef knife

Bread/serated knife

paring knife

can opener

corkscrew (aka my victorinox cheese pocket knife.)

wood spoon

veg peeler

salt shaker

pepper in a grinder

no more than 6 spices/herbs. Paprika, garlic powder, herbs de provence, and 3 tbd...

Tabasco?

zip top bags

 

What else should I add? Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Dan


Edited by Smithy Corrected title spelling (log)
  • Like 1

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't really had this problem at the airbnbs we've stayed in, but even if I was worried about it, that sure seems like an awful lot of stuff to schlep around with. Salt & pepper? Can opener? I can understand a knife or two...

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, DanM said:

I am getting annoyed with poorly equipped and mantained (sic) AirBnB kitchens.

 

It's nothing to do with AirBnB. It's normal in most homes around the western world.

 

 I agree with @weinoo. Your list is somewhat excessive. When you are travelling, improvise. No one needs a paring knife AND a veg peeler, however convenient at home. I haven't possessed a bread knife for decades and manage just fine. Ditto can opener.

Can you explain your reasoning behind limiting spices/herbs to six? Frankly, I'd be outside seeing what they have locally instead of carrying all that with me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hmmm

Dig. Thermometer

Corkscrew, peeler, small chef's knife, small knife sharpener

I'd have to buy oil when I get there, so I'd get spices, salt etc then too

 

Or maybe just the peeler, sharpener and the thermometer.

 

And a sous vide machine perhaps.


Edited by gfweb (log)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the first things I enjoy doing when we arrive at a destination, is to head to a local store for provisions, as well as things which might not be stocked and which I think I'll need.  And often it's where I'll find small gifts to bring back to people back home, especially those who enjoy cooking. Salts are always available and usually pretty inexpensive.

 

Same thing with certain herbs and spices; compared to the prices I might pay for things like pimentón or herbes de Provence back in the states, they cost next to nothing...and usually, they're a lot fresher.

 

Admittedly, though, I don't do much cooking when we travel, as we often travel for the specific purpose of exploring the food of wherever we go.  I do, however, always make coffee and something for breakfast. And that's what I bring in my bag - some ground coffee (though obviously not the best way to keep coffee fresh, but after an experience with a hand grinder and tearing a rotator cuff using it, I now take the easy way) as well as a small pour over contraption. Like this one...

 

IMG_7924.thumb.JPG.6d46b93b02d6db9608d9a535ac61d3a1.JPG

 

  • Like 4

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

It's nothing to do with AirBnB. It's normal in most homes around the western world.

 

 I agree with @weinoo. Your list is somewhat excessive. When you are travelling, improvise. No one needs a paring knife AND a veg peeler, however convenient at home. I haven't possessed a bread knife for decades and manage just fine. Ditto can opener.

Can you explain your reasoning behind limiting spices/herbs to six? Frankly, I'd be outside seeing what they have locally instead of carrying all that with me.

 

Sorry, but I disagree. It is an issue with AirBnBs as many hosts/companies that run AirBnB apartments equip their kitchens with the cheapest items possible, keep the provisions to a minimum, and provide little maintenance for them. 

 

The pairing knife is essential as I have a 7 and 9 year old who are not yet comfortable using a 8" chef's knife, so a cheap paring knife is always a good option. Our routine on trips is to fill a box with cut up fruits and veg for lunch and snacks throughout the day. This is usually supplemented with fresh bread, cheese, and a tartine or rillette that we pick up as we head out for the day. with As such, a veg peeler for the carrots, apples, and other items is essential.

 

 

Most bakeries I have been to during our travels do not have slicing machine, so a serrated knife is useful.

 

I don't do much real cooking while travelling. It's mostly heat and serve. As such, spices are of limited use during our travels. As far as buying as I go, I have found that I will at times spend 15 euros per trip on salt, pepper, spices, oil, etc that usually get thrown out  or left behind.

 

I am also contemplating a silicone expandable strainer. Ravioli, tortellini and similar pastas are quick and easy meals for the kids. It is damn annoying when there isn't one in the apartment.

 

  • Like 1

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, weinoo said:

One of the first things I enjoy doing when we arrive at a destination, is to head to a local store for provisions, as well as things which might not be stocked and which I think I'll need.  And often it's where I'll find small gifts to bring back to people back home, especially those who enjoy cooking. Salts are always available and usually pretty inexpensive.

 

Same thing with certain herbs and spices; compared to the prices I might pay for things like pimentón or herbes de Provence back in the states, they cost next to nothing...and usually, they're a lot fresher.

 

Admittedly, though, I don't do much cooking when we travel, as we often travel for the specific purpose of exploring the food of wherever we go.  I do, however, always make coffee and something for breakfast. And that's what I bring in my bag - some ground coffee (though obviously not the best way to keep coffee fresh, but after an experience with a hand grinder and tearing a rotator cuff using it, I now take the easy way) as well as a small pour over contraption. Like this one...

  

IMG_7924.thumb.JPG.6d46b93b02d6db9608d9a535ac61d3a1.JPG

 

 

This is a good idea... I have been tempted by Bodum's french press travel mug.


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Of course, the coffee pot.  We always take one with us.  And coffee from home because we never know when we will arrive where.  And motels have terrible coffee usually.  And our

 own mugs.

 

And a plug in cooler.  But then we travel in a full-sized Ford window van with a platform which Ed built which sits high enough from the van floor to store full size Rubbermaid containers.   Allows the dogs to look out the windows.  

 

 


Edited by Darienne (log)
  • Like 1

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

https://www.wuesthof.com/canada/products/Product-details-3/tomato-knife-4105

 

This serrated little knife might be useful.  While called a tomato knife, I have also used it to slice bread and it is a lot smaller than a bread knife.

 

Victorinox has a similar knife for about 5 francs... and it comes in fun colours!  I might swing by their store to take a look. https://www.victorinox.com/ch/fr/Produits/Couteaux-de-cuisine-et-professionnels/Couteaux-doffice/Couteau-a-tomates-et-de-table-Swiss-Classic/p/6.7831


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Wouldn't it be easier to stay at home?

 

Yes, but that would be a dull and boring life.

 

Since we started this expat experience, I have dragged my kids to Alsace, Venice, Barcelona, Israel, Nuremburg, Hamburg, back to the US, and Lucerne. This does not include the numerous day trips to neighboring France and Switzerland. I currently have plans in the works for Genoa, Jerusalem, Rome, Provence or Brittany/Normandy (I haven't decided yet), and Vienna over the next 18 months. 


Edited by DanM (log)
  • Like 5

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My DW and I vacation in a housekeeping cabin in the eastern Sierras that is, for how we like to cook, poorly equipped - basically the cheapest things they could buy at a Walmart. New management has helped some but it still isn't to our liking It sounds very much like your AirBnB kitchens. Because we travel in a pickup truck with a camper shell space is not an issue for us. We carry all of the pots and pans we will need for our menus, plus the 2 large and 1 small tubs full of items of our preference.

 

I would suggest a roll of heavy-duty foil. Useful for many things.

 

Here is a picture of some of the utensils we carry in case anything pictured suggests something to you. I carry a separate knife roll but you already know about your knife needs.

 

I envy your ability to take your children on trips like you describe. Now we have grandchildren in that age range.

Vacation Utensis.jpg

  • Like 6

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a tea drinker. I carry a small amount of loose tea and something like these paper filter bags along with a plastic teaspoon for measuring. My filter bags, also from Finum, have a plastic "filter stick" which pierces the paper and props on the edge of the cup to steep. It packs pretty flat. Then all I need is to buy a small container of milk.

 

Way better than motel or AirBnb coffee!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too travel with my own tea bags / loose tea / filters. Many of the packets of tea that are provided on planes or at air bnb's or whatever are not what I would choose. It's a small thing and avoids grouchiness. I also always have a little container of flaky salt in my purse, and sometimes, if I remember when I'm traveling, I bring along a small adorable bamboo spork so I can avoid asking for plastic. All these are minimal and take up no real space. Unless we are on a car-trip and plan to stop at rest-stops or picnic areas, I don't travel with any utensils and don't plan on doing much cooking. As a rule, trips with hotel stays or rental lodgings are my big opportunity to NOT cook.

 

There's a story behind the salt stash. One day several years ago my nephew's wife and I went out for local artisan ice cream. If it's summer, and it's being offered, I rarely resist fresh corn ice cream. This time it was obvious after one lick that this ice cream was crying out for a little sprinkle of salt. I noticed on the board that salt, along with several other add-ons, was 50 cents. Really? About 10 grains would have been enough. So ever after I have carried a little container of good salt wherever I go. I don't really need it often, but when I do, it's makes me happy. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pretty much always travel with coffee (grind some before I leave home) and a corkscrew. I can live with the motel room coffee pot, which will generally suffice, but not the coffee. The corkscrew lives in my cosmetic bag; the tiny blade for foil-cutting is small enough not to excite TSA, and if it does, I can get another one for $2.99. 

 

When we go to the Gulf, I take my shrimp pot, but that's because rental kitchens seldom have one big enough and I'm going to boil shrimp most nights I'm there. And I have been known to SV steaks, throw them in the cooler, and cook steaks when I get somewhere, if I know there's a grill. But typically, I'll buy supplies when I get there. The exception would be if I want to make a special dish that has something other than garden-variety spices, and that's not often the case when I travel.

 

Yes, I often do take my own knives. I have a six-inch utility knife that will serve as a paring knife and also stand in for a chef's knife in most cases. Generally, there's a cheap serrated knife in the drawer there.

 

  • Like 4

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ElsieD said:

https://www.wuesthof.com/canada/products/Product-details-3/tomato-knife-4105

 

This serrated little knife might be useful.  While called a tomato knife, I have also used it to slice bread and it is a lot smaller than a bread knife.

So funny. On road trips I too carry a serrated tomato knife that's about that size. At some town in the south of France we bought that knife and some wonderful bright colored plastic plates--I couldn't resist--and stuffed them in my luggage. That was pretty much my only personal shopping in France, so very restrained, right?

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never gone to an air-b-n-b expecting to cook much, but often have this problem when cooking at friends' and relatives' houses. The problem is that what people will have—and not have—can strain the imagination.

 

Someone will have a digital smoker, convection steam oven, Vita-Prep, deep fryer, and rice cooker, but they won't have a strainer. That kind of thing. You'd never anticipate it. 

 

If I'm cooking a meal in a strange kitchen, I ask a lot of question, even if they sound ridiculous ("that's so cool that you have an anti-griddle. Do you have a whisk?"). 

 

So my cooking go-bag and knife roll get customized for each meal. It will always include a chef's knife ... either my nice gyuto or a heavy German one, depending on the meal and the chances of someone getting their hands on it. I also usually bring a small assortment of potions, like xanthan gum, arrowroot, and maybe some other hydrocolloids that can come in handy and that no one has. 

 

Other likely candidates:

-long tongs

-silicone spatula

-very small whisk

-fish spat

-bamboo spatula (I love these and have replaced all wooden spoons with them)

-thermocouple

-remote probe thermometer

-microplane

-kuhn-rikon peeler

-small fine chinois

-another relevant knife or 2

  • Like 1

Notes from the underbelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Got me thinking about a topic I started a few years back. What Do You Take Along?


Honestly, the first thing I thought when I saw this discussion topic was "Kerry doesn't need travel kitchen utensils, she finds anything in the hotel room or general vicinity that looks like it could serve the purpose and makes it successfully serve the purpose." :D

  • Haha 1

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


Honestly, the first thing I thought when I saw this discussion topic was "Kerry doesn't need travel kitchen utensils, she finds anything in the hotel room or general vicinity that looks like it could serve the purpose and makes it successfully serve the purpose." :D

LOL - I am sometimes forced to do that! 

 

My little travel kit caused me to pull out my little first aid kit the last time we were in Vegas and my serrated knife caused the de-tipping of a finger as I recall. Now my first aid kit is another topic of discussion - I can't administer shocks - but just about anything short of that!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Now my first aid kit is another topic of discussion - I can't administer shocks - but just about anything short of that!

 

Seems eminently logical. On one hand we have your professional skills, on the other we have your predilection for a) complex and sometimes improvisational cooking, combined with b) a predilection for cocktails.

 

One would anticipate and necessarily prepare for the occasional de-tipping of a finger, I should think. :P

 

(I was fortunate to have an experienced RN and a good first-aid kit - hers - close to hand, as it were, the night I took off the end of my finger on a mandoline...sans cocktails though, I was working at the time.)


"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A first aid kit and an airbnb cancel each other out. It would be hard to hurt yourself on any knife you find in that kitchen. You only ned the first aid kit if you bring your own knives. So I bring neither and feel totally justified in going out instead of cooking in. The only time I remember wishing I had a real kitchen on vacation was in the south of France. Those markets just about killed me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...