9 Must-have kitchen items you never knew you needed at university

23 Jul 2019,
By Nana, Student at Heriot Watt University

Not sure what to pack for your student kitchen? You’ve probably thought about pots and pans, knives and forks, plates and bowls.

But there are a few things that I bet you haven’t considered (see point 9 below) that will make a huge difference to your cooking life at uni (trust me).

Here are my nine must-have items for your university accommodation kitchen.

1) Spatula

When you have £2.36 left in your account, you need that trusty spatula to get every smidge of pasta sauce out of that jar. It’ll get you your money's worth. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

2) Measuring jug

That terrifying moment when the instructions say ‘add 160ml of water’ to the mixture but you don’t know what 160ml is so you end up turning noodles into noodle soup. Trust me, that £4 measuring jug will change your life. If you’re anything like me and also need to google how many millilitres of water needed to boil an egg, then this kitchen essential is right up your street.

3) Cups

I know this sounds like common sense, but I forgot to get cups at the start of uni. Fortunately for you, you’re reading this article now so (unlike me) you won’t have to spend the first few days drinking apple juice out of a cereal bowl while your flatmates stare at you like you’ve got seaweed growing out of your ears. It was an entertaining start to the year to say the least, not for me but certainly for them. And you know what they say about first impressions. But actually, the joke was on them, because it provided me with an excellent conversation-starter at pre-drinks, walking around with a dodgy-coloured liquid in a cereal bowl.

4) Tin opener

All those tins of food but no tin opener. Nothing but a lonely slice of toast with no baked beans to keep it warm. Don’t be the one to cause this loneliness. Invest in a good quality tin opener and ensure you properly understand how to use it - not all tin openers are created equal!

5) Plastic tubs

These are excellent for storing leftover food. They save money and stop wastage. You can take leftovers to uni for lunch the following day. And because we’re a healthy bunch, I’m obviously referring to the steamed vegetables with couscous you made all by yourself, not the leftover takeaway pizza.

6) Oven gloves

Opens oven… “Omg the garlic bread is ready… OUCH!” Ever heard this one? It’s more common than you think. Call the number on the screen to donate an ice-pack for a burned student today. Don't want that student to be you? Get some mitts. Also make sure they are good quality, there’s nothing worse than trying to take notes in lectures with burnt fingertips :(

7) Mini frying pan

When you’re not whipping up an oversized, serves-six pan of paella for your flatmates, a smaller pan is helpful when you only want to prepare a single portion of something. In addition, it reduces the surface area of dirty dishes to wash afterwards.

8) First aid kit

On a more serious note, this one is actually really important. Your safety and the safety of others in the kitchen is imperative. So don’t forget those novelty cartoon character plasters in your luggage, you never know when they might come in handy.

9) Fairy lights

Okay, okay, you don’t actually need fairy lights but they’re cute and can really cure even the worst cases of ‘don’t-talk-to-me-I’m-in-a-bad-mood’ syndrome. A well-lit room can fix pretty much anything. Suffering from freshers flu? Stick on those fairy lights. Your boyfriend of three years just broke up with you over text? Stick on those fairy lights. Out of toothpaste? Guess what? You better stick on those fairy lights. You can get blue fairy lights, star shaped fairy lights, blue and star shaped fairy lights. Just get some.

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By Nana
Student at Heriot Watt University