Do I Really Need a Microwave?

The microwave is one of those (semi) modern appliances that we tend to assume is a necessity — a fixture of the contemporary kitchen. However, those of us with tiny kitchens have started wondering: is this really something I should be devoting two square feet of my precious counter space to?

Honestly, probably not. Some of the most popular reasons people purchase microwaves is to defrost foods or heat up quick lunches. But, while they may be fast, microwaves really aren’t all that great at their job. Foods defrosted in the microwave often come out rubbery, soggy or dry, depending on what you’re making, and it’s next to impossible to get things to heat up at an even temperature.

But what about the convenience factor? Sure, microwaves can reheat leftovers in a pinch, but so can your stove or a toaster oven. Truly, people were getting along just fine without them before! Not convinced? Here’s how to replicate everything you do with a microwave elsewhere in the kitchen.

Defrosting freezer meals

Defrosting a freezer meal for dinner? Pop it in the refrigerator the night before, then warm the meal on the stove top or in the oven at a low temperature (say, 350 Fahrenheit) when it’s time to eat.

Re-steaming takeout

It’s also possible to re-steam soft foods like dumplings. Simply put the food in a metal colander and place it over a pot with a few inches of water. Cover, turn on the heat and let your food steam till heated through.

Warming quick foods

Quick food items like breakfast sandwiches, burritos or pizza pockets come out from the microwave limp and soggy. Just crisp them in the oven instead!

Popping popcorn

Popcorn comes out deliciously whether popped over an open fire or on the stove top. All you need to do is heat some oil in the bottom of a pan with a lid, add kernels, then shake the pan occasionally to prevent burning.

Think you could function without a microwave? Let us know in the comments!

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Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago


Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago


rachel r
Past Member 5 months ago

Thank you!

Anna R
Anna R5 months ago


Jan K
Jan S5 months ago


Greta L
Alice L5 months ago

Thank you

Val P
Val P5 months ago


Gloria picchetti
Gloria picchetti5 months ago

If you know how to use your microwave correctly none of this applies. First of all I don't buy frozen dinners full of chemicals. I really know how to cook and reheat correctly.
Yesterday I microwaved a potato on the potato setting. I diced it. Then I added a frozen sauce I had made. I also added frozen vegetables. It was just as delicious. I only used one Corning Ware dish.
For homemade oatmeal do this. Use oatmeal with 1 1/2 to 2 portions water. Reduce power to 5. Microwave for three minutes. The trick is reducing the power so the oatmeal doesn't explode all over the appliance walls and ceiling.
I rarely drink my coffee in one sitting. It would be so inconvenient and expensive to reheat it in a pan or throw it out!

Karen Martinez
Karen Martinez5 months ago

I use mine less now that I am retired than I did when I was working, but I have to admit that it does come in handy when heating up leftovers for lunch. However, if I did not have one, I would survive quite well.

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson5 months ago

Thank you.