Learn what Essential Equipment and Supplies you need for your first college apartment kitchen.
My oldest son is returning to college all too soon, and this year, he’s living off-campus which means he will be cooking in his very first apartment kitchen. Although it might be more work for him to cook his own meals, I know he can eat a lot better for at least half the cost of the meal plan at school.
The only problem is that he doesn’t really cook…oops…now that could be a bit of problem.
This past week, I’ve been holding a “college cooking bootcamp” of sorts for my oldest son. He’s been learning to slice and dice onions, mince garlic (okay, albeit using a garlic press), make smoothies, season and grill chicken, cook pasta, make Egg and A Hat, cook green beans, roast cauliflower and potatoes, use a crockpot, season by sight with salt and pepper, and make his favorite Tomato Paste Pasta Sauce. He’s been scrubbing pots (yes you need to wash both the inside AND the outside, and you need to wash the pasta pot even though it doesn’t appear to be dirty). Although the first couple of weeks might be tough, I think he’ll get the hang of cooking pretty quickly.
I’ve been keeping a mental list of Essential Equipment and Supplies for my son’s first college apartment kitchen, and finally decided to create a list here so I can refer back to it when the twins head off to college in a few years. This list would also be good for anyone who’s moving into their first apartment and wants to know what to buy for their first kitchen. I wish I had this list when I moved into my first apartment – I’ll be carrying this with me when we swing through Target just before we drop my son off at college.
If you see me posting some basic cooking techniques and tricks/tips in the near future, it’s probably because I’m trying to send a few helpful hints to my son to get him through the school year cooking in his little kitchen.
Here is a list of basic equipment, supplies and pantry items I think are essential in a first kitchen. I’d love to hear what your essential kitchen equipment/appliances/utensils are.
Essential Kitchen Equipment/Utensils for College Kitchen
- A paring knife (I like the ceramic knives)
- A serrated knife (for cutting bread)
- A chef’s knife or santoku knife (for cutting meat and vegetables)
- Garlic Press
- A silicone spatula/wooden spoon
- A large slotted spoon
- A large 8-quart deep pot (for cooking pasta)
- A 3-quart saucepan (for making/heating up sauce for pasta, cooking vegetables)
- A 10-inch cast iron skillet (nearly indestructible and can go in the oven)
- A small cast iron or non-stick skillet (for eggs)
- Metal mixing bowls (indestructible, and good for tossing salads, marinating meat, and serving)
- A baking sheet (for roasting chicken/vegetables)
- A Pyrex pie pan or 8″ square dish (for roasting chicken/vegetables)
- A 2-cup liquid measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- A colander (for draining pasta and rinsing vegetables)
- 2 cutting boards (one for vegetables; one for meat)
- A can opener
- Containers for leftovers
Nice to have Kitchen Appliances
- Coffee maker
- A blender (for smoothies)
- A toaster oven
- A crockpot
- A rice cooker
- Mini food processor (for mincing onions, garlic)
- Panini Press (great for grilled chicken, sandwiches)
Essential Kitchen Supplies
- dish towels
- pot holders
- aluminum foil
- plastic wrap
- gallon-size re-closable freezer bags
- sandwich-size re-closable plastic bags
- paper towels
- dish soap
- dishwasher liquid
- dinner plates
- soup bowls/cereal bowls
- flatware set
- beverage glasses
- coffee mugs