Cari Jean resides in North Dakota, where she works as a freelance writer and blogs at Faith's Mom's Blog.
Most places in the United States during the months of July and August are experiencing hot weather. And to escape the summer heat, most people come indoors where there is a fan or air conditioning to help cool down. Turning on the oven can be counterproductive when trying to keep things cool. That's why during the summer months, it is good to use these five ways to cook without using an oven.
Who doesn't love grilled food? Most people do but not all like to actually grill! With some grills there is all that messing around with charcoal, propane or whatever it takes to get the grill going.
If you're not an outdoor grilling pro - never fear! Indoor grills have made it easy to enjoy grilled burgers, hotdogs, chicken and veggies. And one of the best things about the indoor grill is that you can use it in any kind of weather.
There are so many types of grills out there - you need to find which one works best for you. Are you an outdoor griller only? Do you like to grill year-round? Do you mind smoke or not? How many people do you grill for - just yourself or do you like to offer grilled food at get-togethers? Do you want a grill that's portable? All of these decisions might influence what kind of grill and what size of grill to buy.
One thing is for sure that no matter what kind of grill it is, grilling is a great way to cook without using an oven.
An electric skillet is sort of like a frying pan that uses electricity rather than heat from the stove. As with a frying pan, a variety of foods can be cooked in an electric skillet. They are great for stir-fry recipes, hamburger noodle hot-dishes and french toast and eggs. You can even use it to fry hamburgers or poach fish.
Using the electric skillet is a quick way to cook as most recipes can be made in about 30 minutes or less. Electric skillets come in a variety of size and shapes - some are more rectangular while others are square. Most of them come with a lid.
You can adjust the temperature on the electric skillet from 250 degrees to 400 degrees F. and most have a simmer setting and a warm setting. Since they are so versatile, electric skillets are a great way to cook without using an oven.
Some of my favorite recipes to make in an electric skillet include: cheeseburger macaroni, sweet and sour pork, and tuna melt sandwiches.
Crockpot or Slow Cooker
I like cooking with a crockpot so much that I have two of them - a small 4 quart size and a larger 6 quart size. In order for crockpot recipes to turn out right, it is important to use the right size crockpot or slow cooker. The larger crockpots are generally used for dishes with a lot of meat and the smaller ones for side dishes, veggie dishes, soups and sauces.
Cooking with a crockpot is very convenient. It is easy to throw all of the ingredients into the crockpot before heading off to work then come home to a deliciously cooked meal. On the low setting, most recipes take between 6-10 hours to cook. On high, the time frame is between 2-6 hours. When cooking meat in the crockpot, it is a good idea to check it with a food thermometer to make sure it's cooked to the right temperature.
It seems there are more and more varieties of crockpots to choose from and some of the more expensive ones come with digital programming. Using a crockpot is definitely a great way to cook without using an oven.
Find more tips, facts and delicious crockpot recipes click here.
A convection oven is way better than just a plain old little toaster oven. Besides just toasting bread and bagels, it can also be used to make pizza, frozen snacks, garlic toast, bake cookies and broil fish. When used to make toast or bagels, there are five settings. Use the lower numbers for lighter bread and less crunch and the higher numbers for darker bread and more crunch.
As with most cooking appliances, the convection oven comes in many varieties and different sizes. Some of them even come with a rotisserie option.
Another advantage to using a convection oven is that you can cook at lower temperatures but cook food more quickly. It also bakes food more evenly than a regular oven.
Because the convection oven can be used in so many different ways, it is a great way to cook without using an oven.
Microwave ovens have become much more compact throughout the years even with the added features. With the touch of a button you can quickly make popcorn, warm up leftovers and thaw frozen meats.
Another way to cook with the microwave is by popping in a frozen dinner and two to four minutes later your meal is ready. There are a variety of frozen meals to choose from and many frozen food companies even have low-calorie dinners if you're trying to watch your weight. Most grocery stores have a whole aisle dedicated to frozen meals.
Microwaves are so quick and convenient which is why they are a great way to cook without using an oven. And by the way, handy-dandy food covers are great for reheating food. It's better than throwing a paper towel over your dish and helps keeps your microwave cleaner for longer.
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Crockpots or slow cookers are great for the busy person as they can save a lot of time and energy when preparing a meal. Crockpots are a must have for any household.
- Easy Crock Pot Lasagna Recipe
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EZCertifications from Pheonix on August 12, 2014:
she wrote it well and i really love the grill, it is yummy !
Brittany from MI on June 15, 2014:
Very profound & informative , wonderful Hub !
Neil from Canada on February 19, 2014:
Thanks for the information Cari. I tried to think about the different options before reading and totally missed the convection oven.
Wacky Mummy from UK on July 18, 2013:
Very useful hub, wish I'd seen this when my oven first packed up! Though we seem to have be using some of them anyway! :)
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on March 09, 2012:
suziecat7 - thanks so much for your comment. You can make baked goods in a convection oven and they taste just as good!
suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on March 04, 2012:
Though I love baking, I try not to use the oven as much these days especially in the summer, of course. Great ideas, great Hub - rated up!
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 30, 2011:
DeBorrah - so nice to hear from you! Yes, pizza is great in the convection oven - so is broiled fish. It really is quite handy to have! Blessings to you as well.
Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on October 29, 2011:
Cari Jean, You have presented some practical and helpful points! I must use my convection oven more... Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on September 22, 2011:
frogyfish - I microwave too much too! Thanks so much for your comment!
frogyfish from Central United States of America on September 17, 2011:
I don't grill much, microwave too much, and love oven baking in the winter. Yea for your simple and terrific hub!
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on August 31, 2011:
Hendrika - thank you so much for your comment. I'm sure there is no problem in South Africa grilling outdoors throughout the year - it can get kind of tricky here in the winter!
Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on August 31, 2011:
In South Africa grilling is a "braai" and an all time favorite right through the year. On top of that my microwave and slow cooker are my best loved ones when I do not have time to stand in front of the stove.
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 28, 2011:
Cristina - great to hear from you - thanks so much for your comment. It's amazing how many delicious things you can make without an oven!
Cristina Santander from Manila on July 25, 2011:
Great hub which presents useful information. Thank you for sharing this great wealth of information. Cooking is a great fun even without an oven. Remain blessed always. Best regards.
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 20, 2011:
RTalloni - if I had more room I would have more than 2 crockpots! Thanks for your comment.
RTalloni on July 19, 2011:
I have four crockpots...bit of a pain to store, but the various sizes are oh-so-handy! Going to check out your crockpot link.
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 13, 2011:
HealthyHanna - thanks so much for your comment. The convection oven is nice because it is so versatile.
HealthyHanna from Utah on July 13, 2011:
I love my slow cooker too. I would like to have a convection oven.
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 06, 2011:
breakfastpop - yay! so glad you got a slow cooker - I reember in one of your comments you said you didn't have one. Glad you are lovin' it!
breakfastpop on July 06, 2011:
I am now in live with my slow cooker.
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 05, 2011:
Hyphenbird - I love salmon and grilled sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for your comment.
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 05, 2011:
Dave - thanks so much for your comment. I know, I have heard that you can actually fry an egg on a sidewalk. That is way too hot for me!
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on July 05, 2011:
You have inspired me. The salmon is going on the grill tonight. Thanks for a great Hub.
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 05, 2011:
prasetio30 - thanks so much for your comment - and how wonderful of you to show this to your mother!
Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on July 05, 2011:
Cari Jean: Thank you I love and use all of these techniques to prepare foods. I'm sure you've heard people say that it is so hot out that you could fry an egg on the side walk. I tried this just to see if it would work and guess what, it does.
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 04, 2011:
I love cooking and I love this hub also. My friend, you have nice solution about cooking. I'll show this to my mom. Well done and you got my VOTE. Cheers...
Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on July 04, 2011:
Spartangirl - thanks so much for your comment. Hmmm, baking cake in an electric skillet? Now that sounds interested. Please let me know how it turns out!
Spartangirl from Anaheim CA on July 04, 2011:
Nice article, Cari Jean. Great help whether it's summer or in the cooler months. I plan to try some baking in my electric skillet - the recipe book that came with it has some recipes for cake! Cheers!