It’s time to get thinking about the back-to-uni essentials you need to pick up for your student kitchen. Although it’s tempting to head to IKEA for all of your student must-haves, that’s a surefire way to make sure that you and your flatmates have all the same plates, cutlery, and saucepans. Good luck remembering which is yours when it comes to packing away at the end of the year!
Any student will be hoping to cut costs when stocking up their kitchen, so our top 5 back-to-uni kitchen buys are as affordable as possible, without needing to be replaced every few months. You can also check out our Noah’s Box review for an all-in-one delivery option.
From coffee machines and slow cookers to nifty chopping boards that will make sure you don’t forget about food safety, these essentials have all been tried and tested by the Ideal Home team, so they have our stamp of approval.
1. A reliable saucepan set
It’s tempting to pick up the cheapest saucepan set possible, but if you can stretch your budget a little, it’s worth buying something that will last for your entire university experience. We’ve tried everything in our best saucepan set guide hands-on, and the one we would recommend to students is the BergHOFF Leo 3 Piece Non Stick Saucepan Set. It’s excellent value for a nonstick set, feels very sturdy in use, and is distinctive enough to not get lost on the draining board.
Other things we enjoyed were the draining panels at the side of the lids, which sit very snugly but allow you to drain water out of your pasta or peas without getting out a colander.
You also won’t have to worry about what type of stove you have in your accommodation because these saucepans can be used on electric, gas, and induction hobs.
2. The coffee machine to get your morning started
Another non-negotiable, if you ask us. Any student will tell you that one of their largest expenses is takeaway coffee, so buying a coffee machine to take with you will save you money and get your morning started in the best way.
The best pod coffee machines are often the cheapest to buy up-front, so we would recommend the Bosch Tassimo Vivy 2 if you like the idea of stocking up on pods from Costa, Cadbury, Kenco, and other familiar brands. It’s small enough to sit pretty on your counter, and comes in a range of great shades.
3. A slow cooker
No student needs a slow cooker, buy wow, they really do make mealtimes a whole lot easier. You can make everything from a simple chilli to a slow-cooked beef stew in these handy appliances, and they can often cost under £30. Batch cooking really doesn’t get easier, and it makes meal prepping very straightforward.
Our top pick of the best slow cooker for students is the Russell Hobbs Chalkboard Slow Cooker It’s got a 3.5 litre capacity that will readily cater to most students, even if you’re sharing, and the chalkboard exterior will allow you to make a note of what’s cooking and when the slow cooker needs to be switched off.
4. A good blender food processor
There’s no replacing the best blender from your home. Whether you’re cooking up a quick and healthy soup from scratch or making a morning smoothie before heading out to a lecture, it’s a non-negotiable in any student kitchen.
Our top pick is the Magic Bullet Kitchen Express. It’s one of the best food processors, first and foremost, but the blender attachment is powerful and small enough for single servings without taking up the entire counter. All the attachments are easy to clean, and you can slice veggies for salads or grate cheese for a pasta bake using the disc insert for the food processor bowl.
5. Colour-coded chopping boards
These colour-coded chopping boards from Viners are a great way to remember which board can be used for veggies, fish, cooked meat, and raw meat. Even better, each board slots into a wooden base and acts as a knife block for its own knife. There are four knives in total: a santoku knife, a carving knife, a utility knife, and a chef’s knife. Viners makes some of the best chef’s knives we’ve tested, so while this one is a little up there in price, it will definitely last.
This is another one that we’ve tried ourselves, and while none of the parts are dishwasher-safe, this shouldn’t be an issue for students unless you’re one of the lucky few who have a dishwasher in your digs.