Kill Your Microwave — How and Why I Got Rid of Mine

iStock 000003055108 SmallAdmission: I really wanted to call this post Kill Your Microwave … Before It Kills You!

But I didn’t. Because that’s not why I killed my microwave. I don’t think microwaves are dangerous, nor do really believe that microwaving your food necessarily destroys the nutrition therein.

Living without a microwave is weird, yes. Inconvenient, sure. But somehow, I love it.

Think microwave-freedom might be for you? Here’s everything you need to know.

Why Give Up the Convenience?

For thirty years, I never lived in a home without a microwave.

Like just about every kid who grew up in the 80’s, I have fond memories of Hot Pockets, TV dinners, Toaster Strudels, and personal pizzas coming out of that magic (if constantly dirty) black box after a minute and thirty seconds or so. Even the two fires I started in the microwave (one when I forgot to add water to my Top Ramen, the other when my sister and I tried to reheat a bagel the first time we stayed home alone, and had to evacuate to the neighbor’s house) make for good stories.

I’m not on an anti-microwave crusade. If it’s unhealthy, that remains to be seen — emissions may or may not be any worse than what our cell phones and laptops throw off, and even the “common knowledge” that microwaves destroy more enzymes and nutrients than other cooking methods has been largely refuted.

So why get rid of it?

In my case, a few reasons:

  • Just like an artist often does better work by limiting herself to only a few tools, without a microwave I make far better food choices.
  • Lots of foods reheat better by other means, and don’t get rubbery five minutes after reheating.
  • I have been on a bit of clutter-reducing crusade, and I like our kitchen counter better without the big, unsightly, always-dirty box.
  • Embracing other mild inconveniences — like not having a smartphone, eliminating paper towels, hand-grinding coffee, and running without GPS or a watch — has often made me happier, even if only as a periodic exercise for a few weeks or months.

How We Ditched the ‘Wave

Just as I used to think, “I’d really like to be vegan, but I could never make it work,” I figured microwave-free living would be impossible, or at least unbearable. That is, until I stayed with Doug a few years ago for a DC Vegfest and saw that he and his fiance made it work, as if it was no big deal at all — exactly the way I had begun to feel about being vegan.

But how to actually cut loose? Should wean ourselves off of the microwave and its glorious convenience? Or just make the leap, and rip off the bandage?

Getting rid of our microwave was actually very easy. We employed a little trick that I borrowed from my minimalist friends, who use a “Maybe” Box to store items they’d like to live without, but that they’re scared to let go of completely: put the stuff you’re not sure about in a box, seal it shut and write the date on it. If you decide you really want something you stuck in there, you can always go get it. If three or six months pass and the item never crosses your mind, get rid of it.

So that’s what we did: put the microwave in the basement.

There were a few times (popcorn) that we wanted to use it. But to lug it up stairs seemed a lot of effort, so we never did. (I think once when my dad was visiting, he actually plugged it in down there and used it.)

A few months later, someone needed a microwave, so we gave it away, and we haven’t wanted one since.

Not unlike finally deciding to give up cheese to go from vegetarian to vegan, living without a microwave seems a lot harder until you just go ahead and do it.

How to Reheat Food without a Microwave

The only food we ever “cooked” in the microwave, before we got rid of it, was popcorn. Everything else was simply reheated in the microwave, but we do rely a lot on leftovers, so adapting posed a challenge.

There are plenty of helpful, detailed articles on the web about cooking without a microwave, but my approach has been very simple. There are three ways I reheat food now, depending on what kind of food it is:

1. Toaster or full-size oven (convection mode, usually) — for “solid” foods that hold their shape, like lasagna, homemade pizza, and casseroles. No special instructions — just heat for five to 15 minutes, usually around 350-400 degrees F.

2. Steaming — for foods that spread out too much to put in the oven, but are more sticky than saucy (most stir-frys, some pasta dishes, rice and beans, quinoa or rice pilaf). We have a steamer that sits inside a medium-sized pot on the stove, and five minutes of steaming is usually enough to reheat leftovers. Saucy foods don’t work because the sauce drips through the holes in the steamer, but foods like tempeh or tofu stir-fry, or even a pile of broccoli or other chopped vegetables, steam very well.

3. Simmering — for liquidy, saucy dishes (most lentil dishes, chana masala, pasta with thin sauce), stews, and soups. Often I add a little water to the pan to avoid burning and sticking. After two or three minutes of bubbling over medium heat (stir frequently to avoid sticking), most foods are ready to eat. It’s easy to overcook leftover pasta this way, so I try to get it off the heat as soon as it’s warm enough to eat.

As for popcorn, the special case: the 80’s child in me wishes I’d say Jiffy Pop stovetop, but alas. If I owned an air-popper I’d use that, but it’s too much of a uni-tasker for my taste. So for the once every month or two that we make popcorn at home, gently heating a quarter cup of kernels in a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pot with a lid makes popcorn that’s just as good as any in a bag. And without steam burns!

Give it a Try

If you’re intrigued, I say go for it. Stick the microwave in the garage, the basement, or your car — it’s just inconvenient enough to move a microwave (or cook your food out in your garage) that this will nicely do the job of the Maybe box.

If your microwave is mounted in your kitchen and thus unmovable, try committing to a 10-day or 30-day challenge: they avoid the “I’ll never be able to eat/cook/reheat/enjoy [whatever you’re getting rid of] again” problem, in the same way the Maybe box does. Go 10 days without using it, and if you like it, commit to 30.

Do either of these trials, and you’ll quickly discover if living without a microwave is for you. If it’s not, no shame in going back — but even if that’s the result, I believe that self-experiments like this make you better, for what you learn by trying.

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Comments

  1. Actually, there was a report that came out last month that said microwaving, done right (that’s the magic phrase), is actually much better than the methods you listed above. I can’t find the article or I would have provided a link.

    “Done right” means using water as a humidifier during the heating process. The problem with ovens is that it dries out the food, hence decreasing nutritional content. Although, your steaming suggestion above would void that theory.

    Honestly, I think dumping the TV is a much better thing to do than dumping the microwave!

    • Carolyn in NC says:

      I agree. Ditching the TV is probably a healthier option than ditching the microwave. I would be the one like your dad, sneaking downstairs in the basement to use the thing. This is probably b/c I do ALL of the cooking for a family of 4 adults who are trying to eat healthy and we don’t get out to eat often. But to reduct the workload on the cook, sometimes I cook ALOT of one dish and then we reheat leftovers when needed (sometimes one serving at a time) when it’s convenient for each person to eat. I’m not judging, just saying that it wouldn’t work for this “head of the kitchen”.

      • heatherjade says:

        why not have a pot and pan just for reheating meals and the one using it has to wash it each time right away before eating the food? just an idea, it has worked for me before. I also grew up afraid of microwaves because my mom told me not to stand near it when it was on, that it would hurt me. I thought it might blow up… then I started microwaving crystals and cd’s. amethyst turns clear when microwaved ; )

  2. My family is now sort of accidentally living without a microwave – ours busted and we’ve been too cheap to replace it. I found the first week or two to be the hardest – not because we reheat or cook things in it regularly, but because I wanted to defrost things from the freezer quickly (containers of cooked beans, half-used jars of pasta sauce, or frozen veggies like peas and corn). But it’s been a few months now and I never think about the microwave being missing. I just do five more seconds of planning ahead in the morning: take the frozen thing out of the freezer and place it on a towel on the counter, and it’s thawed by dinnertime!

  3. What about health benefits of ditching the microwave?

    • Maybe … I just haven’t seen really convincing science that the microwave destroys more nutrients than other common cooking methods, or that the radiation is more dangerous than other common devices we use. But like I said, I think not using the microwave helps me to make better, less lazy food choices, and I consider that a health benefit.

      • heatherjade says:

        “Microwaving is, technically, a form of food irradiation” I don’t want irradiated food. irradiated almonds don’t sprout like raw ones do… this tells me a lot about the health of my food. Of course the information is all conflicting, I read pages for and against microwaves, studies that supported both sides, we have to decide what works for us I guess. I cook a lot of my food (not in the microwave) but try to eat some raw food too, ideally most of our foods should be raw or at least cooked lightly. I sprouted some garbanzo beans recently, amazing flavor raw or lightly cooked.

  4. We’ve been microwave free since May. I set a sweet potato on fire in it. That led to finding out that our kitchen was wired wrong. Once that was all fixed it was 3 months later and we hadn’t missed the microwave at all.

  5. Because of the size of my kitchen and placement of electric outlets, I seldom use my microwave. Actually, the one in the kitchen belongs to my youngest. It was a gift when he left for college. We reheat food in the oven or on the stovetop. I seldom by microwaveable foods.

  6. I got rid of my refrigerator. Since I mainly only eat fresh fruits and vegetables, all I needed was a 1.5 cu. ft. refrigerator. My utility company even paid me $50 to take my old full-size refrigerator away. I have a big freezer that I still keep in the garage, but it has been unplugged for over 10 years. I now use it as a storage cabinet.

  7. I love this because since moving out of my parents house in 1988 (!!) I have never had a microwave. First I couldn’t afford one. Then my apartment kitchen was too small for one. When I finally bought a house and they took the microwave with them I decided I never needed one so why waste money just to fill an empty space. People think I am weird that I do not have one but I have survived just fine. Plus I love it when my children come home from their friends house thinking its a marvel that they had microwave popcorn!

  8. funny timing. Mine broke two weeks ago and received the replacement parts for it, but have no desire to fix it. I love going without it! Nice article.

  9. I did this unintentionally… i just moved into a new apartment about a week and a half ago and didn’t notice when I signed the lease that it doesn’t have a microwave. I had been thinking about ditching mine anyway, so it was like the universe telling me it was time!

    It’s only a pain for melting things like coconut oil or chocolate for baking, but I do that so rarely that just using a little sauce pot on the stove is hardly bother. I also used to cook sweet potatoes in there, but they’re much tastier after an hour in the oven – and it makes my place smell SO good!

  10. This goes against de-cluttering, but I highly recommend a Whirley-Pop for stove-top popcorn making http://www.amazon.com/Wabash-Valley-Farms-25008-Whirley-Pop/dp/B00004SU35

    They are excellent at popping large quantities of popcorn. I wouldn’t make popcorn any other way.

  11. We have ditched ours probably a year ago – and I never found it hard afterwards. It takes only 5 min on the pan to warm up the food, and when I cook, I always cook from scratch and not frozen food. My husband works in food industry as an engineer for food conveyors and we just can’t buy frozen or processed food after all that he has seen in the plants. But for microwave, I disposed of it after I read that initially USSR banned them completely in 70s because soviet doctors proved that they were “hazardous for soviet people”. In 90s microwaves were reintroduced when USSR ceased to exist. (Russians in general are advanced in food and medical industry. They were the first to ban GMO etc)

  12. Thanks for the post Matt. I think I have read something on this line before from you and decided then and there to not use the microwave. We just had our kitchen redone and had to put one in for resale value, but I don’t even find it a problem not using it. I agree that it gets you to make better food choices.

  13. bobby capar says:

    couldn’t agree more, been without for years after being raised almost exclusively on microwave food.
    food all tastes better when cooked in a not microwave.

  14. Cathy Watts says:

    Great post Matt. Our built in microwave kept fusing the lights in the house about 3 months ago, haven’t got round to fixing it yet and trying to convince partner that we can do without as we never cook with it, just defrost occasional foods and pop corn. I’ve got more organized in getting foods out of the freezer in the morning and have just stocked up on pop corn kernals to keep the kids and us happy when we have a film night. Going to try the pop corn with coconut oil as use this in other meals, sounds fab.

  15. I enjoy your website and enjoyed the article about the microwave. I am 53 and soon 54 on March 11. I have dieted all my life. My son lives with me (I’m divorced) and he too is over weight, much more so than I am but the point is we both need help. My problem is the expense and time in preparing your own means. We have been doing low carb for the longest but it has gotten to the point that we do not lose and now only gain weight from it. My son has never liked veggies unless they were smothered with cheese! He has always been a potato and meat person and lots of dairy too. He is 24. I prepare the meals now. How can I do this, go vegan or vegetarian and fix things that he will eat? We need help. Of course, we also need to begin exercising but what is the point of exercising if we don’t change our eating habits. Help!

    • Well, I’m glad you found No Meat Athlete then. :) Check out the recipes page, perhaps. Also, on the Start Here page there’s a link to a page about how to transition to a plant-based diet.

      Best of luck! There’s lots of support around, and we’re launching a community site very soon where you’ll be able to get much more.

  16. We stopped using our microwave when we got a new tv that came with a digital antenna… whenever we ran the microwave, it messed up the TV signal. Something just seemed creepy about that. We steam a lot more things now, and use the double boiler to thaw out things like frozen rice. Luckily, I have an air-popper for popcorn. :)

    Thanks for the shout out!

  17. Two words…. air popper!! Way better than any popcorn that comes out of your microwave.

    I will never give up my microwave though… I make sure to stand in front of it at least once per day in order to ensure my ovaries never work in the way they were intended!

  18. I lived without a microwave for a year when I first got out of college (my apartment didn’t have one, and I couldn’t convince myself the purchase was worth it) and got along just fine. But I have to say that since moving into an apartment with a built-in microwave, eating healthier has gotten easier – I’m more likely to eat good leftovers I have socked away in the freezer than to be lazy and eat out (or ramen noodles, heaven forbid).

  19. Many years ago my husband bought his first place (not too long out of college) and he never wanted a microwave because he wanted to be forced to actually cook. Not that he made the most healthful of choices but he never succumb to a microwave and simply used the oven, stovetop or toaster oven to reheat food. Along came me, the 80’s child whose mother cooked everything she could in the Moven. Seriously, everything that could be done in it, was! Twas a hard adjustment for me but I am total convert now! Of course, we’ve gained many other appliances in its place for the sake of having 7 children…come on, somethings got to give! When 7 kids want popcorn I’m pulling out the airpopper and not a pot!

  20. What’s with all this thawing frozen food or reheating leftovers? Does everyone really do this? Same thing with popcorn. Does everyone really have popcorn that often?

    • Hmm, I’m not sure about your living situation, but maybe it’s a family thing? I didn’t do a lot of leftovers until I got married and had kids — ever since then we always deliberately make enough to get a leftover meal out of it the next day. Same with frozen food; if we’re making soup we’ll make a triple batch so that we can freeze it and thaw in a pinch. Which isn’t hard without a microwave, I just sit it a big bowl of hot water for a while and then slowly heat it in a pot.

    • I can’t speak for “everyone”, but as a full-time graduate student, there are long stretches where I simply don’t have the time to cook up something fresh every day. I much prefer the option of simply microwaving homemade chili or some other healthy meal over attempting to subsist on convenience foods.

  21. My microwave just kicked the bucket two days ago! My first reaction was to go out and get a new one since it’s been a kitchen staple since I was a kid, but when I took it off the counter and cleaned the area it had been in I instantly got so excited that it was gone!! I’m really embracing minimalism at this point in my life and the only time I ever used the microwave was to melt chocolate for baking or heat up a frozen preservative full convenience food. Both of these things I do very rarely…so now I’m glad it’s gone!

  22. Another thing I like about the microwave… I do a lot of batch cooking and to reheat the food in the bowl that I am going to eat from cuts down on dishes!

  23. I recently moved in a tiny apartment with no microwave. My Vitamix and Keurig take up prime real estate on the counter, leaving little room for another large appliance. I’ve found that I plan and cook meals more deliberately without a microwave, when before I would often go to the grocery store and end up buying convenience foods (frozen Amy’s meals, etc.) when was feeling lazy or didn’t plan anything in advance. Leftovers also take a little more creativity to throw together now, but I’m enjoying the new routine and new skills I’ve picked up with a little more practice in the kitchen. I think I may be a convert… (although I still enjoy my guilty pleasure Amy’s meals at the office or when I visit my family – Also from Bel Air! ).

  24. I have lived 8 or so years now without a TV or a microwave. I could not recommend it more highly. I absolutely do not miss either. I have read about the nutrition-sucking power of the microwave, and I know the brain-sucking power of the TV. It is worth it. So many other things to do than eat crappy food and watch other people living their lives.

  25. My wife and I put ours in the loft on a trial basis to create more space in our small kitchen, it is still up there eight month later and it is not missed, along with the toaster.

  26. heatherjade says:

    I don’t even know how I would use a microwave to cook the food I eat… I eat … food… I really cannot think of a way to incorporate the microwave here. What do you microwave if you don’t eat packaged frozen junk? I only ever really used it to make hot pickets and ramen noodles in the past, or other such things… I’m not gonna put carrots or fish in there… it would taste horrible. one of the benefits of eating real food is the taste! there’s a microwave here in this house I live in, it’s not mine and it lives by the washer and dryer all alone.

  27. heatherjade says:

    I know this is a no meat group and I mentioned fish. I do eat fish, eggs, and yogurt/fermented dairy at this point in life, these are my “convenience foods” I guess, still growing and learning what I think is really healthy and not, learning to live with others who eat differently. I still won’t use a microwave though ; ) I enjoy this page/group for the varying perspectives and experiences on an active vegan lifestyle. I am trying to get back to the level of fitness that I enjoyed a few years ago on a horrible diet of gross “food”, real food is just so yummy that I end up over eating ; ) getting better though, running is helping.

  28. Matt, your closing line sums up the remarkable quality that you bring to your blog: you are always willing to try things, make an assessment, and then a choice. You exemplify an excellent problem solving/inquiry life skill. Keep that in the forefront of all your topics because you do it so well! Thank you.

    • Ditto to Deborah. This is also one of the things I really love about this website. Opens up a discussion without being overbearing or accusatory. Thanks, Matt!

  29. I moved into to a small apartment temporarily and it came with a microwave that didn’t work. It was too much of a hassle to tell the landlord so I just didn’t use one. I found I really didn’t need one either.

  30. I am thrilled to read you have also given up the microwave – it makes me feel a lot more ‘normal’. I never wanted one when I moved into my house because (ignoring all the arguments about whether the cooking style is healthier or not) I think the choices you make when cooking are better when you have to cook from scratch.

    Of course I’m talking from my own experience and people with better willpower than me will have different experiences, however because I have access to a microwave at work I tend to buy processed ready-meals that can be heated in a few minutes for my lunch, when I’m tired/lazy/uninspired. I used to eat processed ready-meals for most meals when I lived in the UK, so when I moved back to Australia and had better access to fresh fruit and vegetables I decided not to buy a microwave, so I was FORCED to make my dinners from scratch instead of buying something processed and heating it.

    This change has in turn, rolled into my partner and I eating far more whole foods than we used to, because even now if I had a microwave at home, I’m sure I’d take the easy option more and more often, so I am a healthier eater without it.

  31. I stopped using a microwave for the same reasons and like not having one for the same reasons. In fact, I almost thought I had written this blog. It was freaking me out ;)

    I also don’t even reheat food in most cases. I don’t like really hot food anyway, so I just let any leftovers sit out for about 10 minutes til it gets to room temperature and eat it then. Or sometimes I straight up eat it cold. Saves electricity!

  32. I’ve been comtemplating just this in our small kitchen. AND, the part of the kitchen that I hate to clean most is the microwave so it bugs me everytime I open it…so, yes, it is dirty much more than would like to admit. Thanks for the nudge!!

  33. I am shocked this is even an issue. I have not used a microwave in countless years. That is with being married and having seven children. I just forget what others do. It really is not hard. The tougher thing that is healthier is stop eating out and stopping eating any premade foods. Only eat what you make. It is much easier than you think. The TV comments seem a little strong. TV can have it’s uses. Just use self control and don’t watch it all the time. We have one but only use it from time to time. The biggest lesson through all this health discussions is teach yourself some self control. Stop the lazyness. Learn to enjoy work. Stop trying to relax so much.

  34. This comes at a pretty good time – I’ve been resisting reheating my frozen leftover meals in the microwave forever (which I have at least once a day) and though I was initially motivated to reduce my microwave use after reading about some associated health concerns, I’m now loving reheating my leftovers on the stove top – they are tasting better somehow, I have more choice in what extras I want to throw in to ‘tart’ it up (extra spices, cooked grains, beans, perhaps stir through some spinach or kale), and just the whole process of nurturing a pot of food makes me feel more ‘connected’ to it and anticipate it…sounds weird I know, but it’s true!

  35. When I moved from an apartment with an included microwave to one without a few months ago, replacing it wasn’t a top priority, and I’ve found I’ve actually been much happier without one. I reheat most leftovers in a saucepan or occasionally the oven. The one thing I thought I’d miss was reheating coffee in the morning (sacrilege, I know) but it’s nearly the same amount of time on the stove and I don’t have to worry about transferring it from a microwave safe container to my travel mug. I no longer am tempted by frozen meals or other less healthy options that are easy to nuke, and I like feeling more “homemaker-y”. The only caveat is that I would NEVER be able to cope if I had an electric stove instead of gas, since it takes ages to heat up.

  36. My husband and I left ours behind when we moved because we thought the new house came with a “science oven.” Turns out it didn’t. We went a few weeks without [our toaster oven really helped with the transition.] and the only time either of us missed it was to reheat coffee or tea [which we could easily do on the stovetop in a pan.] My husband even bought a new microwave, but returned it the next day because we realized we didn’t _need_ it. Now he seems kinda proud that we don’t have one!

  37. I’d always advocate cooking from scratch whenever you can, but a microwave can certainly be a useful tool around the kitchen for reheating or partly cooking things like potatoes and then finishing them off in the oven. I’ve had periods with and without a microwave and on balance, for me, I slightly prefer having one. Like anything, used correctly it can be a useful tool or it can be a useless gadget that takes up space and leads you down the path of unhealthy eating. Leading a healthy life and maximising ones wellbeing is all about being mindful and making the right choices.

    Enjoying your web site and like your book, which I received recently as a birthday present. I’d like to see a few more posts about fitness/training, if possible.

  38. I hadn’t thought of steaming, Matt! What a great idea. I just tried it with my stir-fry leftovers lunch and it worked great.

  39. I moved into a new apartment that had this great breakfast nook. My parents came to visit and made sure that I had a brand new microwave…that completely obliterated any surplus space. (Maximizing the available space in a studio is a must!) I re-gifted it to them the following year when theirs died. Besides, it is more time intensive to heat food up in the microwave and then go back because there is steam coming from it but the center is ice cold.

  40. Great article! I haven’t used a microwave for a few years now and never even think about it. I know they’re not unhealthy, as you said, as they just vibrate the water molecules in the food, but I like to give my food a little TLC. The stove makes me feel more like I’m “cooking,” which is one of my favourite activities -so I don’t mind one bit.

    The only thing I really miss using it for is warming up my heated neck wrap in the winter :)

  41. Simplifying my life – involves making every meal more valuable in the nutritional and gastronomic sense. I must question if the meal I may microwave would satisfy that new philosophy. I harvested a beetroot from my garden for lunch today. We had it raw in thin slices, with other salad ingredients and it was satisfying and sensational. My microwave is in storage, so I have to think more fresh foods, than heated convenience.

  42. Sorry, but I’m just not sold on this one. Without some scientifically based health reason, I can’t see myself giving up the microwave…it might be the single most important tool in my keeping a (relatively) healthy veg diet! I can’t be your only reader who works long hours outside the home, and therefore the microwave is a saving grace — and used in almost every weekday meal. The office microwave allows for a quick zap of a hearty veg lunch, which makes it easier to decline the endless slew of snacks. And when I return home 12+ hours later, the number of minutes it takes for dinner to be served is inversely correlated with the likelihood of ordering in. This doesn’t mean kashi Mayan harvest at every meal :) I’m still eating whole foods and cooking from scratch…just from one Sunday afternoon of cook and prep.

    • I totally agree with LP…. it’s a lifesaver. What is the point of batch cooking on the weekend if you are not going to nuke the leftovers. And yes, they can go in a pot on the stove but then you have to clean the pot, and when you’re tired and have been out of the house for 12+hours, who wants to do that?

  43. ymjessop says:

    Our microwave quit heating food about 6 years ago. I didn’t want to spend the money to repair or replace it. It is an over the counter and makes for a great place to store treats. I have found my family dies eat much healthier since not having a microwave. And food tastes so much better when you actually take the time to prepare it. I vote for the healthy life not the ready on.

  44. ymjessop says:

    Our microwave quit heating food about 6 years ago. I didn’t want to spend the money to repair or replace it. It is an over the counter and makes for a great place to store treats. I have found my family dies eat much healthier since not having a microwave. And food tastes so much better when you actually take the time to prepare it. I vote for the healthy life not the easy one

  45. Funny, reading this article made me think when I was in college. Nobody brought a microwave to school since all my dormmates thought another person would bring one. It was a huge pain but looking back there was a lot more cook a dish, then reheat for the week.

    Looking at my microwave today I very much want to give it up. It doesn’t even sit in the kitchen. I mostly use it to reheat my husband’s dinner when he gets home late, which half the time he eats it cold (or complains it’s too hot when I pop it in the microwave) Sometimes reading these articles make you realize the things you don’t use. I’m definetly going to talk to my husband about packing away the microwave for a little bit.

  46. Debbie P. says:

    I work full-time and bring all my food to work as I’m vegan and there aren’t such options here in the cafeteria. Due to working and making the bulk of my food, how do you recommend heating up muffins, chickpea omelets (from Oh She Glows) or any other item that I keep in the freezer because I batch cook them and reheat in microwave? I’m in a huge Fortune-500 company in a cubicle farm and the ONLY things we have are a refrigerator and 2 microwaves. One thought I had was to “nuke” a cup of water to boiling and then use it to somehow submerge an item to heat it up? Or any other recommendations? Or, I may just use the microwave at work and vow to not use it at home where I have an oven, stovetop and toaster oven, lol.

  47. My husband and I moved into a new apartment last summer only to discover that it had no microwave, and since our old place had a built-in one above the stove, we were microwave-less for the first time in either of our lives. We talked about buying a new one or unearthing a college-era one from my mom’s basement, but decided to try living without one. And we don’t miss it for a second. Life: changed.

  48. My parents don’t believe in microwaves (not for any particular reason – they just think they’re pointless) so I’ve grown up without one. Even now I don’t own one as I’m so used to reheating things in a saucepan or in the oven. As I’ve never owned a microwave I can’t say for certain that it makes me eat more healthily than I would otherwise, but it probably does encourage me to make my meals from scratch rather than relying on ready meals.

  49. Here’s my take on the microwave in my home – I updated all kitchen appliances a few years back for energy efficient ones, etc. I plan to keep it for now if I end up moving in the next couple of years. SO, I don’t use it currently for cooking or reheating food but I do use it to routinely disinfect kitchen sponges. One minute reportedly zaps/kills possible bacteria so you can use a kitchen sponge more than once & reduce waste.

    Just some (household) food for thought on one use for your microwave! I agree about not using it for food items, though.

  50. mangobingo says:

    Just want to say how impressed I am that the comment thread hasn’t devolved into a “microwaves are bad for you!!!” thing, given the mountains of utter pseudo-scientific nonsense on the internet.

    Anyway, I never really bothered with a microwave for years, until I recently moved into a temporary place with a microwave and no oven. I had just been through a long phase of cooking proper meals from scratch every night, with the whole thing (from chopping to washing up) being very satisfying but taking ALL EVENING. Switching to making a quick stovetop sauce while microwaving some greens and a potato/sweet potato has been kind of life-changing. I probably won’t have a microwave once I’m home again, but it’s been a nice experience.

  51. Some people might think this is strange but I didn’t grow up with a microwave so have never regularly used one (am 35 years old). I think my parents never purchased one because they didn’t see the point (and didn’t have a lot of disposable cash anyway) and my mother never purchased ready made meals, always made from scratch. Popcorn was popped on the stove top and Mom was always prepared for dinners so took things out the freezer to thaw the night before/morning of. Leftovers are heated in the oven or on the stovetop. If you don’t have one you just find other ways to do things.

  52. John Harris says:

    I just moved in into a new appartement and I just didn’t buy the microwave from the beginn with. I’m also not a Microwave foe it’s just that I prefer to eat living food then dead food(death through microwave).

  53. Jens Butch says:

    Killing them softly
    I could connect to your article because I grew up with the Microwave to.
    Since many years I try to convince my custumers why they should stop using it.
    In your text i found some new arguments like “I have been on a bit of clutter-reducing crusade, and I like our kitchen counter better without the big, unsightly, always-dirty box.”

    Thank you for this one

  54. Garry Lee says:

    I actually cook stuff in the microwave. I steam cauliflower and sprouts in it and they are nicer than anything from a steamer.
    I’ve always thought that microwaves were brilliant.

  55. I love the article! I’ve been living without microwave for over two years. There were only few times when I really wished I had one. I usually reheat the food in the oven. It definitely takes a bit more time but it’s so much healthier. I was actually considering of buying one but after reading your article I’ll I’m sure I don’t need a microwave. I guess you saved me some money. Thank you! :-)

  56. I think what drives me crazy about things like this, isn’t so much the original blog; you were balanced in your assessment no, it’s the holier than thou’s who come out trying to out-holy each other with the whys and what’s that they’ve given up. It starts with, “Wow! I gave mine up when it broke last month!” And pretty soon it’s “Oh yeah well I only eat raw vegan flowers lulled to sleep with the songs of hummingbirds and I live under a tree and recycle my own urine into drinking water!”

    Live, let live. Microwave or don’t. I cook from scratch, even eat clean and mill my own grain but I still use a microwave which probably means I’m going to hell. Or it might mean I save energy on short jobs that are more easily controlled by using short range microwaves to excite electrons, so that items with a higher water content will heat faster thus requiring less time to warm or bring to a boil. I don’t have a stove but rather a small convection oven and a two burner induction stovetop so for two of us to cook a meal or for me to can we use the micro to do things like warm up water, make the simple syrup, etc.

    Nothing wrong with using a microwave or choosing not to, but don’t just jump on a bandwagon out of fear (it is NOT irradiating our food). Do it because it’s the right choice for you, and if you choose not to don’t feel guilty.

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