How to Make Do Without Your Range, Oven, or Cooktop

Your range or cooktop is the centerpiece of your kitchen. Whether you have a separate cooktop or a range, your kitchen is far less functional and cooking meals may feel impossible without it.

If any part of your kitchen range has broken down and you are waiting on a repair, there are several alternatives for cooking in the meantime. While you will miss the convenience of a working appliance, just like dryers, washers, dishwashers, fridges, ice makers, and microwaves, going without a range for a few days is possible!

A range is a combination oven and stove. If only one of the elements has failed, or if you have separate cooktop and oven, you’ll be much better off than if the entire range is out of commission. In any case, use these tips to help you prepare meals without a cooktop, an oven, or range.

Tips for getting by without your stove or cooktop

If only the stove or cooktop is out of commission, but your oven still works, you’re not as bad off as you could be. These tips can help you make some of your favorite dishes while you wait on your repair.

  • For simple items that cook in hot water, like boiled eggs, oatmeal, or mashed potatoes, you can boil water in an electric kettle and leave the item submerged in the water until your preferred softness is reached.
  • You can also use a microwave-safe dish and pop your eggs or potatoes in the microwave for 5 or more minutes. Turn over, and microwave for another 2-3 minutes until done to perfection.
  • Make use of your outdoor grill for making dinners. From burgers to grilled chicken and vegetables – you can make many meals on the grill with adjustments to cooking time, temperature, and perhaps even the seasoning. Many grills even have a side burner specifically made for using pots and pans in lieu of a cooktop.
  • Instant pots are useful in making risotto, beans, rice, and even soup. So, if you don’t have a stovetop to cook and simmer meals in, you might want to invest in an instant pot.
  • If you are craving a grilled cheese or a plain sandwich, try making it an electric sandwich or waffle maker. Muffins, bread, and pancakes work well with a typical waffle maker.
  • If you’ve got a hot pan or portable burner – or can borrow one from a friend or neighbor – now is the time to use it! Using one of these small appliances will allow you to cook just like you do on the stove, just limited to one dish at a time.

Tips for getting by without your oven

  • Ovens are a great way to reheat leftovers and bake pizzas, lasagne, and more. Your best alternative could be an air fryer or a toaster. Most leftovers work well with air fryers.
  • Air fryers or toaster ovens are also perfect for roasting vegetables. The only downside is its small size, so you may have to cook food in batches.

Tips for getting by without your entire range

There’s no perfect solution for doing without an entire range, but there are some ways you may not have considered to still cook meals for you and your family.

  • Use a crock-pot for many dishes that you would have cooked on the stove (like chili or soups) or in the oven (like roasts or macaroni and cheese). Just remember it may require more planning ahead!
  • Try some salads. If both oven and stovetop are out of order, you might be better off having salads for lunch. With a great recipe and no cooking time, it can be a very convenient option.
  • You can always go for takeout or microwaveable meals from a grocery store – they are not your healthiest option but can help you make do without cooking for a few days.

While there are several options for cooking and reheating meals without a stovetop or an oven, they are not nearly as easy, and require several other appliances. In any case, doing without will help you look forward to the moment your range is repaired!

Read our other article on doing without your dryer.