Are Air Fryers Allowed in College Dorms?

Air Fryers are a great option for quick cooking. It gives healthy and delicious results in minutes.

If you are a freshman and are wondering whether you can carry the air fryer to your college dorm, let me help you.

Are Air Fryers Allowed in College Dorms?

Most colleges do not allow air fryers in college dorms.

However, some dorms have residential common kitchens that have a stove, microwave, oven, and refrigerator.

You are allowed to keep a few electronic items in it but not an air fryer.

There are two ways you can use an air fryer on your campus.

I will tell you all about them later.

There are multiple reasons for prohibiting the use of an air fryers by college authorities.

Also read: Can I Bring an Air Fryer on a Plane?

Let us find out about them first.

Why Is an Air Fryer Not Allowed in College Dorms?

Here are the various reasons why most universities in the US do not allow Air Fryers in college dorms.

Small Space

On average, dorm rooms have a limited amount of space.

There is sufficient space for only the basic items like a table, bed, cupboard, and a few other essentials.

The dorm room also doesn’t have any in-room facilities like kitchen sinks or running water.

Most of them have a toilet and a basic shower facility.

Some dorms restrict cooking completely in dorm rooms and provide canteens and vending machines instead.

Some residential halls have communal kitchens with pots, pans, a stove, a microwave, an oven, and a refrigerator.

These are common to all, and you can use them.

A few colleges permit you to carry some electronic cooking gadgets that you can place in the communal kitchen.

I will be discussing the permitted cooking appliances further down.

Exposed Heating Element

Cooking appliances with exposed heating elements or open flames are not allowed in dorm rooms.

And air fryers have an exposed heating element.

Several dorms consider an exposed heating element as a risk for fire. For dorms with no fire management system, an air fryer is strictly prohibited.


A dorm houses many students together. Their safety is paramount for the college administration.

They have smoke detectors and fire alarms. If you cook fatty food in an air fryer, smoke may come out and sound a fire alarm creating chaos.

Food Smells

A dormitory has a lot of students who might be disturbed or offended by the smell of food inside the dorm room.

Not everyone likes the smell of food hanging around their dorm. Some students may even be allergic to them.

Power Wattage

Dorms usually permit electronic devices that take up to 1000 watts. Airfryer usually has a higher wattage output.

So colleges prohibit them in dormitories—however, some permit up to 1500 watts.

It is a good idea to check with the dorm supervisor beforehand to make sure your air fryer is welcome.

Also read: Low Watt Air Fryers (best for college dorm rooms)

Two Ways to Use an Air Fryer Inside the College Dorm

If you cannot do without an air fryer, allow me to tell you how you will be able to make that juicy chicken steak in your college.

Ask for permission to keep it in the communal kitchen of the residential hall.

This way, the smoke will not set the fire alarm and neither will the smell disturb fellow students.

You will also have access to running water and a sink.

The only glitch you might face in this kind of arrangement is theft or damage, as the kitchen is common for a lot of students.

Another way is to choose or sign up for staying in college apartments. College apartments usually have fewer restrictions.

However, I would strongly urge you to find out about your particular college.

An interesting alternative to look for, especially if you have access to the communal kitchen, is an Air Fryer Microwave Combo, which combines the functionality of an air fryer with that of a microwave, making it a versatile choice.

Once you are sure an air fryer is allowed, allow me to tell you about compact air fryers that would be great for college.

Best Air Fryers Options for College Dorms 

Air fryers are tailor-made for campus life.

They can be placed anywhere and do not need extra or special cookware like microwaves and ovens. They also cook your food fast and give you crispy results.

Here are a few air fryers that are compact and ideal for dorm life

DASH Tasti-Crisp Electric Air Fryer Oven Cooker with Temperature Control

Dash ‘tasti-crisp’ air fryers are excellent air fryers that you can use for cooking veggies, meat, frozen foods, and even baking!

DASH Tasti-Crisp™ Electric Air Fryer Oven, 2.6 Qt., Aqua –...
  • HEALTHIER FOOD – Dash Tasti-Crisp Air Fryer uses AirCrisp Technology instead of oil to...
  • QUICK AND EASY – This countertop air fryer is compact, sized for any kitchen and makes...
  • PERSONAL AIR FRYER – Whether you’re cooking healthier for one or two or want an air...

It has a power of 1000 Watts and is perfect for two to three people. The sleek design and eye-catching colors make it a winner.

This air fryer features a 30 min auto shut-off timer.

The handle remains cool to the touch. The drawer is 2.6 quarts with a non-stick basket for excellent results. It is Amazon’s choice for compact air fryer.

CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer

Chefman compact 2-quart air fryer is a small and lightweight air fryer. It comes with a one-year warranty.

This air fryer features a BPA-free dishwasher-safe basket. With 1000-watt power, this air fryer is perfect for dorm rooms.

CHEFMAN Small, Compact Air Fryer Healthy Cooking, 2 Qt, Nonstick,...
  • HEALTHY FRYING: Achieve perfect fried results with little or even no oil! Temperature...
  • SPACE SAVING COMPACT SIZE: The personal size air fryer saves space on your counter and in...
  • VERSATILITY: Manual temperature control & 60-minute integrated timer lets you air-fry...

It has a 60-minute adjustable timer and an auto shut-off function. All you have to do is set the timer and forget.

iRUNTEK Mini Small Air Fryer Oven Cooker

iRuntek mini air fryers are only 1.3 quarts, perfect for one to two people.

The compact size has a power wattage of 800 watts. The non-stick basket makes it very easy to clean. It is BPA and PFOA-free.

iRUNTEK Mini Small Air Fryer Oven Cooker, 1.3 Quart Airfryer for...
  • Compact Size Design - Our small air fryer can hold up to 1.3 Qt or 4/5 lb of food, perfect...
  • Healthier - Use this mini compact air fryer for 85% less fat than traditional frying and...
  • Universal Use - Manual 30-minute integrated timer is a perfect kitchen appliance for picky...

This air fryer features an attractive aqua color with an auto shut-off so you don’t have to worry about overcooked food.

The manufacturer also gives a complimentary cookbook along with this air fryer.

GoWISE USA Electric Mini Air Fryer with Digital Touchscreen

GoWISE USA electric mini air fryer is a lightweight and compact air fryer.

With a cooking capacity of 2 quartz, you can easily make a lot of food for yourself in your college dorm.

GoWISE USA Electric Mini Air Fryer with Digital Touchscreen +...
  • Compared with a 5-quart air fryer basket or smaller, gowise usa’s newest air fryer comes...
  • Air fry, grill, and more! This extra-large air fryer is designed with 8 cooking functions,...
  • The cooking possibilities are endless with an extended cooking timer up to 60 minutes and...

It features a digital touchscreen with five built-in presets- air fry, frozen, toast, reheat, and keep warm.

The digital panel makes it very to operate this air fryer.

The basket is coated with a PFOA non-stick coating. The product has a 30 days money back and a one-year warranty.

GoWISE also gives you 50 recipes booklet along with this air fryer.

Now that I have given you a few options, let us move towards how to remove the food smell from the dorm room after cooking in an air fryer

How to Remove the Food Smells From the Dorm Room?

  • Spray the room with a room freshener
  • Use an essential oil diffuser
  • Open the windows and switch on the fan
  • Clean the air-fryer after eating and take out all food trash from your room.

Benefits of Using an Air Fryer in College Dorms

  • An air fryer is a lightweight and small device that can easily fit anywhere. They are small enough to be stored in your dresser or under the bed.
  • Air fryers do emit any radiation so they are quite safe to use repeatedly without worrying about health risks
  • You get to use little to no oil so they help in cutting down calories.
  • There is a wide range of cooking options in an air fryer. You can cook meat, chicken, frozen, veggies and even bake.
  • Air fryers cook food within minutes. The maximum time is 25- 30 minutes. For a college life, this is an ideal option amidst a busy routine.
  • As it produces very little to no smoke, it is less likely to set off the fire alarm.
  • An air fryer does not need a lot of maintenance. All you have to do is place food inside the basket and enter settings. Once cooking is done, you just have to clean the basket and drawer.

Safety Instructions to Follow For Using an Air Fryer in College Dorms

If your college prohibits using an air fryer, do not use it in your dorm. If you are allowed, follow the safety instructions below –

  • Read the booklet that comes along with your air fryer. This way you will be better informed about its workings.
  • Do not leave it plugged in. Make it a point to unplug as soon as you have cooked.
  • Remove the cooked food carefully from the basket as it will be hot to touch. Use mittens or a spoon.
  • If your room does not have a good ventilation system, avoid using an air fryer.
  • Make sure there is a gap between the wall and the back of your air fryer.
  • Handle the oiling with caution. Use good quality oils that will not burn inside your air fryer.
  • Never leave the drawer and basket oily and greasy after use. Reheated oil and grease are unhealthy. Clean it up as soon as you are done eating.
  • Do not use a harsh scrub to clean. Remove the drawer and basket and soak them in soapy water for some time. Never clean with the plug still inside the socket.

What Cooking Appliances are Allowed in College Dorms?

Different universities have a different list of allowed cooking appliances according to their unique arrangements.

Here is a list of cooking appliances permitted by the University of North Texas: Sandwich makers, Geroge Foreman type grills, quesadilla makers, rice cookers, crock pots, microwaves, and cup warmers.

Southern Arkansas University permits the students to bring a microwave (not to exceed 1 cubic foot or 700 watts), and a refrigerator (under 220 watts and 5 cubic feet).

They only permit one per room.

You can find out about your particular college on their website, during orientation, or just ask your dorm supervisor.


While most of the college dorms do not allow an air fryer, some colleges have an option of communal kitchens in residential halls and college apartments where you can easily use your air fryer.

According to their fire safety norms and suitable facility arrangements, different universities have different norms.

Make sure to find out about your particular college dorm.

Once confirmed, browse through my list of compact air fryers that are perfect for college. Remember to go through the safety checklist.

All the best.

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I’m Jueria and I am a regular contributor on In my articles, I share time-saving techniques, appliance wizardry, and health-friendly recipes to bring taste and wellness to your table. So raise a glass (or a spatula) with me, to good health and good food, made easy!