Bonbowl - The Best College Cooking Appliance
Guest Post by Megan, our college intern from summer 2020
I have officially accepted the fact that college this year is going to be a little bit different. Like many of you, my university recently announced that all classes are going to be online this semester and many amenities such as the gyms, food halls and libraries will be open on a limited basis until further notice. While it is possible to find solutions to turn my dorm room into an all-in-one bedroom, gym, and library, I have been struggling how to best adapt my small 20x20 living space into a kitchen. My freshman dorm hall did have a shared kitchen, but many of my friends did not, and I can only imagine the madness that will ensue as hundreds of hangry college students attempt to cook for themselves for the first time in the age of COVID. I can probably only survive off microwave meals and take-out for a week before I seriously consider moving back home for my mom’s home-cooked meals.
Thankfully, this summer I had an internship for an awesome kitchenware startup in Chicago called Bonbowl, which is going to literally save me this fall. Bonbowl is an induction cook-top and cookware combo that was designed for cooking wholesome meals in small spaces. It is important to note that Bonbowl is designed to cook food, not just heat up food like one would when using a microwave. For example, in Bonbowl you can cook an entire box of Annie’s Mac & Cheese instead of having to “cook” that small plastic container of watered-down microwavable mac & cheese. Bonbowl is perfect for cooking pasta dishes, rice bowls, eggs, oatmeal and pretty much any basic meal that every college student wants. The best part is that on Bonbowl.com you can find over 100 recipes that have been specifically curated for Bonbowl to cook in 15 minutes or less using only the ingredients that you would have in your mini-fridge. My favorite recipe is definitely the stovetop rice crispy treats.
Induction cooktops are not new, but Bonbowl is the first induction cooktop that was designed with simplicity in mind. Bonbowl’s patent pending cookware was engineered to cook and eat out of the same dish and that is what makes all the difference. Since the cookware stays relatively cool on the outside, even while the contents are cooking, I can literally pick up the bowl to eat out of once my food has finished cooking. Bonbowl also comes with this handy lid that allows you to strain contents using one side and seal your food to store in the fridge using the other side. When you want to eat your leftovers you simply place the bowl back on the cooktop and heat them right back up! I know it sounds crazy to someone that does not live in a 20X20 dorm room, but not having those extra dishes to store and wash really makes a big difference.
My only concern about having Bonbowl in a dorm room was whether it would be allowed since most dorm halls prohibit hot plates, rice cookers, etc. It turns out that my school as well as most colleges only prohibit appliances that have exposed heating elements, do not have an automatic shut-off or have a high wattage requirement. Since the Bonbowl uses induction heating, has an automatic shut-off and it only uses 500 watts (which is very efficient compared to a microwave which uses over 1000 watts), most dorm halls should have no problems with Bonbowl.
Bonbowl’s innovative hardware is paired with our deliciously simple recipes that are focused on cooking with simple ingredients that you can pick up from your corner grocery store. We all read those cooking blogs, but who is really cooking like that every night? That is where bonbowl comes in: the quick morning breakfast, reheating soup for lunch or a quick late night dinner that isn’t takeout or dollar pizza. Bonbowl is really designed to cook the things you eat most.
I would recommend Bonbowl pandemic or no pandemic but given the state of where we are at today, I see Bonbowl as an essential for any college student whether you are in a tiny dorm room or an apartment.