Heading to college and wondering about the snacking situation in your dorm room?
Well, you’ll need to feed yourself for the years you’ll be spending in your dorm room, and you don’t want to rely on the school cafeteria for that.
You want to avoid eating too many cup noodles and other kinds of junk food, but may not have the time to cook a proper meal between college activities.
Thinking about putting an air fryer in your dorm room for pizza rolls and hot pockets, but not sure if they’re allowed?
Yes, air fryers are allowed in most dorm rooms!
In this article, we’ll discuss how an air fryer works, if it’s allowed to have, some maintenance tips, and some alternative appliances that you can take as well.
Air Fryers 101
So, what is an air fryer and what does it do?
An appliance patented by the Philips Electronics Company, it’s basically a countertop convection oven.
It may not be frying your food for real, but it can cook some chicken wings and vegetables on demand.
To do its job, an air fryer makes use of a fan and heating mechanism, which blows hot air into the basket to “fry” your food.
This process is similar to deep-frying, but without using oil.
Even though cooking won’t need oil, it would still be a good idea to mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of oil into anything you want crispy and delicious.
Most air fryers will accommodate 2 to 10 quarts of whatever you want to cook.
After setting it all up, turn up the heat to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit and give your dish 5 to 25 minutes to complete!
Depending on what’s in there, it may be a good idea to stop the fryer halfway so you can flip the food over, which will give it an even frying.
Using An Air Fryer In Your Dorm Room
And now for the answer you’ve been waiting for.
Yes, you’re allowed to have an air fryer in most dorm rooms!
However, it’s always a good idea to check your campus rules just in the off-chance that it isn’t allowed.
There should be an “approved appliances list” somewhere in the college policies that you can check out.
The general rule most colleges abide by is that various cooking appliances are okay, provided they don’t create smoke.
A good reason for this is how the fire alarms in most college dorms work.
At home, if your smoke detector starts beeping like a DEFCON-one alarm, you can simply push a button to make it stop.
In your dorm room, however, the smoke alarm will most likely not have one.
There’s a high chance that once it goes off, your entire dorm could be evacuated!
Not only would that be super embarrassing, but you could also receive a $1,000 fine. Damn.
However, here’s a helpful tip to prevent such an occurrence.
Drop an inch of water into your air fryer basket.
Doing so will cool any oil you have in there, thus preventing smoke from forming in the first place.
Aside from that, it also helps to place your air-frying appliance in a space where the heat won’t cause anything to burst into flame.
Give it the space it deserves, and also consider getting a heat-resistant mat made of silicone for the air fryer to sit on.
Air Fryer Safety & Maintenance In Your Dorm Room
Speaking of preventing things from setting on fire, it will help you to know various safety and maintenance tips to prevent the dreaded $1000 fine from falling on your shoulders.
First up, read the manual that comes with your appliance.
This is especially important if the model you have is one you’ve never used before.
This pamphlet will teach you most (if not all) what not to do with your air fryer.
Doing so might take 10 minutes or less.
Also, keep it handy somewhere just in case you need to refer to it again.
Aside from silicone mats, you can also prevent burns to yourself by bringing an oven mitt with you to your dorm.
To further prevent yourself from burning things, keep the appliance unplugged whenever you’re not using it.
If you bump a button by accident, and it starts frying as you leave for class…we’ll let your imagination process that.
Another great way to keep your air fryer in good shape is keeping it clean, especially after using it.
If your room has a sink, wash the basket in warm soapy water.
If your room doesn’t have a kitchen, you can use tap water to soak a soft dish cloth with a bit of soap.
Wipe whatever parts your manual says it’s okay to clean.
If you’re still unsure about cleaning, you can check out this website for more details.
Air Fryer Alternatives For College
If an air fryer doesn’t sound ideal for you, fear not, for many other appliances can be brought to your dorm room on the odd case that you aren’t allowed one.
Some examples include, but are not limited to:
- Mini blenders
- Small Microwaves
- Electric kettles
- Coffee pots
- Mini-fridges (can preserve foods that are usually served cold)
The above won’t do what an air fryer does, but know that you have several appliances available to you that most colleges will allow.
Although, be warned, here’s a quick list of devices you should probably not bring:
- Electric skillets
- Hot plates
- Toaster ovens
- George Foreman grills
- Rice cookers
- Hot pots
The one thing all of these have in common is that they’re highly likely to smoke, thus setting off the entire dorm’s emergency fire response.
Again, check your institution’s policies about what you can and cannot store in your room.
Whew! Quite a bit of knowledge, huh?
Well, if it’s less than what your courses make you read, then knowing the advice discussed in this article will bring you closer to those tasty, healthy dinners for the rest of the semester.
Bonus tip: Air fryers typically last 6 months to 3 years, depending on how often you cook.
image: HS You, Flickr, CC 2.0