Living Without An Oven—-Would You?

Interior of a modern oven (Wikimedia Commons)

Hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend!

Ours involved moving between apartments, which is never fun, but my husband and I are happy to have more space. There’s just one problem with our new place: It doesn’t have an oven. Not a full-sized one, anyway.

Instead, there’s a four-burner range top, and something above it called a “SpaceSaver” that looks like a microwave but purports to also be a convection oven. I don’t really understand how it works yet, but even when I do, it’s going to take some adjustment.

Sure, I’ve never actually roasted a turkey, or baked a towering bundt cake, or whipped up a Julia Child-style soufflé …but now I can’t. I can’t bake anything bigger than 8 ½ inches high or 20 ½ inches wide or 13 ½ inches deep. A single cookie sheet fits inside the SpaceSaver; but our brand-new pizza stone and round pizza pans are suddenly useless, as is our cast-iron dutch oven and possibly the popover pans.

For us, the apartment’s many “pros” (washer/dryer, dishwasher, good layout, natural light, safe neighborhood) outweighed this one “con,” but we’ll see if we still feel that way when the lease is up for renewal.

What about you---could you live without an oven (assuming you still had a range top)? Apparently, some people not only can, they prefer to. Is there any other kitchen appliance you consider essential? (For me, that's the coffeemaker.)

About Amanda Fiegl

Amanda Fiegl is a former assistant editor at Smithsonian and is now a senior editor at the Nature Conservancy.

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