These kitchen gadgets are essential for stocking any kitchen, in a vacation home or otherwise.
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—including for guests if it’s a rental.
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.Buy Now
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.Buy Now
The beauty of this spice rack is multifaceted: You can keep it on the countertop, mount it on a wall, or tuck it in a cabinet; and the square slots accommodate spice jars of various shapes and sizes. It comes with 16 jars of spices, but they may vary, so you can always swap one out for TJ’s EBTBSS or whatever else you like best. 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.Buy Now
All-Clad Stainless Steel 5-Piece Set, $399.95 on Sur La Table (normally $635)
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 (but check out these cookware storage solutions to help maximize the space you do have).Buy Now
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.Buy Now
Do you want to drink your wine out of a coffee mug? Spring for actual wine glasses—especially durable, inexpensive options that are stemless and less prone to breaking (see above regarding several Airbnb guests cycling through). These are also stackable to make the most of your cabinet space, and cheap enough that you can buy two sets for a full dozen.Buy Now
Silicone utensils are safe to use with any cookware, and this set includes pretty much every kitchen utensil you need. Plus, the wooden handles class them up enough for any little cabin in Big Sur.Buy Now
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.Buy Now
For even more ideas, check out the Chowhound Top 100, the most-discussed cookware, cookbooks, and pantry staples in our community. Or get some inspiration from The Top 10 Tools for the Mimimalist Kitchen.
Header image courtesy of VRBO.