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Asked by:

Photo by CookieWeasel

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Los Angeles, California, USA
CookieWeasel is asking: (4 answers)
HELP! I am in a terrible situation. I have lost both my SO and my home and have had to move into the only low income apartment available in town. There is no kitchen, only a kitchenette. Instead of a real stove and oven, there are two electric burners and a small convection/microwave oven. All my life I have baked and roasted. I have never tried to cook in a convection oven and I can't use my beautiful old wok on electric burners. I hate electric burners! Help! Any advice will be greatly, greatly appreciated.

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Last updated: Jan. 24, 2013 11:20 am
Posted: Jan. 23, 2013 10:12 am
Answered by: Marianne
Jan. 23, 2013 10:14 am
I can't help you with your dilemma. Just wanted to say how sorry I am that you have to face this! Sad.
Jan. 23, 2013 10:16 am
I take that back. I do like to use my stovetop for a lot of things rather than my oven because I feel I have more control over how things turn out. I do chicken pieces, pork, things like that on stovetop. Look for braising ideas for food.
Jan. 23, 2013 10:26 am
Thank you Marianne. It is just really hard to face those two tiny electric burners when I used to have a whole stove of four good-sized gas burners.
Baking Nana
Jan. 23, 2013 11:01 am
Oh CookieWeasel, I am so very sorry to hear this. What a terribly emotional time for you. Don't worry about the two burners - it will all work out and I know you will get used to that microwave - convection oven. They are really quiet good. Blessings to you.
Jan. 23, 2013 12:17 pm
Thank you so much Baking Nana. I admit that the whole kitchenette situation is really demoralizing and I have had trouble finding silver linings on the clouds!
Jan. 23, 2013 12:56 pm
CookieWeasel,I understand how demoralizing it is to move from a great kitchen to a not-so-great place, although I didn't have the losses you've encountered. I cooked with a crock pot, a microwave, and an electric skillet for a year. It was so nice to go back to a full kitchen after a year! It changed my eating habits-I used to have fresh bread with each meal and some type of sweet snack available all the time; now I concentrate on vegetables, salads, and soups. Once you get past your grief for your losses you will begin to see ways to grow that you would never have seen before. It is a challenge for you now, but it isn't forever, it's only a portion of your life. If you enjoy blogging, I'm sure there are people who would be interested in how you cope with your challenges. Best of luck! When you need new ideas or suggestions, we're here for you.
Answered by: Judy in Delaware
Jan. 23, 2013 10:32 am
Sorry for your troubles. Is there some way to maybe get yourself an inexpensive toaster oven? I know they're pretty small, but I have one that I use for small meals or to re-heat something. They do a somewhat decent job at baking, also. Maybe a used one from a thrift store??
Jan. 23, 2013 10:42 am
Sorry for the hard time you're growing through. But It is possible to cook on those, I had to adjust to a double burner like that for a year, it is hard, but you know what? it will become a habit and easier and easier everyday. You will find yourself becoming more resourceful and in better mood as time goes by. Nothing beats relative health, which I also didn't have at that time. It was tough but it passed. I wish you the best, stay safe and healthy, the rest will fall in to place. I would recommend a slow cooker, and a toaster oven as GEO said, the crock pot works wonders and will ease of the cooking problem, you can do all kinds of deserts and main dishes in them, even oatmeal and baked potatoes. Hugs and stay strong.
Jan. 23, 2013 10:42 am
So sorry CookieWeasel that you are having these life challenges. I have two Convection Microwaves and I love them!! The convection is just like an oven for cooking and baking but has a fan which blows the hot air around which helps in browning. (Cook at a lower temp.. about 25 degrees and takes less time). A new adventure in cooking ahead for you! Hang in there!
Jan. 23, 2013 10:56 am
Sorry for what you are going through. How about getting a crockpot for cooking if you don't like the idea of the two little burners? I also use my electric frying pan for many things I fix. Hang in there!
Jan. 23, 2013 11:07 am
Hi Cookie! I make roasts on the stove top all the time, veggies, potatoes etc. The convection oven is great and I use mine all the time for many things. Try making soups, stews or pastas for yourself. You can bake some cookies, make cheese toast in the oven too! Take good care. We are here for you.
Jan. 23, 2013 11:29 am
So sorry about the changes to your situation, CookieWeasel. Everything probably seems to be made worse by the kitchen! After thinking about it a bit, it seems I have a favorite burner on my stove, and I use it for every meal. I seldom use more than 2 burners, unless I'm cooking for a special occasion. I use my microwave to steam veggie sides, cook bacon, reheat, etc. Perhaps if you googled the manufacturer of your mic/conv unit, there might be instructions to adapt the things you love to make.
Jan. 23, 2013 11:32 am
Cookie, so sorry to hear. I agree about the crock pot idea; never had a toaster oven, but heard they work great. Things will somehow work out for you; sending positive thoughts your way. Take care
Jan. 23, 2013 12:17 pm
I am sorry you are going through this. I grew up with electric stoves and you can do what you need to on them. Now I have gas and I agree it is so much better. Main difference I see is that it takes longer to heat up the electric burners. When I first had my gas stove, I burnt everything! I agreee if you can get a toaster oven I used to do lots of stuff in mine. My oven was broken for several years and we couldn't get it repaired. Are you just cooking for 1 now? Best of luck to you.
Jan. 23, 2013 12:20 pm
Well, - that's rough...but you'll get through this rough patch and you'll be a better person. Do you have friends with decent kitchens? Maybe you could cook there and share your goodies with them! Best of luck in your new situation.
Jan. 23, 2013 12:24 pm
Dear friends, I can't begin to thank you enough for all your kind responses. I have tears in my eyes but there is so much kindness here. I have a crock pot that I do like. I also do have a toaster oven but I have set it on fire a couple of times and have found it is too small for the kinds of things I do. I will have to deal with having a room-mate (and it is a very small place) but I think I will probably only be cooking for one... hard to say. Such a good idea to contact the oven mfr. I will definitely do that. That oven scares me to death-- haven't a CLUE how to cook in it! Gosh I love all of you dear AR peeps! My day is brighter already, reading all of your replies.
Jan. 23, 2013 2:23 pm
So sorry CookieWeasel,not a nice thing whatsoever,What about a electric frying pan?It is what i used when i had no stove.Good luck to you.Things will be better before you know it.
Jan. 23, 2013 4:49 pm
Sorry for so many changes at once. When we had to move unexpectedly, I had only microwave to cook for family of 6 for nearly half a year. We put our turkey roaster on top of dryer and set that baby at 350 and baked nearly anything you could think of . Homemade pizza. Brownies. Elaborate layer cakes. Scalloped potatoes. Baked potatoes. Every kind of meat you can name. You can get a good size roaster for under 30. at walmart.
Jan. 23, 2013 5:42 pm
So sorry for the troubles you are going through. Others have given good advice so I am left with wishing you an easy adjustment. Kind thoughts for you...
Jan. 23, 2013 5:52 pm
I have a very dear friend who used to live in an apartment that wasn't approved so it had no stove. I found I could do a lot of things on one burner and a toaster oven. You'll get creative. I also lived without a stove for about 6 months when mine broke. I found I could do an amazing number of stove top things in an electric skillet and I used a counter top convection oven for baking. I bet when it gets hot there, you'll find you like that quick cooking convection oven! Pamper yourself and allow yourself to be selfish. You won't have to deal with anyone messing things up or being in your way - you'll have the bathroom and the whole place to yourself! There are advantages to any situation. In the meantime, of course, come here for some cheering up!
Answered by: suesee3
Jan. 23, 2013 6:35 pm
The thing I've leaned using electric burners is that they will get hot to a certain temp and shut off until they need to click back on again. So for example simmering a pot of soup or chili, it will get to the right temp, burner will stop and come back on by itself. That makes making chicken & dumplings difficult because it won't stay at a rolling boil. Other than that, it should be fine. Best of luck.
Jan. 24, 2013 1:44 am
Cookie, I am so sorry for your troubles, have you given any thought to a dutch oven? You can do all kinds of things in that, soups, pot roast, fried chicken. Wanted to just say hang in there, make that apt your home, When my husband bailed, I decided the best revenge was to live well and be happy, and it was. Take good care, Joanne
Answered by: mauigirl
Jan. 24, 2013 11:20 am
Cookieweael, I am so sorry that you are facing these painful challenges. To lose your SO and then to lose your home is overwhelming indeed. If you ever want to talk email me at and I will give you my number. Take care my are loved by many here XO
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