The Complete List of Student Kitchen Essentials (for College/Uni)

What does every college/uni student need in their kitchen?

In this post, you’ll find the best student kitchen essentials that any college/Uni will actually use, including cooking essentials, small kitchen appliances, serving, storing, and cleaning.

student kitchen essentials

If you or your loved one is going off to college soon, you know there are so many things to plan and purchase. We’re here to help you find the most useful and healthy dorm kitchen essentials – to help you get a good start.

From our experience, a few things that are a must-have are a rice cooker, a nonstick frying pan, dinnerware, and a silverware set. You can also go for a ready-made student kitchen set.

The Complete List of Student Kitchen Essentials

Here’s the complete list of kitchen supplies for college dorms. Make sure to check on the college website for any forbidden items. The worst thing is to buy a bunch of stuff you are not allowed to bring.

If you’d like a readymade student kitchen box/pack – jump to the best dorm kitchen boxes!

College Cooking Essentials

The must-haves for some excitement and motivation in the dorm kitchen are a cooking utensil set, pots and pans (for 1-2 people), a cutting board and knife set, and a grater – all of them designed for small kitchens.

Cooking Utensil Sets

The cooking utensil set for the dorm kitchen should include basic cooking tools such as a classic cooking spoon, a slotted version, and a spatula.

Choose a high-quality and durable set, because you probably won’t be the only one using it. 😉

student kitchen utensil set
Bamboo colorful utensil set – view on Amazon

Here’s our top choice for the money, and plus it adds some great colors that just make you want to grab them and do something with them.

The Cook Code utensil set is made from eco-friendly natural bamboo without any chemicals, is durable, heat resistant, and has a nonstick surface.

(👉 Check out the top 10 kitchen utensil sets for cooking – in 2021)

Bigger sets include tongs, whisks, a potato masher, and more. Here’s our recommendation:

silicone cooking utensil set for dorm kitchen
High-grade silicone utensil set with everything you’ll need – view on Amazon

This excellent set includes 11 pieces and provides tools for baking as well, and a utensil holder to keep everything in place, and save drawer space.

Pots and Pans

Every dorm kitchen must have at least one nonstick frying pan for anything from eggs to bacon and a steak.

A nonstick fry pan can become a friend for life. It’s excellent for cheap, speedy dishes like pancakes and omelette, and will lessen cooking disasters in the kitchen.

best fry pan for dorm kitchen
Greenpan healthy ceramic 10″ nonstick fry pan – view on Amazon
👉 Got your fry pan? get the 12 best student meals recipes for a frying pan!

A 10-inch fry pan is enough for 1-2 meals, and we always choose toxin-free cookware such as the Greenpan ceramic cookware series.

GreenPan’s Thermolon healthy ceramic nonstick coating is free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium, so it will never release toxic fumes in the dorm kitchen.

If you’d like more essential cookware, you can get a new set of pans (which can genuinely inspire a bit of excitement when it comes to cooking), and makes it easier to know which pans are yours in a shared kitchen.

cookware essential set for college students
Greenpan 8-piece cookware and utensil set – view on Amazon

Our top choice is the Greenpan Healthy Ceramic Nonstick Cookware 8-piece set, which includes a 9.5-inch frying pan, 11-inch frying pan with lid, 1.5-quart saucepan with pour spouts, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, nylon and wood solid turner, and nylon and wood slotted spoon.

(👉 We chose Greenpan to be one of the 5 best nontoxic cookware brands of 2021!)

Space-Saving Cutting Board with Knife Set

We love sets for student kitchens because they have everything you need and the price is lower than paying for each item separately.

Here’s a budget-friendly cutting board and knife set, that even includes 7 colorful BPA-free mats for you and your friends, to brighten up the kitchen.

cutting board and knife set for small kitchen
Space-saving bamboo cutting board with durable knives and mats – view on Amazon

This bamboo Cutting Board comes with a durable 7-piece knife set and BPA-free Mats and includes 5 knives, a sharpener, scissors, and of course the mats.

This set saves you both space and money and can also serve as a cheese board serving platter, appetizer tray, cracker, and snack server, not to mention chopping, cutting, slicing, and dicing.

Feel like you need a more basic set? here’s a low-priced cutting board with a pairing knife:

basic cutting board with pairing knife
Cutting board with pairing knife – less than $17 on Amazon

5-in-1 Grater

4 sided grater
4-sided grater – view on Amazon

College kitchens tend to go through a lot of cheese and tomato sauce, and can not function without a good grater, which can also be used for shredding vegetables and crushing garlic.

This 5-in-1 smart grater has sides for coarse, fine, ultra, and slicer grating, and also a base for ginger grating. It sits flat and prevents a mess, and you’ll use it again and again – for years to come.

Dorm Kitchen Appliances

Through our experience, the appliances essentials include a personal portable blender, a mini microwave, and a mini rice cooker – these cover all your cooking, juicing, and heating needs in a small kitchen (and on the go).

Portable Blender

portable blender for college students
Blendjet 2 portable blender – $49 at Blendjet

A personal portable blender is one of the best and most practical appliances a college student can have, with the ability to make healthy and vitamin-rich smoothies on the go – while being easy to operate and time-saving.

The lightweight and compact Blendjet 2 blends 20 beverages per charge and is now water-resistant (so you don’t have to worry about getting liquid in the USB-C).

Mini Microwave

mini microwave for dorm kitchen
Mini microwave (0.7 Cu. Ft./700W) by Comfee – view on Amazon

A small (compact) microwave is a cost-effective choice for any small kitchen. A mini microwave quickly heats your meal or beverage while saving a lot more space and electricity than the average microwave oven.

Most dorms allow up to o.7 Cu Ft. microwaves (up to 700W), and we highly recommend the Comfee 0.7 Cu. Ft. 700W microwave.  It is small, but the turntable plate size (10 inches) is big enough for standard plates.

With the easy one-touch button, sound on/off, eco mode, 11 power levels, and 6 auto cooking functions, this 0.7 Cu. Ft. stainless steel microwave is perfect for small spaces.

👉 See the Top 7 Mini Microwaves of 2021!

Mini Rice Cooker

mini rice cooker for uni dorm
Aroma mini rice cooker – space-saving and low price – view on Amazon

With a good, compact rice cooker, you can make that perfect, fluffy rice for 1-2 people – fast and effortlessly – while saving you a lot of space.

Mini rice cookers are small and lightweight electric pots made for 1-2 people and work in a similar way to a slow cooker – cooking food over a period of time through moist heat, trapping the flavors in the pot.

You can use a rice cooker for more than just rice – vegetables, grains, eggs (boiled/Frittatas), oatmeal, pancakes, steamed meats, pasta, beans, soups, stews, and chillis – are all welcome inside this handy gadget.

what every college student needs in dorm kitchen

Our top recommendation for the student kitchen is the Aroma mini rice cooker – super popular on Amazon and a fair price tag.

A Keurig

keurig single serve coffee maker
Keurig Single-Serve coffee maker – $59 at Walmart

We believe that a Keurig is a must, especially for mid-term and finals weeks. This model is available in five stylish colors – so wake up and smell the coffee – literally.

Serving and Food Storage Containers

Food storage containers will keep leftover food fresh for a few more days and are important in any kitchen. For one person, 8 pieces (or less) are quite enough. As for serving, a small dinnerware set and a basic silverware set are essential.

food conainer set for student kitchen
OXO Good Grips container set – view on Amazon

We recommend the OXO Good Grips 8 Piece Smart Seal Glass Round Container Set (made from shock-resistant glass) which can be used in a freezer or a microwave/oven as well.

A small dinnerware set is also necessary, and this portable set of cutlery is very practical:

Student Cutlery Set

portable cutlery set for college student
Portable cutlery set – view on Amazon

The Best Student Kitchen Packs/Boxes 

If you don’t want to shop for each of these essentials one by one, we’ve found a few dedicated sites specializing in student kitchen packs for campus cooking that allow you to add any extras you’d like and contain most of the essentials.

We’ve also found a few cookware brands that offer large kitchen sets complete with the most useful utensils – great for first-time students.

Noah’s Box kitchen box – The Best Student Kitchen Pack

dorm kithchen box
Noah’s Box dorm kitchen box – $123 at Noah’s Box

Noah’s kitchen box contains all your cooking needs, right down to the kitchen towel. It has 35 essentials, including 2 complete dinnerware sets, a utensil set, a knife and cutting board set, a nonstick saucepan and frying pan, a nonstick baking pan, and tea towels.

You can choose to upgrade your pack to the standard ($206) or premium ($302) options, depending on your specific needs.

This lightweight dorm kitchen pack is lightweight and comes with free delivery.

Gibson home to basics College Kitchen Starter Set

dorm kitchen pack low price
Less than $50 on Amazon

For a much lower price, you can get the Gibson Home to Basics cookware,  utensil, and cutlery set, which is highly rated and popular on Amazon.

It contains all the cookware you’ll need for campus cooking, the most used utensils, a storage set, a pizza pan, a colander,  a cutting board, a bottle opener, and even an ice cream scoop, and much more.

The KM Team

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