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Stove/Oven Substitute
May 1, 2010 3:13 PM   Subscribe

What's the best small appliance substitute for a stove/oven?

I recently moved into a studio apartment that does not have a stove or oven. I do have a microwave, toaster, fridge, and room for other small appliances. What small appliance(s) should I buy to substitute for some of the things that can be done with an oven and stove-top, without spending too much?

Electric griddle? Toaster oven? George Foreman-type grill? Electric kettle? Something else? Which would be the best value to purchase?

Any other tips on getting by without an oven?
posted by Diplodocus to Home & Garden (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not an appliance, but you must get Barbara Kafka's cookbook Microwave Gourmet. Most people use their microwaves only to reheat leftovers, but you can do a great deal of real cooking in the microwave. My personal favorites are the risotto, the polenta, and the tapioca pudding (with none of the constant stirring required on the stovetop), but there are lots of others.
posted by Ery at 3:34 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


You could get a hot-plate and a toaster oven. I know that's two appliances, but together they would cover the functions that an oven provides.
posted by tybeet at 3:41 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I lived for four years in a place without a stove/oven, but I cooked and baked a lot. I had a two-burner hotplate and a toaster oven. I baked cakes, loaves, cookies, and casseroles (even lasagne) in the toaster oven, and I made everything you could cook on a stovetop on the hotplate. Those are the two appliances I'd recommend.

On preview: what tybeet said.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:43 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


What is the advantage of a hotplate versus, say, an electric griddle-type thing? Is it that I could boil water/etc on it as well?

Also, where can I buy (in person) a hot-plate? I was looking at small kitchen appliances today in some department stores and didn't see anything quite like that (although I didn't know that they existed until now).

Thanks everyone!
posted by Diplodocus at 3:52 PM on May 1, 2010


A hotplate is going to be more flexible than an electric griddle - you can boil things in saucepans as well as fry and saute.
posted by something something at 3:56 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


You can find single electric burners at places like Target and Walmart. They're so much more convenient for everyday use than an electric griddle. My husband's grandmother decided to downsize after her husband died and she got by just fine with a single electric burner, a mid-size toaster oven and a small microwave. With those three items she could cook anything that she had previously cooked on/in her stove (except for giant Thanksgiving dinners, but she passed that task on to the younger generations anyway).
posted by amyms at 3:59 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


It looks like Target sells single burners for as low as $12.99 and double burners for as low as $19.99.
posted by amyms at 4:01 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm glad there seems to be a sort of consensus about this! Thanks everyone for your help!
posted by Diplodocus at 4:04 PM on May 1, 2010


What about a crock pot/slow cooker? You can do meats, casseroles, soups, beans. I've done lasagna in mine.
posted by saffry at 4:17 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


A pressure cooker.
posted by jason's_planet at 4:17 PM on May 1, 2010


Nthing adding a slow cooker to the toaster oven and burner. I've always had a stovetop, but I've lived in two places with no oven (3 years). My current apartment-sized stove's oven doesn't work, but I use my toaster oven for the very little that my lifestyle calls for an oven.
posted by jgirl at 4:30 PM on May 1, 2010


I highly recommend baked goods from a toaster oven. In my college days I would combine pancake batter and cracked wheat, put the mix in a very small bread pan, and have that (with some honey on top) for breakfast. It was delicious!

I haven't had a toaster oven since then, but after writing about it I think I'll go buy another one.
posted by circular at 4:43 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


No opinions here on hot plates, but I know you'll want a decent quality, midsize toaster oven if you want to be able to replace a conventional oven completely. With a cheap toaster oven the disadvantages are things like "uneven heating leaves your baked goods burnt in parts and undercooked in others"; with a nice one the disadvantages are things like "have to cut up chicken before roasting it".
posted by roystgnr at 4:50 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


You could get an electric hot plate and a Coleman stove-top oven. You use the hot plate for heating things in sauce pans or skillets. You put the oven on top of the hot plate for baking things. The oven folds flat for storage.
posted by JackFlash at 5:33 PM on May 1, 2010


If it's a small chicken, it might not even be necessary to cut it up. We have one of these and it can accommodate a small chicken or game hen, or a 2-quart dutch oven with lid.

It's definitely worth dropping a few dollars on an oven thermometer. Our toaster oven runs a bit hot, and it's good to know how to adjust.
posted by Lexica at 5:45 PM on May 1, 2010


I survived five years in an apartment w/o an oven. I purchased the Cuisinart mini-convection oven. Now I live in an apartment with an oven. I still use the Cuisinart.
posted by mmdei at 5:48 PM on May 1, 2010


Or, GE Advantium convection oven.
posted by nicwolff at 5:59 PM on May 1, 2010


The trick to baking in a toaster oven is to make a little tinfoil hat for your food.
posted by yohko at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


What roystgnr said.
posted by radioamy at 11:16 AM on May 2, 2010


Foremans are pretty useful. Pretty cheap, although this time of year you may be able to get them super cheap off craigslist from students moving. Make sure you get the kind with removeable plates - makes cleaning a lot easier.

We usually grill chicken or steak on ours. My grandparents used to make great grilled sandwiches on theirs.
posted by radioamy at 11:18 AM on May 2, 2010


Foremans are pretty useful. Pretty cheap, although this time of year you may be able to get them super cheap off craigslist from students moving. Make sure you get the kind with removeable plates - makes cleaning a lot easier.

I like mine. I got it for free from a guy who sold me stuff when he was moving out of the building. It's the smallest one, so there are no removable plates. I just spray paper towels with my vinegar and water mix and plop it on the grill after I unplug it. After eating, I wipe it up. Easy-breezy.
posted by jgirl at 12:10 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


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