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I have to cook a meal for my whole office (around 18 people); it's sort of a thing where everyone has to cook a meal at some point.

I would be able to find something myself but we don't have a stove or an oven at work and that's pretty much all I use. What we do have though is a microwave, a barbecue, a kettle, a sink, a coffee machine and a panini grill. We also have a fridge and a freezer. Also possibly a slow cooker.

So I am asking you for such advice or even a hint as to which direction I should look at in terms of what food I should cook.

I'd prefer to not cook such standard barbecue foods as hot dogs and burgers and chicken. I don't mind putting some effort in to cooking.

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closed as not constructive by SAJ14SAJ, mfg, KatieK, kiamlaluno, Mien Feb 19 '13 at 12:35

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Full-on meal planning isn't really something we do here - it's pretty broad and subjective (see the faq). We can try to give you some pointers on where to start looking, though. –  Jefromi Feb 15 '13 at 5:51
    
By 'barbecue' I assume you mean a grill (not a smoker). If so, you can use cast iron on a grill. At least the plain stuff, not sure about enameled. So you could use a cast-iron fry pan on your grill. If you don't go crazy with the heat, stainless clad is OK too. Remember that the handles will probably get much hotter than normal, so its best if they're not plastic. Also, you may get some soot buildup on the bottom, which is largely cosmetic, but you should be aware of that. Depends on the fuel you're using, and how hot its burning. –  derobert Feb 15 '13 at 5:55
    
Thanks @Jefromi, you are correct, I meant my question from the point of what foods you can cook without a stove or an oven rather than for the whole planing of a meal :) –  scjr Feb 15 '13 at 6:11
    
@derobert the barbecue has a grill side and a flat side, also thank you for the rest of your barbecue tips :) –  scjr Feb 15 '13 at 6:12
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You have a bbq, microwave, and panini grill so you DO have a stove and an oven. –  Rob Feb 15 '13 at 13:06
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1 Answer

Missing the stove and oven is tough. But it sounds like you might have almost everything else you could possibly need.

With the microwave, you can essentially steam and even boil. With the slow cooker, assuming you have it, you can simmer. With the barbecue (grill, for us Americans), you can essentially do one better than roasting - anything that normally bakes in the oven on high heat is probably doable. The panini grill can do smaller-scale things in the same vein, and in some cases even substitute for sauteeing.

The barbecue might be the real hero, though, especially if it's a good-sized one. You can grill/roast any kind of meat or vegetable, and you can even cook a pizza on it. If it's the kind with a top rack, you can cook things more gently too. As derobert rightly suggests in the comments, you can even toss a cast iron pan on it. Failing that, you can also do a lot with foil - wrap things up to cook a bit more gently and keep them from drying out, or put down a few layers, grease it, and throw food on top to get something closer to sauteeing.

So start planning the meal however you normally would - flipping through recipes, starting from an ingredient, whatever floats your boat - and restrict yourself to things that can be done with those cooking methods. Quite a lot of dishes will be just fine. For example, the microwave will cover a lot of simple vegetable dishes. The slow cooker can do a lot of soups and stews. The barbecue can do tons and tons of things. And of course, you can do absolutely anything that doesn't need heat - salads and other raw foods. Don't underestimate that; there are plenty of great cold dishes out there.

And of course, keep in mind that there's really nothing wrong with reheating for many dishes. I don't know how big the microwave is, but assuming it's a decent size, you can prep something at home - think casseroles, soups, vegetable dishes without very sensitive textures, or just think about what works well for you at home eating as leftovers. Or to give a more specific idea, freshly grilled/roasted meat or vegetables plus a nice sauce you made ahead of time at home can make a pretty impressive dish without much actual work at your office.

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