Are Air Fryers Permitted in Your College Dorm?

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Aside from toasters, for what we hope are obvious reasons, most college dorm rooms across the US will allow you to bring other small appliances to your rooms for your convenience. Does this include air fryers? Are air fryers allowed in the typical college dorm? Can college students cook their beloved french fries and burgers in an air fryer? Let’s find out!

In most cases, air fryers are an allowed cooking appliance to add to your dorm room. Always check your college regulations on dorm room appliances before purchasing products that might not be allowed. Air fryers are safe to use, do not emit smoke or use an open flame, and can have your meal cooked in just 20 minutes.

If you’re almost finished packing or haven’t started packing yet for those of you that sometimes leave things to the last minute, have you considered in-room cooking appliances for those late-night study snacks? Or early morning breakfast starts when the college canteen isn’t open yet? Read on to find out more about air-fryers and why an air fryer might be a good option for your dorm room. So hold out on that pre- semester mini fridge purchase on Amazon 🙂 The air fryer is in town 🙂

Can You Bring an Air Fryer to College?

There are numerous appliances that most colleges will allow you to bring to your dorm room to help you get comfortable and settled in while at college. On the other hand, there are multiple appliances that colleges will forbid from having in your dorm room for fire safety regulations and fire preventative measures.

Air fryers are one of the cooking appliances that might be, depending on your school, fine to bring to college, whether it be for the shared communal kitchen or your dorm room.

Most colleges that accept live-in students on campus will require you to fill out and choose a meal plan from the canteen to ensure you have regular meals. It’s important that you are eating right and eating often enough to feed your brain and to keep your energy levels up. Colleges want their students to stay healthy and on top of their schoolwork and food is an important part of that.

Colleges want to see you succeed, so they understand if you need the option of having additional appliances in your room for those early mornings and late nights. For staffing reasons, the canteen can’t stay open 24/7 and many community dorms do not provide shared community kitchens.

Unfortunately, one of the major complaints across college campus canteens is that the food isn’t always nutritional, making your residence hall stay at the very least nutritionally challenging 🙂 Although, to be fair, this may also depend on which college you choose to go to. When the food isn’t of nutritional value, students might find themselves seeking food from other sources, like local take-out and restaurants. But of course, not everyone can afford this option, in time and money.

Here is a list of appliances that would in most cases be considered acceptable to have in your college dorm:

  • Mini Refrigerator
  • Air fryer
  • Blender
  • Rice Cooker
  • Coffee maker
  • Low wattage microwave (smaller, low-powered microwave, usually less than 800watt is acceptable)
  • Kettle
  • Egg Cooker (although you might not be anyone’s favorite person with the smell of egg lingering through the dorm halls. Be considerate and check with your roommate first before bringing this to your dorm room. Consider people with allergies too)

The key here is to bring appliances to your dormitories that only produce a low wattage and little to no smoke or steam to avoid setting off the fire alarm or causing an electrical power outage. Which, in turn, could also set off an alarm. A fire hazard is not exactly looked upon favourably by college authorities!

We can’t stress enough how important it is to check with your college guidelines before bringing any of the above appliances into your room. Also, consider the available space and whether your roommate might be bringing any of the above appliances too.

Most colleges that don’t allow extra cooking appliances in rooms will have shared kitchens and communal areas with appliances already supplied. Of course, it’s up to students to keep these appliances clean and to make sure it’s ready for the next person to use when they’re finished. This also means you’re sharing appliances with numerous other students and timing might become an issue.

Air Fryer Features

Make sure you check your specific college requirements and regulations first before taking our word on this one, but an air-fryer might be the perfect choice for you.

Depending on how protective you become of your air fryer, it might also score you some brownie points with your roommate, or even dorm mates you share a hall with. You may become the talk of the hall with your healthier cooked meals that keep you and your mind sharper than the take-out options down the road or the not-so-nutritious all the time cafeteria food available.

Air fryers can be inexpensive, small enough to fit in your dorm room, have numerous settings to cook most meals, don’t produce radiation like microwaves, and are easy to clean.

Why else are air-fryers so great you ask? Here’s why:

  • Comes in different colors and sizes so you can purchase one that meets your measured requirements for smaller or larger dorm rooms.
  • Does not produce radiation.
  • Does not splatter oil with its completely enclosed design and doesn’t need much oil, if any, to cook foods.
  • Healthier cooking option than deep fryers, stovetops, etc.
  • Have multiple settings to cook different meals like fish, meat, vegetables, fries, even cakes!
  • Shorter cooking times mean you can have your meal ready in 20 minutes or less if you’re short on time.
  • Air fryers do not emit smoke, so you don’t risk setting off alarms and causing the school (or you) thousands of dollars in fire-brigade call outs. (If it does, however, emit smoke, there’s probably too much grease or excess fat in the fryer and it has reached the heating element)
  • You can cook almost anything in an air fryer from fish to cakes.
  • You can reheat meals in your air fryer, so leftovers don’t go to waste.
  • Can have a healthier meal plan.

Do All Colleges Allow Air Fryers?

Not all colleges allow air fryers in dorm rooms. It’s imperative that you check with the school’s dorm room regulations and safety requirements before bringing an air fryer or other appliances into your room.

If the prohibited appliances list does not mention air fryers, this probably means it’s okay to have one. Which is obviously great news for you and your insides. Either risk it and bring one, feigning innocently that it’s not on the prohibited list, or call and check with the admissions department to be sure. We recommend having a list of advantages and pros ready for the conversation so you can plead your case.

Fire Safety Regulations

Keeping in mind that college campuses and dorms have a much stricter fire alarm and fire drill security system. If you were to bring appliances that your college has prohibited, you risk a fine of thousands of dollars, either to the school or to yourself.

Fire drills are taken very seriously at all colleges and whenever a fire alarm goes off, all students are expected to treat it as a real fire emergency and take action to exit the building immediately. Imagine how many angry glares you’d get if students were to have to scatter out into the pouring rain in the middle of the night to find out you’ve been cooking with strictly prohibited appliances.


While many colleges have shared and communal kitchen facilities, not all of them do and will require you to sign up for a cafeteria meal plan. For some, this might not in your best interest as cafeteria times vary and aren’t always of nutritional value. Consider an air fryer, if allowed by college safety regulations, to add to your dorm room for those late-night study meals or for those who don’t have time to wait in the cafeteria lines. Air fryers have numerous benefits and could suit your college lifestyle perfectly. And offer many more cooking styles than the toaster ovens and George Foreman grills most college students seem to favor!!

If you have decided that you want an air fryer for your dorm, check out my full recommendations HERE.


Chef Ann Foundation | College Cafeteria Food: The Good, the Bad and…

Are Air fryers Allowed in College Dorms? (

10 Dorm Appliances Perfect for Healthy Cooking in a Small Space! – One Green Planet

Essential cooking gear for your college dorm – CNET

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