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Old 08-10-2007, 04:18 PM   #1
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Would I be able to get by with an "efficiency kitchenette"?

I'm looking for an apartment in Boston and one of the places I came across was an "efficiency kitchenette" that featured a microwave, fridge, hotplate, and a toaster oven. So there's no regular stove/oven. You think I could make some simple meals like baked salmon in the toaster oven?

FYI, the rest of the apartment is very nice. I might be willing to make this sacrifice because I'm a college student.

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Old 08-10-2007, 04:35 PM   #2
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Absolutely! Especially if you’re only cooking for one. I use my toaster oven all the time (I only cook for two), and it is perfect. I’ve got one like this:



It has a rotisserie in it that is just right for Cornish Hens, whole chicken breasts, kabobs, etc. It’s got adjustable racks that can move to four different heights so it accommodates a 9 square baking dish for casseroles, small meats, etc. You can broil with it, make foil packs for baking, everything that a regular oven can do......just smaller, with less electricity, and you don’t heat up the house doing it.

Granted, you can't do large things like a Turkey (maybe a small breast) or 12 inch pizza, but that’s ok. Actually, I have cut a 12” pizza in half and cooked just half and froze the other half.

If the one in the apartment isn’t quite big enough, you can pick up a bigger one at Wal-Mart or Target for under $50. The only thing that might hamper you in the set-up you described is that you’ve got only one eye (hot plate)? That means you’ll only be able to cook one pot worth of something at a time......but that’s still not problem, especially since you have the microwave (which is great for things like vegetables, canned beans, etc). Also, you could consider buying a dual eye hotplate from Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes, etc.

You’d be surprised at the amazing and full meals you can cook with that setup you described, especially if your creative. It sounds like fun, and if the rest of the apartment is nice, the location is good, and the rent is right, I’d say go for it!
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:40 PM   #3
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Absolutely! When I was in France, I was amazed at the tiny kitchens, even in luxury apartments. And they seemed to prepare some excellent meals!

You'll need to be very creative and selective about your kitchen utensils (no room for extras) but you can do a lot in a toaster oven. If the one there is small or not to your liking, you might be able to replace it with a larger one that has convection maybe. There are some wonderful, larger size toaster ovens with lots of extra features for $50 - $100. You can also get small slow cookers (2 and 3 qt.) that you'd probably have room for. And your microwave can be used for much more than heating up coffee or day-old pizza. And DC is a great resource for ideas on what to cook and how with every conceivable appliance.

Good luck in your new digs.

Terry
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:44 PM   #4
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Oh, and you could even add a George Foreman type grill for even more cooking options. Imagine salmon in the toaster oven, grilled Asparagus on the Foreman, and boiled new potatoes (tossed with garlic and herbed butter) on the hotplate. As you’re plating everything, you could throw some rolls in the toaster oven so that they warm and brown up while you’re making the plates.

I’m making myself hungry...........
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:53 PM   #5
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Great suggestion keltin, I forgot about the GF grills! They have some small ones that even have removable grill plates, now.

Also, see if you can find room for a rail or a pot rack somewhere so that you can hang your pots and pans. Then you'll have room in the cabinet to store the grill and the slow cooker.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:37 PM   #6
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Toaster ovens are wonderful tools in a small space. We have a super GE one we bought at Wal-Mart. It has a rotisserie and two shelves that can each hold a standard 6-cup muffin pan. It's also large enough to cook a 2-quart casserole in. Love it.

I second the 2-burner hotplate, a Foreman-type grill, and a crock-pot. It's amazing what can be prepared in a crock-pot. You might also want to consider an electric skillet, too. They are quite handy and can almost be used like an oven for different dishes.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:37 PM   #7
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Absolutely!

You probably don't have a lot of counterspace and storage, but other cooking toys include an electric frying pan, an electric flat griddle and a crockpot.

My mother doesn't have enough kitchen space for her crockpot so she fills it up in the kitchen and plugs it into an outlet in her living room.

Lee
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSis
My mother doesn't have enough kitchen space for her crockpot so she fills it up in the kitchen and plugs it into an outlet in her living room.
Lee
So, I'm not the only one who uses the crock-pot in the living room. I have room in my kitchen, but I use it in the living room because, even though it (crock-pot) doesn't get too hot, I can minimize how much I heat up the kitchen.

A griddle is a good idea, but because of space limitations in a small apartment, some of the same tasks can be done on a Teflon-coated electric skillet.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:44 PM   #9
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I add to the "absolutely" crowd. Goodness - I've made tons of things in my toaster oven - except for whole roasts, virtually anything goes - steaks, chops, all kinds of fish - you name it. And our little camp stove has provided us with soups, chili, bacon & eggs, etc., etc.

Sounds like a good deal for an apt. in Boston.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:47 PM   #10
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I remember now, too, one time when our regular oven crapped out just as I was about to put two regular loaves of bread in to bake, I baked them in my toaster oven. I was amazed and I was soooo glad it saved my butt.
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