No More Microwave!

We finally did it! We got rid of it! What a relief and what exhilaration!

I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and we finally took the plunge! Since we have young kids it is so much easier to heat things up lickity split when there is a melt down due to low food intake and immediate sustenance being a necessity! However… it will just take a bit more planning on my part and a little more preparation so that we aren’t needing something post haste!

It’s been about a month and I haven’t missed it one bit. Below I’ve made a list for what I’ve used the microwave for and how we have gotten around it.

  1. Melt butter for cooking or baking:  Remedy: We mostly use coconut oil now which is already in liquid for at room temperature in the summer! Or put the butter in a little Pyrex and heat in the toaster oven.
  2. Reheating left overs: Remedy: Make sure the left overs are in Pyrex and reheat in the toaster oven, oven or stove. Pizza reheated in a dry skillet tastes just like it first came out of the oven. Left overs taste so much better when NOT heated in the microwave anyway! If reheating pasta, I add a little water or milk and put on the stove and it tastes fresh like it was just cooked! Mmmmm
  3. Heating frozen breast milk for baby: Remedy: Boil water on the stove and pour into a metal bowl and place bottle or frozen bag in the hot water. Be careful the water isn’t too hot or it will melt the bottle or bag if plastic. It’s always better not to heat plastic, so glass bottles are a better choice.
  4. Melting cookie dough for a treat:  Remedy: One of my favorite treats is to reserve some of the raw cookie dough in the freezer for a later treat. I put a spoonful or two in a cup and heat in the microwave till it is about ½ cooked and enjoy! What a TREAT! My sisters LOVE this too! Now I just put it in a Pyrex and pop in the toaster oven!
  5. Defrosting meat:  Remedy: There are a couple of different options, but you have to do it ahead of time.  A) pull the meat out of the freezer the night before and put in the fridge,  B) Pull meat out of the freezer in the morning and let it defrost till soft in the kitchen sink and then refrigerate until ready to use it THAT DAY. Don’t store thawed for more than a few hours.  C) Take meat out of freezer, put in a bowl and let it soak (still in the packaging) in warm/hot water. It only takes about 1 hour or less to defrost depending on how big the piece of meat is and how hot the water is. Don’t boil the water or you will cook the meat.
  6. Un-crystallizing honey:  Remedy: Put in oven proof container and heat in the toaster oven. This works really well and doesn’t take long at all.
  7. Heating baby food:  Remedy: Put frozen homemade baby food in stainless steel bowl. Boil some water. Pour boiling water into larger bowl and place bowl with baby food in hot water. The stainless steel heats quickly so don’t leave it in for too long.

I do think the process of heating/reheating things takes longer, but it is so much better. I do a better job of planning for dinner and planning for the next day. I also think it relieves a lot of stress because I’m not rushing around at the last minute trying to heat things as fast as I can!

We also live in a small townhouse, so there is an even smaller kitchen. I often feel like I’m running out of counter space for cooking. Removing the microwave has freed up more space and there appears to be less clutter on the counters as well. Clutter and stuff tends to weigh down on me. Too many things and stuff stresses me out. I need a place for everything and I don’t like stuff sitting around. Having no microwave helps, but it probably doesn’t help my (at times, unhealthy) addiction to order.

This is also a money saver. We had a 700W microwave and I would say we ran it an average of 5 minutes a day. Some days it was more and some we didn’t use it at all, but I would say that’s a safe average. That would mean it runs for about 150 minutes in a month, which is about 2.5 hours. I will use the following calculation to figure out how much it would cost:

((Watts of appliance x hours of usage)/1000)* cost of electricity per kWh) = cost

The average cost of kWh on my electric bill is about $0.16 after including taxes and other costs.

((700×2.5)/1000)*0.16 = $0.28 which would be less than $5 a year.

I know, I know… $5 a year? Just remember the calculation was done for 5 minutes a day and it doesn’t include the energy it uses to keep the clock running which uses juice as well, although not a whole lot. We also had a very small microwave at 700 watts. Average wattage of a microwave is about 1300 watts, but it can be as high at 2500 watts. Every little bit counts! Do the calculation for yourself and see what you come up with!

And last but not least, the health component. There are many out there that believe that the microwave chemically alters the food. I know for sure that it doesn’t heat as well, cools off more quickly and doesn’t taste the same as something heated on the stove or in the oven. I don’t know and haven’t done the research, but it stands to reason that there could be some negative health effects of the microwave.

It is artificial heat and there are often a lot of other bad habits that tend to go along with microwave use. Often if heating something, it is encased in plastic. In a plastic dish or covered with plastic which is definitely not a good idea, but I know I was often too lazy to dirty another dish and would just throw it in any way to reheat. It also lends itself to microwave dinners or other simple dishes that aren’t healthy to begin with. Not having a microwave completely gets rid of the appeal of easy prepared meals. They aren’t easy if there isn’t a microwave!

Before we got rid of it we had a “DO NOT USE” sign taped to it, to see if we could do without. Then I moved it to the trunk of the car for a week before selling it on craigslist! We have been happy without! Maybe you would be too! Give it a try and see how it works out for you!

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