Living Without a Microwave

Last night the gods of popcorn decided that I shouldn’t have a microwave anymore. (Read: popcorn caught fire in my microwave, and the microwave promptly died.)

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Everyone is okay (…except the microwave, and the popcorn). But the hubs and I thought it might be a good idea to see how long we can go without instead of immediately buying a new one! I grew up without a microwave until I was about 13 or 14 (around the same time we got a VCR and cable TV…) and I survived. We used to reheat leftovers on the stove (!) like cavemen.

Benefits of being Microwave Free (Part 1)

  • Potential health benefits? Some (sort of sketchy) studies seem to show that microwave cooking can be bad for you. I haven’t found proof of this in any legit place (only on rant-y, alternative health blogs) but it’s a possibility. The list of potential problems associated with microwaved food includes but is not limited to: carcinogens in food, brain-damage, hormonal imbalances, decrease in nutritional value of the food, and stomach problems.
  • Fewer prepared foods (not really applicable). We already don’t eat many frozen meals, but I guess this microwave ban will encourage us to keep doing so.
  • Save $100+ bucks since we aren’t buying a new one (yet).
  • More storage space. Instead of having a big box on top of my fridge, now I can keep other things there! It already looks nicer.
  • Hazard – it is definitely bad to heat things up in the microwave in plastic (the plastic leaks , and we do this all the time when we heat up leftovers. Bad bad bad! I know we shouldn’t, but I am often too lazy to transfer the food to something safer.
  • Microwaved food is mushy to me. (See part 3, second bullet – “heating leftovers”.)

Drawbacks to being Microwave Free (Part 2)

  • Heating wax. I do my own waxing and i always heat it in a microwave. I will have to figure out a different option!
  • Frozen bread/bagels. I always freeze bread, bagels, etc… if I know we won’t finish them while they are fresh. I almost always reheat them in a microwave – it’s hard to cut them while they’re frozen and hard, and if you toast bread that has been frozen it doesn’t always heat all the way through (most of the time it does).
  • Hard to make popcorn. After the microwave popcorn failure I tried to make popcorn on the stove, and it was a flop. The popcorn did not pop completely so the pieces were harder than usual, and some of the kernels burned before even popping. Definitely need to find an alternative to microwave popcorn. But I don’t have it that often, so this is not a huge inconvenience. (My popcorn recipe here.)
  • Bobby can’t heat up his coffee. (I make him coffee in the morning but if it gets cold he reheats it in the microwave.)

Things you might think would matter but really don’t (Part 3)

  • Heating water. I already use my stove to heat water (usually in a tea kettle) and I actually prefer it to using the microwave. Not sure why – maybe because it’s hard to get the right temp from microwaved water?
  • Heating leftovers. I prefer my food room temperature, so I usually just take leftovers out of the fridge 15 minutes or so before I want to eat, and then dig in.

Appliances I Love Way More Than A Microwave (Part 4)

  • My rice cooker (present from my in-laws). Best present ever! (Smaller than a microwave.)
  • French press coffee maker. (Smaller than a microwave.)
  • Tea kettle. (Smaller than a microwave.)
  • Burr grinder (for coffee). (Smaller than a microwave.)

Do you have any additions to my lists? Do you have a microwave? Could you go without? What cooking appliances do you use the most?