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Dec 26, 2012 03:55 PM

how to cook in studio apartment without using stove

Welp, my apartment kitchen (studio/1 bedroom) is nowhere near a window, and somewhat close to my closet (smelling up all of my clothes like the bacon, steak, eggs, onions, that I cook with). it's gotten to the point where I don't want to cook anymore unless it's in the oven, my cast iron, carbon steel, and nonstick all smoke. Braising meat doesn't help, as it smells up everything as well. Even when on the pans, I just sear my meat for rare/med-rare, which still smokes everything to the point where I can visible see the smoke all in my apartment.

Any tips on how to cook steaks and chicken in the oven somewhat quickly? Have no experience doing this or broiling.

I cook 3-4 times a day with fresh chicken or steak or bacon. I'd rather not have to wait one hour to cook tender chicken each time I am hungry. Also, I hate having to cook meat that has been cooked previously, since it always seems to be rough. But not sure what I can do with my options here?


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    1. re: bbqboy

      I dont think it matters what I use, since no matter what pan I use in open air it'll smoke. I'm trying to revert all my cooking to the oven and essentially forget I even have an electric range other than for eggs.

    2. Is there a vent somewhere in your kitchen? I lived in a studio for several years that also had a windowless kitchen. There was a vent that was supposed to keep things aired out, which didn't work very well 'til the building management sent someone in to clean it. This involved an enormous vacuum and a lot of noise, but matters improved afterwards. My cat was traumatized, though.

      You can also try opening a window and your front door while you cook, which should give you a nice flow-through and also make all your neighbors hate you.

      If all else fails, educate yourself about sous vide cooking. I bet that doesn't stink at all.

      4 Replies
      1. re: small h

        there is zero ventilation. zero. I guess i do have windows, but they don't help much as they're 15-20 feet from the kitchen.

        to imagine, picture pan searing a thinner steak on a cast iron or carbon steel pan for a few minutes in your bedroom. that's how annoying it is.

        1. re: theromanone

          That is a quandary. Is there a way you can protect your clothes with garment bags or something similar? You might also get a window fan to suck the smoke out - even if the windows are 15ish feet from the kitchen, it should help.

          1. re: small h

            Maybe I'll look for a solution for the doorway between my kitchen (also the living room) to my closets/bedroom.

            The clothes are in two closets that, even with the doors to the closets closed, have a bit of smell from the smoke. It'd be awkward with cooking next to the windows since I have no room since that's where my couch, tv, table, sound system, etc are.

            It's a cheap place in an awesome location, but this kind of sucks. Been dealing with it for a year and half now, but only been cooking for 4 months.

            1. re: theromanone

              small h's suggestion is on the right track. I've had the same dilemma over the years, and even with ventilation, in a small space like that your clothes (and drapes, and towels, and bed linens...) will pick up cooking odors. The best thing you can do is put odor absorbers inside the closet, and set up a fan near the kitchen - on the counter next to the stove if possible - to direct the odorlicious air toward the window.

              You can cook bacon in the oven, which I happen to like to do. It will create less smoke, but you still get the odors. Same goes for doing steak in a cast iron pan in the oven.

      2. Sous vide is smokeless and can be done with hot tap water and a cooler. Really. Fish cook at ~120 degrees. Med rare steak is ~135.

        1. I've never had luck with quick cooking inside the oven (and am, honestly, sort of scared of the broiler) but can you maybe set up a sort of satellite kitchen right next to the window? There are some great hot plates available now.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Violatp

            Does your bathroom have a fan, perhaps it would help to pull some of the smells out? What about poaching as well? That should be low odour too. I cook in our oven all the time, fish & steaks under the broiler, I wouldn't attempt chicken that way though. Also a slow cooker would work for your braising, you can also braise in the oven.

          2. I was in a similar situation as yours not too long ago while away from home. I resorted to using a splatter screen and two layers of paper towel on top. I still made sure all the closet doors were closed though. Obviously you'd have to adjust cooking time and temperature accordingly because the pan is now covered.

            There's still aroma of food in the air, but the smell on clothes have drastically reduced. The air also cleared out much quicker after I'm done cooking.

            Hope that helps!

            1 Reply
            1. re: cutipie721

              covering maybe would help.. the thing is theres nothing above the oven but the ceiling.

              Also, the bathroom has no fan. It's really bad!