Cooking Without a Stove
June 28, 2004 7:53 PM   Subscribe

Cooking Without a Stove -- For a number of reasons, my best friend will be without a stove until September. Her family is getting tired of chicken and veggies cooked in her electric steamer. Not being a meat eater, I'm little help... [Step inside, walk this way...]
posted by Dreama to Home & Garden (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can a hot plate be purchased? I have also seen a few microwaves at garage sales, cheap.
posted by konolia at 7:55 PM on June 28, 2004

hot plate
posted by amberglow at 7:56 PM on June 28, 2004

What I'm looking for are recipe ideas for her microwave, crockpot and steamer, as well as some cold meals, preferably nothing too pricey, meatwise. Dairy is ungroovy. My friend, her husband and four darling children thank you. (Links to recipe sites would be most heartily welcomed, I've exhausted my collection due to the vegetarian/dairy issues.)
posted by Dreama at 7:56 PM on June 28, 2004

Damn, you people are quick.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:57 PM on June 28, 2004

well, with a hot plate, she can make whatever she normally makes on the stovetop...a toaster oven will make some if not all of the oven stuff too.
posted by amberglow at 7:59 PM on June 28, 2004

Due to space constraints (galley kitchen) and safety concerns (see aforementioned four adorable kids, all preschoolers) a hot plate really isn't practical. She's also looking to avoid any extra expenses at this time (money being a primary reason for the delay in stove replacement) when she does have usable cooking tools at her disposal. (She does also have a toaster oven, I should've mentioned.)
posted by Dreama at 8:00 PM on June 28, 2004

<digression> Also, I love parentheses altogether too much. </digression>
posted by Dreama at 8:02 PM on June 28, 2004

George Foreman Grill. No joke.
posted by nicwolff at 8:14 PM on June 28, 2004

This is a pretty good crockpot site.

Also, on preview, I second the Foreman grill. Very cheap, makes pretty good chicken,burgers, and vegetables.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 8:16 PM on June 28, 2004

Take it from a college student. You can cook almost anything on a Foreman Grill.
posted by tomorama at 8:25 PM on June 28, 2004

It's corn season, and corn's pretty easy to nuke. Rub butter on it, wrap it in plastic, and fire away. You'll want to stop it after a couple of minutes to turn the corn.

It's BBQ season, and everybody's got at least a scraggly old hibachi or Jokey Smoe rusting away somewhere. Or if not, it wouldn't take much to troll one up from friends/family/Goodwill. Or even head out to the park and use the weird little charcoal grill pedestal box things they have there. Or go out back with some rocks and some chunks of wood. Facing s few months without a stove, the first thing I'd do is go dig a fire pit somewhere.

I've been told corned beef can be done in a crock pot, but I seriously don't know a damn thing about crock pots. They're just chili cookers to me. Hey, chili! There ya go. You could probably nuke meat to the point where it's cookable in some chili. It wouldn't be great, but cooking without access to direct heat makes a lot of meat options go away.
posted by majick at 8:45 PM on June 28, 2004

Ceterers who need to cook and/or warm food in odd locations love Sterno.
posted by scarabic at 9:13 PM on June 28, 2004

Not a recipe suggestion, but on my local Freecyle has had 3 different stoves offered in the last week. It's entirely possible she could have that stove replaced at no cost if there's a list local to her.

As for recipes, a couple of things to consider is that beef can be browned in a crock pot, leaving you a lot of options for things like spaghetti sauce and tacos. Also, consider crockpot lasagna (like oven lasagna, except made in the crock pot rather than the oven). Phyllo dough filled with spinach and vegetables makes an excellent kind of pie and will bake well in the toaster oven.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:21 PM on June 28, 2004

I love my crock pot, and my favorite online source of recipes by far is Just Slow Cooking.
posted by Acetylene at 9:27 PM on June 28, 2004

I was struck with horror at the idea of not being able to cook pasta, so I found this page that will tutor her in cooking pasta in the microwave.

One of my delicious/simple/fast/cheap summer recipes is to cook up some pasta (I use regular spaghetti for this), then toss in two or three cans of tuna, a generous amount of fresh diced summer tomato, sliced black olives, and lots of crumbled feta. (Regarding the dairy issue, I use goat feta, if that makes a difference.) I'm pretty sure that even kids would like this, though I have no proof.

Another easy summer recipe is a salad made of corn, sliced red pepper, black beans, avocado, and crab, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp, served over a bed of greens.

Also, since I couldn't imagine being without a wok, I would enlist a friend who haunts garage sales to be on the lookout for an electric one (since money is an issue, and with four little kids, I'm sure she doesn't have the time to do this herself). This is exactly the sort of item you can pick up virtually unused for next to nothing, and having a wok could greatly expand the possibilities.
posted by taz at 9:42 PM on June 28, 2004

Also, to echo jacquilynne's sentiments somewhat... I've never bought a stove; it's always been pretty easy to find one that was being thrown out for a new one. The last one we had was sitting in the hallway of a friend's apartment building, and we asked around 'til we found the owners. They had just replaced it and were delighted to have somebody haul it away. That stove worked perfectly for years, then, when friends of ours gave us their beautiful glass-top stove (they bought a house with a built-in kitchen), we put the old one on the street with a sign that said "It works!", and it was gone almost immediately. So this is another idea - put all your friends on abandoned stove lookout. (Of course in the U.S., where most rented apartments have stoves, maybe this is less easy...)
posted by taz at 9:53 PM on June 28, 2004

Ah, here's one of my favorite recipes for a crockpot:

Take a goodly number of chicken breasts. 5 or 6. This also works well with pork. Liberally season with salt, fresh cracked pepper and spices of your choosing.

Next, dice some onions (2 small ones should be good) and cut up some carrots and potatos.

Put some olive oil in the bottom of the crockpot, put it on high heat, then add the onions, then the carrots and potatos. Cook until you think it's ready. Then remove the veggies, cook the chicken (or pork). Then add the veggies back in, and pour in 2 cups of red wine, and 2 cups of chicken broth. Add various spices and a few bay leafs, and then in a few hours you have a very delicious and easy stew.
posted by geekhorde at 10:17 PM on June 28, 2004 [1 favorite]

The alcohol cooks out, so it's safe for kids. Kind of comfort food.
posted by geekhorde at 10:20 PM on June 28, 2004

I love the crock pot.

You can cook beans in it - pinto.

Soak beans overnight. Rinse. Get a cheap ham hock (not a smoked one, but regular) add an onion and some water to cover all the way. Cook all day on low. Take out the onion and hock(s). Pull meat off hocks and chop up and put back in. Season. Serve with corn bread.

Another fav is roast. Get a cheap roast. Put it in crock with green chilis, rotel tomato, and a dash or three of liquid smoke and some carrots. Cook all day on low.

Chicken - A whole chicken with rosemary, onion, garlic, potato, and carrots. All day on low, its a theme!

Hell, you can cook almost anything in that sucker, if you have all day :)
posted by jopreacher at 12:53 AM on June 29, 2004

Second on the Foreman Grill. I may have used the stove once since I got this thing in May.
posted by pieoverdone at 3:05 AM on June 29, 2004

I want to offer a hearty "amen" on the Foreman Grill. I thought it was stupid celeb-crap, not worthy of my high-fallutin' self, until I moved until a small apartment a year ago (to attend school), and found that I had no means of grilling. Now I cook on my Foreman 2-3 nights a week, cooking meats, hot sandwiches, and vegetables. It's cheap, too!
posted by waldo at 11:35 AM on June 29, 2004

Just some quick googles turn up the following..

crock pot recipes

microwave recipes

toaster oven recipes

I too swear by the crock pot if you've got enough time. When I was still office-bound, I would start dinner in the morning before I went to work, and it would be done whenever we finally rolled back in.

I've never used the microwave for much more than defrosting, reheating and boiling water.

Toaster ovens, assuming it's not a teeny one are great for mini pizzas on english muffins, welsh rarebit, quesadillas, etc.

I would think a grill might be of imperative need, if they can scrounge one up, or have one in the garage.
posted by dejah420 at 1:04 PM on June 29, 2004

You all rock. The links, in particular, rule, and since I don't use it anymore, my George Foreman grill is winging its way to best friend via FedEx as we speak.

Thanks everybody!
posted by Dreama at 3:33 PM on June 29, 2004

posted by bradhill at 3:54 PM on June 29, 2004

Welsh Rarebit! Yummy!

I second the freecycle comment.
posted by Lizc at 1:55 PM on June 30, 2004

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