Kitchen Tips & Ideas

Life without a Microwave

A few weeks ago, we started  noticing that our microwave wasn’t working very well. At first I thought it might have been operator error, because we had a lot on our minds and possibly not thinking clearly, and maybe we weren’t programming it right. But it seemed like everything was starting to take twice as long as it should have taken.

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I kind of had a love/hate relationship with my microwave.  It  was used several times a day for a variety of foods and ingredients, and saved me a lot of time…which I loved! We basically used it to heat water for jello or a cup of tea, melt butter, reheat leftovers, bake potatoes, maybe heat up vegetables from a can, and make popcorn.  

I kind of had a love/hate relationship with my microwave.  It  was used several times a day for a variety of foods and ingredients, and saved me a lot of time…which I loved! We basically used it to heat water for jello or a cup of tea, melt butter, reheat leftovers, bake potatoes, maybe heat up vegetables from a can, and make popcorn.  

The last time I used it, I was baking microwaving potatoes. Ten minutes for two  large baking potatoes. Timed perfectly to be ready when the tenderloin was through roasting. While I was standing there watching the potatoes go around in circles inside the microwave, I was thinking “Am I bad for wanting this thing to die so I can have my counter space back? 

Apparently, Karma must have thought so, because it took three full 10 minute cycles before those potatoes were done and fork tender, ready for butter.

Death of a Microwave

The deceased microwave was a pretty shade of red and the medium size was perfect. It looked kind of nice sitting on the counter. But it took up too much space in my small kitchen. A new microwave is only a short trip away if we decide to get another one, but we are trying to be more selective about what goes on the counter. I have to tell you though, we are digging the extra counter space.

I actually remember life BEFORE microwaves, so I knew it was possible to live without that modern convenience. We have a couple of sauce pans that we can use to easily heat water for tea or jello making, or to reheat things like soup, stew and vegetables with a little water or broth on the stove top.

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Life Without a Microwave -

Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are now going to require some thought. They can actually be baked in a regular kitchen stove oven. Who would have thunk it? Or in my slow cooker, if I can remember to  get them started in the morning. Or in a electric pressure cooker, if I don’t. We also have a NuWave Oven, which lives on the counter. Which is why we didn’t really have enough space for the microwave. It works great for baked potatoes, too.

Funny thing is, we much prefer mashed potatoes. The baked potatoes were basically out of pure laziness. Yes, I said it….

NuWave Oven Reheating Leftovers

Other things like leftover casseroles heat beautifully in a pie pan, meats on a baking sheet and dinner rolls on the rack heat in a matter of minutes in the NuWave Oven. It might take a few minutes longer in a regular oven, but it works too. Hubby rarely used the microwave for reheating . He swore that foods actually tasted better reheated in either the oven or NuWave Oven.  

We also like to grill hotdogs in the Nuwave Oven for a quick lunch, with a little foil pan of leftover chili (or sauted  peppers and onions) to dress up the hotdogs, or baked beans  to serve on the side. We prefer the hotdogs grilled instead of boiled or microwaved.

The NuWave Oven isn’t just for reheating leftovers and grilling hotdogs. We frequently roast tenderloins, chicken, turkey breasts and vegetables in it.  Small casseroles bake well, as do small cakes, muffins and desserts on occasion. We cook coconut shrimp or fish sticks and fries for a quick and easy meal. It’s also kind of like an over-sized air fryer, which is pretty cool.

Popcorn spilling out of a white serving bowl.


We are trying to cut back on our snacking, or at least making healthier choices. (Hmmm, we had that discussion just before the microwave bit the dust…coincidence?) Popcorn has multiple health benefits; whole grains, fiber and antioxidants all in one. It’s the toppings that can turn it in to junk food; oil, salt, sugar and rich flavorings.  Just saying…as I get back on the subject with the demise of the microwave.

The big thing to re-learn was how to cook popcorn. Hubby did a fine job making a nice size bowl for snacking tonight. It’s going to take a couple of times though to get it perfect, but it was delicious! However, Santa may be slipping an electric Hot Air Popper under the tree. 

But the microwave? We are missing it less and less each day, and now I’m kind of thinking we  could do without one permanently.

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Could you live without a microwave?



30 thoughts on “Life without a Microwave

  1. I can barely remember not having a microwave. Although I’ve never used mine for cooking, either, it does a bang-up job on popcorn! At least mine is built in so it doesn’t interfere with my counter top area. It will be interesting if you decide to get one again!

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    1. My Hubby was in industrial construction, so we traveled for months at a time out of state to work, and we learned to be very dependent on a microwave. Now that we aren’t working, it seems to be easy enough doing without it. Popcorn and instant oatmeal was our big thing to relearn. 🙂

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  2. Thought provoking post. I use my microwave a lot like you do, er, did. It is the ultimate instant gratification appliance, I suppose. I built a shelf to get mine up off the counter. Heating liquids other than water, and melting things is where the MW still excels, imo. There’s never a scorched pan. I heat a lot of milk for mochas, and other liquids for bread making, etc., yet my double boiler is probably the most neglected piece of equipment in my kitchen. I also warm my cups of coffee in the MW during the day. I do opt for the hot water kettle, air fryer and pressure cooker more these days; all of which occupy counter space, ironically. I’ll stay tuned to see how things go for you. For now, enjoy that bit of reclaimed counter space!

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  3. Interesting! We have one on an open shelf below the counter. I thought it would bother me, but it’s actually easy to use. I do find them pretty ugly, but I use it all the time for leftovers. I literally would not know how to reheat something like pasta without it. I guess that’s pretty pathetic of me!

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  4. Our microwave was getting dangerously old, so we bought another one recently. This morning I made some cheese & zucchini muffins (low carb) and the recipe called for melted butter which I did on the stove top. We will use the microwave. My husband build a shelf to it is over the counter but we do use it. Popcorn: that is for a day when we haven’t exceeded the carbs.

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  5. My first microwave was from my mother when I had my second child. She thought it would be a time saver since I was a working mom. I now have it over the stove. It is mostly neglected but I don’t know that I would want to do without. My camper trailer even has one which is rarely used. I do like it for melting butter and chocolate. Good luck with you microwave-less adventure!

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  6. Sunshine’s sister has no microwave, and I’m jealous. Sunshine insisted on including one in our new house, so I made the stipulation that it had to live in a cabinet under the countertop because countertop space is important to me

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  7. I have lived without a microwave. It was not available at a price most could afford until I was married 20 years. LOL When it breaks I have to wait until I can save up for one so I just go back to old habits. I do cook with mine and use it more then just defrosting meat and heating water. The best thing about it is it doesn’t heat up the kitchen in the very hot summer. When you live in the tropics that is a big plus.


  8. I do remember living without a microwave when I was younger, but when my family got one, we used it all of the time and I can’t imagine being without this convenience. I love to make scrambled eggs in the microwave. I’ve heard that’s “sooo wrong!” –but they come out just the way I like them. 🙂

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  9. Getting caught up on my blog reading!! I could NOT live without my microwave because being disabled means I can’t work in the kitchen like I used to. I always loved to cook. Nowadays I’m forced to make quick crock pot or stove top meals, and freezer meals. Freezer meals that need to be cooked in the microwave… So, you’re not getting another microwave? 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand! We’ve been doing well without it so far, so I guess not. I am really enjoying the extra counter space. Fortunately Hubby and I don’t have bad days at the same time, so the better one of us fixes meals. Worst case scenario, we eat soup and sandwiches. LOL

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