The Best Tools for a Post-Grad Kitchen, According to F&W Staff
Rebekah Lowin, Digital Reporter (Columbia University Class of 2014)
I wish I’d had a Vitamix! Yup, dreaming big here. But I feel like the hardest part of adjusting to post-college life was the new, earlier wake-up time, and I would probably have been a little more excited to get out of bed and start work each morning if there was an out-of-this-world smoothie waiting for me.
Dinavie Salazar, Books Intern (UCLA Class of 2013)
When I moved into my first apartment, my dad gifted me his old seasoned cast iron skillet. It’s such a simple kitchen item, but a staple. I used it all the time and it just felt like a piece of home.
Phoebe Melnick, Video Producer (Boston University Class of 2016)
I still am a recent post-grad and I love my KitchenAid stand mixer. Apparently this is usually a wedding gift. I wanted it for a graduation gift. I use it mostly to stress-bake cookies.
Hannah Walhout, Editorial Assistant (Pomona College Class of 2014)
My first instinct is to say a dishwasher (still waiting on that one!). But cheese cloth is one of those things that you don’t think you need until you do, and it makes me feel like an adult when a recipe calls for it and I actually have some handy (this applies to a lot of specific-but-useful kitchen tools, like microplanes and pastry brushes). So maybe it’s more of a psychological thing—when you have cheesecloth, it means your pantry is fully stocked and you’re doing it right. Welcome to adulthood!
Rebecca Delman, Photo Assistant (Binghamton University Class of 2014)
My Crock-Pot! I can make amazing, easy dinners and don’t have to worry about leaving it on and unattended while out of the house. I throw in chicken breasts with some onions and BBQ sauce, and make pull-apart chicken that isn’t dried out.
Telsha Anderson, Social Media Manager (Syracuse University Class of 2015)
When I graduated, I was in love with my microwave. I was in and out of my apartment and didn’t (still don’t) know how to cook, being able to heat something up in 5 minutes was crucial to my survival. What I really needed was a lifetime supply of DiGiornio.
Abby Hocking, Digital Photo Editor (The College of New Jersey Class of 2011)
I wish I had a food processor when I first graduated. I thought that since I no longer lived in a dorm, I could start baking from scratch more. One of the first recipes I made required shredded carrots, so I shredded 4 (!!) cups of carrots with a cheese grater (to make this recipe). It took about an hour. My food processor shreds those carrots in seconds now!
Elisabeth Sherman, Digital Reporter (The New School Class of 2012)
I wish I never had a microwave. I don’t have one now, and I cook almost every night. It’s a blessing. Back then, I wished I had a heavy iron skillet. They’re so versatile and they aren’t easily damaged. We have two sizes, and they’re worth all the space they take up in the kitchen.
Morgan Goldberg, Editorial Assistant (Emory University Class of 2015)
I cannot live without my toaster oven. I initially told my mom that I didn’t want one and of course, I was wrong. I use it every morning to toast my English muffin for breakfast and often to make single cutlets of baked chicken — you don’t need to use the whole oven when cooking for one.
Megan Soll, Digital Producer (University of Georgia Class of 2012)
This GNC blender kit became my constant companion. It cost me barely $30, but works just as well as a Vitamix for protein shakes and juices. Living solo after college and having fruit and veggies expire was a constant annoyance (and money waster). I kept frozen fruit on hand instead and made a portable drink (or meal, TBH) when I was tempted to order something. Also a blessing: my toaster oven. Though it later caught fire (due to me being irresponsible covering Trader Joe’s garlic naan bread in extra olive oil), it made reheated pizza and leftovers much better.