Looking for a fast, convenient way to cook in college? In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about having an air fryer in a dorm room.
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When you’re in a dorm room that only has so much space, you’ll want to make everyday tasks like cooking as convenient as possible. Air fryers can get the job done. Unfortunately, air fryers are usually prohibited in dorm rooms.
While air fryers are extremely convenient for cooking, they also can be fire hazards. Colleges usually do not allow air fryers in their dorm rooms because they cause fires and can even explode, leading to serious burn injuries.
That being said, if your college has dorms with a kitchenette or communal kitchen, you may be able to bring an air fryer to campus.
Once you’ve made sure that your school allows heating appliances like air fryers, you can purchase the best air fryer for your needs, put it in your cooking space, and make fast, easy meals.
In this post, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about bringing an air fryer to your college dorm room or apartment.
Can You Have An Air Fryer In A Dorm?
Many colleges and universities do not allow air fryers in their dorms because of the potential fire hazard.
As the president of Campus Fire Safety at the University of Oklahoma explained, air fryers are typically not allowed in college dorms for a few reasons:
- They cause fires
- They sometimes explode and seriously burn the user
- The smell of burned food/ items carries around the whole residence hall
Since fire regulations are fairly standard from school to school, at most schools you can expect not to be able to bring an air fryer to campus.
For example, the University of California, Los Angeles prohibits heating appliances like coffee makers, toaster ovens, electric space heaters, and barbecues or grills due to “fire insurance and health and safety requirements.”
The rules are different for communal kitchen spaces or dorm kitchenettes. These areas are designated for cooking, so students can bring their coffee makers, rice cookers, air fryers, and whatever convenient appliances they wish to bring.
Of course, you should still check your school’s regulations before purchasing these items.
Are Air Fryers Safe For Dorm Rooms?
As we mentioned above, air fryers are typically not considered safe by university fire regulations. There’s a risk of fire with any portable heating device, whether it’s an air fryer or hot plate.
College students often forget that they’re cooking something and walk away from the appliance long enough for the food to burn.
Due to both the heating and pressure elements of an air fryer, they are prone to unique safety hazards—like explosions.
In fact, in 2022, more than 770,000 air fryers were recalled for “serious safety hazards.” Air fryers are known for hazards such as explosions, which can cause serious burns and other injuries.
This is especially true for spaces as small as dorm rooms. If an air fryer explosion can cause injury in a normal sized kitchen, imagine the injury a student would get in a small dorm room.
With bedding, curtains, and desk supplies in close proximity, any burning food would pose much more of a fire risk than it would in a larger space like a kitchen.
Benefits Of Using An Air Fryer For College Students
Quick & Easy Cooking
College students are always on the go – whether it’s in class, at a football game, hanging out with friends, or going out.
That means that cooking isn’t always the number one priority for how college students use their time.
Air fryers are a great solution to this time crunch because they cook food much quicker than an oven or toaster would.
Easy To Clean
There aren’t many parts to clean in an air fryer. They’re simple appliances, which means the cleaning process is simple, too.
So when you’re in between classes, you can easily make your snack and then clean it up after so you don’t have a mess for later.
In order to clean your air fryer, the experts recommend simply handwashing the air fryer basket in your sink with a regular sponge and dish soap.
They stress the importance of not using “abrasive” sponges that can scratch the coating off of your air fryer.
If you’re worried about an especially sticky or smelly dish in your air fryer, simply soak it in hot water and regular dish soap. For any lingering smells, they say you should clean the basket with baking soda just as you would with soap.
Aside from being able to cook your meals and snacks quickly and easily, air fryers are portable appliances.
On average, they only weigh a few pounds. For example, a small Chefman air fryer weighs less than six pounds!
The fact that they are so light means that they’re super easy to bring to your dorm and pack up when it’s time to leave.
You can move them from your dorm to apartment as you progress through college, which makes them a great investment.
Replaces Other Cooking Devices
One of the biggest selling points of air fryers is their versatility. There are hundreds of recipes out there for your air fryer, but there aren’t really air-fryer-specific foods.
In fact, the snacks and meals you’ll be cooking in your air fryer can be made in other appliances like toasters and ovens.
The great thing about air fryers is that they take the place of those other appliances. Rather than stocking up your kitchenette with a bunch of different steamers and toasters, you can buy a single air fryer.
It’s cost-effective and convenient, thanks to the lower cook time for most recipes.
Negatives Of Using An Air Fryer For College Students
Safety Regulations In Dorms & Apartments
As we’ve established, air fryers are a fire hazard in dorms. Certain apartment complexes may also not allow air fryers because of their potential to start fires and explode.
You will have to check the fire safety information at your specific university or apartment for specifications about what appliances are allowed.
For example, Southern Methodist University clearly states the “SMU Fire Safety Policy” on an infographic for its students. This flier shows which appliances are in compliance with or against fire safety regulations.
Every college will have these regulations listed on their website. You’ll just have to look at the residence hall information.
Remember, as convenient as it is to have an air fryer in your dorm, safety needs to come first.
Can Be Noisy
Air fryers have a lot of benefits, like cooking your food quickly and being easy to clean. However, they can be noisy. From the moment you start preheating your air fryer, everyone knows you’re using an air fryer.
This kind of noise can disrupt studying, sleep, or generally annoy you and your roommates. College students love their social time, but they also need their peace and quiet. A loud noise in a small space is a definite downside.
Things To Consider When Buying An Air Fryer For A Dorm Room
Size & Capacity
Once you’ve figured out if air fryers are allowed in your dorm, then you can go on to figure out what size and capacity you’ll need.
Earlier, we discussed a model that weighs just under six pounds. While this is great for portability, maybe it’s not big enough to cook the kind of food you want to cook in it.
Similarly, maybe you know that you’ll be cooking meals for the whole week in your air fryer. If that’s the case, then you’ll want a larger air fryer.
Make sure to keep an eye on the electrical capacity of your dorm or kitchen area. You don’t want to purchase an air fryer that’s against electrical code for your university.
Luckily, most air fryer brands have a range of sizes and capacities for the same model. You’ll just have to decide which air fryer will best meet your needs.
Features & Accessories
Air fryers are a fantastic standalone product. You don’t need anything else for your air fryer to work properly. But you might want some accessories to make your air fryer even more convenient.
Food Network recommends a few different accessories to boost your air fryer experience. For example, air fryer liners, a reversible air fryer rack, and silicone baking cups.
All of these accessories are great, but whether you should get them or not depends on what you’ll be cooking. If you love muffins, those baking cups would get put to good use. If you’ll be making sticky foods, those liners may save you cleanup time.
As far as features go, you’ll have to make sure you note what materials your air fryer is made of, what the basket looks like, and the cooking capacity.
You’ll want your air fryer to be made of good enough materials to not break within a year of buying it. You’ll also want the basket to be easy to access and easy to clean.
Rules Of Your Dorm or Apartment
If you don’t remember anything about whether you can have an air fryer in your dorm, remember this—check the rules of your dorm or apartment before purchasing an air fryer!
Every college has different rules for what is allowed in their residence halls.
Can you have an air fryer in a dorm? In short, you need to check the specific rules of your college before purchasing an air fryer.
You don’t want to spend a chunk of cash on an air fryer you aren’t allowed to have in the first place!
The Best Air Fryers For College Students
Ninja AF101 (4 Quart)
While this isn’t the cheapest option for an air fryer, it is a quality option that’s more likely to last all four years. It’s big enough to cook whole meals for yourself but not so big that it’ll take up all your counter space. For example, it can fit up to two pounds of french fries.
In addition, the Ninja air fryer takes less than five minutes to preheat. That’s a great indicator of its cooking capacity. Add the fact that it’s dishwasher safe, and you have a great pick for your dorm!
COSORI 4.0 Quart Smart Air Fryer
Here we have another quality air fryer that will cook your food in minutes with less oil and less stress. The 4.0 quart size is perfect for a college dorm, big enough for snacks and meals but not too big.
The COSORI air fryer is “smart” enough to readjust heat while it’s cooking, so you know that your food is cooked easily without constantly checking it.
CHEFMAN Compact Air Fryer
Here we have a more budget-friendly option. This air fryer is the third of the price of our previous options, but it still gives you some bang for your buck.
Its compact size makes it easily portable, and it has a removable basket and tray that makes cleaning easy.
Instant Vortex Mini Air Fryer
For our last air fryer, we have a mid-priced option that can “air fry, bake, roast, and reheat,” according to the product description.
With a two quart capacity, this mini air fryer is, in fact, mini. While that does limit the portion size you can cook at once, it is a smaller and more convenient appliance to move and maintain.
So, are air fryers allowed in dorms? At the end of the day, it’s up to you to figure out whether your dorm or apartment allows air fryers.
You have to check their fire safety regulations. If they do, then you’ve got a few options to choose from!