What should I do if…? >.<

Being students and living away from home, we’re not always fortunate enough to have easy access to every kitchen appliance or utensils we need.

Now before you start panicking, giving up and deciding to eat out just because you don’t have this and the other, there are some tips and tricks you can pretty much always use to get around these issues. So don’t worry and get your hopes up because, WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY!!!


…I don’t have a Microwave?

·         Not all of us have the luxury of having a microwave in cheap student accommodation and not all your landlords are kind enough to provide one. But what can I do to reheat my food, you may ask?

·         One easy method is to put whatever you have on an oven proof dish and give it a quick warm through in the oven at medium/high heat.

·         OR, if you cba to turn the oven on you can try another methods. Cover your plate of food with a pan lid or some foil and place over a pan of boiling water and cook for 10-15 minutes or until your food is warmed through. But, try not to let the water touch the bottom of your plate or bowl or there could be an uneven distribution of heat and some parts may warm up faster than other parts!

…I don’t have a lid for my pans, casserole dish, etc?

·         Lost your pan lid? You or your housemate broke it on one of your drunken escapades? Or do you simply not have one at all?

·         Easy thing to do in this case is to just use some foil. Tear off enough to wrap around the edges of your pan or casserole dish and mould it round the edges to seal everything in.

…I don’t have a pastry brush or basting brush?

·         No pastry bush? No worries use your fingers or a piece of folded up kitchen paper towel.

·         What about a basting brush for when you cook things in the oven? Just use a spoon. Does exactly the same job and seems less pretentious XD.

…I don’t have a blender?

·         You’ll never get it as smooth as a blender but if you’re prepping ingredients just very finely dice and chop everything up with a sharp knife.

·         OR, get a heavy object, such as a round-end rolling pin, and a sturdy bowl and use it as a make-shift pestle and mortar and grind and mash all your ingredients together.

·         For some cooked foods like soup, use a potato masher or, if you haven’t got one, a large fork and mash everything up as much as you can.

…I don’t have a (potato) masher?

·         Usually you can use a fork, but if you’re feeling adventurous, use your fists or some form of blunt object and pound and mash everything up.

…I don’t have a whisk?

·         You don’t always need one, just use a fork.

I always burn my food in the oven…help!

·         Don’t worry you probably have an older oven where the thermostat doesn’t work properly. Just record what temperature it burns and adjust it by lowering the temperature you normally set it to when you burn your food.

·         If it is about timing and forgetting you put your food in the oven, set a timer or reminder on your phone to remind you your food is still in the oven even when you leave the kitchen and browse the internet and read something like this blog ;D

Why does my food come out raw from the oven?

·         Some older ovens can get quite weak with age and may not have the right temperature for its settings. Again, just record it and turn it up a little bit more compared to what you usually do.

·         Or the best thing to do is complain to your landlord and get him/her to get you a new one! >.<

I keep burning my food on the hob

·         You probably just need to turn the heat down a bit. Not all food can be cooked on the highest heat settings.

·         Or maybe still, you’re not keeping a close enough eye on it. It’s quite hard to cook well and successfully if you go off halfway through and ring your mates or squat around in front of your laptop cos you’ll probably end up forgetting it or you just lose sense of time.

Gas Settings and Temperature Gauges

Below is an easy table which outlines pretty much all the temperature settings of an oven, considering every type of cookbook or recipes gives you settings which you may not be familiar with.

Gas °C Fan/Electric °C °F Oven Temp
¼ 110 90 225 Very Cool
½ 120 100 250 Very Cool
1 140 120 275 Cool or Slow
2 150 130 300 Cool or Slow
3 160 140 325 Warm
4 180 160 350 Moderate
5 190 170 375 Moderately Hot
6 200 180 400 Fairly Hot
7 220 200 425 Hot
8 230 210 450 Very Hot
9 240 220 475 Very Very Hot

So! Here are a few of my kitchen tips for when you are in a kerfuffle and are somewhat confused when you’re in the kitchen. Nothings too difficult and once you get your head round the basics, you’ll be whipping up great treats in no time.

Hope you find this useful and if there are any more tips or questions you would like me to answer and add to this list, please let me know.




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