Dorm & Dine

Recipes, tips, and tricks for better cooking on campus

Top eight most important tools for dorm cooking

When cooking in a dorm room, the things you use to make dinner can be just as important as what is being cooked. Before making your next at home meal, be sure to stock up on these kitchen essentials.

  1. A microwave or micro fridge: Most colleges allow microwaves or rental micro fridges in dorm rooms. Having a microwave is the easiest alternative to the dining hall on campus, and is the safest way to warm up any leftovers.
  2. A microwave safe bowl: Whether it is being used for mixing, cooking, or just for storage of leftovers, a bowl that can be put in the microwave without melting is very useful. Try and find the largest bowl that will still fit into your microwave – it’s easier to make a small batch in a large container than the other way around.
  3. A sharpened chefs knife: A medium sized, sharpened knife is helpful for recipes that call for meat. Cutting up anything from beef to poultry becomes much easier with a knife that isn’t meant for the table.
  4. A small glass pan: If you plan on making any type of casserole or meat, a pan is usually very helpful. Laying meat flat in marinade or water when cooking helps to spread moisture evenly, and casseroles warm better when laid flat and thin. Try to find a moderate sized microwave safe pan with sides. Be sure to check if it will fit in the microwave before buying.
  5. A can opener: Whether it’s a “real” recipe, or a bowl of spaghettios, many basic recipes call for a can of something – vegetables, sauce, etc – so it’s important to have a method of opening the cans.
  6. A mug: Hot chocolate on chilly nights or tea in the morning is a staple for many college students. Having a mug to heat up water is helpful for students on the go. With the rise of microwave mug desserts, having a decent sized mug can be the only thing between you and a delicious single-serving brownie.
  7. A real set of silverware: A metal silverware set is very helpful when eating hot food, or food that has weight to it, like beef or pasta. Not only will metal utensils cut down on melted spoons, but they will save money over the throw away plastic kind.
  8. Saran Wrap: Cooking in a microwave often leads to splattering and other difficult to clean messes. Having a roll of saran wrap on hand during a dorm dinner can cut down on cleaning time, but can also help food to heat up faster than if it was uncovered.

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