This semester I moved into a apartment for the first time. Last year I lived in a dorm and was limited in my kitchen supplies. Basically all I had was Cuisinart Grill/griddle, a small cutting board, an old chefs knife, and a plate or two from target. Not that I don't love my Griddle (I do! I just made pancakes this morning), but I needed to expand my kitchen goodies. Granted, I have no job and no income, so this was going to be tough.What every (poverty stricken college student's) kitchen needs:
Most mainstream stores like Target and Wal-Mart have some pots and pans
geared to college kids. I bought a set similar to this one. Granted, they aren't anywhere near the best quality. They are very light and made of aluminum. But, that doesn't mean they don't work as well. They still boil my water and cook the chicken.
If You would rather limit your pot collection (really, I think this is the minimum number of pans you need) because of space issues, or maybe you'd rather by nicer quality pans instead, a large sautee pan and a medium sized pot is all you really need. However, if you do start exploring cooking, you'll find that you do need a couple more pans.
So where can you keep your eye out? Head to Bed, Bath & Beyond, or Linens and Things. I picked up at $60 sautee pan for $5.50. It was slightly bent on the rim, but works just fine! Clearance centers are your friend :)
KnivesMy favorite thing about cooking is cutting. As weird as that sounds, I like the sounds of a knife on a cutting board. Maybe that's a childhood noise I grew up with, my dad being a chef and all, but for me, it's comforting.
All you REALLY need is a good chefs knife and a paring knife in college. When I went to go buy some knives I was shocked at how expensive they were. $16 for a bread knife? $25 for a chefs knife? And I was at T.J. Maxx! I know thats good quality but I am jobless! Anways, I bought some cheap 41 piece set from target, which included a wooden block and a variety of knives. Granted they suck hardcore.
So really, feel free to splurge on a chefs knife, you can use it for just about anything. My roommate has a really nice one, and we all just use hers.
The question is how much do you like to bake? The absolute necessity is a baking sheet. They are used for so many things: Pizza, cresent rolls, cookies, bread sticks, even toast...I bought a really nice Cuisinart pan at T.J.Maxx for $9.
Everything else is depends on how much you want to bake. Many stores off disposable cake tins, or fancy ones to make someone a cake for their birthday.
Again, these can be found mostly anywhere, Instead of going to cheap shops like walmart and target, search instead for nicer items that are discounted. That is if you enjoy the hunt :)
- Cutting Board- Just get the large one. Theres nothing more annoying that trying to trim chicken on a tiny cutting board. I was always taught only cut meat on plastic cutting boards. A helpful note (which I thought was common knowledge) DO NOT USE WOODEN CUTTING BOARDS FOR CUTTING MEATS OF ANY KIND. As Enghorn put it:
"I know you can't put everything in it, but at least mention the difference between plastic and wooden cutting boards. GUH.."
That was joking, by the way. Honestly though, don't want readers getting salmonella because they have raw chicken stuff stuck in their cutting board
I do enjoy the sturdiness of a wooden cutting board so I got one too. But the wood absorbs the juices of the meats, especially chicken. Wood absorbing salmonella is not cool!
- Just a helpful note, if you are using a cutting board and it's moving around, put a wet paper towel underneath, it will stop moving :)
- Measuring cups/spoons- If you plan on cooking a lot it's a good idea to invest.
So why am I writing this? Because A) my sister is going to college next year and probably will be wondering what to get, so this might come in handy B) I see a lot of people buying what they don't need, when they don't cook. That's just wasted money to me.