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Travel cooking kit & spice containers

Travel cooking kit & spice containers

Old Nov 20, 13, 11:40 am
  #1  
tcl
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Travel cooking kit & spice containers

Does anyone travel with a mini set of spices and/or cooking utensils for extended stays or trips where there might be a good opportunity to cook? What do you bring and how do you store and transport them?

My current travel spice kit contains an assortment of spices and homemade mixes (Moroccan spice mix, Chinese five spice powder, curry powder) that are put in tiny pill-ziplocks and then stashed in medium-sized tea tin to prevent them from stinking up my clothes and from accidentally spilling and staining my clothes all shades of neon.

As for travel cooking utensils, I bring a small Epicurean bar-sized cutting board, a 5" Wusthof Chef's knife with a blade saver, a serrated tomato/mini bread knife with blade saver, mini microplane and a harp peeler. I also have a pair of bamboo cooking chopsticks, and a small square bamboo spatula. This is all stored in a zippered plastic envelope.

For a completely cooking-centric stay at a place that may have a questionable kitchen (for example, a certain relative's vacation condo that is frequently rented out), I bring an All-Clad cassoulet pan and my flat whisk as well.

My current dilemma is that my spices tend to transfer flavours to each other even through the mini ziplocks so my tarragon tends to taste like cumin and 5-spice after a few days I'm trying to stay as lightweight and compact as possible so am avoiding the 4oz capacity stainless watch tins and 4oz capacity mason jars.
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Old Nov 20, 13, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by tcl View Post
pan
That must add some weight.
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Old Nov 20, 13, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by tcl View Post
Does anyone travel with a mini set of spices and/or cooking utensils for extended stays or trips where there might be a good opportunity to cook? What do you bring and how do you store and transport them?

My current travel spice kit contains an assortment of spices and homemade mixes (Moroccan spice mix, Chinese five spice powder, curry powder) that are put in tiny pill-ziplocks and then stashed in medium-sized tea tin to prevent them from stinking up my clothes and from accidentally spilling and staining my clothes all shades of neon.

As for travel cooking utensils, I bring a small Epicurean bar-sized cutting board, a 5" Wusthof Chef's knife with a blade saver, a serrated tomato/mini bread knife with blade saver, mini microplane and a harp peeler. I also have a pair of bamboo cooking chopsticks, and a small square bamboo spatula. This is all stored in a zippered plastic envelope.

For a completely cooking-centric stay at a place that may have a questionable kitchen (for example, a certain relative's vacation condo that is frequently rented out), I bring an All-Clad cassoulet pan and my flat whisk as well.

My current dilemma is that my spices tend to transfer flavours to each other even through the mini ziplocks so my tarragon tends to taste like cumin and 5-spice after a few days I'm trying to stay as lightweight and compact as possible so am avoiding the 4oz capacity stainless watch tins and 4oz capacity mason jars.
I don't generally travel with spices, but I did keep a secondary stash at my boyfriend's (now husband) place (on the other side of the country), since he didn't have anything in his kitchen more complicated than garlic salt.

There are plenty of jars available smaller than 4 oz.

I packed them in 1 ounce condiment jars (think of the little jars of honey that you see on nicer breakfast buffets). 12 of those jars fit nicely into a plastic container I had and made for easy transport across country. I think I bought a whole bag of those little jars at Goodwill for a dollar.

Or you could try this Or you could try this http://instafax.com/atthestove/portable_spice_rack.html

Amazon has a decent selection of 1 oz spice jars. Or if there is a Penzey's Spice near you, I've purchased their little jars (I think they are 1 or 1.5 oz). They don't sell the small ones on the website.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 2:46 pm
  #4  
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Thanks for the bead kit recommendation, however they seem to be sold out of that style and just have the fishing tackle type. I've mostly been searching online which may explain why I haven't been able to find smaller spice jars.

Also thanks for the reminder! I've been using the 1oz mini honey jars in my camper but a dozen of them are quite heavy. I might just transfer the stinkier spices into the glass jars and leave the non smelly stuff in the plastic baggies in the tea tin (tarragon, sage etc) and see how that goes


Originally Posted by jerry305 View Post
That must add some weight.
Yup, but only for very-extended trips or cooking centric trips. For example renting a place for a few weeks after a cooking class only to find a selection of peeling non-stick pans in the kitchen. I like to cook (and eat) so it's a bit of a torture to be able to browse local farmer's markets at my destination and then be unable to actually buy anything other than cookies and fruits. Early on I used to just buy my pots and cooking utensils at my destination as needed (Le Creuset in France, Zwilling-Henckles knives in Germany etc), use them and then bring them home as practical souvenirs. I pretty much have all the equipment I actually want and use now at home so buying at my destination is not in the cards. I don't exactly carry a skillet in my tote bag ready to whip out at a moment's notice.

Last edited by tcl; Nov 21, 13 at 2:47 pm Reason: Wrong emoticon
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Old Nov 21, 13, 3:17 pm
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I wonder if it would help enough to double up and wrap the plastic packs with aluminum foil. I suggest this because the spice mix for boxed rices comes in foil coated envelopes, also Bigelow tea bags in individual foil coated envelopes, and various products where the scent needs to be contained and/or protected.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 5:07 pm
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what is the smallest rice cooker ?
which you could also cook pasta in.......
or oatmeal........

or.......
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Old Nov 21, 13, 7:15 pm
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Nalgene has some wide-mouth 1 and 2oz bottles that are absolutely impervious to leaks (both liquids and scents):

http://www.containerstore.com/shop/t...10000245&N=253

There are other Nalgene bottles, with smaller mouths, but I believe those I linked above are the best for solids like your spice mixes.
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Old Nov 22, 13, 10:56 am
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I too would like to know the smallest electric rice cooker or travel kettle to travel with.
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Old Nov 22, 13, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by tcl View Post
My current travel spice kit contains an assortment of spices and homemade mixes (Moroccan spice mix, Chinese five spice powder, curry powder) that are put in tiny pill-ziplocks and then stashed in medium-sized tea tin to prevent them from stinking up my clothes and from accidentally spilling and staining my clothes all shades of neon.

[...snip...]

My current dilemma is that my spices tend to transfer flavours to each other even through the mini ziplocks so my tarragon tends to taste like cumin and 5-spice after a few days I'm trying to stay as lightweight and compact as possible so am avoiding the 4oz capacity stainless watch tins and 4oz capacity mason jars.
You can get tiny stacking jars that screw together like this:

http://www.abbamart.com/stcoja.html?...FcFj7AodOBUA2A
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Old Nov 23, 13, 9:40 am
  #10  
tcl
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
I wonder if it would help enough to double up and wrap the plastic packs with aluminum foil. I suggest this because the spice mix for boxed rices comes in foil coated envelopes, also Bigelow tea bags in individual foil coated envelopes, and various products where the scent needs to be contained and/or protected.


Thanks for the suggestion ^

I just ordered some of the resealable mylar foil pouches from a tea catalogue. They are bigger than I need but I'll test them out before searching for the exact size.
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Old Nov 23, 13, 10:16 am
  #11  
tcl
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
I too would like to know the smallest electric rice cooker or travel kettle to travel with.
While I was mainly asking about packing spices for culinary vacations or extended stints in culinary wastelands, I have occasionally had to bring an appliance or two for other reasons.

The smallest rice cooker is the Takeru rice cooker and food warmer. This is the style I would recommend as it has a clip to keep the lid and accessories secure for travel and has the weight, size and looks of a large lunch thermos (bento) so hotel staff shouldn't give you much trouble over cooking in your room. The downside to this is that there does not seem to be one that is dual voltage. If you have a Japanese department store near you, you may be able to find this or something very similar in the $20-30 range. Wolfgang Puck used to have something just like this on QVC, Amazon and then woot! going for $25 but it is now discontinued.

I've used a 220v version of this cooking plain foods for an elderly friend I accompanied on a 2 1/2 week European tour. He has digestion/absorption issues due to severe starvation during his youth as a POW in WWII.
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Old Dec 4, 13, 12:55 pm
  #12  
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So my order of plastic foil baggies and Tupperware smidgets and midgets arrived just arrived. Will try them out over the next few weeks.
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Old Dec 4, 13, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by tcl View Post
So my order of plastic foil baggies and Tupperware smidgets and midgets arrived just arrived. Will try them out over the next few weeks.
Ooh, I forgot about the tupperware midgets. I love those things.

Also, if you have an "in" with a Tupperware hostess, you might be able to score some salt/pepper shaker lids that fit onto the midgets. I don't think they are publicly for sale ... they're more of a party gift thing.

Like this

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/160875632458?lpid=82
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Old Dec 4, 13, 9:50 pm
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Cheap ....... Travel Seasoning Kit: Most items available free at the nearest airport.

Salt, Pepper, Ketchup (packets): Burger King, etc.
Soy sauce, hot mustard: Panda Express
Honey, lemon juice: KFC
Tartar sauce, malt vinegar: Long John Silver's
Red pepper, parmesan cheese: Pizza Hut
Tabasco, ketchup, mustard, mayo: Your Room Service Tray or In The Hallway
Tea bags, coffee bags, sugar, sweetener, creamer: Your Hotel Room
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Old Dec 29, 13, 8:32 am
  #15  
tcl
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I received this cute travel spice kit from one of my FT Secret Santas this year. It's perfect in size, however some of the stinkier spices have permeated the milder ones. I think I'll swap the stinkier ones out into the mini glass jars and the Tupperware smidgets and see how that goes. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any salt and pepper shaker tops from the Tupperware party I went to, so it looks like I should look on ebay

I'm really quite excited about the little spice kit in a tin. It's just so nicely organized and labeled can't wait to use it in a few weeks.

Last edited by tcl; Dec 29, 13 at 8:34 am Reason: Added link
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