Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The accessibility of the hot pot

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College students are notorious for their laziness.  Likewise, they are also notorious for their insatiable desire (nay, necessity) for food—quick, delicious food.  Often, college students don’t have access to the resources that let them cook real macaroni and cheese, or hot chocolate.  This is why the hot pot, or electric kettle, can be your best friend..  So let’s just cut to the chase: here are ten quick and easy things that hot pots can make.


Sometimes after a long day of homework, it’s important to just relax with a cup of Sleepytime Tea.  Since so many people stand adamantly against throwing a cup of water along with a teabag in the microwave, a simple alternative can be boiling water with a hot pot like a civilized person.  To really get fancy, personal discretion can be used to add sugar, honey, milk, or any other addition that tickles your taste buds.

Instant Coffee

Conversely, for that extra kick of energy in the morning that so many people oftentimes need, (or at 11:00 pm, when you still haven’t started that essay), the hot pot can be used to boil water. Once the water is hot add a packet of instant coffee.

Clean Water

On the note of boiling water, it’s pertinent that this can actually kill harmful bacteria that can thrive in grubby tap water.  If you don’t have access to pure water (or your drinking water comes from the bathroom tap), having a hot pot can actually be very beneficial.  To purify your drinking water, simply boil it in your hot pot and let it cool.

Hot Chocolate

Water isn’t the only thing you can put in a hot pot.  If you like your hot chocolate creamy, you can warm up milk and make hot cocoa.


This is where the ever useful hot pot really gets interesting.  For those who are feeling too lazy to go down to the dining hall for lunch or dinner, it is possible to cook pasta right in the hot pot.  Granted, it’s important to make sure it doesn’t boil over. To keep this from happening, stir the pot occasionally and drain it.  While this could seem like a hassle, it’s still a convenient and quick way to eat.  After draining the pasta, add cheese powder, pasta sauce, or butter for a satisfying, home-made meal.


While many college students enjoy or at least find themselves encountering the occasional ramen noodles or cup of soup (which  can be made with boiling water), canned soup can also be taken advantage of with the power of the hot pot.  Turn down the temperature on your hot pot so you can heat up premade soup at a slower rate and lower temperature.  This is great for that bowl of chicken noodle soup that so many people crave on a sick day.


Whether using instant oatmeal or real fresh oats, this delicious and accessible breakfast can be made right in the chamber of the hot pot.  To make oatmeal, add the mix or oats to boiling water and you’ll only have to wait a couple minutes for it to cook.


Much like soup, a can of baked beans or chili can be simply poured right into the hot pot (set at a lower temperature) for a gratifying, warm, instant meal.

Poached Eggs

Here’s where it gets interesting. Start off by boiling water in your kettle and cracking an egg into a separate container. Next, turn down the temperature so the water is at a simmer, and carefully add the egg.  Wait between three and five minutes, and then slowly drain the water and retrieve the egg.

Play Dough

This is something fun and totally unrelated to food that you can make with your hot pot.  Refer to this teacher’s recipe for Play Dough if you just need to chill out, get your hands dirty and feel like a kindergartener for a day. All it requires is plain flour, cream of tartar, cooking oil, salt, and the ever present boiling water. For more detailed instructions visit,

Elise Martorano can be reached at [email protected]


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