Most students only require a few basic pieces of kitchen paraphernalia. The easiest way to decide what to send them off to school with is to go through your cabinets and decide which pots and pans you use most frequently.
Once you have figured that out, the rest should come easily.
As far as pots and pans go, it’s important to have at least one skillet (frying) pan and at least two medium sized pots. This allows the preparation of a main course in the pan, vegetables in one pot, and the other pot for additional item, like gravy, if necessary.
The best quality material for skillet-type pans is probably of the “wear ever” (nonstick) variety. Teflon pans are fine but just are not as durable. Wear ever pans are a bit more expensive but in the long run are more convenient, long-lasting, and efficient.
The choice of pots is more flexible–stainless steel seems to be the cheapest and gets the job done. The choice is yours but since Teflon pans can scratch and stainless steel pans tend to have food stick them, the wear ever pans seem to be the best choice.
The number and type of cooking tools one owns is really a matter of personal choice. Many recipes require only a spoon, fork or knife for their preparation. However, for convenience sake, a sharp knife, spatula, large cooking spoon, and can opener should really be acquired.
Hundreds of other utensils are available from specialty foods stores but really most are not necessary. The typical college student can get away with just the basics when it comes to utensils. Most stores off basic, starter sets in plastic too, which is s great way to get a feel for the different types of utensils.
Depending on the cooking skills of the student a rice cooker, steamer and tea kettle. Again, this will depend on what your student likes to cook, and how much time he or she actually has available to get cooking done.
Since pots and pans obviously take up a lot or room, and space on campus is probably limited, make sure you choose wisely and pack even more wisely. See if there is a place to hang a hanging rack for the pots and pans that way you can store the less used baking pan, cooking sheet, colander and steamer.
If not, and one can’t be build, get creative! Each student will come to school armed with pots and pans for the year.
A great way to thin some of them out is to donate the duplicates to charity or a less prepared student.
With a variety of pots and pans to use your student will be more encouraged to stay in and cook and stay away from the late night pizza binging! Make their space their own, decorate it with their cookware and encourage them to find new, healthy recipes to try.
They’ll be putting those new pots and pans to good use in no time! Enjoy!