Whether it’s an A-frame cabin in the woods or a beach shack near the ocean, owning a second home might sound like a dream. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one, and you find yourself trying to remember whether or not you left the cocktail shaker with the pasta pot back at the vaca house come Monday when you’re trying to make dinner and return to the real world. While a second kitchen may not have everything you need to, say, host a holiday meal for twenty, stocking it properly is essential.
Below, the items you just can’t shuttle back and forth when you’re trying to enjoy the weekend away.
“Alexa, microwave for two minutes.” Your second home kitchen needs a nuker (especially for movie night when, obviously, popcorn is required). This low-cost, high-tech option has Alexa capabilities, but also a keypad for those technophobes or, you know, your mom.See It
Brevo Cordless Electric Glass Kettle, $26.99 on Amazon (originally $39.99)
An electric kettle can boil water, but can also be used to prep oatmeal, pasta, and even eggs. For smaller kitchens, it’s a no-brainer since it takes up little counter space, is easy to store, and maybe a lower cost option if you can’t install that Smeg oven you have your eye on just yet.See It
This has all your spice essentials—oregano, hot pepper flakes, and blends for meat and fish. This is the kind of all-in-one package that will ensure you won’t be eating bland chicken because you forgot that one bag with, you know, everything by your other doorstep before hitting the road.See It
All-Clad Stainless Steel 5 Piece Set, $349.95 on Sur La Table (originally $525)
In a second kitchen, less is more, and one pot and one pan can do a lot. The key is not to skimp on these workhorses. This All-Clad set has a skillet, saute pan, and saucepan and all look pretty slick on the counter if you don’t have the cabinet space to store them.See It
If you can’t swing the All-Clad (that’s for the next second home), this is a more economical option that has a non-stick open frypan, a non-stick cover frypan, and a bamboo tuner. Non-stick is easy to clean, easy to use, and always looks like new even if you have several Airbnb guests cycling through.See It
When in doubt, go with all-white dishes. This set is microwave and dishwasher safe, and also isn’t your grandmother’s vintage china, so you won’t wince if a guest drops a coffee cup. We say buy two sets so you have matching plates in case you host a larger dinner party.See It
Do you want to drink your Sauvignon Blanc out of a mug? Spring for wine glasses—especially durable, inexpensive options that are stemless and less prone to breaking (see above regarding several Airbnb guests cycling through).See It
We don’t know any other wooden utensils that channel a just-a-little-cabin-in-Big-Sur vibe more than these.See It
A multi-purpose knife and a cutting board that can double as a cheese plate? Check and check.See It
When stocking a second kitchen, pantry essentials are a must. And since you’re probably coming to your vacation home to indulge in some noshing and drinking wine by the fire, make sure those staples are a little more elevated than your Monday through Thursday stuff. This olive oil, a 2018 winner of the London Olive Oil competition, can stand alone with warm bread or can be used for cooking.See It
Related Video: 25 Pantry Essentials for Holiday Dinner and Entertaining
Header image courtesy of VRBO.