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How to Stock Your Vacation Rental Kitchen for Indoor & Outdoor Dining

Even in a vacation rental, the kitchen is truly the heart of the home. A fully stocked kitchen is one of the best features of staying in a vacation rental. Guests can feel the comforts of home and even save money by preparing their own meals. Those who have dietary restrictions or prefer to eat on the healthier side can also benefit from having access to a fully stocked kitchen. Read below for a complete checklist of items that every guest wants to see in a vacation rental kitchen!

Tableware & Flatware:

It is essential to ensure you have enough tableware and flatware for your guests. An easy rule to follow is to provide twice the number of glasses, bowls, and plates that accommodate your vacation home’s maximum capacity. This allows your guests to enjoy multiple meals before having to run the dishwasher; plus, it leaves enough tableware and flatware for entertaining!

The essentials:
  • Spoons (set of 8)

  • Butter knives (set of 8)

  • Forks (set of 8)

  • Steak knives

  • Water glasses

  • Wine glasses (we recommend stemless, which are harder to break)

  • Large plates

  • Small plates

  • Bowls

  • Coffee cups

  • Plastic cups

  • Plastic plates

  • Pitcher

  • Large serving bowls and plates

  • Serving platters (at least 2)

Small Kitchen Appliances:

If guests plan to prepare their own meals, you must have certain appliances available that make the process safe, easy, and efficient. This is especially true for those small kitchen spaces, where having the right supplies can make all the difference between a great stay and a mediocre one!

The essentials:
  • Coffee maker (plus coffee filters and instructions)

  • Coffee grinder

  • Toaster

  • Microwave

  • Blender

  • Slow cooker

  • Rice cooker

  • Waffle iron

Cookware & Bakeware

Cooking meals together can be a rewarding experience for all involved, and it's even easier and more enjoyable when you have the right kitchen supplies. When stocking your vacation rental kitchen, consider the storage that you have available and select pots and pans accordingly. A non-stick pan is essential for basic cooking like eggs, fish, or pancakes, and you should choose items that are dishwasher-safe to spare yourself any post-stay scrubbing of your guests' mess.

The essentials:
  • 1 1⁄2-quart covered saucepan

  • 3-quart covered saucepan

  • 8-quart covered stockpot

  • 4-quart covered sauté pan

  • 10-inch non-stick skillet

  • 8 1⁄2-inch skillet

  • Baking dish

  • Muffin pan

  • Casserole dishes

  • Roasting pan

  • Cookie sheets (2)

  • Pizza pan

Kitchen Utensils & Accessories

While there are many kitchen tools to choose from, some are essential and some are optional. To upgrade the appearance of your kitchen and make it look more luxurious, it's a good idea to purchase kitchen utensils that are all made from the same materials like wood, plastic, or stainless steel. This gives the appearance of having a high-quality collection that will enhance your guests' experiences. Having the right set of kitchen tools will also make it easier for your guests to prepare meals, which will certainly be appreciated.

The essentials:
  • Sharp knives (at least 3)

  • Ladle

  • Slotted spoon

  • Whisk

  • Kitchen shears

  • Cutting boards (2)

  • Knife sharpener

  • Spatula

  • Tongs

  • Mixing spoons

  • Mixing bowls

  • Measuring cups

  • Measuring spoons

  • Oven mitts

  • Strainer

  • Can opener

  • Wine/bottle opener

  • Beer bottle opener

  • Cooking thermometer

Outdoor Cooking/Dining:

Hosting a party or gathering can be a great way to entertain during your vacation, but don’t forget to stock up on the proper kitchen tools and dinnerware! Don’t let your guests use your indoor kitchen items outside simply because they’re nearby as this can easily lead to issues such as cracked glassware and plates. Outdoor grilling requires more durable utensils, so be sure that you have enough heat-safe metal items when gearing up for hosting. To save yourself from worrying about broken kitchenware, it’s best to provide a set of plastic or durable tableware for alfresco dining.

The essentials:
  • Grill brush

  • Metal spatula

  • Metal tongs

  • Metal fork

  • Lighters

  • Dishwasher-safe plastic plates

  • Dishwasher-safe plastic bowls

  • Dishwasher-safe plastic cutlery

  • Dishwasher-safe plastic cups

Kid-Friendly Items:

Does your vacation rental host a lot of families? Consider stocking your kitchen with kid-friendly items to better serve your guests with children and to save you the worry of any of your kitchen items being broken or damaged.

The essentials:
  • High chair

  • Sippy cups

  • Kid-friendly and dishwasher-safe plastic plates

  • Kid-friendly and dishwasher-safe plastic bowls

  • Kid-friendly and dishwasher-safe plastic cutlery

  • Kid-friendly and dishwasher-safe plastic cups


Typically, guests don't want to have to worry about purchasing essential items like salt, pepper, and oil during their vacation. Save them time and hassle by providing them the essentials!

The essentials:
  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Sugar

  • Cooking oil


Many guests will want to store leftovers after cooking. Consider stocking your vacation home with ways for guests to preserve their food.

The essentials:
  • Plastic or glass food containers

  • Plastic wrap

  • Sandwich bags

  • Aluminum foil

Cleaning Supplies:

Last but not least, it is important to ensure that your guests have the right materials to clean up after cooking. Providing guests with the appropriate, non-toxic cleaning supplies they will need allows them to maintain a safe and bacteria-free cooking environment!

The essentials:
  • Hand soap

  • Dish soap

  • Dishwasher detergent

  • All-purpose cleaner

  • Sponges

  • Cleaning gloves

  • Kitchen towels

  • Paper towel holder

  • Disinfectant wipes

  • Garbage bags

Having a well-prepared kitchen gives guests the freedom to create delicious meals during their stay and allows them to truly enjoy the full benefits of vacationing in a rental property!

Need help managing your Southern California vacation rental? Turn to professionals at AMG to help maximize your homeowner revenue and elevate your guests' experiences. Receive your custom Management Proposal from us to get started!


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