What to bring when cooking in someone else’s kitchen and tips for moving

 I love to cook and bake, and my friends all know and (mostly) understand that I all but live in the kitchen. So when I go to visit them, I’m often helping them prepare a meal or a special dessert. Cooking in someone else’s kitchen can be tricky, and as Anna Stockwell of Epicurious wisely notes, it makes sense to bring along a few handy items to make the task more enjoyable.



If you are driving, it’s usually easy to travel with kitchen tools. A sharp knife is number one on the list of things to pack. Unless your friends or relatives are really keen cooks, chances are good that their knives are terribly dull. This holds true for vacation rentals too. 

Stockwell likes to bring along a Microplane grater and her own favorite silicone spatula. Another item she finds extremely useful is one that I always travel with if I know I’m going to be doing any cooking: an instant-read digital thermometer. Whether you are cooking meats or making Italian meringue, knowing the temperature of your foods is critical.

The best part about the list of items that Stockwell recommends is that none of them takes up that much space. You can easily chuck them all into one bag (although of course you will need some type of protection for sharp items). I use a cardboard sleeve to keep my knife from getting banged up or accidentally cutting someone (most likely me) and others highly recommend these knife sleeves. 

Jenny is in the process of moving and has moved several times, each time she makes a ready box of items that she recommends be front and center to get a meal on the table without unpacking many boxes. These suggestions are also great for cooking in someone’s kitchen, vacation cooking and products that are valuable in our kitchen arsenals: 

For moving ease she also packs in her ready box:

  • Paper plates
  • Napkins
  • Disposal cups
  • Silverware (disposable and a stainless set of utensils including steak knives for each member of your family)
  • Can opener
  • Mixing bowl
  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Matches
  • Pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • Cereal
  • Bowls
  • And emergency cookies, granola bars, and mostly importantly chocolate 

What items do you travel with if you know you’ll be ending up in a kitchen that might not be well-stocked?



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  • Jane  on  June 23, 2018

    I agree with sharp knives and a Microplane as not having them would be frustrating but the one that completely threw me was a friend's kitchen with no scale (she is Swedish so I assumed she would have one). The recipe I brought was all in grams so I had to try and convert everything to cups. That recipe took about twice as long as it should have! You can guess what her next birthday present was.

  • sir_ken_g  on  June 23, 2018

    I have committed to cook two Chinese-style ducks in a friends kitchen soon.
    I imagine that their kitchen is quite basic – so I plan to bring everything.
    Grill pan, foil, beer can holders, spices, soy sauce, carving knife, cutting board. I just hope the oven is big enough.

  • wester  on  June 24, 2018

    On holidays I like to take a sharp knife (just make sure it's not in the hand luggage or you might lose it to customs), a meat thermometer and a basic set of spices (salt, cumin, oregano, possibly a few more). Oil if I can fit it in the luggage.

  • stepspior  on  June 24, 2018

    Stainless Steel Bowls make the prep easier. Having a knife and utility case allows me Be be ready and packed to go anywhere

  • infotrop  on  July 4, 2018

    I go to many potluck gatherings and always bring everything I need to pull the dish together in someone else's kitchen, including whatever is needed to serve it, such as a pretty bowl with serving spoon. That way I don't have to bother the busy hosts. If it's a weekend party, I bring prepped ingredients in various containers in coolers with lots of ice, so I don't need to take up refrigerator space, then can pull them out as needed. I keep a list of which ingredients go into which dish and also a list of what items I brought, so I can (usually) return home with them.

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