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How to Cook Without an Oven

Updated on September 17, 2015
Bluemoongoddess1 profile image

Bluemoongoddess is a blogger, writer and mom who loves to write about food, cooking, parenting and green living topics.

Living Without an Oven

To cook without an oven is a challenge for many people. I have lived without a stove or oven for some time now and it is possible. But you will need some alternative kitchen equipment to make your meals from. Whether you're without an oven temporarily due to moving into a place without one, or if you choose not to have one for other reason, you will be able to get by without one. Here is a list of items you can use in place of a standard gas or electric range.

Some Things You'll Need:

  • Electric Skillet
  • Crock Pot
  • Table Top Electric Roaster
  • Toaster Oven
  • Microwave
  • Single-burner Hot Plate
  • Coffee Maker

When I first moved in, I only had the coffee pot, microwave and electric skillet to cook with. Everything else came later on as I could afford to buy more. Even if you just have these three things you can cook for yourself and your family. You may also need to buy an extension cord or strip to plug in multiple appliances to cook more than one dish at a time. For the ease of explaining it all, I am only going to include one-dish recipes for now.

Cook without an oven? No problem...

Oven Dial
Oven Dial | Source

Electric Skillet Meals

One of the easiest things to cook is in an electric skillet. You can make soups, stews, casseroles and more in a nice, big electric skillet. I would suggest if you are adding meat to the dish, to brown it ahead of time. I precook my hamburger meat, chicken and pork chops and then add them back in to the dish to warm them or incorporate flavors. I even make spaghetti and stir-fry dishes in mine. Here is a simple recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs in the skillet.

You will need:

  • 1-2 lbs of hamburger
  • 1 lb of spaghetti noodles
  • 1 Jar of spaghetti sauce ( or your own homemade)
  • Enough water to fill the skillet an inch from the top
  • Cooking utensils such as plastic spoon or spatula

Start by browning your meat or shaping them into meatballs and cooking them. I set my temperature on 300-350 degrees. Each skillet cooks differently so adjust the temperature up or down to your liking. Transfer the meat to a plate when finished and set aside.

Wash the skillet and fill with water. Let the water come to a full boil before adding your noodles. I like to break mine in half before putting them in. As they start to cook, you'll want to stir them gently to separate the noodles as they tend to stick together. ( if you put these in when the water is cold you will have trouble with them).

Test your noodles for doneness. I like to fish out a single noodle and taste it. If it still tastes like macaroni or is crunch, it's not done yet. You'll know when it's done after that. Drain your noodles and add in your sauce to heat it and stir in the meat. Let it heat for about 5 minutes or until heated through and serve. 1 lb of noodles serves my household of 6, so it should do yours as well. I often add a green salad or heat some vegetables.

Electric Skillet Pizza

I already posted my favorite recipe for Electric Skillet Pizza on my blog and don't want to rehash it here, so if you want the recipe just visit the link to my post. I can add here that you can bake store-bought pizza in the skillet, though. Just get a pizza that will fit in your skillet and oil the bottom of the pan. Heat the skillet to 350 degrees. Place the frozen pizza in the bottom and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Time it according to the directions, approx. 10-15 minutes or so, and bake.Watch the bottom of your pizza, if it starts to burn, turn down the heat and cook a little longer.

I have cooked some store-bought pizzas this way, the small individual ones cook really quick. You can always start at 300 degrees and increse the heat during the last few minutes of cook time.

Electric skillet pizza
Electric skillet pizza | Source

Variety of Easy Meals

As you can probably tell I don't have a lot of counter space, but it works.I make a lot of our meals in this skillet. Fried rice, chicken terryaki, spaghetti, ramen noodles, cornbread, chicken and dumplings, and macaroni and cheese just to name a few dishes I make in my skillet. this type of cooking is perfect for college students and people with studio apartments. Just about any kind of recipe can be adapted to an electric skillet, as long as you add any breadings or toppings last. Dumplings and biscuits need to be added during the final moments of cooking. Dumplings need about 20 minutes to cook and must be covered during the ;last 10 minutes.


When making anything with a sauce over it like BBQ chicken, pork chops or ribs, be sure to cook the meat thoroughly first and then add the sauce last to avoid burning and sticking. I once burnt some sauce in my pan and it took pouring soda in the bottom while it was hot to melt the burned sugar from the BBQ sauce.

How to Cook Perfect Bacon and Eggs

Casseroles and Slow Cooker Recipes

I make all kinds of meals in my slow cooker. I make rice, pinto beans for chili, pulled pork and beef stew in mine. Tough cuts of meat do great in a slow cooker, by the way. If you have a medium-sized roast, you can put it in the crock pot or slow cooker on high and cook for 6 hours and have the tenderest meat ready in time for supper. Make sure to cover the meat with enough liquid ( water, juice, broth, gravy, etc) to cover it and check levels frequently. Low and slow cooking will make cheap cuts of meat taste delicious and be very juicy. I love this method of cooking too.

Recipe for Chicken and Dumplings

Wash and cut chicken into pieces. Place in crock pot with chicken or vegetable broth to cover meat. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours. Exact timing will be determined by crock pot size. Check chicken for doneness about halfway though. Remove the meat and shred with fork, return to the pot. Add a can of cream of chicken soup, chopped celery, green onions to meat and broth. Mix your dumpling mix and drop dough by spoonfuls onto simmering meat. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes and cover for 10 minutes. Serve immediately and freeze any leftovers for another meal.


If you don't like making dumplings you can use biscuit dough like they did in the video below. :)

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Create Your Own Easy Meal Recipes

These are just a few ideas to show you that there are many ways to cook without an oven. You can come up with your own recipes through trial and error, adapt or exchange recipes with friends. Pinterest has a board for Electric Skillet Meals and Slow Cooker Recipes. There are numerous ways to get recipes to try. If you have any favorites already, list them in the comments below and thanks for reading!


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    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Microwave oven is useful, you can bake, roast, toast anything

    • Bluemoongoddess1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Musser 

      3 years ago from Kansa, USA

      Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. I thought I'd share some of my ideas for cooking without an oven because I knew there had to be others who did the same or may be facing the problem of not having a stove and are trying to figure out what to do.

    • noniebdavis profile image


      3 years ago from Diamond Bar, California

      This hub has great ideas. A while ago our oven went out and it was a few weeks before we could have it replaced. I had to get very creative with how I cooked... It made me think about people without ovens, and the challenges they face trying to make home cooked meals. Plus I live in California and sometimes it's so hot you just don't want to use the oven.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      3 years ago from California Gold Country

      These are great ideas. They are also good if you do have an oven. For instance, if it is a hot day and you don't want to heat up the heat up the kitchen even more.


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