How to cook in your dorm room

By Melanie Hart
October 6, 2018

Heating up pizza in the microwave. Photo by Melanie Hart

If a student lives on campus in a dorm room, here are some ways to cook food in the room or in the lobby. Remember, be mindful of  roommates and floor mates with what the things being cooked or heated up.

Freshmen do not have kitchens in their residence halls, but a microwave is available in the lobby to use. The microwave is there for students who do not have their own microwave in their dorm room.

Upperclassman who live in the houses or apartments, on the other hand, have kitchens for them to use. Whether it be for the whole residence hall or just in your room depends on the residence hall.

Students who cook in the dorms are responsible for bringing their own cooking supplies such as pots, pans, cookie sheets, oven mitts and silverware. Keep in mind that the lobby microwave or kitchen, freshmen and students living in the houses, are shared with everyone in the residence hall. So, it is important for them to keep it clean.

“Don’t use tinfoil in the microwave or else it will start smoking and start a fire and cause the fire alarm to go off,” recent Shippensburg University graduate Quinton Beck said.

Beck has had to cook at college for four years, in his dorm room and his apartment, and knows all the do’s and don’ts of using the kitchen in a dorm.

“Do not forget to add water to your Easy Mac. It will catch on fire and it will set off the fire alarm,” Beck said. “No one will be happy if this happens at three in the morning!”

Using the oven to make mini hot dogs. Photo by Melanie Hart

Just recently, a couple friends took to themselves to make tacos for Taco Tuesday. They used the kitchen in their house as well as using their own cooking supplies. Just remember, after cooking the dishes need to be cleaned and brought back to the room or else someone may cook using the supplies left out and leave them there dirty.

“All you have to do is clean up your own dishes after your done cooking,” Cabrini sophomore Juls Pierce said.

When it comes to preparing food in the dorm, be safe and have fun.

“Cooking in the kitchen is fun, but also annoying at the same time because many people have different cleaning habits and the kitchen ends up smelling like different foods,” sophomore early education major Alexis Sharp said.

Students have the option of getting food at the cafeteria, but if a class runs late or they have a sport and can not make it in time, cooking food in the dorm room or kitchen is another way for them to eat.

Cooking in the dorms or apartments means that the student has to get their own food. It is important to get only what you need and not over prepare, for most students only have access to small fridge or freezer space. When looking for food to cook it is important to get things that will last and not spoil within a couple of days. By getting simple foods or ingredients, like chicken nuggets, frozen dinners and soup, students can easily cook up a meal if they are swamped with homework late at night.

“In my experience, something easy to cook and will not take up a lot of your time is chicken and rice. It is very simple and you can spice it up anyway you like. You can even add vegetables to the rice to allow for more flavor. Something harder, more difficult would be lamb with baked potatoes,” Beck said. “This will take up most of your time, for the potato has to cook for an hour!”

Cooking in college allows students to be more independent and learn whats easy and whats more difficult to cook on a budget and time schedule.

“I am happy we have a kitchen, but I have only cooked one meal,” Sharp said.

Melanie Hart

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