Dorm living can be one of the most entertaining times of your life, but not if you’re going hungry. Whether you’re on a meal plan or if you’re trying to plan your meals, kitchen tools are a necessity. With that in mind, here is a handy list of ten essential tools for your dorm kitchen!
1. Electric Kettle
It’s common knowledge that ramen is a staple of the typical college diet, but how are you supposed to prepare it if you don’t have a kitchen area? Well, you need an electric kettle of course. Simply plug it into the nearest wall socket, click the setting over to “boil,” and throw your ramen in with the water. You can also use an electric kettle to make instant oatmeal. Basically, you have the luxury of no longer having to leave your room to boil water. Basically, an electric kettle brings your dorm kitchen on the go. If you’re a caffeine junkie, an electric kettle allows you to boil water for your tea or coffee without having to leave your room. You would barely have to stop studying!
2. Garlic Press
Despite the culinary community’s seemingly universal hatred of single purpose kitchen implements, a garlic press is still a handy addition to a dorm kitchen. Essentially, a garlic press removes the need for the mincing of garlic, but still allows you to use fresh garlic in your cooking. You can also use the garlic press to juice peeled ginger. Both ingredients can be a welcome addition to a number of recipes or you can just add them to your ramen.
3. Knife Block
This addition may seem as though it’s fairly self-explanatory, but you shouldn’t underestimate the utility of a knife block in your dorm kitchen. Assuming you have a kitchen area in your dorm, space can be quite limited. It’s important to utilize your space effectively and to maintain a level of organization, especially when dealing with sharp objects. Rather than having your knives be haphazardly strewn about in the kitchen, they can be safely tucked into a knife block. The knife block acts as an organizational tool, as well as a display piece in your dorm kitchen. It gives off an air of culinary competence, even if you’re usually just using an electric kettle to make instant ramen.
4. Magnetic Strip
Let’s assume that your dorm kitchen is either non-existent, or doesn’t have the counter space to accommodate luxuries like a knife block. As humorous as this scenario might seem, it is the unfortunate reality for a lot of students living in dorm life. So, how do you make more space in the kitchen and still display your cutlery? Well, you should buy a magnetic strip! Simply anchor the magnetic strip into the wall with some screws and you’ll have some extra storage for metal cooking implements. You can display everything from conventional items like knives to ridiculous items like your new garlic press or maybe some absinthe spoons. It’s your space and you should use it how you see fit!
5. Cutting Board
Every kitchen should have a cutting board, whether it be a dorm kitchen or not. When you’re trying to prepare ingredients in a dorm setting, a cutting board can be your best friend. It will give you a sanitary work surface on which to cut your future dinner, and it will prevent you from cutting up all of your dorm’s cheap formica countertops. You don’t want to see that extra damage charge on your bill. Naturally, the size of the cutting board that you buy will depend on how limited your dorm’s kitchen space actually is, but, generally, the bigger cutting boards are better. The more your cutting board weighs, the less likely it is to slide around while you’re trying to cut through your food.
6. Knife Sharpener
So, maybe you’ve been cutting your food on your dorm kitchen’s formica countertops and now all of your knives are dull. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about throwing your knives away and buying new ones. You need a knife sharpener. The tool does exactly as its name suggests – it brings your kitchen knives back to their former glory. Simply sharpen your knives after extended use to avoid having to take a trip to the store.
7. Non-Stick Pans
If you have a stove in your dorm kitchen, or, at the very least, access to a kitchen that does, then you need non-stick pans. As with some of the previous entries on this list, the actual pans you purchase will depend largely on your dorm’s storage capabilities, but you should still have the odd pot or frying pan lying around. Non-stick pans will make your cooking experience easier, as they are often more forgiving when it comes to stove-top cooking. As the name suggests, non-stick pans are easier to cook with and clean due to their Teflon coating. You just have to be careful to avoid scratching the coating on the interior on the pans when cleaning them!
8. Storage Ware
Storage ware is an essential part of dorm room living, as it allows you to save your precious leftovers for a later time. Your college years are not the time to waste food, and your having extra storage containers are a great way to prevent that. Buying a good amount of storage ware is essential even if you’re on a meal plan, as it guarantees that you’ll be able to save something for later. You’ll be happy that you saved some leftovers when you’re scavenging for food at 3 A.M. during midterms.
Assuming you have the space in your dorm, a blender is an awesome multi-purpose tool that will make your time in the dorm kitchen more fun! Blenders are one of the kitchen items that are often taken for granted. They’re fairly common in most kitchens, with the exception of dorm kitchens. With the addition of a blender to your kitchen arsenal, you can now puree a medley of vegetables and peppers to make sauces or salsa. You can also blend frozen fruit and greek yogurt to make super food smoothies. If you’re 21 years old and up, you can also use your new blender to make blended drinks for parties or just for yourself. You deserve it!
10. French Press
For caffeine addicts, this is the most important entry on the list. Having the means to brew good, strong coffee is an essential survival mechanism in college. When combined with the convenience of the electric kettle, preparing French press coffee in the morning should take about the same amount of time as preparing drip coffee. So, grab some tablespoons of your favorite roast, let it soak in the steaming hot water for about 4 minutes, and get your caffeine fix!
What did you think of the list? Is there anything you would add? Comment your suggestions below!
Featured image source: https://www.uarts.edu/students/housing