Are you carrying your cookware with you?

We are spending some time at a rented cabin in Kalajoki, the coastal area of Finland. Since the kitchen equipment can be suboptimal in places like these, I wanted to take some kitchen tools with me.

I was expecting scratched out teflon, some sort of stainless disc based saucepans and dull knives. In this I was partially wrong, one of the teflon pans is ok condition and most of the knives had been through a pull-through.

I’m completely fine with the stainless saucepans here, but took with me two items from home, a Darto carbon steel pan and a Finnish puukko style fish filleting knife as I wanted to use a good pan and a sharp knife.

Cooked and heated simple things like eggs, Karelian pies, burgers, hot dogs, salmon, potatoes and veggies. I love this Darto pan with the generous cooking surface and one piece design. While we haven’t gone for (fishing) whole salmons or trout, the filleting knife was easy to take with and carry with the sheath and it can get most anything done. It’s been nice for a change using an old electric stove.


I guess that depends on how far (and how) I’m traveling. I spend a significant part of my summers in Berlin, which requires a transatlantic flight. Pots or pans are out, and TBH I’ve not thought of bringing that kind of equipment to, say, a weekend rental on the beach back home.

However, I always, always bring my Global knife, my veg peeler & my garlic press – although the latter has usually been available at most pads, so I may leave that home next time. It’s certainly not essential for me, whereas a sharp, reliable knife absolutely is.

I am also now on my third or fourth salad spinner I bought in Berlin (we stay at different places, and I’m not bringing those back where I have a trusty OXO), bc that is also essential to me, and sadly a rarity in our hosts’ kitchens. I’m hoping to be able to leave this one with a friend until next year.


Hi Pertti,

Three years ago, I traveled back home and stayed at a cottage on the Lake I grew up on. The only thing I brought was my Wusthof Precision knife—which ended up being used as a 3 1/2" Chef’s knife.

The cookware was really terrible, but the gas stove was OK. I actually enjoyed the challenge of making perfect soft boiled eggs–since the fry pan was useless.

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When renting a condo in Hawaii I have found the cookware to be far more than acceptable but I still always pack my Santoku knife and Thermapen.


On trips I know I’ll be cooking half the time:

  • A multi-purpose cheap Tefal flat bottom “wok” (20cm). (In some places I just buy a cheap frying pan or (bread) knife and leave them all behind.)
  • A simple knife set.
  • A small, soft plastic chopping board. (Provided boards are gross!)

These days I also bring a SV stick.

  • Old cutlery, plates and (beer glasses). Leave all these behind (but not the SV stick).


Not at all. If I have to bring it I don’t go.


Only when I am backpacking.


Yes, but the quantity and items depend upon whether we are driving or flying to the location and length of stay. Flying or driving, If I know I will be doing anything beyond making scrambled eggs, I bring a sharp knife, usually an 8" chefs. If driving, I usually also bring a large cutting board (so many rentals only supply tiny ones - it’s weird!), a second/third knife, a dutch oven, skewers, a roll of restaurant-style aluminum foil, and any other special equipment I know I need for planned meals (if any).


Hi pertti,

Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I went holidaying where I needed to cook myself! I actually think it has never happened. :slight_smile:

It has always been my dream to rent a nice villa in the Italian countryside and go cooking for 2 weeks, but somehow I usually end up staying in b&b’s and eating at restaurants.

If I were to bring a cookware item, it would be a Paderno GG 28 cm paella pan. Cheap enough not to care if I forget it someplace, or if it gets damaged, but versatile enough to cook almost anything. I won’t bring knives, afraid they might get damaged. Maybe the Herder.


Backpacking to me is walking from my car into a 5 star hotel.


Hi Pertti,

I don’t bring cookware, per se, but definitely certain kitchen essentials. The six I routinely bring with me on self-catering holidays within Ireland are:

  1. sharp knife
  2. cutting board (usually Hasegawa)
  3. tongs
  4. silicone spatula
  5. thermapen
  6. pepper grinder

I also bring certain key ingredients, such as olive oil, vinegar, citrus, kosher salt, etc.


You reminded me that in addition to my Santoku I have a little case with small plastic jars. I put dried herbs and seasoning in the jars. It’s very handy–got it years ago at a craft store.


The only thing I would conceivably bring is a knife, but that’s not an option when flying (I don’t check bags). So no, I make do.

Varies by type of trip .

Flying vs driving or train - can’t carry sharp objects in a carry-on, so no.

Vacation in normal times - most meals planned out at restaurants, so no (also more often at a hotel than a rented apt or home).

Visiting family or friends - they’d be offended if I brought my own stuff, haha, so no.

In your described situation, I probably would - a couple of knives, peeler, small cutting board, immersion blender with mini chopper, This assumes driving or train, because I still won’t check a bag just to carry a knife.

A few spices and herbs would definitely also make the cut if the plan was to cook most meals vs eat out.


Paprika app and phone or ipad with all my recipe ebooks or my own recipes. I find a small scale useful.

Knives are impossible if traveling on plane, only land transport.

I remember when we were traveling in Thailand, we mostly ate out, no need to cook, but we bought a cheap knife to cut fruits we bought from the market, and we gave it to some nice people at the hotel, when we left the country.

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Interesting question. I think it totally depends on how long I will be traveling and what cookware are already at the new place.
In previous case which I moved (within 1-2 hour drive), I was able to live in and visit the new temporary place and find out what they have. In one case, I was moved to a relatively high end temporary location. They have reasonable good pans and pots, but poor knives and cutting boards, so I later bought a knife and a small cutting board.

If I absolutely do not know anything, and I intent to cook, then I think the three minimal cookware to bring with me is:
A good quality knife but something I do not mind damaged (in the past, it is usually the Tojiro DP)
A small cutting board (save space)
A sauce pan or a pot


Paprika App is wonderful!

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Once we started vacationing with the kids as toddlers, we always rented vacation homes instead of staying in hotels (otherwise I’d be on edge trying to make sure the kids stayed quiet enough not to bother guests in adjoining rooms).

But the kitchens in rental homes are always missing some essential or another and what they do have for cookware is sometimes quite nice, but usually not. One place had a glass-top stove and all the pots and pans were thin and quite warped (badly cupped). Luckily I found a hammer and a piece of lumber in the garage and gently pounded the ones I needed to use back into shape.

As long as we’re not flying, I try to take at least one largish all purpose pan (like the one below that I posted in a thread with a similar, but not identical question), maybe with a skillet as well, a couple of good knives, a cutting board, and usually a whisk.

Typically we’ll eat out 1-2 breakfasts, 2-3 lunches, and 2-3 dinners per week. The rest of the time I’m cooking.


I think this:

this is the perfect cookware which is shallow enough to pan fry, but deep enough to cook some liquid. I don’t have a travel all purpose pan, but I should think about it.

Aldi locally had them in the “finds” aisle 3 or 4 times a year, often as cheap as $11 or $12. Not sure if they’re still in production but surely something like it is.

Because they were so cheap and because my MIL had one and raved about it, I got 3. She got almost 2 years out of it before the coating went to pot. I got over a year (I’m obv. rougher on cookware) from #1 and about a year and a half on #2. I just looked for but can’t find #3, though. :frowning:

It’s 32 cm across the top so its broad enough for a pound of linguine etc. tossed in fanned-style without having to break or bend it.

Handles pop off, too (sometimes too readily, though) for oven use. And of the ones I’ve used so far, the lids have not been a perfect match. They’ll sit there well enough but gap on one side or the other.

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