Either by luck or by choice, our Wild Family has bounced around from kitchen to kitchen nearly a dozen times over the last four months.
This got me thinking about the average kitchen and how most could be much better in essential yet quality tools to craft delicious meals.
Suppose you only regularly watch cooking shows, learn new cooking techniques, or have a friend or family member buy or recommend a cooking tool. How else can you truly know what is needed to make nutritious and delicious meals?
That, my friends, is where I would like to step in. Below is a simple list of the cooking tools and utensils we bring with us every time we travel, as well as some of the favorites we would want to do in a stationary kitchen.
1. A sharp quality knife (dull knives are wildly dangerous)
If you are consuming the proper nutrients, then you are consuming steak. You will need a good knife to cut larger pieces of meat. We also use this knife for more giant root vegetables and dicing up meat, such as chicken, for salad-style dishes.
2. Serrated knives (knives)
These are often much safer than a larger knife to cut certain types of ingredients with. Additionally, they're super sharp and reduce prep time. Exercise caution when using these.
3. Two cutting boards (one for raw, one for cooked meat)
This is an afterthought for many Airbnb places, and I find that wildly odd. What exactly are these people prepping their food on?
I understand why my partner's mother found knife marks on her rental property. DO NOT CUT YOUR FOOD ON THE COUNTER.
1. Cast iron pan (if you only want one, go with medium)
They're easy to clean, they make food taste delicious, and if you are deficient in iron, they help you out there. They get the best sear on a steak, so we always travel with one. Additionally, you can use this versus other cooking pans if you have to cook over direct fire.
2. A non-toxic, non-stick pan, such as Caraway
It's ridiculous that we have to research our products so heavily, but cooking with quality equipment is not something we care to skimp on. These pans are heated to very high temperatures, and whatever they are made of will make its way into the food. If you don't drink Clorox, you shouldn't use toxic cookware with Teflon coatings.
For picking up and flipping steaks. For tossing vegetables in a pan. For throwing a salad. The most versatile and the most used in our kitchen.
4. Fish turner
It's just not the same as a flat spatula. Invest in one, and you'll see why. You'll never go back.
5. Silicon spatula (our fav is from Sur la Tab)
Primarily for cooking eggs, but since we cook eggs every day in our kitchen because of how nutritious they are, this is a must. Most people use plastic cookware for that sort of thing. Heated plastic? No, thanks.
6. Mini crockpot
This makes life so much easier. It's small enough that you don't have to pack it full of ingredients, but also large enough to fit a meal for the whole family in there. We use this to roast apples, and sweet potatoes, make small batches of soup and stews and cook meat while enjoying the day.
7. Mini food processor
I only realized how much time this saved once I spent some time at a friend's recently prepping food for the week. We use this to dice onion, garlic, veggies; you name it.
It's less than $20 on amazon, and we will never leave home without one of these. Ever.
When it comes to making delicious and nutritious meals, it comes down to two simple factors: technique and equipment. The equipment is the easy part. Considering the reward, it takes little knowledge, and the investment is minimal.