Yes, you read that right! One of the first things you may say when moving into a studio apartment or dorm is “Help! I don’t have a kitchen!” Well, today you’ll learn how to cook with no kitchen in a tiny space!
HELP! I DON’T HAVE A KITCHEN!
If you are new to My Wee Abode, chances are you’re reading this post because you have recently moved into a studio apartment or dorm.
We all know that most (if not all) dorms are lacking at least one thing… a kitchen.
But did you know that in So Cal, many studio apartments are kitchen-less?
So, what’s a girl to do?
Well, if you are like a couple of my dear cooking-hating friends, you jump up and down and say, “Yes! Where’s the nearest Chick-fil-A???”
But, for many of us, this is an adventure that we’re not so sure we want to embark on.
How To Cook With No Kitchen
If you had told me five years ago that I would be moving into a studio apartment that did not include a full kitchen, I would have given you an incredulous smirk and said, “Yeah, riiiiight.”
But, here I was in 2016… (pardon the lousy basic phone pics)
No joke… this kitchenette had cupboards (NICE cupboards, but I still to this day hate the color), a stainless steel sink, and some counter space (and part of it didn’t count because, what can you do with a sixteen inch space of counter?)
Oh… and let’s not forget the dinosaur-of-a-convection-oven that weighed 100 pounds! (I purchased the fridge from the prior tenant.)
If you are looking for some odor neutralizing tips for your fridge, take a look at how to make your refrigerator smell fresh!
And here I am today!
Let me show you how I went from a blah, empty kitchenette with no stove or oven to what I consider a pretty-darn-cute, fully functional kitchen.
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How Can I Live in an Apartment with No Kitchen?
It’s actually not hard at all to live in an apartment (or any small space) and cook with no kitchen. And, it’s really kinda fun!
NOTE: Before using any of these items in a studio apartment or dorm, or any place that doesn’t have a built-in kitchen, be sure to get the approval of the landlord/owner/or person in charge.
The first thing you will want to do is maximize your storage.
There are several ways to do this:
- If you don’t have upper cabinets (like MWA), I say add open shelving! It’s pretty, practical, affordable, and easy to install!
- Add cabinet organizers to maximize your vertical space.
- Add drawer organizers, as well. You want to squeeze out every inch of space you can.
- Add furniture pieces that add storage and counter space. Like this one…
Really think about adding a portable island or kitchen cart to your kitchen, whether it’s tiny or not-so-tiny. It’s affordable and adds both counter and cupboard space!
And, if you really do your research, you can find one that let’s you add some of your kitchen ‘pretties’…
And, look for extras on a portable island, like a spice rack and towel holder.
Can You Rent an Apartment Without a Stove or Oven?
Oh, yes… you can rent an apartment or tiny house without a stove or oven. Just ask me!
But, here are my solutions to cooking when you don’t have built-in appliances.
Use a Smart Oven in Place of a Built-in Oven
Although my apartment came with an old (but working) convection-microwave oven combination, I didn’t like the way it worked, and it was HUGE!
The Breville Mini Smart Oven (along with a nice microwave) has been the perfect, affordable option in My Wee Abode’s kitchen.
This mini smart oven toasts, bakes, broils, and roasts, and has several other nifty features. It also comes in different sizes!
The mini size oven is large enough to bake a personal size pizza and fits up to a 10.5-inch pan (and here’s how to reheat pizza in the oven, too). The baking and toasting abilities are excellent, but I have yet to use it to roast or broil (I’m sure I won’t be disappointed when I do). Still, it’s my fave appliance in the kitchen.
Throw in a Microwave for Good Measure
A microwave is also handy to have in a studio apartment kitchen, whether it’s for popping your favorite movie treat or simply warming up leftovers!
This General Electric Microwave is tiny, but sturdy (easily opens with one hand, and the microwave doesn’t budge.)
Counter top burners have come a long way, baby!
The Waring Counter Top Double Burner has not steered me wrong, except…
Though the double burner looks nicer, if I had to do it over again, I would buy two single burners (one won’t cut it for cooking). Any guesses why?
You cannot put a large skillet and another pan on the double burner at the same time… they don’t fit!
So, learn from my experience. Two single burners can be moved around to accommodate pan/pot sizes.
So, those are my three main items, besides the refrigerator, that create a kitchen out of ‘nothing’.
But, let me share a few extras that help you feel like you have a kitchen, when you don’t.
How Do You Cook When You Don’t Have a Kitchen?
Again, it really is an adventure to live in an apartment with no kitchen. You just gotta think creatively…
Use an Instant-Pot
An Instant-Pot (aka electric pressure cooker) is a WONDERFUL electric item to use for cooking when you don’t have a kitchen.
Great for cooking meats, potatoes, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, desserts (yes, desserts) and more, the Instant-Pot really has an endless amount of uses!
Add an Electric Skillet
Want to only buy one counter top burner? An electric skillet works for cooking meats, pancakes, veggies and more!
This ‘vintage’ Farberware skillet is no longer available, but if you buy a nice one, it will last forever!
Just a few more items to think about…
- A small rice cooker is great for cooking, well rice, and steaming veggies
- A good hand can-opener takes up less space than its counter-top sister and is a must.
- A nice food processor not only grates cheese in 5 seconds, but it cuts butter into flour, slices veggies, and lots of other fun stuff.
- Oh… and this one-cup coffee maker. You’re welcome…
And, yes, I have all these things stored in my little kitchen. How? That’s for another post!
Even though you don’t cook with this item, an extra-high DIY cake plate works great to keep things off the counter, creating more space for your cooking appliances!
Now It’s Your Turn
So, now you know how to cook with no kitchen! What item(s) do you think you will be adding to your home?
Or, if you know some one that says, “Help! I don’t have a kitchen!” you know where to send them now! Hehe!