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College Advice

Can You Have A Toaster Oven in A Dorm? 

DormEssentials November 21, 2020

There are strict rules regarding what you can and can’t bring in your college dorm. However, these rules and regulations vary from college to college. Many students prefer cooking simple meals like breakfast over using the expensive or limited meal plan provided by the college. When it comes to cooking your meal, naturally, the question arises if you can have a toaster in a dorm? Sometimes dorm rooms come with a kitchen set-up. If the kitchen setup is within the dorm room itself (i.e. an apartment like suite), then you usually are allowed to have a toaster oven. 

The truth is most colleges won’t allow a toaster or a toaster oven over in a dorm, since they are small confined rooms. So, for most universities, the answer to ‘can you have a toaster oven in a dorm’ is no. The reason being toaster and toaster ovens can easily cause fire hazards. If you want to confirm this, make sure to check with your resident assistant. Now, you know the truth, but what will you do if you want to heat up something? Well, the next best alternative to a toaster oven is a microwave oven. In some cases, dorms will still disallow microwave ovens, but traditional microwaves are most likely to make the cut. In any case, check with your resident advisor and resident hall and then check our favorite microwaves below. You may already even have a microwave in your dorm!

Can you have an air fryer in the dorm?

Before we totally crush your hopes of delicious meals and revert to a microwave, an air fryer is another consideration. While these generally fall under the same rulings as toaster ovens, they generally are more compact and contained appliances. Regardless, the answer to if you can have an air fryer is probably also no for small dorms without built in kitchens. Check with your RA to be sure. If the answer is yes, then make sure to check out our favorite air fryers.

Now, if a toaster oven or air fryer is out of the question, let’s look at a few of the best microwave ovens you can buy. If you want a more extensive list, then make sure to check out our top 10 best dorm microwaves.

Best Toaster Oven Alternatives – Microwaves for Dorm Rooms

Since you can’t bring a toaster oven to your dorm room, the best alternative is a microwave. Yes, a microwave won’t toast your bread, but at least you won’t have to eat cold foods. Now let’s look at someone of the best microwave for your dorm room.

AmazonBasics Microwave 

If you don’t want to break your bank over a small microwave, AmazonBasics Microwave is perfect for you. For just under 60 dollars, you’re getting a microwave with Alexa built-in. 

The main attraction of this microwave is the price tag and included Alexa features. The microwave is small at a 0.7 cubic foot capacity, enough for your dorm room. It comes with a power capacity of 700 watts. Inside the microwave, you’re getting a 10” turntable. This turntable is large enough to hold 3 ounces of popcorn.

Speaking of popcorn, this microwave comes with Amazon Dash functionality. What it does is that when you’re running low on popcorn, the microwave will place an order for you. Also, because it has Alexa built-in, you can call it a smart microwave, which will grow smarter over time. On the microwave, you’ll find the Alexa button. 

But there are some cons to this microwave. Firstly, the AmazonBasics Microwave doesn’t come with an echo, so for more automation, you’ll need to buy the echo separately. Another issue is the LED light on the microwave display; it’s not the brightest.

Lastly, moisture tends to build up inside it, so regular maintenance is required. If you can overlook these issues, then the AmazonBasics Microwave with Alexa is an absolute steal. 

Comfee Countertop Microwave

After the AmazonBasics microwave another affordable choice, the Comfee Countertop Microwave is the best one for your dorm room. For just under 70 dollars, you can get this microwave. 

Size-wise, it’s the same as the microwave from AmazonBasics, 0.7 cubic feet. However, this microwave is feature-rich. This small microwave from Comfee comes with eleven power settings. Besides the power setting, you’re getting easy to use cooking features that will help you instantly warm up your snack and help prepare means. 

Power-wise, the microwave has a capacity of 700 watts. For basic heating and cooking, 700 watts is enough. The microwave also comes with power-saving features, so if you want to save power, you have that option. Comfee Countertop Microwave comes with an interesting feature called the mute button. This feature will help you heat and prepare a meal without waking up your roomie. 

The microwave is easy to clean as the turntable is removable. As for colors, you’re getting five color options to choose from. 

Toshiba Stainless-Steel Microwave

If you want something elegant with outstanding build quality, then the Toshiba Stainless-Steel Microwave is the one for you. 

Let’s talk about aesthetics. The microwave has a stainless-steel exterior with a black finish giving it that elegant look. With the exterior stainless-steel construction, this microwave will last through your college and life and then some. 

Functionality-wise, you’re getting six heat settings with this microwave, meaning that you can cook and heat meals without losing peace of mind. It has a power capacity of 1350 watts, so heating and preparing meals in a jiffy won’t be a problem. 

Besides the six heat options, you’re also getting a one-touch start feature. With it, you can heat and prepare most food with just the press of a button. Like the Comfee Countertop Microwave, the Toshiba Stainless-Steel Microwave also comes with a mute button. So, cooking at night without waking your roomie won’t be a problem. 

Size-wise the microwave is 0.9 cubic feet, which should fit perfectly in a dorm room. 

Commercial Chef CHM660B

If you want a smaller microwave than the Comfee Countertop Microwave, then the Commercial Chef CHM660B is the one for you. For just under 70 dollars, you’re getting a microwave with 0.6 cubic feet capacity. 

With the smaller dimension of the microwave, you’re getting less power, 600 watts. The user interface isn’t a membrane keypad but rotary dials. So, if a user-friendly interface is what you’re looking for, it doesn’t get any more friendly than this. 

Since it can only put out 600 watts, preparing meals is out of the menu, it’s ideal for only heating leftovers and preparing snacks. An additional feature of this microwave is the six power levels.

But the Commercial Chef CHM660B has some cons. Firstly, there’s no internal light. Then there’s an issue with the construction. The microwave’s exterior is mostly made of plastic, and it may peel off over time. But the bigger issue is that you are bound to set increments in minutes, which might not be a wise choice for all snacks. 

If you can’t do with a 0.6 cubic feet microwave, then go for the Commercial Chef CHM660B; otherwise, in the same price range, the Comfee Countertop Microwave and the AmazonBasics with Alexa are better to purchase decisions. 

Panasonic Compact Microwave

Coming with 1.2 cubic feet capacity, the Panasonic Compact Microwave is perfect for most dorm room’s countertop. It is however a pricier option than the previous, smaller alternatives.

Don’t let the smaller form factor of the Panasonic Compact Microwave fool you; this one comes with a power capacity of 1200 watts. The power capacity is enough to heat and prepare meals. Also, Panasonic promises shorter cooking time with this one. 

This microwave comes with a plethora of features, some of which are very impressive. One of those impressive features is that it will detect whether the foods need to be defrosted or reheated. You can do much with auto control. If you want manual control, it comes with that option too. Another impressive feature is that the microwave will ensure that your food is getting properly heated from all sides, impressive.

Functionality-wise, you’re getting ten pre-heat settings, so you don’t need to waste time playing guessing games. It also has a one-touch feature, with it you can prepare rice too. With the turbo-defrost feature, you can save time by heating your food evenly. 

Just for preparing popcorn, there are three different settings. For the price, the Panasonic Compact Microwave is extremely powerful. 

Nostalgia Retro Microwave

If you have a thing for retro products, you’ll love the retro microwave from Nostalgia. 

Color-wise, there are two options, teal and white; both have that retro vibe to it. Now let’s talk about functionality. The microwave has a power capacity of 700 watts, which is enough to prepare most snacks and meals. It was a capacity of 0.7 cubic feet, so it’s small enough to fit in your dorm room too. 

The microwave might look retro but comes with some great features. It has twelve pre-programmed settings. So, to prepare a meal at the right temperature, all you have to do is push a button. It also has a feature called express cooking, preparing meals and snacks quicker. 

On the LED display, there’s a digital clock, and it’s bright enough for easy reading. Overall, this retro microwave has all the modern-day features a student will need. 

Bottom Line

In conclusion, since toaster ovens are allowed in college dorms, your best choice is a great microwave for preparing meals. If you don’t want to break your bank, Comfee Countertop Microwave is the one for you. If money isn’t an issue, then Panasonic Compact Microwave will be a great purchase. Before buying any, consider if your dorm already comes with a microwave, as many might already.

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