Did you know it is possible to soft-boil an egg in a coffee pot? Neither did I, but living on the road does weird things to a person.
But honestly, aside from making a grilled cheese sandwich using the hotel iron, here are some travel cooking gadgets to stay healthy—and sane—on the road. No one can have foie gras for breakfast or eat out constantly all the time. It's simply not great for either the belly or the budget.
And no, this is just not a product roundup we made up so we can make a boatload of money off it. These are things that have been personally travel-approved and tested (unless noted), and I can tell you with some fair assurance, that I am not a pleasant person when I haven't had my coffee.
Be an adult and get that oatmeal in. Playtime is over.
(Do check out our article on how to easily obtain and swipe common pantry basics like sugar and honey without having to buy things in bulk on the go.)
By far the most convenient coffee maker we’ve come across for traveling so far, it comes with the added bonus of making some pretty slamming coffee that all those Blue Bottle snobs would approve of. It's not going to win any Martha-Stewart awards in the home, but apart from traveling, its so good that most people just use it as their main French press. (Let the other people in the house that rely on it fend for themselves.)
It's important to note that purchasing the Able Brewing DISK Coffee Filter and Able Brewing Travel Cap is somewhat of a prerequisite, because 1) no one enjoys carrying around paper filters, and 2) the cup allows the beans to be stored on the road.
HotLogic Mini Personal Portable Oven
Though we haven’t much chance to try this out yet, the HotLogic Mini Personal Portable Oven should be on top of the list. This “portable electric lunchbox” essentially warms or cooks food over a few hours without the aid of a microwave. Theoretically, once the food is warmed or cooked to the correct temperature, it’ll maintain that temperature until the food is pulled out to eat, making sure it is never cold or overcooked.
The one magical thing about it? Apparently, it’ll take any container, and it will cook about anything including frozen and raw ingredients, including meats. The best way to think about it may be to think about it as a portable slow cooker on the go, perfect for hotel and office use.
There’s some added bonus here in that it FOLDS UP alongside the hot plate, making it the ideal stowaway in a suitcase. All that is really needed is an electrical outlet for all of this.
(Supposedly, pilots and flight attendants swear by it. How’s that for being travel-approved?)
Travel Spice Rack
Our favorite travel spice rack is no longer manufactured, but spices are pretty essential for taking dishes to the next level, unless simple salt and pepper will suffice. (They do, we’re just foodies.)
Amazon has a bunch of great options available, but for those in a little more of a DIY-mood, it’s not hard to create one on the go for a fraction of the price. Buy some stackable pill boxes and fill them up with the spices that get used the most. Take a tip from someone who has done it: Look for pill boxes that will hold about a tablespoon or so.
Dash Mini Griddle
Dash makes a selection of mini cooking gadgets, no larger than a person’s hand. Though some of them seem a bit kitschy at first, they are surprisingly versatile (with some ingenuity) and small enough to stash in a bag. (Really, a hairdryer would take up more space!)
Though the Dash mini waffle maker and mini grill are the most popular options, the griddle is our choice for its versatility. Quickly frying an egg, cooking hamburger meat, making pancakes, and toasting bread are just some of the possibilities. I mean, honestly, it beats making a grilled cheese on the hotel iron.
They are also super affordable starting at $10, though it’s possible to get them for as low as $8 at a place like Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond or TJ Maxx.