The Best Ways to Bake Without an Oven

Published: March 13, 2014

This list describes alternate means for preparing meats, casseroles, cakes, pies or rolls, just about anything you normally pop into an oven to prepare. These are smaller chambers that will create the moistness, tenderness, browning and flavor you expect from a much larger oven chamber that you may not have heard of or tried for yourself.

  1. Dutch Oven Baking

    A Dutch oven is a heat proof pot with a heavy or snug fitting lid. Many things can be created in the Dutch oven including baked goods such as cake or pie. You can also brown biscuits and roast meat in the Dutch oven. To create the brown on top you want for baked goods, you want to elevate your pan that holds the recipe's ingredients from the bottom of the Dutch oven. This is often done by inverting a pan or heat proof bowl that is smaller in circumfurence than the Dutch oven, if you were outdoors camping you might lay a layer of stones in the bottom of the Dutch oven. When baking in a Dutch oven it is hard to determine the temperature. The means of knowing the temperature include counting how long you can comfortably hold your hand on the pan and you might have a cooking thermometer handy as well. Since the heat may not be as steady as your big oven, count on it taking a little longer and use a watchful eye to know when your food is done as it is done when it is as brown as you like.

     

    Spiced Mango-Carrot Cake

  2. Foil Roasting

    Roasting food in foil packets is popular in this country. It possibly started with the roasting of corn on the cob for barbecues and picnics and evolved into roasting almost anything in foil packets both over the campfire and in your own oven. Foil roasting is possible in the dutch oven as above, in the toaster oven as below and in the conventional oven without the mess of a pan to clean after you are done, something like avoiding the oven since you don't have anything escaping the dish in terms of steam or spillover to clean up later. There is an appliance you can buy, a countertop grill, that lets you grill indoors. You can use your foil packets on this, too. To roast foods in foil you use aluminum foil that comes in a roll to tear off, tear off squares about 4 times the size of your mound of food, like you are going to wrap a sandwich, center the mound of food and pull up the opposing sides, first one pair while crimping together and folding over and than the final pair of opposing sides that you once again crimp together and fold over. You make the packets tight for browning the food and loose for steaming the food, your choice.

       

  3. Toaster Oven Ideas

    Toaster ovens are convenient tools that don't heat up your kitchen excessively and are especially good for hot weather. Another time a toaster oven is great is when you have cramped quarters as in a dorm room or when camping where there are electrical hook-ups. You can make just about anything in the toaster oven, even broil a small steak if you want. If you aren't familiar with toaster ovens you should acquaint yourself. They have become more nice-looking than they used to be years ago and aren't so bad sitting on your counter in the kitchen. The thing to be wary of about a toaster oven is the size of the interior, some of the toaster ovens are very small, though most of them will take 8" cake pans or pie tins, 9" by 5" loaf pans and 6 cup muffin tins. You can use custard cups or ramekins to make muffins or custard or look for silicone molds. Silicone is oven safe and is often a smaller size than conventional bakeware.

                    

     

It is especially handy to know how to prepare oven baked or roasted food without your larger oven because of the lower cost of the other methods, the extra grilled or braised flavor and in case your big oven is out of order. Even though you can usually prepare larger portions or more items in a large oven, you can for the most part use the smaller options on many occasions just as well. The best item on this list is the Dutch oven because you can do the cooking anywhere you have a fire or source of heat indoors or outdoors.