Whether you’re just finding your inner Microwave-Dinner Top Chef or working your way towards that Iron Chef – College Campus Star title (I am too, so we can get there together), here’s a quick guide to some of the tools you’ll need.
The Very Basics – For the Microwave-Dinner Chef
Cups (for drinking…get ones > 8 ounces to save on buying solo cups for pregames)
Utensils (fork, spoon, knife)
You can manage with plates/bowls etc. for one person, but if everyone suddenly finds themselves in the kitchen (or hovering over your shoulder…them: “I mean that is just AMAZING what are you making?” you: “Uhh…just microwaved some pizza from last night?,” you should likely consider a second or third set.
Moving on Up – The Occasional “Look I Cook!!!” Chef
Maybe you boil some water and make some pasta. Maybe you crack a few eggs. Maybe you (gasp) eat a vegetable. What a novel discovery for us all.
One medium sized pot (with lid)
One medium sized pan
Dishtowel and/or oven mit
Several sealable food storage containers (Glad, Tupperware, etc.)
Spatula – omelets/pancakes are a college kids BFFs, having one of these will def make your life easier and food-friendships closer
Double-boiler and/or colander – dual uses of double-boiler = yesss
Now We’re Cooking – The Full Meal (Look I’m a Real Person!!!) Chef
Ok so now you’ve completed the two-week omelet dinner challenge, it’s time to expand your palate and plates. Roasted vegetables! Chicken! Flavors!
One SHARP prep knife
One cutting board
One baking sheet
Large mixing bowl – before we had these I used the large pot from the double-boiler we had
A larger/smaller pot (with lid) – depending on how much food you’re making, smaller/larger pots can be helpful
Stir-fry pan – ditto, great for fast cooking too
Some Ivy League Kitchen Additions:
THE rice-cooker – this hidden gem isn’t cheap (>$100) but is incredibly useful and a great investment. Set the timer, and you’ll have oatmeal waiting for you in the morning and rice for lunch and/or dinner. Over time will save you time, $$$ and cals.
If you drink coffee, or have missed enough 9am (cough 1pm, you know who you are) lectures that you should start…
Porcelain one-cup coffeemaker, drip with pot*
No. 2 filters – what my coffeemaker requires, depends on which kind you purchase
Electric kettle – great for tea, oatmeal, and really anything requiring boiling water
If you like to bake (or even bake via packaged mixes)
Baking sheet – already mentioned above, but necessary
Mixing bowl – ditto
Small set of measuring cups
Hand-mixer – not necessary for your basic brownies/cookies/quick breads. Makes of world of difference when you have to cream butter + sugar. I would give it a “necessary” for cupcakes, esp. if you’re making homemade frosting.
Additional storage containers
All for now, but will keep you updated on any new finds and purchases.