Person putting vegetables in a microwave oven


If your oven isn’t working or you are waiting for a new oven to arrive, it can seem tricky to keep mealtime moving. But don’t worry—other kitchen appliances and even some of your cookware can help you get the job done. Read this article to learn how to cook and bake without an oven.

Person cooking vegetables in a skillet Person cooking vegetables in a skillet


From convection microwaves and countertop ovens to toaster ovens, cooktops and slow cookers, there are many cooking options when you’re without an oven. Many toaster ovens and countertop ovens can bake, roast and broil, while cookware like a dutch oven can help you make casseroles and some other traditionally oven-baked dishes.

Casserole dish cooking in a microwave Casserole dish cooking in a microwave


If your oven isn’t working or needs to be replaced, you may be looking for alternatives to fill the gap. You can still make your favorite meals with the right appliances and cookware. Continue reading below to learn some ideas for using microwaves, countertop ovens, toaster ovens, cooktops, slow cookers and more as an alternative to your oven.

Microwave oven built in to cabinetry Microwave oven built in to cabinetry


Microwaves are a great choice when you need to heat food quickly or get dinner served right away. Many microwaves have various power levels, settings and features that can help you get results similar to your oven. Some features may include convection cooking, broiler-like heat and low heat settings to keep food warm—giving you an alternative to your oven when necessary.

Maytag® microwaves with the Dual Crisp feature are built to do more, taking on leftovers and frozen food, then handing back crispy results.* Select this extended cycle to combine top-down heat from the crisp element with microwave cooking power—and get better microwaved meals.

*Degree of crisp will vary depending on food thickness and type.

Skillet cooking on a stovetop Skillet cooking on a stovetop


If the oven isn’t an option, you can use your cooktop to help you prepare meals. Using appropriate cookware suitable for stovetop cooking, such as a cast-iron skillet, dutch oven or something similar, you can get oven-like results for dishes like lasagnas, casseroles and even baked items. The instructions will most likely differ from those used for the oven, so do your research before cooking.

Person adding chicken and fries to an air fryer basket Person adding chicken and fries to an air fryer basket


Another option for meal prep without an oven is your air fryer. Whether you have a stand-alone air fryer or your air fryer is part of your countertop oven, it can be a great alternative to the oven. An air fryer works by rapidly circulating hot air to cook and crisp up a wide range of food. If you want to make crispy chicken wings or a side of baked potatoes, your air fryer can help you get the job done. Once you learn how to use an air fryer, you might even prefer it over your conventional oven for some recipes.


Toaster ovens and countertop ovens are also great alternatives to your traditional oven. These smaller appliances range from relatively basic to more advanced and feature an array of settings. They tend to be used for quick tasks such as reheating leftovers, toasting bread slices or melting cheese but can also be used for other purposes, like roasting chicken breasts or fish filets, crisping bacon, or roasting vegetables.

Some countertop ovens, like select models from KitchenAid brand, combine your favorite cooking methods into one convenient appliance. Select models can bake, roast, broil and air fry, making them a great alternative to your conventional oven.


Slow cookers are another popular alternative when you don’t have access to an oven. This appliance allows you to prep the ingredients, turn the slow cooker on and move on with other tasks. While it may not brown foods like an oven, you can make some of your favorite traditionally oven-cooked recipes.  Keep in mind that slow-cooker recipes usually work best with dishes cooked at 350°F or lower in an oven. It’s also important to note that the high setting on a slow cooker generally cooks about twice as fast as the low setting.


Rice cookers typically use a heating plate to transfer heat to the cooking pan, and they are not only for making rice. Rice cookers can also be used to make many other meals like ribs, pizza, fluffy pancakes, frittatas and mac and cheese.


Depending on the weather, grilling can be an easy alternative to using the oven. Make steaks or chicken, grill your favorite vegetables, pat some homemade burgers and enjoy minimal clean-up when you’re done.

Meat cooking on the stove Meat cooking on the stove


  • Grilled chicken or steak: Fire up the grill and make delicious meals like Grilled Flank Steak with Kalamata Tapanade or T-Bone Steaks with Blue Cheese Butter. You can even grill chicken for your favorite chicken fajita recipe or make a side of Grilled Veggies with Pesto to go with your dinner. 

  • Breakfast: Breakfast is a simple meal to make without an oven. Whip up these fluffy pancakes in a skillet on your stovetop and warm some perfectly crispy bacon in your countertop oven as a side. 

  • Casseroles: With the right cookware, you can still make savory casseroles. Whether you use your slow cooker, dutch oven or even your convection microwave, casseroles are a weeknight staple you can still count on even without an oven. Try this breakfast casserole that can be cooked right in your convection microwave.

  • Lasagna: Lasagna is a comforting and simple meal that doesn’t always require an oven. Lasagna can be made in many ways, including on your stovetop in a dutch oven or in your slow cooker

  • Roast: Pot roast is another easy meal to make without an oven. Pot roast can be cooked low and slow all day on the stovetop or in your slow cooker. Some pot roast recipes can even be adapted for the countertop or toaster oven.

  • Pizza: Your first instinct might be to make pizza in your oven, but pizza can also be made in a countertop or toaster oven. You can even bake pizza in some convection microwaves like this Over-the-Range microwave with Convection Mode from Maytag brand.

  • Soup or stew: Make your own homemade chicken noodle soup or Spicy Vegan Stew in your slow cooker or dutch oven. You can even make some homemade bread in your dutch oven to go with it.

  • Frozen foods: Frozen foods are a convenient option if you have an air fryer, microwave or countertop oven. You won’t need your oven and they will be done quickly so you can get dinner on the table. 

  • Baked potatoes: Baked potatoes can be made in your convection microwave, countertop oven or air fryer. Baked potatoes can be dressed up with a variety of options, so pick your favorite toppings and make a meal of it.


Maytag® ovens, cooktops and microwaves are the tools you need for tackling meal time. With a Maytag® microwave, you can create delicious dishes without turning on your range, thanks to specific settings tailored for creating entire meals in the microwave. Select Maytag® ovens offer features such as Power Preheat and EvenAir™ True Convection, while select cooktops come with either ceramic glass cooktops or cast-iron grates plus Power™ Burners.


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