Life after the microwave

This past weekend my roommate of the last 3 years moved out. When he came in, he had a newer microwave than mine (which was from the mid 80s and couldn’t cook for shit anyway) and I eventually curbed mine. Now that he’s gone, there is no more microwave in my kitchen, and I’ve decided to keep it that way.

All was fine and dandy until I got ready to cook dinner tonight. Last night I made a box of rice-a-roni and stored the leftovers in the fridge in a ziplock tupperware. Normally I’d just reheat it in the microw…oops. Well, I took out a frying pan, threw some olive oil on there and dumped the remainder in there…10 minutes later and it tastes as good as new.

Have any other dopers had to convert FROM microwave cooking to the old fashioned type? Any tips or anecdotes to share?

Do the stouffers orange boxes come out any better in the oven, so should I keep them off my shopping list for now on?

Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.

I can’t speak for all Stouffer’s food, but I can tell you that the Macaroni & Cheese is divine out of the oven. It gets nice & crispy on top, which it never does in the microwave. It’s almost as good as homemade mac & cheese. Almost.

Why’d you decide to keep your kitchen microwave-less? They’re cheap and infinitely useful…My apartment’s microwave (which was from the 80s) finally gave out and I didn’t realize how much I used it until I didn’t have one. Warming up leftovers, cooking sides, defrosting, melting butter, heating water, you name it.

I didn’t have a microwave for a while. After burning the Jiffy-Pop one too many times I went out and bought one the next day.

I’m not sure how applicable this would be for you, but if you have a large steamer (bamboo or steel), you can also steam warm your meals. All you need is the steamer plus a ceramic or steel bowl that you can put in the steamer (above water level of course, don’t entirely submerge the bowl). If it’s rice or other side dishes that wouldn’t be improved with moisture, put a lid on the bowl. If it’s frozen bread or things that could used some moisture to improve the texture, steam with an open bowl.

This was the main method of heating up buns/leftovers/kids lunches in Asia before microwaves became big. Nowadays, you’ll still find plenty of grannies who’ll still use this method to heat up their food and it takes longer, but it definitely tastes better than microwave.

I have not tried it with Western food however, so YMMV. It might be worth a try however, if you already have a steamer.

I don’t have one 'cause I like to eat. If I was able to eat food faster, I’d eat more of it. Sounds odd, but it’s true and it actually works for me. If I have to wait for a half an hour for something to cook I eat less. If I had a microwave it’d be heated up and I’d eat it and make more. Now I think “I don’t want to wait another half hour” :slight_smile:

I quit using the microwave in April of 2007. I weighed 240 lbs at the time. I now weigh in at 180 lbs. Just throwing a frozen dinner in there was too convenient. I was always heating up something unhealthy and eating too much of it.

Now, because I refuse to use the microwave for anything other than softening butter, I actually have to spend time cooking. If I am going to spend time planning what I am going to cook and spend time cooking it, then it might as well be something healthy.

Our microwave died a year ago and we haven’t replaced it yet. The only thing we miss it for it popcorn.

I’d only miss mine for popcorn, and reheating stuff without using another pot. I can’t think of anything you do in the microwave that wouldn’t taste better if you did it on the stove or in the oven.

I’ve been functioning for about 5 months without a microwave. The only thing I have found that I can’t really do is Cup O Noodles. Not a big loss, most things (assuming you have enough time) can be done either in the oven or on top of the stove on a burner.

Still wish I had one, but I’m not totally dying without one and I don’t think I miss it that much.

Our microwaves tended to die quick in our apartment, so we learned to not bother.

Never really was a problem, though having a Foreman grill helps. Only time there was ever a real problem was when a 2 minute walk to the corner store on a rainy day for popcorn turned into an hourlong epic search for Jiffy Pop.

We have a new one now, and I’ve used it maybe four times.

I started a similar thread last year after moving to an apartment without a microwave.

One year later, I still don’t have one, and I don’t really miss it.

Funny, I’m the opposite. When I go to the trouble of making a meal on the range or in the oven, I want to eat as much as possible while it’s at its best. When I microwave food I tend to use smaller portions.

As I mentioned in the OP, the main reason I’m not replacing it is because I’m going to make an attempt to eat healthier. Something about frozen dinners screams “BAD FOR YOU”. Even those frozen Mac & Cheese which I looooove. Reason #2 is because there are lots of other things my apartment is now missing, and so there are other things on my shopping list that are higher. Reason #3…and I’m not sure how significant this one is, but my stove/oven’s gas supply is included in my rent. The electric bill is not. I wonder how much $ a month I’ll save without a microwave running for 10-15 minutes a day?

Our microwave died a couple of months ago. We’re going to replace it, but have to save up for it first (it’s an over-the-range kind, which are more expensive than the countertop variety. And we don’t have room for a countertop one.).

I miss it for reheating stuff, yes, but I especially miss it for softening butter. I do a lot of baking, and I’m not in the habit yet of getting butter out of the fridge in the morning in case I do some baking in the afternoon. I haven’t yet found a good way of softening (but not melting!) butter quickly without a microwave.

We are going through a lot more pots & pans, too, which is kind of annoying.

you want a great diet? just pretend you are gluten intolerant. once you realize you cant have 90% of processed foods cooking becomes kind of important if you dont want to die. I just make large portions and freeze single size portions for later.

Cookbooks tell you to smash it back and forth between, well, butter paddles if you have them or something else if you don’t. A stand mixer would be easy, spoons would be hard. What I do is, when I put the oven on to preheat I put the butter on a plate by one of the back burners where the heat vents come out if I wasn’t thinking ahead.

Lived without a microwave for several years

Making popcorn without a microwave is easy- and much cheaper and less chemical-y than microwave popcorn. Just heat up some oil. Throw a couple of kernels in. When they pop, throw in the rest of the popcorn. Give it a good shake or two now and then, and in a few minutes enjoy your popcorn. Nothing to it.

I simply store my leftovers in the pot I cooked them in. When it’s time to heat things up, just return the pot to the stove for a few (probably need to add some water.) Steaming also works quite well.

I hate to cook but microwaves don’t do ‘crispy’ well. Then I discovered the toaster oven! Fairly quick way of heating thing that need to be dry. Most things that need to be reheated quickly but not dry can be stuck in boiling water, which is almost as effort free.