Student cooking doesn't have to stop at spag bol. A few key gadgets can help make up for a lack of experience in the kitchen and ensure you eat well at uni.
When it comes to cooking, students don't always get the best press. But let's face it, a cupboard full of broken pots and pans and a couple of electric rings would leave even professional chefs at a loss. Being packed off to uni with the right kit will raise spirits as well as keep hunger pangs at bay. Communal cooking is a great way of finding a sense of home, too, in addition to saving money. Here's our definitive guide to the top gadgets and kit to stock up on before heading off to uni this year...
Stir-fries are a bit of a lifeline for students; they are fast, cheap and tend to contain a few vegetables, too. Invest in a big enough wok and they're a great way of feeding a crowd. You should be able to find a good deal on woks at most major supermarkets. Check out our best woks on test.
Non-stick frying pan
Treat it well and a non-stick pan can be a friend for life. It's brilliant for cheap, speedy dishes like omelette and pancakes, and should lessen cooking disasters for the new chef. Looking for inspiration? We've rounded up our top five non-stick frying pans.
Slow cookers may seem a bit more The Good Life than The Young Ones, but they're a great way of eating well on a budget. With a slow cooker you'll be able to turn the cheapest cuts of meat into something spectacular and with minimum preparation time.
There are lots of pros to buying a slow cooker. They are energy efficient and if you set your timer before leaving the house, you can arrive home from lectures to a freshly cooked hot meal – just like home. In our slow cooker round-up, we found that medium and small cookers provided better heat distribution. You should be able to pick up a good-sized model for around £50.
A proper chef's knife will make the world of difference to your cooking experience if you can invest or 'borrow' one from home. Although they tend to come with high price tags, those serious about their cooking will keep theirs throughout their entire student life and beyond. We've found our favourite knives under £40 for the student looking to up their cooking game whilst living away from home.
A range of simple plastic or wooden boards is definitely an essential on the shopping list before heading off to uni. We've rounded up some of our favourite chopping boards to make the choice a bit easier.
Cheaper canned foods tend to lack a ring pull, so one of these is essential for the student kitchen. Check out our favourite can openers.
Tupperware is not only great for helping you store leftover food safely, it'll also come in handy for transporting money-saving packed lunches to uni. We put Tupperware to the test with cost in mind.
Fantastic for whizzing together a quick smoothie or soup for one, students will be surprised how much use they get out of a hand blender. Some come with a high price tag, but there are affordable models available. See our review.
Less costly than you might imagine, a decent roasting tin comes in handy for a multitude of different recipes from a Sunday roast to a sweet traybake. Check out what else we've included in our best kitchen gadgets under £10.
With your student kitchen all stocked up, you next need to work out what to cook...
What kitchen equipment could you not live without at university? We'd love to hear your thoughts…