Home Vs. Away: Appliances, Gadgets

kebabs, snowbird meals, simpler meals, fewer ingredients
Snowbird meals are generally much simpler due to necessity from using fewer ingredients and a very limited selection of cooking appliances


You're spending your first week in your snowbird rental and have an incredible list of meals you plan to create and devour while in your Southern home. Except you aren't preparing these meals with all of the fabulous appliances and gadgets you have in your Northern home. You're using a very limited selection of maybe two or three appliances and no special gadgets. That is the kitchen challenge reality for many snowbirds.

Instead of chopping vegetables in your food processor, making a dessert with your electric mixer and freezing leftovers with your vacuum food sealer machine, the new reality is your time will be spent chopping by hand, stirring with wooden spoons and either eating leftovers several meals in a row or perhaps freezing them in a baggie.

Simpler Meals and Ingredients

Snowbird meals tend to be much simpler, using fewer ingredients and a very limited selection of appliances and gadgets to prepare them. Choose the freshest, highest quality ingredients and find alternate ways to make your favorite recipes. Forget about what you don't have to cook with, instead focus on what you can accomplish with what you do have.

Choose Hard Working Kitchen Appliances

Snowbirds make decisions about what appliances and gadgets should be transported each season. Choose the hardest working, highest quality and most beloved appliances and gadgets unless you have an endless supply of cargo space, of which most snowbirds do not. I bring my immersion blender for soups and chopping because it easily fits into a shoe box-sized plastic bin. Other than that, based on space, the food chopper is another good candidate. Our rental does not have a coffee machine that grinds beans like at home. My husband prefers freshly ground coffee from whole beans, so he brings our spice grinder every season. If you like the kind of coffee that is made from the small flavored cups, you'll make space to bring your specialty coffee maker or ship it. Shipping is a very good option for anything you want to use on a regular basis, but just won't fit in your vehicle.

What "Well-Stocked" Really Means

Your snowbird rental is not going to be supplied with the high end, brand name appliances and gadgets, but they will be functional. Our snowbird rental is considered "well stocked," but this is what well stocked looks like when you compare my kitchen with our Southern kitchen:




Can Opener

Carbonated Water Machine

Coffee Maker

Countertop Electric Grill*

Electric Gridle*

Electric Mixer, hand-held

Fondue Pot

Food Processor

Food Scale

Immersion Blender


Microwave Oven

Rice Maker, Large X 1 and Small X 1

Slow Cookers, Large X 1, Medium X 2, Mini X 2

Spice Grinder

Toaster Oven

Vacuum Food Sealer Machine

Waffle Maker*



Box-style Grater

Egg Poacher

Food Mill

Food Chopper

Mandoline Slicer

Pasta Machine

Salad Spinner

Vegetable Slicer

Vegetable Steamer

Spaetzle Maker


*I no longer own these items, but many people do




Can Opener

Coffee Maker

Electric Mixer, hand-held

Microwave Oven






*We purchased a small slow cooker and took it home our first season, then left it in our rental our second and third seasons. We unexpectedly moved our fourth and fifth seasons, which means we no longer have a slow cooker in our southern rental. Frankly, it was so small, a pork shoulder didn't fit into it anyway.


"Keep it simple in the kitchen. If you use quality ingredients, you don't need anything fancy to make food delicious: just a knife, a cutting board, and some good nonstick cookware, and you're set."

-Curtis Stone, Australian Celebrity Chef, Author and Television Personality

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *