Help for someone without an oven

You're on Page 1 of 2
Go to
  • I am an expat living in China. I have been here for almost 9 months now, and I have learned many things since I moved here. One, most people here do not have ovens. Two, it is difficult to find chicken or other meat without bones, and when it is possible, it is often way too expensive for me.

    I love to cook...and I used to be quite good at cooking...but here I find it on the difficult side.

    I am not sure about crockpots to whether or not I can find one or if I can afford one if I can.

    Any suggestions as to good food that I could make on a stovetop? I would greatly appreciate any help...
  • Ok, Belle, here are some suggestions, but I am not able to post recipes right now cos I . Maybe there are some on the cooking threads? Do you have an electric frypan?
    Frittata, omelette, corned beef, chowder, stirfries, crepes, pancakes, even some cakes can be baked in a dutch oven. Then there are the pasta dishes etc. Actually, quite a lot when you start and think about it.
    I will try and get some recipes to you asap.
    Are you working outside of the home? If not, have fun experimenting.
    I have got to go to work but will catch up with you later.
  • Belle, you can also learn to bone chicken yourself. If you do a google search you should find detailed directions WITH PICTURES!!!

    You can do a lot with a stovetop skillet or electric skillet. Check out the Recipe Exchange on this site, and the What's for Dinner section! Many very creative cooks hang out around here
  • There is a brand of stovetop ovens made by Coleman. They are for camping and they do a good job with an 8 inch x 8 inch pan or even a round pan or even a 6 muffin pan. They fold up for storage, have a thermostat, and we even dry our dish towels over the top vent. You might like to look it up on a Coleman website. We paid under $15 for ours. Very nice to have.

    Also, get a trivet insert for a crockpot and you can bake cakes and pies in those.
  • Belle, my best friend is in China right now also. She's been there since January. Where do you live? She's in Suzhou. Right now they're still in a hotel, they've found a house but it won't be available for a few months. They'll be moving into a house temporarily until the house they want is available. I'll check with her and see if she has any ideas. They're vegetarians so they have some problems finding enough protein. I can't believe how expensive "American" food is there.

    Oh, how many people are you cooking for? Good luck!
  • Hi
    I know all about having to learn how to cook all over again...(I live in Japan) same problems here. I finally did find a very small oven to use, but by that time I had learned to cook using the stovetop (two burners only ) and I dont use it as much as I thought I would.
    I have had to learn to cook using the local foods or else the expense is too great!

    You can actually cook things like biscuits, and other things in fry pans. The sooner you learn to cook like the locals the easier your life will be.

    I brought a crockpot back with me one time from the US. Because of the volt. diff. I have to cook everything on high but it works well.

    With the bones in meat, actually it could be good for they are great for making soup stock and gravies etc when boiled.

    hope you learn a new way of cooking soon.
    my thoughts are with you as one who has been there and done that!!!!
  • Last year my oven died on me, and I couldn't afford a new one, so I waited and in the meantime I bought a thing called a Nuwave oven (I hope this doesn't go against any forum rules... I don't have anything to do with selling it) . It's absolutely wonderful for meat fish veggies cookies... not so good on cakes BUT you can get it on the internet and it's not too expensive. You can bake a turkey in there!!! And everything comes out tender and moist and yummy, much better than an oven.

    So, sometimes being without an oven is ok... makes you discover new things. BTW, I still haven't bought an oven and I'm coping quite well.

    Check it out
  • if you can get your hands on a large toaster oven, you can make a lot in those. i didn't have an oven for a year and a half and just used a large toaster oven for things that needed an oven.
  • You can actually cook things like biscuits, and other things in fry pans

    Yes, and cornbread too.
  • I have only one tiny tip to contribute: In college we made cheese quesadillas with foil & an iron! You get a tortilla, put the cheese in it & fold it over. Then place the tortilla inside the foil & press till the cheese is melted. I guess you could expand that to other things that are really flat. It is entirely possible there are not too many tortillas in China. Maybe you could flatten regular bread & make a hot cheese sandwich. If you buttered the outside would it brown?