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Jan 24, 2010 08:19 PM

Reheating w/o a microwave

So my microwave bites the dust the week before I return to school. Though there is some money in budget for a new nuker, I'd like to use the money for other purposes and postpone replacing it. IIRC, I lived in a house w/o a microwave and my housemates used a double boiler to reheat food, I seem to remember as a kid putting food on an oven proof plate, covering it with tin foil and letting it get warm in the oven. Of course soup and stews can be done stove top, but I was wondering what other microwaveless households do. Thanks

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  1. I didn't have a microwave until recently, and I always reheated stuff in the oven. Like you said, use an ovenproof dish and cover with tin foil. Use a moderate heat.

    1. I have lived without a microwave for most of the past decade. How I reheat something depends on what it is: lots of things, I will reheat in a bowl set in a bamboo steamer if I want them to be moist, in the toaster oven in foil if I want them to be crispy or less moist, or on the stove in a pot if they are of the right consistency (stew-like). I think I once saw a recommendation to reheat pizza in a fry pan to make the crust crisp up.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lotuseedpaste

        I agree. I chose against having a microwave a while ago and now re heat according to food type. I think that the end product is so much better.

        1. re: fmcoxe6188

          Thirded. I haven't had a microwave since 2003 and don't miss it one iota. Most people find this incomprehensible: when I tell them, they lament, "Oh, I just knew someone who threw out a microwave! Had I known..." and then fail to understand when I reassure them that it's okay: I could afford but don't want a microwave, and I'm happy having the extra counter space.

          It may take considerably longer to reheat food, but it tastes so much better. Pastas, stir fries, etc go in the cast iron or the wok and are reheated over high temp with a bit of oil and water and turn out with a great consistency. Most other things are warmed in the oven, either at a moderate temp if dense and thick, or on broil if thin. Either way, the end result is much nicer than the old nuker.

        2. re: lotuseedpaste

          One convenience I miss very much is the ability to re-heat steamed rice in the microwave. The usual alternatives (eg setting a bowl of rice in a bamboo steamer) work, but the results are just not as good, IMO. I use a ziplock bag in boiling water on occasion, too. But more and more, I just reheat my rice in the rice cooker using the "Keep Warm" function. It takes a long time, but it is better than steaming.

        3. do you have a toaster oven? We reheat a lot of things in there instead of the oven, just quicker & easier. I have a microwave, but I often reheat on stove top or in oven/toaster instead of zapping it.

          1. Our household is recently microwave-free. There are some things that are a bit of a challenge - like reheating steamed rice. The most effective method I have found so far is to portion some of the cold rice into a ziplock bag, seal it, then immerse it into hot water (from a kettle or heated in a pot). Take it out after a few minutes. It is sort of like a boil in a bag. You can probably use this method for other things.

            1. Answer depends on what you're reheating. I'm a big fan of stovetop reheating for leftovers. With something like rice and beans, a little water. tomato, or vegtetable stock can work wonders. I like to use vegetable or chicken stock in reheating many leftover dishes, including polenta. Just pour some stock in the pan, use a potato masher to break up the polenta. I also use stock when reheating leftover rice.