As small space living is becoming more and more popular, many modern apartments are designed with a kitchenette or a full kitchen, equipped with a small oven and other small appliances.
Preparing elaborate meals in a small space may be a challenge. But with the right tools, you can cook just about anything. You might regularly whip up healthy meals for yourself or even throw a dinner party in your small apartment.
Here are some tips on how to cook with a small oven.
Standard sized oven sheets are too large for small ovens. Measure the interior dimensions of your oven and buy an ample supply of baking sheets and oven pans that fit the space.
According to Consumer Reports, stainless steel is one of the best cooking options. Along with being non-toxic, stainless steel cookware is durable, heats quickly and has been found to brown food better than non-stick alternatives.
Other safe materials for non-toxic cookware include glass, porcelain enamel, ceramic and cast iron. For some specific suggestions of cooking tools to purchase, here are some great tips to get cooking with the best kitchenware on a budget.
The heating element and temperature in a small oven is commonly higher than in a regular-sized oven. Get to know your oven's settings by warming up a pre-cooked meal or cook something simple like a pizza or a baked potato.
Modern ovens have digital temperature gauges, but they can be notoriously inaccurate. Use an oven thermometer to check the temperature and lower it as needed. Also, since small ovens place the heating elements closer to the pan, the temperature of your food will rise more quickly than in a larger oven. So, you may need to adjust both the temperature and cooking times as you follow recipes and cooking directions on food packages.
Check the serving size and pan size required before you choose a recipe. Many recipes can be cut in half. The cooking time may need to be reduced, as well. Experiment with the time required to cook your favorite dishes and get to know the adjustments that you need to make.
Recipe websites include dozens of toaster oven recipes that are designed for small portions and also work well in a small oven. Here are a few great resources for toaster oven recipes:
Toaster ovens aren't just for toast. If you need to cook two things at once, use your toaster oven for cooking extra food items. Most people don't realize how efficient a toaster oven can be for cooking, browning and reheating all sorts of dishes.
You can use it to cook side dishes like stuffing, to roast small batches of meat, to re-heat left-overs, bake potatoes or defrost frozen ingredients.
Just because you're using a small oven doesn't mean you still can't create a gourmet meal. Here are a few basic tips that can make anyone look like a Top Chef.
Today, dozens of handy gadgets are available that make cooking possible without an oven. You can cook some simple meals using space-saving kitchen appliances like an instant pot or portable grill. Don't let your small space limit your meal preparation or creativity in the kitchen.