Three great meals that don't need cooking!

Broken cooker

So your cooker has broken down, but it's fine, because you're totally on top of it. You've located the source of the problem, Googled it, and ordered a replacement part from the Cooker Spare Parts team. No sweat!

Except...what are you going to do for dinner tonight? Even if you selected 'Next Day Delivery' and completed the order before 3.30pm, your cooker will still be out of action until tomorrow. You don't want to ruin your diet with a takeaway, and you haven't got the money for a meal out, so what to do?

Well, we can help on that score as well. Here are a few alternative meal ideas for those broken cooker evenings.

(N.B. For the sake of this blog post, we're assuming that your cooker is completely busted; that is, you can't use the oven, the hobs, or the grill.)

  • Salad
    If salad has only ever been a side dish for you, it's high time you upgraded it to the rank of Main Course. Start with the basics: cucumber, lettuce (or rocket if you're feeling fancy) and celery. Once you've laid the foundations, you can get creative, throwing in more or less anything you fancy. Peppers, croutons, walnuts, sesame seeds, chicken pieces, pine's all fair game!

  • Chicken Wraps
    You may not be able to cook anything yourself, but you can buy pre-cooked chicken from most supermarkets. If you're reasonably easy to satisfy, just put some chicken, lettuce and mayonnaise in a tortilla wrap and tuck in! If, however, you want to add a little more flavour, you can add cashew nuts, chopped spring onions, and even grated coconut to the mix.

  • Boxing Day Buffet
    If you've got leftovers - chicken, cold cuts, salad, that sort of thing - then you've got yourself a meal, no cooker required. Just pretend it's the day after Christmas, spread all your leftovers out on the dining table, and make a buffet out of it. And if you don't have any leftovers...go out and buy some! Grab a French stick while you're there, too; nothing ties a spread together like a nice, crusty baguette.

Image Credit: Andrew Skudder

At Cooker Spare Parts, as you’ve probably guessed – we’re massive foodies. We love food, and take great pleasure in eating out and discovering amazing new places in our local city of Cardiff to get some really awesome grub. Unfortunately, our bank balances don’t always get along with our bellies, and we occasionally need to look for places to eat that will serve some top notch dinner on budget prices. We’re fortunate enough that Cardiff there are plenty of budget eateries which serve up some seriously quality food, and here are our top 5 (in no particular order)!



1.       Trade Street Café

Trade Street Café is the ultimate choice for those looking for budget food on the go in Cardiff. Their take away menu starts with jacket potatoes from just £2.50 and yummy salads from £3.00 if you’re feeling healthy. If you perhaps prefer a more substantial meal then you can get a delicious home-made burger and fries for £5.25 or some spaghetti bolognese or £4.25! Situated on Trade Street (see what they did with their name, eh?) this little gem of a café comes highly recommended. Pop in for some lunch if you’ve got time or make sure to make the most of their awesome take away menu!  

2.       Gwdihŵ

This quirky little live music café is without a doubt one of the best finds in Cardiff. As well as being an alternative music venue and bar, they serve some seriously tasty food for some seriously ridiculous prices! Their menu is small, but everything there is truly yummy. They’ve got hot wraps for £3 – our favourite is ‘The Espanol’, which contains chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and balsamic drizzle: totally delicious. They also do dal or nachos for £4; bargain!  

3.       Milgi

Milgi is our veggie/vegan option, but we can assure you that no meat most certainly doesn’t mean no flavour. Their menus are diverse and wonderful, full of yummy herbs and spices and packing a real flavoursome punch – all for unbelievably low prices. At lunch you can get a delicious polenta pizza for £5, or a super-healthy wholefood salad bowl for £5.95. Their dinner menu is equally impressive and they have some utterly divine cocktails to accompany the food, which we’re always keen to sample.

4.       Zero Degrees

Zero Degrees is a snazzy microbrewery with a mega tasty menu of locally sourced delicious food – at some seriously good prices! Their menu is extremely advanced, offering salad, pizza, pasta, mussels kilo pots, sausages and risotto – and that’s not to mention their stunning appetizers and side orders! We would recommend one of their amazing pizzas – so much choice and all roughly around the £10 mark – such a bargain.

5.       10 Feet Tall

10 Feet Tall is one of the coolest venues in Cardiff, which is obviously why we’re regulars at this hang out. Jokes aside, their delicious food is nearly as impressive as their cocktail menu, which is filled with divine alcoholic treats. They offer some amazing meals which are 2 for £12, an epic buffet menu with scrummy tapas options starting from just £7 per head. This is the perfect destination for eating on a budget as a group, and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough. 

Image Credit: Graham on flickr

Assorted cooker parts

The world of cooker repair can be a confusing one if you’re inexperienced. It’s one thing to replace a broken control knob, but when things really go wrong – when you have to open the cooker up and take a proper look at the inner workings – you might have no idea which part does which job.

That’s why we’ve compiled this handy glossary, complete with simple explanations of your cooker’s most important parts. If you don’t know your O ring from your gas elbow, this short guide will give you a slightly better idea of what happens under the hood...

Fan Motor
Fan ovens use a fan to spread heat evenly throughout the oven cavity.  The fan motor is what powers the fan.

Flame Supervision Device
Used in gas appliances to stem the flow of gas if the flame is extinguished. This prevents the build-up of dangerous flammable gas.

Gas Injector
Supplies gas to the burner in a gas oven.

Oven Door Seal
Seals up the space around the oven door to prevent heat from escaping. Some seals are 3-sided to allow for ventilation.

Oven Element
The source of your oven’s heat. Heats up and cools down on a cycle to maintain your desired temperature (as regulated by the thermostat – see below).

Terminal Block
An electrical connector that supplies power to your cooker.

Regulates the temperature in your oven. Once the oven has reached its designated temperature, the thermostat ensures that the temperature remains constant throughout the cook period.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of cooker parts – you’ll find many, many others on our website – but hopefully we’ve managed to shed a little light on some of the more confusing cooker jargon. If you’re still unsure about something, feel free to email and we’ll do our best to help.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day all! In order to celebrate this most green of festival days, we thought we’d give some simple, traditional Irish recipes that are big on flavour.

Easy Irish Stew

Being Ireland’s national dish, we could hardly leave this baby out – and this version is as simple as it gets.

1. Cut 1kg of boned lamb into good sized chunks. Peel and chop 4 large potatoes, 4 medium carrots, and 2 large onions, along with a few springs of fresh parsley.

2. Find a large casserole pot and place the ingredients in layers, starting with and finishing with potato layers. Pour in 475ml of water and season to taste. Cover the pot and cook on a very low heat for about 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is tender and the liquid has thickened.

3. Finish this dish with fresh parsley and the most importantly, enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread

Now that you have a sumptuous Irish stew prepared, why not prepare some beautiful soda bread to go with it?

1. Combine 250g of plain white flour, 250g of wholemeal flour, 100g of porridge oats, 1tsp of salt, and 1tsp of bicarbonate soda in a large mixing bowl. Pour in 500ml of buttermilk while working it through the mix with a knife, and then bring the dough together lightly.

2. Shape the dough mixture into a 20cm flat, round loaf, place on a dusted baking sheet, and score the bread with a deep cross – tradition says this process lets the fairies out, but it’ll also help the break cook more evenly. Bake at 200C for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

3. When your loaf is complete transfer it to a wire rack to cool down, and then slice and serve – preferably alongside our Easy Irish Stew.

When your cooker is on the blink so many people just sigh and prepare to shell out an absolute fortune for a new one, before even considering what might be wrong with it! When you purchased your cooker you looked for a high-quality appliance that fitted with the design and look of your kitchen - you shouldn't have to go through the gruelling process of finding a new one that's right for you, never mind how expensive they can be! 

A common reason cookers stop working effectively is that they need a new oven fan or an oven motor, both of which are easily replaceable - especially with Cooker Spare Parts' extensive range of motors and fan spares

The process of ordering your new oven fan spares or oven motor spare parts with us is extremely simple. Just select your cooker manufacturer from the 'Narrow by Manufacturers' tab on the left hand side and see which oven fans and motor spares are available for your oven. If you want an even more concise list, then enter your cooker model number to see which oven spare parts we have available for your specific appliance. 

We've got both genuine and high-quality replacement spare oven fans and motors for a variety of Belling, New World, Zanussi and Stoves cookers - as well as so many more spare motors and fans for tons of other cooker manufacturers! 

As always, if you need any help then just get in touch - we're happy to help!