T Nation

Kitchen Essentials...


I'm moving off campus while in college this coming year and need some kitchen utensils/cookware...

I want to: tell everyone the few things I'm going to get; ask what people love the most in their kitchen as well as ask what's the best bang for your buck or must have when you are dirt-poor for us college kids.

-Digital food scale (gf's parents don't use theirs and are donating it)
-pressure cooker for tough veggies in large quantities for the week ($50)( http://www.consumersearch.com/pressure-cookers/presto-6-quart-stainless-steel-pressure-cooker )
-Metal/wood utensil set because of BPA and them melting in general
-Tempered glass cutting board, same deal as utensils
-Rubbermaid large 50pc BPA free set ($40)

What's everyone got and want to get?


get yourself a wooden cutting board instead, it won't dull your knives as fast as a glass one.


At least one decent LARGE frying pan. THe cheap ones will have the teflon scrape off, so suck it up and get a 'decent' one. I make pretty much everyone in the same pan, except for when I cook several chicken breasts at once (baking sheet).
Also, a large bowl, for either mixing things in, or eating out of. I have the usual set of average sized bowls (cereal, salad etc), but then I have one HUGE bowl for when I'm mixing several servings of Oats with Met Drive and PB (it gets pretty messy, and takes up a LOT of room when I start mixing)



You cook people? You are SICK!!

I use the same large plastic bowl for everything except eggs.


Gotta have a crock pot. Cook while you sleep, or while you're gone. Also good for making meals for the week.


I would not get a crock pot if I already have a pressure cooker. Get one or the other.


LOL, okay, I'm tired (like I type any better when I'm fully awake!)



would rather get a rice cooker than pressure cooker or crock pot


I dunno what your roomate situation is like, but a standalone mini-freezer will save you money... when meat goes on sale that thing really helps and you will avoid fights with roomates for taking up too much space.


Could do both, I bought a 2 cup rice cooker for $15


I thought about a wood cutting board, as well as a bamboo one since they hold less bacteria. My issue is, we have a dishwasher, and I live in college. Meaning I wouldn't trust my roommates if they left it in water/dishwasher bc they will peel. Also, if they break the glass one, it's hard to just put it back where you found it, vs a wooden one where anyone could use it and I couldn't point a finger.
And the knives aren't mine, though a sharpener is available and they do wonders if used consistently.

-Dolce, I hate cooking rice. So I have other carbs instead usually, most of which have higher protein/fiber (brown rice only has 1g fiber/serving). The pressure cooker will help me out better bc I'm always on the run, or don't wanna cook veggies for 30min, or longer when I cook for the week.
Also, after this year I'm buying a set of stainless steel pans. No tephlon or fumes to deal w/.Just a thought, birds were used in mines for levels of unsafe gasses, they keeled over immediately and the miners ran. Ever leave your tephlon pan on w a bird in the room? (not that I have birds, but making a point)
Anyone in college who cooks real food have any comments?? Come on people, let's hear it!


Got a mini-fridge, the freezer might be a good thing though. I'll look into that one. I'm living in a 4 bedroom house w/ 5 people. 3 people are in the same major as I, HNFE (human nutrition, foods and exercise) at Virginia Tech, so we all have relatively similar eating habits (very surprising honestly). fortunately I live w/ 2 girls who don't eat too much, they are also in that same major. The other dude is pizza/fast food so I'm good on that part for space in the fridge.


xkajillion. I am cooking right now, and let me tell you: having a small one sucks. It's only big enough for about one meal, and I cook my lunches in advance, so you know how that is.. do you know if it's going to be electric or gas stove? Won't really change anything but electric sucks. Also, salt, pepper, garlic powder. ESSENTIALS,


measuring equipment- ie. 1/2 cup, table spoon, tea spoon, etc


Well if they aren't your knives, and your roomates don't care about the knives, then go with the glass cutting board. I personally would never let my knives touch a glass cutting board but I've invested heavily in the 3 main ones I use.

Oh and if you're going to get a good pan make sure not to use metal utensils on it like you said you were going to buy. If you use metal utensils with a good pan you might as well have bought the cheap pan because they will both work the same in about a year.


personally I never saw much of a benefit from a mini-fridge... They're more or less built for drinks rather than food. At least the ones I've seen.


This is the best kitchen gadget I've ever purchased. It cooks hardboiled eggs perfectly. In over 1,000 eggs cooked I never had a single one that was hard to peel. It takes 10 minutes to cook 8 and it shuts off automatically. I got this model for $30. There's cheaper ones but I can't vouch for those since I never used them. I can't say enough about how much I love this thing.


George Foreman grill or similar type of grill.


Don't forget a blender - throw anything you line in it and out comes a meal you can drink.


Sorry, forgot to mention the mini-fridge was free, just included it in the list anyway, not too essential I guess....

I'm getting a wood set for the tephlon pans, so my roommates don't bitch and so I have less "pepper" (as my grandma called it growing up) on my food. The wood set is bigger, the metal one is small and is just for convenience. Makes getting baked food out of glass/grills easier, and they are cheaper than wood.

The egg thing can help a lot of my friends who struggle w that. Honestly tho, I learned the best tip for that. It's fairly consistent, though varies depending on batch. I get a large sauce pan (14in) and layer it w full of one row of eggs, a little over a dozen I think. Bring the water to a boil for 1 min, turn off heat, leave it on coils and cover for 10 min or come back in an hr. Not sure how well it works on electrics though.

-pcdude. I have a magic bullet. It hates me and sounds like a jet engine now from the fam cleaning it in the dishwasher, but I still love it....

And the forman is a must. I have one, and actually have 3 now at the house from everyone else.