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Living on campus, whether you love it or hate it, is the most convenient option as a full-time student. However, living in a dorm comes with certain compromises, with cooking being a major one of them. While residential students are required to have a meal plan, we all know the food can be very hit or miss a vast majority of the time. I’ve compiled this guide to cooking the simplest of meals as well as a bit more complex ones in a dorm. 

Electric Kettle

While I don’t personally own one, an electric kettle is a great option for cooking in a dorm. One way to use it is to make ramen by boiling the water and pouring it into the cup, then covering it and letting it sit for a few minutes. In addition to this, I’ve seen several people make pasta in an electric kettle by literally just putting the pasta in the kettle with water just like cooking it on a stove. This is probably a more filling option than just eating ramen 24/7. 

Air Fryer

This is a controversial topic on whether this is allowed in the dorms or not, but when I looked up UH’s policy it said “open coil heating or cooking devices (toaster ovens, hot plates, space heaters)” are not allowed. The way I interpret that is if it’s an open heat source such as a toaster oven or a toaster then it’s not allowed. An air fryer is very similar to a microwave in the sense that it closes and UH orgs have given air fryers away at several events I’ve attended, so I’m including them in this list. Air fryers are good for literally anything. There are thousands of easy recipes online and you can cook just about any frozen food in them whether that be chicken nuggets, french fries or corn dogs. A recipe I know I’ll be using a lot is homemade pizza in an air fryer. All it takes is the premade dough and whatever toppings you want, then put it in the air fryer for seven minutes and you have pizza that’s much better than the dining hall. 

Communal Kitchen

A fairly obvious option on this list is to utilize your dorm’s kitchen. I can speak for the Quad and Cougar Place that each floor has one, so if your room is close to it that’s a great option. Although, if people on your floor are anything like mine, you’ll probably have to clean up after whoever used it last before you can cook anything. Every communal kitchen has an oven, so if you find yourself in a baking mood, or even want to cook a whole meal, it’s a great option if you’re getting tired of the dining hall. 

Mini Appliances

Lastly, one of my favorite options on this list is mini appliances. There’s practically a mini version of everything from a waffle maker to a rice cooker. I’ve seen waffle makers for as cheap as $5 and rice cookers for $20. Since they boil water just like a pot on a stove, rice cookers can be used to make pasta (again) as well as things like mac and cheese. Cooking in a dorm isn’t always ideal so creativity is a must. However, the cute color palettes make mini appliances look cute in your dorm, which is an added bonus. 

All in all, there are many ways to cook in a dorm if you want something other than chicken and fries or pasta at Moody. It just takes creativity and a bit of compromise. 

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