Kitchen Essentials, or some !T like that - Mountain Buzz

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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #1
Fruita, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 270
Kitchen Essentials, or some $H!T like that

So, I searched the forums, but couldn't find enough disparate opinions, so I thought I would start this thread. This is all under the assumption that you only row open cobras and never drain your cooler (or is it pins and clips and always drain), either way, what are your requirements for a "good kitchen" for a group of 16-20?

I am currently running a mish mash of stuff that doesn't conveniently fit in any box I have, and want to know your opinions about must have kitchen bits (such as knives, dutches, cast iron griddles, or not), nice gadgets (citrus juicer, muddler, and shaker) to worthless crap that people bring and you want to make fun of (most of the rest of my kitchen gear including pineapple shaped cups and drink umbrellas).

I am searching for the zen middle ground of kitchen, where I have everything for the trip that is needed, but not too much extra crap so that I have time to just abide with The Dude on the shores of the river, enjoy a smoke, and have a White Russian.

p.s. currently running (if memory serves)
-12" dutch
-10" dutch
-14" skillet
-6 quart stock pot
-2 quart stock pot
-knife roll with knives from my first marriage
-assorted spoons and spatulas
-paper plates and bowls (to be replaced sooner than later)
-cast iron griddle
-cocktail shaker
-random spices
-1 gallon pitcher with lid for batching cocktails
-random mismatched shite that ended up there

help me out!

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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #2
wharf-rat's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 72
Ya. I don’t drain my cooler and I don’t leave home without my cast iron. That’s all I got
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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #3
St. George, Utah
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 236
Rather than go too far out in the weeds I will just suggest these items that I really like.

Nesting Cookware | Stacking Cookware | Boat Cookware

You have less than ideal cooking conditions on the river so why make it harder with cheap cookware.

I also highly recommend the Partner Steel griddles over cast iron.
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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,373
Run the dutchies in a stack with a bigass pot all strapped together. Put that on another boat with the blaster and a propane bomb. That will open up the space in your box for all the stuff you get made fun of for. Another thing it will do is give you something to cook on when you lose the kitchen boat on the Selway at high water and can't catch it because you are picking passengers off the bank/ out of the water. Not that it has ever happened on a trip Ive been on.... The third thing it does, and maybe the most important, is help to make the kitchen box non hernia inducing.

Stuff in the kitchen only need be sufficient to make the meals at hand. If everyone is doing brats and beans you don't need much but a pot, a big spoon and a can opener for THAT trip. If you have folks doing 5 course 5 star shit, you better have what they need or there can be hell to pay. To avoid that, if I am bringing the kitchen (my last choice of group gear to bring) I list all the basic items on the trip spreadsheet and let people know if someone needs something special they can add it and ill throw it in, or they bring it themselves. No reason to clean more stuff when I get home than needed.
zach baird
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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #5
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 429
You need a pair of Channellock 420's and a pair of 440's. No off brands, name brand chanellocks only.

Oh, and a coffee pot FFS!
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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #6
Eagle, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 140
Coffee press (Amazon), shaker cup and mudler..... Though I do have to say the best thing I have bought for my kitchen is a stainless griddle that was the exact size of my stove.... I run a camp chef that is one off of the partner two burner (mountaineer?? can't remember but all aluminum). Nice for warming breakfast burritos, nice for cooking, just nice! And they nest. then its as above.... I have a nesting pot set and a cast DO12", and the utensils from my first marriage! I like to cook so I tailored around that..... Find your Zen.
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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #7
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 334
Originally Posted by T.O.Mac View Post
-random mismatched shite that ended up there
...knives from my first marriage me out!
Typically I like to take utensils, you know, so people have things to eat with. We stock up at the thrift store. Any other upgrades - go to the thrift store - we created a full mismatched cook set that coincidentally stacks perfectly for like 15 bucks. Our river kitchen is nicer than our home kitchen (I often have to return things to the garage that my first [and only] wife brings into the house).

I went the route of getting the cheapo plastic reusable picnic plates and bowls at Wally-World, they are like 2 bucks for 8 so I have 32 of them. They take up barely more space than disposable dishes, weigh nothing, and I don't care if they break or disappear.

As Zach said, make the kitchen box non hernia inducing and have backup. The easiest way I do this is to have things split into multiple containers: essentials, elaborate cookware, dish washing, and eating implements. That also makes it easier to take stuff out I won't need before a trip.

And don't forget the collapsable jacks plastic bucket. These are endlessly useful. I get one for all my friends' as birthday, wedding, or divorce presents.

The easiest way to decide whether to drain or not is... just don't put ice in your cooler. And I use pin and clips on my Cobras.
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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #8
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 334
One more thing to add:
Laminated detailed instructions on how to make coffee. Seriously. I know a lot of people have their own system and I have found out the hard way that there are actually people that don't drink coffee. Yeah, I know, crazy.

Lets just say a very long day in a boat with a caffeine deprived barista wife on Deso led to a coffee prep tutorial.

For people in FoCo, I have accumulated too many percolators if anyone wants one. I'll even teach you how to use it.

And another thing to add: if you are replacing cast iron skillets, check out the carbon steel ones, they ahve the same cooking properties and are lighter and cheaper.
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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #9
Pullman, Washington
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 336
THIS "make the kitchen box non hernia inducing"

Too many trips where the freakin' kitchen box dictated choice of camps because it was so damn heavy! Thankfully my group has got a bit smarter and we put it on a diet so now it's only a small bear to haul to the choice spot.
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Unread 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 271
I use an NRS canyon box for the main kitchen. Holding utensils, silverware, plates, cutting boards, dish needs, GSI pots and pans etc. This box I am capable of carrying by myself up to any kitchen, it probably weights maybe 35lbs loaded.

I separate the stoves and griddle, blaster pot, blaster and dutch ovens into an equipment box that never leaves the boat. That way you pull what you need for heavy metal items and the necessities are always in the KB in the kitchen. This box normally goes up front in my boat and provides forward weight and is covered by my table, which works well because I don't need access to anything in here during the day.
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