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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tools for the college chef

If you’re like most college students out there, you want to cook your favorite foods but you’re not exactly sure if you have all of the right tools to do so. Cooking is like painting, the inspiration behind the meal is the most important part, but after that you need your brush and easel to complete the piece. Here’s my list of the best and most necessary tools to aid you in your college cooking experiences.

Saute Pan

Saute Pans are among the most versatile tools you could ever use in the kitchen. This should be your go-to pan for getting any type of meat skillet-crisp in a flash. With this tool you can brown meat perfectly by stir-frying, or go the extra mile by deep-frying it. The best part about using a Saute Pan is the cleanup, virtually nothing sticks. A simple rinsing should clean whatever’s left,  if not, use more Pam next time. I’d recommend getting a large Cast-Iron version, because it has plenty of room for any type of meal, and it gives my burgers and steak that char flavor that tastes like it’s right off the grill.


There’s nothing easier than a crock pot. There will some preparation time with whatever you cook (I like beef stew), but when you’re ready to go all you have to do is dump your ingredients in the pot, add water, and wait around a few hours. The slow cooking process will ensure that you get ultra tender, juicy meat. If like me, you hate standing around in the kitchen, keeping a watchful eye over your food. My crock pot allows me to completely forget about the task of cooking, and when it’s done, it’s done.

Stock Pot

Stock Pots are great for boiling water, making soup and steaming vegetables. Since you’re just using it to heat water up, you don’t have to spring for anything expensive. A solid quality, 12-quart, granite model will run you anywhere from 15-$20, more than half the price of the tools listed above. If you need to make any type of broth, stew or vegetable dish, this is the tool you want to use.

Other tools to consider: Wok, Slap Chop (just kidding), blender, meat thermometer.

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