Living away from home for the first time is definitely an eye-opening experience. Not only is it equal parts exhilarating and terrifying, but it really makes you realize how many “comforts of home” you’ve come to rely on! To ensure you’re prepped for your time away at school, and that you don’t starve, here are a few basic appliances you should bring with you.
Personally, I think a blender is one appliance you simply can not do without! But don’t just go with any old blender. Go with a blender/chopper like this one from Hamilton Beach. It makes quick work out of smoothies, shakes, and margaritas, but can also puree sauces, blend dips, chop vegetables and grind hard cheeses all at the push of a button. Plus, it comes with two travel cups with no-drip drinking lids so you can tote your smoothie to class, or maybe even tote that margarita to the party down the hall.
Let’s not beat around the bush here–as a student, you are going to be pretty darn broke, so eating out every meal of the day simply won’t be a possibility. That’s where a toaster comes in handy. You can toast bread, bagels, or even Pop Tarts whenever hunger hits without needing to leave your dorm. Since space will be an issue in your dorm, forego a four slice toaster and instead opt for a two slicer that takes up minimal space, like this one from Hamilton Beach. It’s extra wide slots accommodate many types of bread, while its Breakthrough Bagel Technology ensures your bagels come out perfectly toasted every time. It also comes with an auto shut-off feature, which can come in handy if you end up falling asleep at your desk while studying into the early hours.
It’s a good idea to first check with your school to see what appliances are permitted in dorm rooms, but if pressure cookers are on the “okay” list, I highly recommend you bring one with you. Why? Because they allow you to cook in a variety of ways. Take for example the Instant Pot. It features seven ways to cook, including sauté/browning, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, and pressure cooker, plus 14 built-in smart programs that let you choose what to cook with the push of a button. Best of all, a delayed cooking timer means you can prep your meals up to 24 hours in advance, and that means less cafeteria food, and more healthy meals.
Rice cookers can make a lot more than just rice, making them on par with pressure cookers as far as versatility is concerned. This one from Panasonic can cook up to 5 cups of rice, which should last you at least a few days, and features Advanced Fuzzy Logic Technology that automatically adjusts power and cooking time for consistent results. Plus, unlike hot plates–which are typically not permitted in dorm rooms–rice cookers don’t give off much in the way of aroma or smoke, just a little steam, so your neighbours won’t be upset with your cooking.
When you’re constantly on the go, it can be tough to eat well-balanced meals. But with a multi-purpose sandwich maker and grill like this one from Breville, you can whip up delicious, warm sandwiches packed with ingredients from all four food groups. Just toss in some ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato, and you’re set! Even more than a sandwich maker though, with its adjustable height and temperature control, it is perfect for grilling all sorts of meats and vegetables. It’s also easy to clean and store, making it great for dorm living.
Last but not least, no dorm room is complete without a kettle. Not only are they handy for making tea, instant coffee, oatmeal, and instant noodles, but kettles with removable lids like this one from KitchenAid make it ideal for re-heating soups, and other liquids because you can get right in their and clean it up afterwards. This kettle also whistles when your liquid is nice and hot, so even though that’s a great feature, be mindful of your neighbours when you’re using it late at night! This kettle will last you long after school is finished, and with multiple colours to choose from, you can pick one that suits your personal style and dorm décor.
These appliances will make your time away from home much more pleasant. Eating out every day might sound appealing, but after a week or two, you’ll want to do at least some of your cooking at home, and these appliances have you completely covered. However, before you venture out and purchase everything on your wish list, check your school’s website to see if they have a list of items that are and aren’t permitted in dorm rooms. Not all schools are the same, so while one may allow toasters, another may not. Also, if you’ll be sharing your dorm room with a roommate, contact them before the start of the school year to see what appliances they plan on bringing with them, otherwise you may end up with duplicates in a very cramped space.