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We don't have a microwave

When the cabinet maker asked me where we wanted the microwave in the new kitchen I had a mental-blank.  I couldn't think where to put it and when I really thought about it, I didn't actually want a microwave.  We did still own one at that stage, but we hardly used it.  I find them kind of ugly and I don't completely trust them.  We haven't had a microwave in the new kitchen since we moved in Easter, and I really don't miss it.




There may or may not be reasons to not eat microwaved food, but personally I don't like the taste of it and I don't like the look the microwave, so I'm happy not to have one in my kitchen.  When I considered whether to include a microwave in the new kitchen, I could only come up with three things:

  1. Defrosting meat
  2. Heating leftovers
  3. Heating wheat packs

Defrosting meat without a microwave
This one is pretty easy.  If you want a roast or a large chunk of meat, you do just have to be organised and get it out of the freezer the day or night before you need it.  These don't defrost well in the microwave anyway (I find the edges start to cook).  For smaller cuts like chops or steak, I just put it in a container of hot water and turn it over a few times, which usually defrosts the meat in about 30 minutes, which is not too bad I think.


Heating leftovers without a microwave
I'm lucky that at work we have "pie-warmer" ovens in every lunch room, so I never had to use a microwave to heat up my lunch (unless I forget to put it in the pie-warmer).  At home, I heat up leftovers in a frying pan or pot on the stove, or in the oven or Weber BBQ.  It does take a little bit longer and gets another dish dirty, but I think it heats more evenly and tastes better.



Heating a wheat pack without a microwave
I wasn't sure how I was going to heat my wheat packs, which I do like for keeping warm on winter nights.  This was about my only remaining use for a microwave, but I didn't want one in the kitchen just for that.  I found a solution the other day - I put a cup of water in a large pot and sat it on the woodstove on a trivet, they warmed through in about 10 minutes with me turning them.  I think you can also put them in the oven (but I didn't want to turn on the over just for that either).




I think microwaves had their peak of popularity when we were sucked into cooking without fat.  I can't think of anything that I would actually want to cook in a microwave.  I would rather cook in butter or macadamia oil and create a tasty meal with healthy fats.

Do you use a microwave regularly?  Would you consider not including one in your kitchen?

Comments

  1. I'm so with you on this one! We have a small microwave that was given to me on my 21st birthday, making it 24 years old! It only has dials, no digital displays, and if you want to zap something for 30seconds you have to count it in your head! I keep it in our pantry, partly because it's small (and ugly) partly because we hardly use it! Like you I heat up leftovers (only ever in glass or ceramic) or defrost. I never cook in it, so it doesn't warrant precious real estate in my kitchen. I've had a few comments about its location over the years, but people generally get it when I explain. I'm not sure if I'd replace it when it dies.

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    1. The "problem" with those old appliances is that they never break, made before planned obsolescence was invented! You're probably stuck with it, but at least you have somewhere to hide it :)

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  2. Interesting thoughts. What I mostly use our microwave for, is cooking pasta or rice, in about 8-10 minutes. But I do have a rice cooker, which I think cooks better rice. Oh, and leftovers, like lasagne. But again, a pie warmer/small toaster oven, could do the same. It just requires waiting longer and planning ahead. The other thing would be heating a coffee that goes cold. I suppose a saucepan on the stove could work, or I've recently discovered electric milk frothers! Have you seen them? They can reheat drinks if you remove the frother attachment.

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    1. I find that microwaves can do things quickly, but the result is not always better! I don't drink coffee or tea, but if my herbal tea goes cold I drink it cold or add more hot water. A milk frother would be perfect for reheating coffee :)

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  3. I don't use a microwave now either, my main concern was then how to heat wheat bags, so I gave them away and bought a hot water bottle.

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    1. haha I thought about doing that, but I hate how they go so cold, I really love my wheat packs!

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  4. We got rid of our microwave three years ago. Missed it for about ten minutes. Now we use an electric kettle for hot water and reheat leftovers in our cast iron skillets, then use the skillets as our plate. less dishes, better tasting food, and I have more counter space!

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  5. I use a microwave for heating wheat packs, reheating meals sometimes if I can't be bothered doing it on the stove, melting butter for baking and my main use is as a timer when I'm cooking. But yes, I much prefer cooking on the stove or in the oven.

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    1. Yes melting butter is another one! I haven't been doing much baking, so I haven't had to deal with that (not too hard, but just another pot to clean).

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  6. mine died about 10 years ago & i don't miss it either. so my answer is 'no' i wouldn't get another one (only ever cooked rice in it anyway)
    great post
    thanx for sharing

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    1. Its funny how you realise that you hardly ever used it :)

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  7. At this time of year I make our morning porridge in the microwave. And I par-cook jacket potatoes in it before finishing them in the oven. And because I'm prone to sudden attacks of leg cramps in the middle of the night l need my wheat pack heated fast and the micro does that well! Having said that we hide the micro in the pantry.

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    1. Yep, sometimes you want those wheat packs in a hurry!

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  8. Yeah, I really don't like using the m'wave. I'm dubious about the effect they have on us; will they discover in another 50yrs that they caused all kinds of illnesses? I never liked the taste or texture of foods cooked in them, and really only used it for re-heating in summer when my wood stove isn't going. But more recently I don't use it at all, and am really seriously thinking of getting rid of it. It's ugly and that space could be used for something more useful. I find that a hot water bottle stays warm all night, is still warm when I make the bed in the morning. My wheat bags don't stay warm long so I've just donated them to a charity shop.

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    1. Yeah, I just don't really trust them! I am the opposite with wheat packs vs hot water bottles - my wheat pack seems to stay at body temperature whereas the hot water bottle is like a cold stone in my bed in the morning...

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  9. I would be lost without a microwave. While it is mainly used throughout the year for defrosting or reheating, in the summer it gets a work out. I use it instead of the stove top or oven whenever possible - I live in the tropics. In the summer to even turn on a hotplate for a few minutes leaves me bathed in perspiration and the house heated up just that little bit more. I do avoid using plastic in the microwave as plastic absorbs fats and oils, and exchanges harmful chemicals into the food. Instead, I collect any piece of corningware or pyrex that I can find. These can be used in the microwave, on the stove top, in the oven as well as in the fridge. I found a corningware microwave browning dish in a second-hand shop and that made an enormous difference to cooking meats. With that I can fry or roast in the microwave. It seals and browns the same as on the stove top and keeps all the flavour. It took a while but I have learned to cook using a microwave to get good results and not soggy, tasteless dishes. An added advantage, and one important to us from an environmental perspective, is the speed of cooking uses far less electricity than the electric stove or oven performing the same tasks. Our BBQ is a brick construction out in the yard in which one burns wood, and as summer is the rainy season, wood is wet and it is usually pouring rain. Also there is enough heat outdoors to cook me if I so much as walk to the vege patch and back!
    I can appreciate that in a cooler climate one may choose a conventional stove over a microwave. I probably would too, using the heat from the stove to warm the house as well as cook, but here in the hot humid tropics I find it invaluable.

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    1. I know what you mean, I don't use the oven at all in summer. I find the slow cooker is a good way to cook without heating up the house too much, and we tend to eat salads with meat cooked on the gas BBQ. Good to know that you have been able to find a way to cook tasty food relatively safely (not in the plastic microwave cookware!), and you're right that it can use less electricity to cook things in the microwave compared to an oven.

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