4 Common Kitchen Mistakes of College Students

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With a small budget, limited cooking space, and only a select few appliances to work with, it can be hard to feed yourself in college. But you’re probably making it harder by committing these kitchen sins.


From overusing your microwave to using a month-old sponge, there are many mistakes that a college student can make in the kitchen, whether you’re staying in a dorm or off-campus housing. So if you’re tired of eating poorly reheated food and throwing more leftovers than you’d like, here are some of the most common kitchen mistakes that you should stop doing now:


  1. Not cleaning your microwave


A microwave is a useful tool for college students who have little to no time or skills to cook their food on a stove. Hence, it is common for students to use their microwave multiple times a day, maybe even for every meal.


However, appliance repair centers see too many malfunctioning microwaves due to overuse and little maintenance. So the more frequently you use your microwave, the more you have to clean it as well. Moreover, not only does regular cleaning help your microwave stay in good shape, but it also prevents bacteria from growing on the food residue inside.


  1. Trying to cook complicated recipes


With limited time, money, and cooking space, you’re better off cooking simple and cheap recipes instead of complicated ones that will require a full kitchen. You can try, but you might just end up wasting hours of effort and have a lot of dishes to do afterward. Find cheap, healthy, and easy-to-do recipes online that require only basic tools and appliances. There are lots of recipes that are geared toward college students, and even a subcategory for dishes you can cook entirely in a microwave.


  1. Failing to handle food hygienically


Many students tend to forget about food safety entirely when they’re in their dorms. However, just because you ate a week-old pizza and felt fine afterward doesn’t mean you can continue neglecting food safety.


There are so many food safety and hygiene mistakes that you can make. Here are some of the most common ones:


  • Not washing produce before cooking or peeling
  • Failing to refrigerate or freeze foods that require low temp storage
  • Not replacing your sponge regularly
  • Storing raw meat next to produce or cooked foods
  • Eating or storing food past the expiration date
  • Using the same knife to cut raw meat and vegetables or fruits
  • Not cleaning out your refrigerator regularly
  • Not reheating food properly


  1. Buying unnecessary kitchen gadgets


Don’t be swayed by those fancy kitchen gadgets that you see online, no matter how useful they seem. Stick to the basics instead. If you plan to cook regularly, bring a small refrigerator, a single-burner stove or hot plate, a microwave, a coffee maker (to avoid buying overpriced coffees), a slow-cooker, and perhaps another small appliance that you can see yourself regularly using in the future, such as a blender (for smoothies) or a small oven (for your cookie cravings).


Cooking in college is hard. But if you don’t cook, you’re left with fast food, junk food, and mess hall food that are unhealthy and expensive. Hence, if you want to make cooking easier, here are the kitchen mistakes you should avoid like the plague.

Meta Title: Advice for College Students: Common Kitchen Mistakes to Avoid

Meta Description: Don’t risk the safety and quality of your food. While in college, here are some of the kitchen blunders that you should start avoiding today.



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Reed Hamilton

Mason Reed Hamilton: Mason, a political analyst, provides insights on U.S. politics, election coverage, and policy analysis.