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Five Essential Kitchen Gadgets for the College Dorm Room

The college culinary scene doesn't have to be all takeout pizza and ramen noodles -- particularly when dorm rooms are decked out with a few key cooking tools. Let's count down five of our favorite kitchen gadgets aimed at...

The college culinary scene doesn't have to be all takeout pizza and ramen noodles -- particularly when dorm rooms are decked out with a few key cooking tools. Let's count down five of our favorite kitchen gadgets aimed at helping college students score high marks when it comes to eating their way through their undergraduate years.

Kitchen gadgets
Toaster + tongs pack a one-two punch for hungry college students.

 

1. A Microwave

Some college door rooms are already equipped with microwaves, while others are not. Whether or not your child's dorm room comes with this quick cooking tool, he'll need it for everything from making popcorn to heating up leftovers. Look for a compact microwave which won't take up too much space in a typically cramped dorm room.

One caveat? Before showing up on move-in day with a microwave -- or any other electric appliance -- check with school policy to ensure that it's allowed.

2. A Can Opener

Sure, in an ideal world you child will eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but canned goods -- from soups to tuna -- come through in a pinch. Remember: college students are often sleep-deprived and rushed. To help prevent late-night trips to the campus health center, look for a safe edge can opener.

3. A Blender

Whether your child has a daily smoothie habit or you're hoping he'll eat more fruit and protein at college, you can't go wrong with a blender.

If counter space and/or outlets are at a premium, consider the ingenious Blendtec Mini Twister Jar. This clever device is also useful for making dips and hummus -- the perfect accompaniment to study snacking.

4. A Toaster

Even if your child's on a meal plan at school, he won't always make it down to breakfast in time. Look for a compact toaster to minimize its footprint. And save those fingertips: don't forget the tongs to go along with it.

One variation on this theme? A toaster oven. If your favorite college student plans to be doing a significant amount of cooking in his dorm room, consider upgrading to this versatile piece of equipment. An added benefit? At least if he does end up eating pizza every night, it won't be soggy or mushy.

5. A Good Paring Knife

This small but mighty kitchen knife performs a huge range of functions, including carving, cutting, and trimming pretty much any cooking ingredients. While storing a larger chef's nice might be tricky, a paring knife can be easily tucked away. A cutting board, meanwhile, is essential to protecting surfaces...and your security deposit.

Kitchen gadgets
The student chef's trusty sidekick.

 

As your college students sets out on his own for the very first time, he'll need all the help he can get. Stocking his dorm room with user-friendly appliances can help him take a giant step toward independence during this pivotal year. Not sure where to start? Be sure to check out Cilantro The Cooks Shop -- your all-in-one destination for all things cooking, bakeware and kitchenware.