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Oct 1, 2003 03:45 PM

What Do You Use Microwave For?

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A recent post about popcorn raised the issue. What do you use your microwave for? I go a little beyond the heating coffee and popcorn, but still pretty limited:
1. Defrosting Meat
2. Defrosting frozen pizza (then into toaster oven)
3. Defrosting frozen bagels -- again, just until cold, then into toaster oven.
4. Heating up soup
5. Melting Butter (this is a big plus -- but cover bowl with paper towel).
6. Steaming corn.

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  1. - Softening cream cheese for cheesecakes
    - Softening ice cream
    - Heating up side courses
    - Heating up stuffing for turkey before inserting it into the cavity -- a Cook's Magazine recommended approach for food safety related issues.

    I'm buying a larger microwave with carousel which will allow reheating dishes sized 9x14, so I could reheat a lasagna. My search for large is because the last microwave was such a dinky thing only a dinner plate could fit.


    1. Making oatmeal. Oats, milk, 1:20, breakfast.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kjhart

        Me, too. So much easier and faster than cooking it on the stove.

        1. re: Emily

          I agree. Without the microwave, I'd never eat oatmeal!

          1. re: AshelyC

            Me too.

            I use mine for melting/softening butter or boiling water for tea because it is faster than a tea kettle.

            Occasionally I reheat leftovers but I cant remember the last time that I cooked anything from raw in the microwave.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              I agree on the oatmeal. Use it at 50% power for me and about 6 minutes for steel cut oats. I also agree with Tripeler about cooking fresh ears of corn. It's super convenient and from what I've read it retains more of the nutrients too. Here's one I didn't see. More of an asian thing, but it's great for heating up the mochi. Years ago they used to use an oven but it was slow and hard to time, but it's done in less than a minute with a microwave. You can easily monitor through the door window. Ask just about any Japanese person and if they eat mochi, they use a microwave.

      2. s
        Stanley Stephan

        Well ... everything. It is especially good for reviving stale bread and baked goods.

        1. Exploding marshmallow peeps, birth control.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Malorcus

            Birth control? Did u ever see the movie Pirate Radio? She puts all her trophies in the microwave & it blows up.

          2. Nothing. I don't have one. While my wife would like to get one, I have so far held firm against it. I really don't see the point. As the replies here seem to indicate, you can't do any real cooking with them. Defrosting things rapidly in nuker seems to me like a bad idea. I've tried it, and the center stays frozen. Keep going and you will start cooking the outside while the center still stays frozen.

            You can reheat or stuff with them, but you can reheat things in a regular oven also, or on the stove, without making them all mushy the way microwaves do.

            I'm particularly amazed by people who say they reheat coffee in a microwave. Now what true chowhound drinks reheated coffee?

            Anyone else out there with me? Do you have domestic pressure to get one, and if so, how are you doing holding out?

            7 Replies
            1. re: bigskulls

              I've been microwave-less for about three years. I don't miss it. In fact, I eat better as a result.

              1. re: bigskulls

                I'm a holdout also. I had a roommate that had one so I had access for 6 months or so and I used it to reheat food. It was good because you didn't have to dirty a pan but when I moved out on my own I didn't really see any need.

                The only thing that a microwave can do that you can't do otherwise is defrost foods. But if you plan ahead you won't need it.

                1. re: bigskulls

                  I believe you when you say that you don't have a micro. All the arguments you use against it just prove you don't know how to use it. When used correctly you won't have the cited problems. You only run into those kind of situations on the type of micro that was put out years ago when you had little or no control over the power settings. Todays micro is a whole new machine.

                  1. re: ocdreamr

                    I agree. Specifically, my new microwave defrosts extremely evenly, a big improvement from my old one. Of course, I could just plan ahead, but like that will ever happen.

                  2. re: bigskulls

                    I don't have one at home, but do have one at the office, and feel that's exactly as it should be. We don't have a real kitchen at work, but I do have one at home, hence no need for a mw 'coz I can heat stuff on the stovetop or in the oven.

                    I would say it's worth getting one if you have a real freezer, for defrosting alone a mw can be very useful. Mine is the size of a shoebox, and I store mainly ice cream and good butter in it. So won't be getting a nuker anytime soon.

                    1. re: bigskulls

                      I agree, nothing! I do not use microwaves! Well actually at the office I use it to check my hair, its has a nice reflective door!

                      1. re: bigskulls

                        Actually, though we have had one for decades, I am with you. A pan of boiling water with a Pyrex dish, does better, with most items, and even my crisp bacon can be done with other pans and a range top, or a pan and my oven.