October 16, 2021

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5 tools to help you make better meals and snacks in any dorm room

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Tune into In The Know Live: Kitchen Gadgets every Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST. The show, hosted by In The Know senior cooking editor Ellie Conley, dives into the newest kitchen gadgets and food trends for at-home chefs and foodies alike.

You can do just about anything in a dorm room — study, sleep, hang out with friends and even work out. But cook? That can be difficult. Luckily, most universities allow you to have a mini fridge and a microwave. If that’s the case for you, the good news is that you can do a lot with that.

Your mini fridge can hold drinks, snacks, fresh fruit and more, while your microwave can reheat Uber Eats leftovers, heat water for tea or even make pasta.

Of course, you can and should go to the dining halls with your friends. But if you’re having a last-minute study sesh and don’t have time to take a break or need a midday snack, “cooking” in the dorm isn’t so bad.

Take a look below at some of the top tools you can use in your dorm room to make meals fast and watch it all on this episode of In The Know Live: Kitchen Gadgets posted above!

1. Whirlpool 0.5 Countertop Microwave, $179

This compact microwave has a rounded back for tucking it into corners. It will save you a lot of counter space, yet it’s big enough to fit a full-sized dinner plate. It’s perfect for tiny kitchens or dorm rooms where space is limited. However, don’t let its small size fool you — it’s still pretty powerful.

2. Ecolution Popcorn Popper, Snack Size, $12.88

Love popcorn but hate the artificial colors and flavors of the bagged stuff? Try this glass microwave popper. You can use the lid to measure out your kernels, pour them in, and cover them back up. Then, place a pat of butter if you’d like on top, stick it in the microwave and pop your corn for two to three minutes. It’s that easy! Get it in a snack size or family size to share with friends in your hall.

3. Fasta Pasta, $16.99 (Orig. $19.99)

You can cook any type of pasta and noodles in your microwave using the Fasta Pasta. Simply add your pasta to the container, fill it with water up to the marker and heat according to instructions (about 12–13 minutes). When it’s done, pop on the lid with cool-touch handles and pour out the water through the lid’s built-in strainer.

4. Allstar Innovations Reheatza, $45.99

Credit: Amazon

The Reheatza is essentially a microwave crisper. The pan retains heat to crisp food as if you were cooking it on a frying pan, and according to the product description, the lid prevents the food from directly getting microwaved. In turn, this allows the pan to do all the work to heat the food (it can get up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit!). Use it to reheat pizza, frozen foods, leftovers and more.

5. Brita Small 5-Cup Water Pitcher, $19.99

Credit: Amazon

You’ll need clean water to make pasta, tea, coffee or simply to drink. Rather than filling your water bottle at the water fountain or in the dorm restroom, you can reach into your own fridge for a Brita water-filtering pitcher. You’ll be especially thankful you have it when you wake up in the middle night and need a quick sip.

If you liked this story, you might also enjoy reading about this freezable lunchbox you can take anywhere.

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