Choosing The Best College Kitchen Essentials:
Going off to college is kind of like getting married, only without all the cool gifts that help you transition from dependent to full-fledged adult. And if that isn’t challenging enough, you may be looking at gathering college kitchen supplies that are compact enough to store in limited space and adhere to the dorm strict rules about cooking in your room. We at College Appeal feel your pain and have put together a list of college dorm kitchen essentials, as well as off-campus kitchen essentials to get you started.
College Kitchen Needs
The best stocked college kitchen is a team effort, when possible. There is not point of you and each of your roommates to foot the bill for duplicate college kitchen needs. This is akin to a newlywed couple getting three toasters and no dinner plates. It just doesn’t make sense, especially when the space for college items is so limited.
Consider breaking up the college kitchen supplies list into categories, and divide the categories among the roommates. Those categories are:
- Cookware and bakeware
- Kitchen tools and utensils
- Cleaning supplies
Dinnerware is made up of all those items that you need to sit down and eat the meal: plates, bowls, platters glasses, mugs, and cutlery. Unless you want to do dishes after every meal, plan to have twice as many plates, bowls, glasses, mugs, and cutlery as you have roommates. At minimum, service for four is recommended. That way you are set for a casual dinner party. Also purchase at least one large bowl and a platter for serving.
Your appliance needs are largely dictated by dorm room policy. If you live off campus or in a frat house, you will have more flexibility. At minimum, invest in an electric coffee pot or kettle, a griddle, toast oven, microwave, and a counter top burner, if permissible. With a best kitchen lifehacks list and these items, you can stay well fed for a long time.
Cookware and Bakeware
Your cookware and bake ware needs are dependent on whether you will have a stove at your disposal. At minimum, you will need a microwave safe baking pan and microwaveable bowls. If you have access to a stove, you will need a set of skillets and pots, a baking sheet, a cake pan, and possibly a meatloaf pan.
Kitchen Tools and Utensils
The simplest way to fulfill your dorm room essentials need for kitchen tools and utensils is to invest in a set. Most kitchen tool kits will include at least the following:
- Slotted spoon
- Unslotted spoon
- Slotted turner
- Pizza cutter
- Can opener
- Measuring spoons and cups
If you will have access to a grill, remember to get one set of metal tongs that are appropriate for the grill and a non-stick set for inside, and no kitchen is complete without at least one sharp knife and a set of mixing bowls.
Sad to say, but anytime cooking is involved, there is clean up. Be prepared with a fully stocked cleaning bucket. In the bucket, add the following supplies:
- Kitchen rags
- Kitchen towels
- All-purpose cleaner
- Dish soap
- Paper towels
The bucket can double as a storage container for the cleaning supplies, as well as serve as one of your college party essentials as well.
College Party Supplies
It is one thing to cook for you and your roommates, not to mention clean up. It is another to cook and clean for a college party. Save on cleanup and damage by using as much disposable kitchen supplies as possible. Plan to use disposable aluminum pans for cooking; plastic forks, spoons, serving trays, and cups; and paper or foam plates. Don’t forget to pick up lots of napkins and trash bags for the cleanup.
Top College Kitchen Supplies List Items
Here at College Appeal, we have reviewed many college life essentials and narrowed down the list to these five recommendations for making your academic years more enjoyable.
Kitchen Aid 17-Piece Tools and Gadget Set
The Kitchen Aid 17-Piece Tools and Gadget Set will go a long way toward providing everything you need in the way for kitchen tools and accessories. This matching set of black nonstick tools are heat resistant up to 450 degrees, and the durable nylon material will outlast your college years. KitchenAid provides hassle-free replacements for the first year and a limited life time warranty. Included in the set is:
- A full set of measuring spoons and cups
- Slotted spoon
- Basting spoon
- Slotted turner
- Can opener
Vremi 15-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set
If your college living arrangements include a stove or at least a burner, the Vremi 15-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set comes with a large and small skillet, a large and small saucepan, a dutch oven, all with lids, plus a five-piece kitchen tools set. This set is made of easy to clean steel and aluminum construction and easily transfers from stove top to oven. While this set is PTFE and PFOA free, its biggest drawback is the manufacturer recommends hand washing for all pieces.
Ovente 1.5L Glass Electric Kettle
The Ovente KG83 Series Glass Electric Kettle in black is a must have for any college kitchen needs list, not matter if you will be staying in a dorm room or off campus. This cordless electric kettle has a futuristic appeal to it while maintaining an essential function. It holds up to 1.5 liters, which is a great size making tea or coffee for an all-night study session or warming up soup for lunch. The kettle features a blue LED light when liquids are boiling and an automatic shut-off to prevent liquids from boiling dry. As an added bonus, the kettle has a stay-cool handle and a water filter to aid in providing the best tasting beverages.
Black & Decker 8-Slice Extra Wide Convection Counter top Toaster Oven
Black & Decker has a reputation for manufacturing products that last, and their 8-Slice Extra Wide Convection Counter top Toaster Oven is no exception. This stainless-steel toaster oven comes with a baking pan, broiler rack, and a toasting rack. It is big enough to hold a 12-inch pizza or eight slices of toast, and with an adjustable temperature setting, 60-minute timer, and its convection heating ability, you can cook just about anything in this oven.
Amazon Basics 16-Piece Dinnerware Set
The AmazonBasics 16-Piece Dinnerware Set in basic white is an affordable service for four that will complement any meal. Included in this microwave and dishwasher safe set are four each of the following:
- 10.5-inch dinner plates
- 7.5-inch salad plates
- 5.5 x 2.75-inch bowls
- 4-inch mugs
College Kitchen Hacks
Your dorm kitchen essentials are useless if you do not know how to use them. Make sure to read the manuals that come with your appliances, and then spend some time reading up on kitchen hacks that can help you maximize the utilization of your limited supplies. This is especially important if you have never been particularly interested in cooking before. You might be surprised to learn that you can whip up single serving brownies in a mug in your oven or that your kettle and some herbs and vegetables can turn Ramen noodles into a something truly enjoyable.
Making a list of college dorm kitchen essentials will help ensure you go off to college with all the supplies you need to get you through the next four to eight years in style. The College Appeal college kitchen supplies list is a great starting point to customizing your kitchen needs. Use it wisely and look forward to a successful, and tasty, academic year, and here is some good news. Your wise purchases now will carry you through until you have that wedding and are the proud recipient of all those cool wedding gifts or you get that killer job and decide to upgrade.