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Feb 7, 2014 09:05 AM

Ditching the mircowave?

I recently replaced my fridge with a taller model and had to move the microwave to the counter - now occupying precious countertop in a small row-house kitchen - I rarely use it - right now it is storing bread extra bread flour.

Anybody ditch a the microwave and regret it - I am thinking I can live without pretty easily - don't remember the last time I used it to do anything but defrost soup and warm food for a fussy cold-sensitive Chihuahua

I think its a goner - anything I should reconsider.

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  1. If that's all you use it for, then go ahead. Why would you even consider keeping it? We use it to reheat leftovers all the time; I personally would not want to go without it.

    1. Put it in another room for a couple of days and see how many times you reach for it. If you don't miss it, store it or get rid of it.

      9 Replies
        1. re: iluvcookies

          If you apply this logic to everything in your home, you will end-up with a lot of free space. Then you will have no choice but to get rid of that space...

          1. re: JMPSR

            Say what? We're almost done with our kitchen reno. Don't make me sell the house now!

            1. re: DuffyH

              Hi, DuffyH,
              I was only alluding to the inescapable reality that I now predict you are about to experience. Your remodeled space will need new equipment, or at least, if you dont replace them, you will have to hide some of the contraptions that populated your kitchen surfaces. In this process you will eventually calm down and learn to live with the eyesore; eventually you will see a new microwave oven pop up in your environment. You have been warned.

              1. re: JMPSR


                Whew! I'm so glad I misunderstood. I thought you were alluding to physically eliminating the excess space, but I see you mean filling it. That's completely different, of course. :)

                We always thought we'd need a new microwave. Ours is the sole remaining white appliance in our kitchen. Sadly, since we painted our upper cabs white 2 weeks ago we learned that the micro is really yellow, not white at all.

                So our plan now is to buy a range hood, see if we can live without the nuker for a while, then if not, buy a mid-size countertop unit.

                On the plus side, our new GE profile induction range's oven is so heat-tight that it barely adds any heat to our kitchen. We may no longer need the Breville, whose sole purpose was to cut down on excess kitchen heat, and can stick the new micro in it's old place. Having a full size oven, a Breville oven AND a microwave seems like way too much conspicuous consumption to me.

                FWIW, the Breville did it's job admirably. Our old POS GE Spectra oven did a lovely job of warming the kitchen. Just the thing to inspire love for it during a Tampa summer, LOL.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Breville sells a fabulous microwave oven in Australia. This unit has advanced electronic controls (and brain) like no other unit in the world. It should eventually be available in America. We might have to be patient however.

                  1. re: JMPSR

                    So funny you should write that. Is this the one? SLT featured it in an email earlier this week.


                    1. re: DuffyH

                      Yes, this is the model I was referring to, with voltage reduced to 110V (this seems to be the only difference with the Australian model which is 220V).

          2. re: iluvcookies

            actually, JTP is already doing a version of this:
            To use the mw, s/he has to move the flour, put it somewhere, use the oven, (probably have to wait for heat and/or moisture to dissipate) then return the flour.

          3. I'm 26 and haven't used a microwave since I was 20.

            Getting rid of the microwave is the single best thing I can recommend to people for learning to cook. It prevents laziness and encourages use of the stove and oven--or, rather, mandates it.

            The few things that a microwave are better at than more "traditional" cooking methods are steaming certain seafoods in shell, warming milk/cream to scalding with little to no chance of scorching, and oil-less cooking. These are all things that can be accomplished using other devices that most people have handy anyways.

            Defrosting meat was a big one for me for a while, but careful planning (to allow time to defrost any frozen items) prevents any hiccups or you may purchase unfrozen meat and use it before needing to freeze it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Cynic2701

              I agree that it's definitely a great tool in learning how to cook and think through meals in a more long term way. I lived without one for much of my 20's, and at no point did I respond "I'm going to forgo some extra entertainment funds and counter space so that I can own one".

              However as someone who's single and tries to cook in large batches to portion out during the week - the microwave is an amazing tool to have around. But that being said, it's really more of a reflection of how you're cooking/eating. Within the past year I've gone from living without a microwave to having one - and I do notice that I've cut back on eating out during those "ultra lazy/tired/sick" nights when in the past I might have tempted by a convenient take away/delivery. Whether it's an emergency frozen item or a premade meal, there's no denying an increase of simplicity and clean up with the microwave.

              1. re: cresyd

                We use our micro almost every day to thaw bread, steam frozen veg, etc... and as you mentioned, it's great for those days when you just don't want to cook.

                We're finishing up our kitchen update and have just decided to change from a OTR micro/hood to a separate hood and a countertop micro unit. But we realized that we seldom need the humongous size of the OTR models, so we'll get a much smaller one. As long as it holds a dinner plate, that should do it.

            2. That's interesting. I moved into a new apartment in January, with a small kitchen, with no real functional space for a microwave. i thought I would figure out a place to put it eventually, but I haven't encountered a serious situation where I just had to use a microwave. For me it turns out, microwaves are convenient, and not really necessary if you're handy in the kitchen.

              6 Replies
              1. re: jasonpatrick

                I am quite "handy" in the kitchen and still I use a microwave. There is no relationship between how accomplished a cook is and using a microwave oven. Many of the best, high end restaurants use a microwave somewhere in the preparation or finishing of some food items. A microwave oven in 2014 is a great appliance to have in the kitchen if you have the room and you utilize the right way.

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  Understood. My personal experience is that I realized that since I'm short on space, a microwave turned out to not be a necessity for me. Maybe something will come up to make me rethink this. Just sharing my experience.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    concur with ttoommyy and want to add a "for instance"

                    it is always exceptionally convenient for me to cook lentils and other dried legumes in the microwave.

                    i put the legumes and water in a big pyrex casserole, cover it with it's glass lid, program the microwave and leave the house. (when making lentils there isn't even any need for soaking).

                    when i arrive home the legumes are perfectly cooked.
                    absolutely no need to stay at home.
                    an added bonus is that in the warm months the house doesn't get heated up.

                    it's a similar story for rice.

                    since 90% of the main dishes i cook are legume-based, the microwave is a terrific appliance for me.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Someone on CHOW posted a link a while back to cooking risotto in the MW. I never followed up and I can't find the link now.

                      1. re: law_doc89

                        I did this, sort of, in a holiday flat where microwave was the only cooking option. No pre-sauteeing was possible but a big dish of rice, chicken, peas, onions, mushrooms, peppers, and chicken stock did cook and become: not bad.

                      2. re: westsidegal

                        A microwave is also excellent for cooking couscous. I figured that out at the house of some friends without a couscoussière or anything good for steaming, who wanted to simply cook it like rice.

                        However I've never had one, as I have equipment to steam, and I really don't have room for it and my beloved countertop convection oven.

                  2. If I had to do it over, I would get one that is also a convection oven.