It’s the classic curse of living in residence. Unless you’re in one of the new fancy buildings (like 45 Mann or Henderson), chances are you have a teeny-tiny kitchen. This can make trying to cook very difficult and frankly quite frustrating. How do you make midnight nachos when there is no oven?! Never fear collegiettes! Here are some helpful tips for cooking in your small kitchen.
1. Invest in a convection oven
I mean it. This is the most important kitchen appliance you could ever buy. A convection oven is basically a toaster and an oven combined in one. While you can’t cook a full turkey in it, it does the trick for both making your morning bagel and making your nightly chocolate chip cookies. It’s also useful for heating up foods if you prefer them to be a bit crispier (instead of slightly soggy like when you heat them up in the microwave).
2. Make a shopping list before you leave for the grocery store
When you’re confined to a mini fridge and a few cabinets, it’s crucial to figure out what you can fill them with before you go to the grocery store. There’s nothing worse than buying a small tub of ice cream and then realizing that your tiny freezer is full. Either way, prior planning can allow you to not only save money, but also make sure that you’re keeping your kitchen clean and tidy.
3. Find easy recipes
While making those slightly elaborate tasty recipes looks great, it is unrealistic in a small kitchen. Odds are you’ll run out of counterspace, dishes, or patience. Look online for simple recipes. A pasta dish with some tomato sauce and chicken can be just as good as pasta Bolognese. While it wasn’t the healthiest of options, I lived on quesadillas and a lot of chicken when I had my small kitchen. It was simple, space efficient and delicious.
4. Get stackable containers
Look, cabinets may seem big, but they fill up faster than you can say, “kitchen.” One of the best tips my mom ever gave me was to buy containers that stacked well. There are containers that click onto one another in a nice stack so that you don’t have a lot of clutter hanging around. You’ll not only feel more organized and tidy, but you’ll also have more space to put more important things (like Oreos).
5. Do your dishes!
One of the worst parts about having a small kitchen is that most of the time, you don’t have a dishwasher. This means that if you get lazy with washing your dishes, you end up with a very large (and often very gross) mess. If you stay on top of washing and drying your dishes, your kitchen will not only stay cleaner, but you will also have more free space!
Sources: Cover Photo