Advice For An Oven-Free But Otherwise Perfect Apartment?

Advice For An Oven-Free But Otherwise Perfect Apartment?

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Tess Wilson
Sep 14, 2015

Q: After two months of apartment hunting, I finally saw an apartment today that I absolutely loved. It's in one of my favorite neighborhoods for a very affordable price (all utilities included, and central heat/AC to boot!). It's 1,000 square feet and has modern finishes, gorgeous hardwood floors, and in-unit laundry. The problem is that there is no oven, and I am in love with cooking...

To be honest, the entire kitchen- a very small corner consisting of a sink, some cabinets, and a countertop electric stove with 2 burners- seems like an afterthought in design, which is sad because the landlord told me she gut-rehabbed the entire building when she bought it.

The current tenant is using a small toaster oven to cook everything. Good for her, perhaps, but not for me! I need to bake cookies and cakes and lasagna and turkeys! I asked if there would be a possibility of her installing an oven, but sadly there are no hookups, so the landlord couldn't install one even if she wanted to. As far as I know, convection ovens are the only other grown-up alternative (for the avoidance of doubt, microwaving everything is not an option!) to gas ovens.

I am new to convection ovens and don't know how they compare to regular gas ovens. My question is, should I even bother with convection ovens and consider taking this apartment? And does anyone have a recommendation for a particularly fabulous convection oven that a) is big enough to handle hardcore cooking, b) won't break the bank (I probably don't want to go over $300) and c) cooks well? Thanks for any advice you have! -Sent by Christine

Editor: Oh man, Christine- I feel your pain! Just this week I've used my oven to roast tomatoes, make pizza, bake fennel flatbread, cook a cabbage casserole, and bake a rhubarb crumble. I, too, am in love with baking, and would really miss having an oven, especially in the winter when it's basically a heat source. The only insight I have to offer is that I worked as a pastry assistant in a professional kitchen for 3 years and we had a wonderful convection oven. Of course, it was pro-grade so I'm sure it was $$$$, but perhaps a restaurant supply store or a going-out-of-business restaurant might have something to offer? Just be sure the voltage works with your apartment! Readers, what do you advise?

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