Skip To Content

    29 Things That'll Make Cooking In College So Much Easier

    Because the dining hall has to close at some point.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A one-liter electric kettle so you can boil water for tea, pour-over coffee, hot chocolate, oatmeal, ramen, and more all in the comfort of your own room.


    Because you shouldn't have to interact with your roommates while waiting for the common room microwave to be free.

    Price: $19.97

    Promising review: "It's quick, heats up the water to boiling before I even finish setting up my tea cup. Also, allows me to have a hot water source upstairs instead of having to go down to the kitchen. Auto shut off is awesome. And doesn't take up too much space at all." —Celiza7468

    2. A countertop toaster oven for whipping up your favorite treats, like frozen chicken nuggs, DIY pizza bagels, cinnamon rolls, or anything else you'd heat up in a traditional oven.


    This handy gadget has five settings: bake, bage, broil, toast, and keep warm, and it can fit up to a 9-inch pizza — because frozen pizza is basically study fuel.

    Price: $20.88 (originally $24.96; available in two colors).

    Promising review: "I'm happy with my purchase. I needed a small toaster/broiler oven for my micro home and this well designed sturdy little appliance fits the bill. It is just the right size for cooking meals for one or two people. It's lightweight and compact, and it does everything a larger oven does, but takes up only a fraction pf the space. The timer can be set for up to 30 minutes or set to 'Stay On.' There are two levels for the racks. Easy clean up w/the crumb tray." —Walmart Customer

    3. A sleek toaster with extra-wide slots to accommodate bagels, baguettes, and other delicious carbs ideal for late-night snacking.


    Price: $19.94+ (available in two-slice and four-slice versions)

    Promising review: "I'm so glad I met this toaster face-to-face at the right time! It was time to replace my toaster. Not only is it very attractive and easy to clean, but it accommodates bagels as well as toast. Since there is a defroster on this toaster, you can use your bread right from the freezer. BUT, my big question was: Can it really defrost a frozen bagel, and then toast it? The answer: Boy howdy can it do the job. I never freeze bagels, preferring to get them fresh from the bakery and use them the same day. I sliced a bagel in half, and put it in the freezer for a few days. Following the directions, I put both halves in the toaster to defrost, using the button that starts the process. There is also a button to push for bagels. It was perfect, and tasted every bit as fresh as though I had just purchased it." —Primera

    4. A six-pack of reusable toaster bags to achieve a no-mess grilled cheese in a regular ole toaster. College is stressful; making sure you're fed shouldn't be.


    Just give the bag a quick rinse when you're done — each one can be used up to 100 times!

    Price: $10.65 (originally $35.59)

    5. Or a nonstick panini maker that'll whip up cheesy, melty goodness in minutes — perfect for when you're up at 2 am and feeling like toast yourself.


    You can totally fit two sandwiches on the 10"x8" cooking surface; can you say "bonding with your roomie?"

    Price: $24.94

    Promising review: "I love this panini maker! I thought I might use it once or twice and then put it away and forget I even had it, but I was wrong! We have used it almost daily. We used to make grilled cheese sandwiches occasionally, but this panini maker makes them so much faster and and more easily that we now eat them much more often! It accommodates many thicknesses of bread because of its floating lid (my favorites are hoagie rolls and baguettes!) It says it takes six minutes to heat up, but in reality only takes about two minutes. It is attractive enough to leave out on the counter. You can't go wrong with this great little appliance!" —Earthsiren

    6. An egg cooker to make whipping up nutritious soft-, medium-, and hardboiled eggs less...well...hard. Taking protein-packed snacks on the go just got easier.


    It has an auto shut-off feature so you can say goodbye to overcooked eggs, and this baby can even make poached eggs!

    Price: $13.18

    Promising review: "I have never been able to get hard boiled eggs right ie without green around the yolks or underdone, etc. With this cooker they come out perfect EVERY time! I love it! And really no clean up involved. Just wipe it dry when you're done!" —Nita

    7. A compact George Foreman griller so you can pretend it's backyard cookout season, even when it's snowing and you're in the middle of finals.


    Seriously, this is great for conveniently cooking healthier meals, like chicken breasts + veggies.

    Price: $17 (originally $23.93)

    Promising review: "I was just looking for an alternative to frying or broiling lean meat without losing a lot of counter or cabinet space in a small apartment kitchen....this was perfect. I'm single and certainly didn't need all the bells and whistles on the bigger models, either. Cleanup is a little harder since the plates don't remove but the trick is to do it immediately after use. Boneless chicken breasts and beef patties cook to perfection in under five minutes." —Darlin59

    8. A 13-piece slicing and chopping set to prep alllll your ingredients, because you don't have the time, energy, or space for chopping on a cutting board.


    We're talking slicing, dicing, grating, and zesting blades — plus it works as a salad spinner and egg beater.

    Price: $9.97

    Promising review: "It looked rather cheap based on the picture and given the price, I might have bypassed it, but decided to read the reviews (which were consistently glowing) so I thought, what the heck, AND I AM SO GLAD I DID! Having a relatively small kitchen and budget to match, but loving to cook, this 13 piece gadget is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. The blades are sharp as all heck (learned that quick enough!), and it's easy to figure out how to use. I've already used it to slice onions and potatoes, made some bomb guacamole, chopped up fruit for fruit salad... I am very pleased with my purchase!" —SanDee

    9. A *no-drip* waffle iron that'll help you live your best brunchy life right in your dorm kitchen — without having to clean up any messy batter., Walmart

    Fluffy, clean-up free waffles every time, thanks to its deep groves and built-in overflow tray.

    Price: $22.39

    Promising review: "I like this waffle maker! It’s so quick and easy to use. Pros: Fast cooking and straight forward. No mess; it comes with a cup, so you know how to much batter to add. Cool design (looks great; I can even break it up and eat them in little sticks). I even added blueberries and chocolate chips in the batter and it turned out well. In general, I like it." —InMyPerspective

    10. And a box of Krusteaz Belgian waffle mix for light, fluffy, crispy results so you can impress any overnight guests... or just yourself. All you need to add is oil and eggs.


    Price: $1.97

    Promising review: "This as good or better than eating at breakfast restaurants. Truly crispy and browned. Delicious flavor! Will be the only kind I buy from now on! I have a regular inexpensive electric waffle iron. I couldn't be happier with this waffle mix." —Ooblygoobly

    11. A rotating pizza cooker that'll evenly crisp up frozen *and* fresh crusts, plus any other snack you're craving (looking at you, chicken strips and mozzarella fingers).


    Price: $49.90

    Promising review: "Heard about this and gave it a shot. Was rather skeptical at first, but after I used it the first time, I suddenly thought about why I didn't get this sooner. If you don't have one, you're missing out!!!" —Eyefish

    12. Double-handled mugs bowls for heating up all your leftovers, soup, or microwave meals... without burning your fingers.


    They come with lids, too, so you can store extra food without dirtying a separate container.

    Price: $22.62 (for a set of four)

    13. A single-serve Ninja blender that'll double as a to-go mug, because the fewer steps to prepare your breakfast before your 9am bio class, the better.


    Price: $69 (originally $79)

    Promising review: "I got this primarily to make my protein drinks but it has involved into something much more. This thing is fast, I used it for smoothies, milk shakes, protein shakes, iced coffee. The uses are endless. It is easy to clean and easy to store. I have no clue why I waited so long to get this." —Mollyshouse

    14. A surprisingly spacious mini fridge so you can store fresh groceries (and have to make last-minute fast food runs way less).


    Price: $129+ (originally $168; available in two colors)

    Promising review: "Looks very nice. The size is just right for my space, but, surprisingly, holds quite a lot! And runs so quietly I thought it wasn't on. And is Very energy efficient! I am very pleased. It arrived packed in a box, in another box. No damage at all. I would definitely recommend it to a friend." —Mamafino

    15. A rolling kitchen island cart to store your shelf-stable pantry items and give you extra "counter space" for chopping and prepwork.


    Price: $94.99 (originally $119.99)

    16. A microwave ricer cooker to prep up to six cups at once without even touching a stove. Dinner is set for the WHOLE week!


    Price: $5.97

    17. An easy-match Rubbermaid storage container set with stackable lids that attach right to the container bottoms, because digging around your mess looking for the right lid is not a cute look.


    No one wants stale food, and this set of 20 containers and 20 lids is sure to help.

    Price: $32.99

    Promising review: "I got rid of all the other storage containers I had cluttering up my cupboards. These containers freeze with no brittleness and microwave without getting soft and misshapen. No matter what I've put in them — including tomato sauce — none of them have stained. I like the easy-find lids also since I tend to misplace things. I got mine on sale, but even at full retail price, they're a bargain!" —Klutzprez

    18. A mini slow cooker (it's 1.5 quarts!) for set-it-and-forget it meals without having leftovers for two full weeks.


    Price: $14.99

    Promising review: "This small slow cooker has just the right capacity for cooking for one or two people without a bucketful of leftovers. Easy to store as well. I use this almost daily and am happy with the results." —Miamiac

    19. An 83-piece kitchen essentials set, because shopping for college is hard enough without having to pick out plates, cutlery, knives, pots, and pans individually.


    One and done shopping? Yes please.

    Price: $49.97 (originally $69.97)

    Promising review: "Must say I'm very please with my set. I just moved on my own for the first time and this set has prove to be a great way to start. Everything was neatly packed and looked exactly the way I imagined!!!" —Relly242

    20. An air fryer for making super crispy wings, chicken fingers, and fries. And thanks to its ~circulating air technology~, you get all the crunchy bits without having to actually deep fry something.


    Price: $69.88 (originally $99)

    Promising review: "It cooks the food so quickly and with little or no oil. I just love it. No bending down taking food out of the oven. It fits on my kitchen counter and I have made baked potatoes, cut up fresh french fries, and fried chicken thighs (soaked in buttermilk then shake in four which came out crispy and moist. I have reheated food I took home from a restaurant and it came out as good as when I first ate it. This is great for people that are still working and need to cook quickly when they get home from work. Oh and the clean up is quick and easy too. Just release the basket from the bottom holder and wash both out with soap and water and dry. No mess and delicious food!" —NJ Belle

    21. A breakfast sandwich maker that'll fix your hungover weekend mornings once and for all. This baby'll cook everything you want in your sandwich (eggs, cheese, breakfast meats, veggies, etc.) and toast your English muffin all at the same time.


    Price: $37.37

    Promising review: "Where has this sandwich maker been all my life! I leave for work at 5am every morning and do not have time to cook breakfast every morning so I usually stop for a fast food breakfast sandwich. Never again! This sandwich maker is so easy to use and you have your breakfast in five minutes or less. That is including prep time. So fast and easy!! I was worried at first about placing a raw egg in thinking it would run out of the upper ring but it doesn't. Clean up is fast and easy too. I just use a damp paper towel once the sandwich maker has cooled down and wipe it off. You cannot beat this sandwich maker. Great for people who do not have time to cook breakfast before work." —Camarogirl3

    22. A 16-inch electric skillet, because even though you don't have access to a full kitchen, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to make a delish & nutrish meal.


    Price: $44.90

    Promising review: "I have had this same skillet for over 10 years and am finally having to replace it. I have never had any kitchen appliance last as long as this thing did. In every category it deserves a five-star plus rating except appearance. OK, it's not the prettiest electric skillet but are you buying it to use or to look at? If you want a skillet to look at, look at another. But if you want a skillet that holds temp, doesn't fluctuate, cooks evenly, is durable, and will last 10 years this is the one you want." —tlbh1966

    23. Or an electric multi-cooker you can use to make one-pot dinners, boil pasta, roast meat, and steam veggies and protein with the included basket.


    It's totally non-stick on the inside, which means way fewer dinner fuck-ups!

    Price: $34.92 (originally $39.92)

    24. A jar (or a stash of jars) of Rao's tomato sauce for those nights you're craving Italian takeout, but simply can't afford it.


    Boil some noods in your multicooker and add this on top. Mangia!

    Price: $6.98

    Promising review: "Really good is an understatement. Closer to my grandma's than any other bottled pasta sauce we've tried in the last half century. The label says homemade, one taste of this sauce explains the claim. Nothing can replace Italian plum tomatoes and slow simmering etc. We were stunned to find no obvious differences between this and our own homemade tomato basil pasta sauce." —Whatever

    25. Orrrr a bag of *fully cooked* pasta when you can't wait the 15 minutes for your water to boil and your rotini to cook. We've all been there.


    Price: $17.97 (for a pack of two)

    26. A pack of super-absorbent dishcloths to sop up all your major spills — while being more cost-efficient and eco-friendly than regular old paper towels.


    Price: $13.39 (for a 16-pack)

    27. An eight-inch quesadilla maker so you can satisfy your late-night cravings without having to leave your room.


    Just pop a tortilla in, pile with your ingredients, add another tortilla, and hot cheesy goodness will be ready in five.

    Price: $20.30

    28. A petite microwave that won't take up too much of your precious space.


    Price: $55

    Promising review: "Everything thing was easy about this purchase. This is so quiet l had to check to see if t was on. Love the color and size. I am a happy cook." —MaMaCon

    29. And a rapid ramen cooker to whip up your favorite instant noods without a pot — and so you can zhuzh it up with all your favorite gourmet ingredients (scallions, anyone?).


    Price: $10.99

    Prepare better than this:

    Touchstone Television

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!


    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form