I’ve cooked in a lot of rental kitchens over the years. Condos, rental houses, the ‘Mardi Gras hotels’, even a couple of Residence Inns. The most consistent attribute of rental property kitchens is the fact that you will be disappointed with the cookware available.
So, I’ve learned to bring my own. At the most basic level, I carry a SHARP chef’s knife, some commercial tongs, my Thermapen, a small knife sharpener, and a good side towel. It all wraps up in the towel like an amateur knife roll and occupies almost no space. The items listed above constitute the ‘airplane kit’, as long as we are checking luggage.
On car trips, my options expand a bit. The first addition is my 14″ skillet, followed by a pepper grinder, Microplane, serrated bread/slicing knife, and a good corkscrew. If space allows, I might throw in some kosher salt, sugar in the raw (for coffee), olive oil, vinegar, and whatever perishable produce might be laying around the kitchen at home.
If I plan to grill, I bring a grill brush, grill lighter, and chimney starter.
A little advance planning can make your cooking on the road a lot more enjoyable.