No more lovin’ for my oven (Day 67)…


Food portions tend to be small at my place, as there’s only one mouth to feed. And because I don’t own a microwave, it means I have to use a gigantic oven, which is fairly wasteful unless I’m baking three weeks’ worth of casserole and sponge cake.

Therefore, I’m switching it off for good until this challenge is over. I’ll still use my stove, of course, but from now on there’ll be no homemade pies, cookies, lasagna, no baked halibut or tilapia — not even a single bun in the oven (sorry mum).

Though it sounds drastic, I don’t think this will end up being a huge sacrifice after all. My only question is: Does anyone know how to make cookies on the stove?

20 Responses to No more lovin’ for my oven (Day 67)…

  1. Nicole says:

    Perhaps a Crock Pot? I know you can bake cake in it…but raw cookie dough is sometimes just as good as baked cookies.

    I’ve been enjoying the tips so far, and have implemented some already in my own life!

    Good luck!

  2. Bill F says:

    I use the toaster oven for things small enough to fit in it. There are camp ovens which since they are designed to work on camp stoves I suspect would also work on an indoor stove. However, a quick search at Coleman reveals that they are about the same price as a toaster oven.

    Toaster ovens are also great for rewarming small amounts of things that one would like to have crispy and/or crunchy. I just heated up some leftover sweet’n’sour pork yesterday and it came out wonderfully toothsome.

    Otherwise, you could try a dutch oven or other deep pot with a lid. Put something like a baking dish in the bottom upside-down to lift the cookies (or whatever the victim) off of the direct heat. Cover the pot with its lid while baking. It would take a bit of futzing around to find out the right heat setting.

    Camp oven:

    Toaster oven (random sample):

  3. Ben says:

    Where I live right now we don’t have an oven, so we make everything stovetop on a gas burner. I’ve heard that using a Dutch Oven can work for some baked goods.

    My suggestion, and I don’t know how well it will work, is to make one enormous cookie pancake-style in a frying pan.

    Love the blog. Good luck!

  4. ritesofpassage says:

    I use my toaster oven for most of my day-to-day oven cooking, and even that is rare. I do occasionally use my full-size oven, but I try to use it to make large batches of things, even though I am only cooking for myself most of the time, too. It’s only a little more work to make a large batch of lasagna, for example, and freeze whatever I don’t use right away. I might toss in a few potatoes or a tray of root vegetables for roasting at the same time.

    As to your cookie question, here’s a whole page of no-bake cookies:

  5. pat farquharson says:

    Shall I get you a toaster oven? Crock pots and dutch ovens dont give that yummy caramelisation to vegetables and melted cheese.
    Hurry up with the bun even if there is no oven!

  6. Tracy says:

    Do you happen to have an outdoor grill? You can make cookies on that. Or in a brick oven in your back yard. Or a solar oven.
    Otherwise I’m sure you could make something cookie-like on a skillet – similar to a pancake or something.

  7. Greenpa says:

    Here in the Little House we heat and cook with wood- in the winter. In the summer we mostly use a propane stovetop thing, except for canning, which would use a lot of expensive propane. Firing up the woodstove in August is possible, but it’s just plain hot. So- often what happens is Spice will make a baking date with one of her girlfriends. We have to go into town once in a while anyway; visiting with folks is something everyone needs to do, anyway- they spend the morning with kids playing, talking, and sharing a hot oven. It’s pretty nice.

    There are a LOT of machines that could be shared. The idea that everybody on the planet should own the entire list of possible machines is pretty crazy.

  8. Try searching for “Chocolate No-Bake cookies” – a very fudge-like cookie. I’ve seen them made with lo-mein noodles or with oatmeal. My recipe uses oatmeal if you’d like to try it.

    For an environmentally friendly oven (we may have to try this as a family experiment this summer) search Google for “solar oven”. Here’s one made from a pizza box:

  9. This is totally just a way for oyu get me to keep making you cookies. Sneaky.

  10. GreenYogini says:

    I’ve never baked cookies in my toaster oven, but the box it came in suggested it was easy and less energy-consuming.

    Here’s my official suggestion, though: look for stove-top, no-bake cookies. The chocolate/peanut butter ones with oatmeal ROCK and are totally satisfying in the chocolate department (I’m an official Chocolate Dept. Taste Tester, you know). There are also yummy date-based no-bakes and more! Have fun experimenting! 🙂

  11. hateration says:

    am i the only faithful reader shocked by the fact that you were willing to give up your freezer and your oven, but not your dishwasher?

  12. gettinggreen says:

    Yeah, but see giving up my freezer and oven doesn’t really require doing anything extra, whereas giving up my dishwasher requires me doing more dishes by hand…
    I know, it’s a little nonsensical, but it’s just one of those chores I always leave till last because I hate doing it. Eventually, maybe the dishwasher will go, too, just not now!

  13. Greenpa says:

    Ah, the dishes. 🙂 Whole books could be written on the tactics and philosophies. Maybe this would be a good thing to choose for Earth-Lent? (plug, plug- ) Just a little trial run; nobody expects you to keep it up forever, then. A chance to play with options. A chance to con somebody into coming over and doing the dishes WITH you…

    My guess is “the dishes” are always going to wind up being very personal- and a source of conflict. Take comfort that you are far from alone!

  14. patty t says:

    Don’t dishwashers use less water than hand-washing? [not rhetorical – I honestly don’t know]

    The dishwasher is also more sanitary, which saves the environment by preventing your death and subsequent bodily putrefaction.

  15. Lori V. says:

    Dishwashers are, indeed, more water-conserving than handwashing, providing you wait until you have a full load to wash. That would be an unnecessary sacrifice, IMHO, unless you are going totally off the grid! 😉

  16. Hi! I dont know how I chanced upon your blog, but I’m glad I did…you’re adventure is truly interesting, and there’s a lot to learn here. And yes…you can make cookies and cake on the stovetop.
    Not every kitchen in India has an oven, and people still do make baked goods. Whether they are as easy to make, or as good is a matter of debate…but they’re made!
    I guess like several other ‘greener’ choices, it is merely a step backwards in technology.

    Since the traditional ovens that I’m thinking off would not be available in Canada, and I cannot find an image online- I’ll try describing this…

    Use a heavy cast iron pan or griddle and spread washed dried sand on it (wash and dry the sand so that it is relatively dust free and doesnt feel dirty to use) Now place what you’re baking in a sepearte container/tray and place that on the hot sand (this may be one of the cases where baking one giant cookie makes more sense than baking several small ones) You might consider making the dough slightly wetter than what you’d bake in a conventional oven. Cover the griddle with a tight lid (something domed or cylindrical if you are trying to bake a cake, since it will have to accommodate the height of the cake pan) Keep checking for doneness. The bottom will be darker compared to regular cake since the distribution of heat is not as even as the oven. Hope this helps!!

  17. ChaseYourShadow says:

    i realize this sort of late in the game, but have you considered a solar oven? as i understand it, they’re reasonably easy to construct – you did seem to have great success with that compost bin! – and range from quite fancy to very simple. i haven’t tried to put one together yet, myself, but plan to once i’ve settled into a new place where i have more space outside where it won’t be disturbed by small children or pets.

    here are a few website with some information and some schematics… hope they at least make for interesting reading, if not additional green inspiration!

  18. Barb says:

    I’ve made brownies in my waffle iron and they were really yummy!

  19. Jay says:

    Just for posterity (this comment is about one year late), I’d like to point out that you don’t really need to worry about wasting electricity by using your oven during the months of the year when you are heating your place. What’s ‘wasted’ in the oven is ‘saved’ on your heating bill (provided that you heat using thermostats). Guilt-free cookies for the winter!

  20. Buy Cheap Cuisinart Brick Oven – Sale…

    Buy Cheap Cuisinart Brick Oven – Sale…

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