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Best dorm cooking supplies

Dorm room cooking appliances and supplies

Even if you have a meal plan and full access to the cafeteria, there may be times where you prefer cooking for yourself. When you invest in a few kitchen essentials and pantry staples, it’s easy to whip up meals in the comfort of your dorm.

Small kitchen appliances, like personal blenders or indoor grills, open the door to flexible cooking options. Amassing a small collection of seasons and spices offers flavor variety, and kitchen gadgets make quick preparation and cleanup. Best of all, many of these items are affordable and space-savvy, making them ideal for small dorms and suite kitchens. 

What to know before investing in dorm cooking supplies

Understand basic kitchen safety

No matter what you’re cooking, kitchen safety is of the utmost importance. This goes further than turning off stoves, ovens and appliances after use. 

Fire safety: Learn what to do in the event of a kitchen fire so you can manage the situation safely and quickly. In addition to doing research online, speak to campus safety officers and firefighters for guidance.

First aid: Accidents may occur while you’re cooking, which is why it’s essential to brush up on first aid. Invest in a first aid kit and have the emergency numbers for the campus clinic or hospital in an accessible location. It’s also a good idea to enroll in a first aid class.

Chemicals: Cleanup is a big part of cooking, and it’s vital to use cleaning products safely. You should never mix certain cleaning products as the chemical combinations could create dangerous fumes, gas or explosions.  

Consider your space

Dorms are naturally small spaces, and you’ll need to consider the logistics of investing in dorm cooking supplies. 

Small kitchen appliances, even space-savvy ones, take up counter space. If it’s not possible to leave them on the counter, you may need to store them in a closet, cupboard or shelving system. Spices and seasonings take up little space, but if you amass a modest collection, you’ll need to consider storage options like mounted or revolving spice racks.

Clean up

Cleaning up is an inevitable aspect of cooking and shows consideration for your space that you may share with others. To cut down on cleaning time, consider investing in products and tools to make quick work of tidying up:

The best dorm cooking supplies

An indoor grill

George Foreman 5-Serving Grill and Panini Press

The classic George Foreman grill now has removable plates for easy cleaning. The device is ideal for making various dishes, from burgers to grilled veggies to paninis. 

Where to buy: Amazon and Macy’s

A cutlery set

Cuisinart Color Pro 12-Piece Cutlery Set

Popular for novice cooks, this cutlery set features precision-tapered blades with sharp, fine edges. It comes with a butcher block, sharpening steel and wood cutting board. 

Where to buy: Macy’s

A personal blender

Ninja Nutri 100 Auto-IQ Personal Blender

This Ninja blender can handle any meal prep, from mixing pancake batter to whipping up smoothies. It comes with 18 and 24-ounce bottles and lids so you can enjoy your culinary creations on the go. 

Where to buy: Amazon and Macy’s

A can opener

Gorilla Grip Can Opener

While it’s not a glamorous purchase, it’s certainly an essential one. A manual can opener is wise to have on hand if you cook with canned food or enjoy canned soup. 

Where to buy: Amazon

A set of measuring cups and spoons

KitchenAid Classic Measuring Cups and Spoons

When it comes to measuring dry ingredients, be it flour, sugar or spices, you’ll need measuring cups or spoons. This KitchenAid set, available in several colors, uses BPA-free plastic.

Where to buy: Amazon

A starter spice set

Simply Organic Starter Spice Set

This 12-piece culinary spice set offers plenty of flavor variety for your meals. They are USDA Certified organic, gluten-free and salt-free. 

Where to buy: Amazon

A versatile spatula

OXO Good Grips Nylon Flexible Turner

Made by a trusted kitchen brand, this spatula is safe to use on most cookware and bakeware. It’s versatile enough to handle a wealth of cooking duties, from making scrambled eggs to flipping flapjacks. 

Where to buy: Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s

A nonstick skillet

T-fal Professional Total Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan

Pan-searing is an easy way to cook many meals, making this nonstick pan a dorm cooking essential. It has a heat indicator that turns red once the pan finishes preheating.

Where to buy: Amazon

A pair of silicone oven mitts

Nottingham Home Lavish Silicone Oven Mitts

These silicone oven mitts are heat resistant to 482 degrees and have a 100% waterproof exterior. They have an extra-long sleeve for additional wrist and forearm protection. 

Where to buy: Bed Bath & Beyond

A set of meal prep containers

Bentgo Prep Meal Prep Containers

Meal prep with these three-compartment containers, now available in a set of 10 trays. They’re equipped with custom-fit lids to seal in freshness and flavor. 

Where to buy: Amazon

A hot pot

DASH Express Hot Pot

There isn’t much this hot pot can’t do: it makes rice and oatmeal, boils water and reheats soup. It’s appreciated for its space-savvy, dorm-friendly design. 

Where to buy: Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s and Wayfair

A food thermometer

Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer

This quick-reading meat thermometer makes it easy to cook steak, fish and turkey without burning or overcooking them. The device even has an onboard temperature reference for different foods. 

Where to buy: Amazon

A toaster oven

Black+Decker Countertop Toaster Oven

If your dorm doesn’t have an oven, a toaster oven is the next best thing. This Black+Decker model is equipped with a user-friendly control panel and can bake, broil and defrost. 

Where to buy: Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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