Life Without a Microwave

Life Without A Microwave

Original photograph courtesy HomeSpot HQ.

How often do you use your microwave?

If it stopped working, or you decided to skip it over health concerns, or you wanted more counter space, could you manage?

I think most of us think that we don’t use it *that often* – especially if we enjoy cooking from scratch. But how do you reheat your amazing homemade leftovers? Your coffee that has gone cold for the third time while you chase your kiddos?

I can officially say that I can live without a microwave! It has been almost a year since I’ve touched one, even! I’m pretty shocked by how much I don’t miss it considering that before this year I probably used mine at least once a day, every day. I can’t imagine ever owning one again!

How We Manage

When we were newly married I thought it was pretty awesome to find new ways to cook foods in the microwave – one push of a button and you can forget about it until it beeps at you! And mine even had a reminder beep a minute later if you didn’t open the door! I even cooked our breakfast eggs in the microwave (when you are fresh out of college your taste buds are so out of whack you don’t notice, I guess)!

These days, we are loving the flavor-enhancing methods we’ve adapted to, and there isn’t anything I’ve run into that I *needed* a microwave for except one frozen meal (enchiladas) that I thought was oven safe but wasn’t. I plopped that baby into a casserole dish and baked it anyway!

You’d probably do fine preparing dishes without your microwave, right? You want to know about reheating.

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Life Without a Microwave ~

In brief, these are some of our favorite methods:

For thawing, think ahead a bit and lay it out on the counter. If you have less time, place frozen food in a bowl of luke warm or even cold water large enough to cover (assuming the packaging is water proof. If you no time at all, some things are just fine going straight from the freezer to the skillet/oven/soup pot! If food is frozen to the sides of your packing or glass container, just run warm water over the container until enough has thawed to free it from the sides.

We regularly cook frozen meat (just make sure it all gets cooked to a safe temperature), add frozen stock to a soup pot to thaw, and reheat baked goods from frozen.

For leftovers, get thyself to the store and buy a toaster oven!!! It won’t heat the house the way your big oven does (not that we mind here in Alaska!), and you can use oven-safe glass storage containers straight from the fridge! This is how I get my husband’s lunch ready most days!!

We do use the oven for larger portions, or we use a pot/skillet on the stovetop. You may find that some dishes benefit from adding a bit more liquid or oil/fat for reheating – oatmeal, for instance, thickens up in the fridge.

Does it NEED to be hot?

I’d be lying if I said that I pour my coffee into a pot to re-warm it every time. Coffee is one of many things that we’ve just acquired a taste for consuming cold! Be safe with meats and the like, of course, but oatmeal, drinks, cooked veggies, pancakes, and lots of other things taste just fine without being warmed at all. :)

Have you ditched your microwave? Or could you? What would be the thing you’d miss most?

PS. Is your microwave built in? Use it for storage!!!



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Collage photo credits are all except the iced coffee.

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  1. I want to make more of an effort. Basically it comes down to time. It’s a rush to get four kids ready in the morning, so their oatmeal is often microwaved. And the worst is baby food… I have tried putting it in a bowl with hot water, but it takes forever! Today I’m going to out the jar in a pot of oiling water and see if that works. We also don’t really have space for a toaster oven.

    • I have been surprised that the baby I watch (4 months old) doesn’t mind his bottles cold or room temp! You know your baby, of course, but you may not need to heat baby food at all! You can also try skipping the purees and checking out baby led weaning, but I totally understand if that doesn’t fit into your routine. :)

  2. Anjanette, do you have any info as to why one would need/want to avoid a microwave from a health perspective? I know some health bloggers have mentioned it before, but I’ve never taken the time to read why they’re so bad. I honestly use mine all the time for reheating leftovers since that’s lunch for Violet and I most days, and I just need to get it on the table as quickly as possible before the baby needs to nurse again! :) I’ve found I do prefer reheating soups and stews on the stove if I have time, just because it’s more even heating. And we don’t have room for a toaster oven, but I sometimes use my oven’s broiler similarly.

    • Yes! I didn’t have time to lay the research out as I wrote this up hurriedly last night, but I have done quite a bit. I’ll write a follow up post! It basically comes down to two things: radiation, and depleting food of some of the nutrients with the way it heats. :)

  3. I got rid of our microwave almost a year ago and I’m so glad to see it gone! Health reasons are what pushed me over the edge (and got the hubby on board) for getting rid of it, but my first reason was all the space it took! My kitchen is too small for an appliance I use maybe once a week, if that. I’ve learned to live without it and don’t miss is at all!

    • Yes! Our kitchen here is much smaller, too! I don’t even know where we’d put one! I’ll be posting about the health concerns tomorrow. :) Come back and link up!


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