10 Oven Alternatives That Save Space & Work Even Better
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
From baking scrumptious cakes to cheesy lasagnas, the possibilities seem to be endless with an oven. But like all appliances, ovens can also break down, or you may not even have access to an one. Thankfully there are many oven alternatives to choose from.
Therefore, we are here with a detailed article on oven substitutes that will help you in continuing to make more delicious meals. From all the appliances in this list, look out for the one that will fit your needs the best.
10 Oven Alternatives
If you don't have any types of ovens, you still don't need to give up on your cooking and baking dreams because, luckily, there are some great alternatives. In the list below, we have put down some excellent oven alternatives and their uses in detail.
Until now, you may have thought that crockpots are only used to make stews or slow-cook vegetables or meat. If you were thinking that, then you are completely wrong because it turns out you can make plenty of great desserts by using a crockpot or a pressure cooker.
Thanks to the slow cooking feature of the crockpot, you can easily whip up a great dessert. In fact, it can also be used to make cakes. When you're done, you can slap the washable crockpot parts in the dishwasher. It's such a time saver.
However, keep in mind that you might not be able to bake all the desserts that you could make by using a traditional oven. Besides sweet dishes, you can obviously make wonderful main dishes by using the crockpot.
If you are someone who loves to eat meat, then you will be very pleased upon buying a crockpot or other slow cooker. Slow cooking any large piece of meat using a crockpot makes it extremely tender, so it will fall apart in your mouth without you even having to chew.
Curries are also great when they are slow-cooked inside a crockpot; the flavors seem to develop very well.
The crockpot is also a very convenient appliance because after you have set your ingredients in the pot and have mixed them well, you don't have to constantly check on it, which will save a lot of your time. Additionally, although it might seem fancy, crockpots are very simple to use.
Lastly, crockpots are not that heavy, which makes them portable oven alternatives. Hence, you can take them to your family or friend's house if you all are hosting a dinner together. Even if you don't plug them in, you can keep food warm in them without electricity while it sits on the countertop.
Amongst all the appliances in this list, you could say that all the various types of air fryers are the most recent innovation, and they have been gaining massive popularity over the past few years. For reheating food there's no better oven substitute
If you have no clue what an air fryer is, then you could say it is a hybrid of a fryer and oven. Therefore, it can be used in place of an oven for making many dishes.
One of the biggest advantages of getting an air fryer as an oven alternative is that you will need to use much less oil which is both amazing for your health and saves you a bit of money in the long run.
Air fryers cook food by circulating very hot air through the cooking department, and as a result of this, you can get crunchy munchies by only using a teaspoon of oil.
You can make several desserts and savory dishes using an air fryer, but it can't cook or bake dishes where the ingredients are in liquid consistency. You can't bake a cake or make a curry inside an air fryer.
We would say it is better at cooking dryer ingredients and is especially fantastic at making dishes that consist of breaded meat or even frozen items.
Before getting an air fryer, you should know that regardless of being quite big, the cooking compartment of it is quite small. So, this means if you are making meals for a little more than 2 people, you will have to make them in batches, which would consume more of your time.
This appliance isn't too expensive and has many great uses for which it can be a great substitute for an oven, so you might want to buy yourself one of them.
You could opt for an old school pressure cooker, but that would be silly when the Instant Pot exists. It's a pressure cooker that comes with lots of digital settings and functions that makes life in the kitchen so much simpler.
These are truly the rage right now, along with air fryers. The way a pressure cooker works is you fill it with the food and some liquid of your choice (which is necessary for safety and to form the steam needed).
As the sealed pot is heated the pressure inside rises which pushes heat through the food, helping it to cook much more rapidly. The liquid also makes its way through the food, causing it to be tender. You can make very complex meals very quickly with these oven alternatives.
You may think these are unsafe due to high pressures but they come with safety mechanisms and pressure release valves. The Instant Pot is used daily in kitchens around the world with no incidences that I've ever heard of.
We’re sure that you have used a microwave before because they seem to have become an essential appliance in every household. It is the best time-saving kitchen appliance that has been ever made, and it can do a lot of the things you would use an oven for.
If you aren't familiar, the microwave can cook and defrost dishes in minutes, if not seconds. What you might not have known is that you can also use a microwave for baking.
Now, unless you are making yourself a mug cake, you won't be able to bake yourself a whole cake in a minute, but the surprising deal is even if it takes a bit longer, you can bake one.
There are multiple functions in a microwave which makes it a very versatile appliance. Similar to an oven, you’ll be able to cook up many of the dishes in a microwave that you would typically need an oven for.
The great thing is that now more and more creators online have started to come up with ways you can customize your recipes to make them microwavable. You can cook in any of these microwave alternatives too, but the real deal often makes it much easier and faster.
Hence, you will be able to cook more and more oven meals using a microwave with time. However, microwaves are much more compact than ovens, so you won't be able to make very large dishes in them.
Microwaves are also very easy to use; all you have to do is prepare your dish on a plate or a bowl, pop it in the microwave, and hit a few buttons. Also, microwaves are much less expensive than traditional ovens, so if you are on a very tight budget, they could be a decent option.
Indoor Electric Grill
If you are a bit low on money, then an indoor electric grill is one of the best oven alternatives out there. Amongst all the appliances in this list, this one is definitely the cheapest, but that doesn't mean it is bad.
You can cook up a variety of meals that you would typically make in an oven. It is especially great for grilling meat, vegetables, and even burger patties. You will simply need to plug the electric grill into an electric outlet inside your house, and then you are good to go.
With the very low price, you will also have to sacrifice some things if you get the indoor electric grill. If you haven't guessed yet, you can't bake anything with these tiny types of grills.
Therefore, most of the desserts you could make in an oven won’t be suitable for this appliance. Dishes that have some sauce can be cooked with this grill, but anything that has a lot of liquid falls out of the question.
As implied by its name (also called a toaster oven), this appliance is a lot like regular traditional ovens. You will be able to cook or bake mostly anything in a convection oven that you could in a traditional oven. It is excellent for baking cakes and even making pizzas along with many more dishes.
Wondering what is the difference then? Convection ovens are made for smaller spaces which means it has a more compact design than the large traditional ovens. An advantage of it being smaller than regular ovens is that it is also much more affordable than them.
Although you will be able to bake/cook almost everything in a convection oven that you would normally in a regular oven, you must know that it isn't as great at baking/cooking very large dishes because of its compact design. Also, you still can't put cardboard in these ovens!
This appliance could be said as more of an identical appliance to a stove than an oven. However, we are putting the portable burner on this list because it can help you make dishes you would make in an oven, so it is also an alternative for an oven.
You can cook almost anything with a portable burner as it resembles a stove. It comes at an affordable price and is very easy to use. You may need to combine it with other oven alternatives like a dutch oven, but at that point it's very versatile.
Furthermore, there are two burners which means you can cook more than one meal simultaneously. Unlike a lot of the oven substitutes in this list, you will be able to cook dishes like soups and stews with the portable burner.
On the contrary, baking is not the strongest point of this kitchen appliance. The primary function of a portable burner is not to bake but to cook food, which is why you might not be able to bake properly using it. However, you might be able to find stove-friendly baking recipes that might give you decent results.
Depending on what you're cooking, these Omnia ovens are amazing as an oven alternative. The name comes from the word "omni" which basically means "in every direction". This gives you a clue to why it's designed the way it is, especially with the pan.
The middle of these types of pans have a chimney in it. So if you imagine trying to cook cornbread in it, you'd have a circular hole in the middle of your bread. This is part of the design, let me explain.
The reason for these types of chimneys is that it allows heat to pass through it to the top of your food. So what you end up with is heat at the bottom, heat in the middle and inside of your food, and then heat above on top of your food. This cooks your food from all directions.
Like a dutch oven (below), you'd set this on your stove top, portable burner, or whatever types of stoves you have to heat it from the underneath side. That heat then passes all around to give you an evenly cooked meal.
I want you to know this option exists, but I don't think it's an effective use of your money or limited storage space. A dutch oven is an old invention that is basically a huge pot with a very solid lid. This helps the heat inside the pot rise to higher temperatures, making them very sensible oven substitutes.
They're great for cooking stews, chili, pasta, any types of pasta sauce, soup, and much more. People will steam vegetables and even saute in them. But unless you just romanticize the product, I'd push you towards much more versatile dutch oven substitutes like the Instant Pot, even over a Crockpot.
You can think of a roaster oven as a standalone smaller oven that functions a lot like a Crockpot, but at much higher temperatures. These are popular due to the electric settings (like a timer) and safety measures, versus using something like a dutch oven.
When cooking for a large family during a holiday event, the oven (even if you have two ovens) will be being used constantly. You can think of the roaster oven as adding a third oven to your counter top to help you get everything cooked at the right time so dinner is piping hot.
The best part, unlike a normal oven, is that these trap moisture, so you don't end up with a dried out turkey. That's right, you can even put entire turkeys in these things if you get one that's the right size.
Oven Alternatives That Get the Cooking Job Done
Each oven substitute in this list is slightly different than the other. Hence, it is difficult for us to say which one will be the best option.
We hope you find the perfect replacement for an oven from this detailed article and let your interest in cooking and baking go on without any technical difficulties getting in the way. Oven alternatives to the rescue!