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Top Uni Kitchen Essentials For Student Cooking

Flying the nest and heading off to University? These are the kitchen essentials every new student needs to pack.

There are many exciting things about your new student life as a (semi) independent adult: staying up – and out! – all night without anyone telling you off, a distinct lack of nagging the morning after, and the freedom to eat pizza every day if you want. But when Freshers’ Week dies down, and that pizza starts not to look so good anymore, its time to think about the more boring aspects of adulthood. Namely, cooking for yourself. Yes, Deliveroo may just an app away, but think about how much money you’ll save by stocking up on some kitchen essentials – after all, that’s money that can be spent on a night out instead!

A quick internet search for student kitchen essentials can be more than a little overwhelming, leading to never ending lists of items that you’ll never use. Why, we ask, should you pack a garlic press when you can simply use a knife?

Our advice: if you’re staying in Halls, check out what is already included in your kitchen – usually this is a kettle and toaster. If you’re in a student house, work out what everyone you’re living with is taking. There’s no need for six tin openers when one will do. Just make sure you take note of what is yours so, come the end of the university year, you’re not fighting over that toastie maker your mum made you pack.

If you’re off to University this September and struggling with your packing list, we’ve put together our own realistic and affordable kitchen packing list. There are no unnecessary potato mashes here, but tried and tested must-haves for your first foray into foodie adulthood. 

Crockery, Glasses And Cutlery

Go for cheap and cheerful crockery and glasses when university shopping, opting for robust plastic bowls and plates if you really want to avoid breakages. That way it won’t matter if your flatmate tries to play a game of plate frisbee after a big night on the town! Opt for bright colours and patterns so picking your dirty washing from the sink is easier and others are less likely to get away with stealing a bowl or two for their morning Cheerios. The same goes for cutlery – we like colourful plastic handled pieces – and Tupperware, both of which can easily end up in a flatmate’s cupboard if not noticeably different. One thing to note: make sure some of your bowls are microwave friendly. They’ll come in handy when heating up leftovers and food from home.

Cooking Equipment

When it comes to cooking equipment like non-stick pans, a wok, saucepan, an oven-proof dish, baking trays and weighing scales, going for something a bit pricier pays off. These are pieces that will see you through university and into your first graduate home. Also, higher quality cooking equipment leads to more enjoyment cooking and a nicer meal for it. On the cheaper side, money can be saved when buying items such as a colander, chopping boards, measuring jug and oven gloves. 

Cutlery Draw Additions

Must-have pieces in any student’s cutlery drawer are simple: a plastic or wooden spoon, a spatula that works for non-stick appliances, kitchen scissors, a vegetable peeler and a tin/bottle opener. 

 Feeling Fancy

If there’s a little money left in your university-prep kitty, picking up some luxury additions can pay off. If you’re a coffee-lover, a French Press can help you cut down on trips to Starbucks – carry your fresh brew in a reusable coffee cup to cut down on single-use plastic. Likewise, a reusable water bottle is key for early morning lectures or library sessions; a metal one will keep your drinks cold for longer. If you’re looking to save even more money in the future, a toastie maker is a great investment for quick, easy homemade lunches.