When people come to my house one thing they seem to always notice is that I don’t have a microwave. This always starts a list of questions about how I can possibly live without one and why I do.
The reason I don’t have a microwave now is space. While my kitchen is quite big there isn’t a lot of countertop space. As someone that loves to bake I’d rather have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer than a microwave. That is also the choice I made at our old house which had a tiny kitchen.
I will say I stopped using one but still had one when reading some safety concerns. Honestly after doing more research I don’t feel that’s really an issue, especially with newer microwaves. What I did find while not using it is, I don’t need it.
Food tastes better when it’s not microwaved and it’s not as hard as we think. It wasn’t that long ago that no one had microwaves. Somethings take a bit longer but not everything in life needs to be a rush. The movement to live more simply highlights our need to slow down.
I’ve been a bit surprised just how amazed people are when they learn I don’t have a microwave. There are always so many questions about how I make things. Some people think it’s great when they think about the space they could save. Most people seem to think I’m crazy. So how do I do it?
Living Without a Microwave Frequently Asked Questions
1 ) How do you make popcorn?
Microwave popcorn, even the more natural brands, often contain questionable ingredients. Many even have teflon lined bags, and teflon is linked to all kinds of health concerns. You can find safer options but microwave or not I prefer to make popcorn on the stove. It’s really quite easy and tastes so much better.
2 ) How do you thaw meat?
If I’m doing well with meal planning I thaw meat in the safest way, in the fridge. But let’s be real, I am not always good about planning ahead. Another safe way to thaw meat quickly is in a bowl of ice water, keep changing it so it stays cold and it will thaw quite quickly. I also now use my Instant Pot a lot with frozen chicken, it can cook it very fast and since it’s a pressure cooker it’s considered safe. You should never thaw meat on the counter or cook frozen chicken in a crockpot.
3) What about vegetables?
A lot of people cook vegetables in the microwave. It’s not something I did often even with a microwave so this hasn’t been a big change for me. For steaming or boiling vegetables I simply cook them on the stove. I have a steamer basket that is my favorite way to cook most vegetables. They come out so much better than microwaving them.
4) How do you reheat food?
I have a toaster/convection oven that works really well for reheating a lot of food. It prevents a lot of the soggy issues you can have with reheating in the microwave. Steaming is also good for somethings. I found the best way to reheat pastas is to add a bit more liquid and heat on the stove. Just save some extra sauce or if it’s cream based just add a bit of milk or cream.
5 ) What about boiling water?
I use a tea kettle to boil water for tea and such. It works great and really doesn’t take that long. There are electric kettle options but it’s hard to find one without plastic inside, I’ve only found one and there is still some plastic.
6 ) How do you reheat hot drinks?
I’m not slow when it comes to drinking my hot tea but I have forgotten I have made it before. Simply stick it in a pan on the stove, it will heat up in no time. Another great option and one I use a lot is put your hot drink in an insulated bottle to keep it hot for a long time.
7 ) How do you cook frozen dinners?
I rarely buy these sorts of things but almost all of them have oven instructions. My brother has made fun of these before and wondered who used them, well I do. Really they taste much better this way. And it’s still quicker than making a meal from scratch. But let’s be honest, we all need less packaged food in our lives anyway.
Do you think you could live without a microwave? Do you already? I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions, leave them in the comments below.