View Full Version : microwaveless
06-21-2000, 04:08 PM
A couple of weeks ago I decided that my microwave wasn't worth the space it was taking up on my countertop, and I gave it away to a friend of mine whose son is going away to college.
I only used it for 3 things:
1) Boiling water with bouillon in it
2) Heating tortillas
3) /Occasionally/ reheating leftovers
Now, I've lived without the thing for two weeks and I'm doing okay. The tortilla thing is probably the hardest.
Anyone else living w/o a microwave or other common appliance? Liking it?
who thinks microwaved food just
06-21-2000, 04:11 PM
What? Live without my expensive popcorn popper? :-D
06-21-2000, 04:14 PM
oh, man... forgot about popcorn http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/wink.gif
Even though my mom's Cuban, not Mexican, we ALWAYS had tortillas around the house. Neither of us ever heat them in the microwave. I toss them directly on the gas burner, she warms up a pan on her electric one. In either case, if you steam them afterward (either in one of those things they sell or by wrapping them up in a towel for a few minutes) I think they taste much better than microwaving anyway...
We went years w/o a microwave and I never missed it. Even now, I've got a dinky model I use mostly for melting butter and steaming vegetables. When I was having my kitchen remodeled, my contractor was making a big deal about how his family "couldn't have survived their remodel w/o their microwave." Baloney! I made beef bourgignon in an electric wok, roasts in a crock pot and used my toaster oven instead of a big one. Microwave? Big deal.
[This message has been edited by Gail (edited 06-21-2000).]
06-21-2000, 07:03 PM
You know, I never thought about living without a microwave! I think, being single, it is easier to heat single-portions, plus I really do like to make tortilla rollup-anythings...bean and cheese burritos...grilled chicken burritos...and when I do cook (usually on the weekends) I portion everything out and freeze, so I can take out just one portion and microwave it.
Don't think I'm ready to give mine up just yet!
P.S. For those single people(and for those who usually have lots of leftovers), you might consider heading to Wal Mart and buying a stack of those three-way divided Rubbermaid dinner dishes. They have a plastic cover and you can just divvy up your food and freeze your own dinners. I do this all the time...works for everything from pasta and steamed veggies to meatloaf and mashed potatoes!
Just pull one (or two) out in the morning and you are ready to pop it in the microwave for lunch and/or dinner. People at the office are always so envious when they see my gourmet meals as I stand in line for the microwave!
06-22-2000, 08:26 AM
Just have to share that my mom just gave my a Tupperware Microsteamer for the microwave. She demonstrated it by making my family chicken fajitas in it, and they were delicious! It came with some recipes, and I found more on the Tupperware site. I'm looking forward to using it this summer since it won't heat up the house like the oven or stove do.
My microwave up to this point has been used mainly to reheat leftovers and defrost poultry/meat. It also has a timer feature that is used several times a day. I would miss my microwave! :-)
06-22-2000, 08:48 AM
This is a very timely subject for me and my family as our microwave died last weekend. Since we are leaving on a two week vacation next week we decided to wait until we got back to buy a new one. Well I already miss it. Tortilla heating is a big thing I miss, although that can be done on the stove. What I really miss is defrosting things like meat and bread quickly. I also freeze individual portions of things like soups and if it was winter no microwave would make this difficult (I'm eating mostly salads and sandwiches for lunch).
Bottom line is I really do use the microwave a lot. It makes reheating a snap and helps with last minute defrosting. Not to mention the occasional bag of popcorn!
06-22-2000, 10:56 AM
Have a nice trip. You mentioned defrosting meat in the micro. I have tried it and EVERY time (chicken mainly) even at low settings it starts "cooking" the end pieces of my chicken. Any advice?
About microwaves....Its great to heat brownies and pour some dark (heated) chocolate on top (husband's idea). He would miss it more than I. I must say I prefer cooking fish (salmon fillets mainly) in the microwave & veggies.And lets not forget popcorn.
06-22-2000, 12:30 PM
I gave my microwave to a local high school a few years ago, as it was taking up a lot of counter space. I make popcorn on the stove top and re-heat dishes in my toaster oven or oven. The only time I ever wish I had a microwave is when I have forgotten to take a piece of meat out of the freezer to defrost. But, overall, I haven't missed it at all.
06-22-2000, 12:45 PM
If you don't have a microwave, you can actually speed of defrosting some cuts of meat (smaller ones) by placing them in a bath of cool water. The problem I had when my microwave died is, how do you reheat rice without one? I tried it on the stove with a little water in a saucepan but it just wasn't the same.
06-22-2000, 01:36 PM
A steamer is an excellent way to reheat many items in a hurry. Rice in particular.
06-22-2000, 01:59 PM
Saved by the steamer!
Honestly, I love my steamer to death, and I'm not really a gadget collector by nature.
06-22-2000, 03:22 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Vanessa:
You mentioned defrosting meat in the micro. I have tried it and EVERY time (chicken mainly) even at low settings it starts "cooking" the end pieces of my chicken. Any advice?
I always use my microwave to defrost meat. I don't usually think ahead of time about what I want to make for dinner, and we have a big deep freeze in the basement, so I think I would be lost without my ability to defrost meat quickly. You wanted to know how to defrost without "cooking the edges" - I have experienced that problem many a time myself. I think a lot has to do with your microwave, but mine has 10 levels - 10 being the highest, 1 being the lowest. I first defrost the meat (chicken, beef, pork tenderloin, whatever), in it's original wrapping for 5 minutes on the defrost setting, which for my microwave is I think level 2 or 3. Then, when that's done, I check it. If it's a big roast, I will probably set it for another 5 minutes on defrost, but a typically package of boneless skinless chicken or ground beef, I will set for 5 minutes but on level 1, the lowest setting. Then I open the packages, and feel how defrosted the stuff is. If it's ground beef, I will pull off the completely defrosted meat from the edges and go another 3 or so minutes on level 1 again, and if it's chicken breasts, I will separate them and turn them around and go for another 2 or 3 minutes on level 1. If I am cutting the chicken breasts up (9 times out of 10 I am), I like them to be ever so slightly frozen anyway, it's easier to cut them. But using this method (it's just slower), I never have cooked edges anymore at all. Hope that helps you out!!
06-22-2000, 03:33 PM
Thanks Grace! I will try using the lowest levels in the microwave. Mine also goes to 10 and has a defrost setting which I just checked (is a level 3) I usually use the cold water method mentioned some post before but at times when I forget and in a hurry a microwave is needed. Thanks for your explanation and I appreciate your help! :)
06-22-2000, 04:23 PM
Vanessa and Grace,
I usually partially defrost the meat and then let it sit for 10 minutes or so and then defrost some more. This is not fool-proof and I also frequently cook the edges.
I actually use the microwave much more often for defrosting bread. I buy good bread (like sour dough) and bagels in bulk and then just defrost a slice or a single bagel at a time. I am really missing that this week! I also use it to soften up butter quickly.
06-22-2000, 04:25 PM
OK, everyone http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif All this talk is making me miss my microwave.
I'm going to give it the rest of the summer though, and see how I do. I have a feeling I'll get used to /not/ having one and I won't even miss it after a while.
06-22-2000, 05:23 PM
Lorilei! My steamer is not a plug-in electric gadget. It is a three-piece (including the lid) steamer made by Revere.
All my pots, pans, and stir-fry pans are Calphalon non-stick. I bought the Revere stainless steamer so that I'd have a pan I could boil and mash potatoes in and not ruin the nonstick finish. I find I use the steamer insert A LOT MORE than I use the pan for mashing potatoes!
I don't need an electric steamer...my stove top steamer does a perfect job every time and is SO EASY TO CLEAN! =^..^=
06-22-2000, 11:06 PM
I'm pretty much with everyone else. Two everyday purposes of microwave is for oatmeal and popcorn. But oh how we'd be lost if we didn't have it for those two staples of life. ~mary~
06-22-2000, 11:24 PM
Vanessa, you mentioned cooking veggies in the micro... I used to do that (we liked the "crisp-cooked" results), and then read something about the microwave destroying vitamins or some such thing.
Anybody know if this is documented?
I've taken to steaming my vegetables and fishies in yet another gadget -- my steamer/rice cooker. I get all excited about being able to infuse them with the flavors of different herbs... and that keeps me from missing the microwave http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
I heat tortillas on a griddle, steam on the stovetop, cook rice and popcorn in a pan, but I still need my micro. I have a small built in and a countertop covenction combo. The convection combo is one I would miss more.
We got rid of the popcorn popper, hardly use the coffee maker (use a cone filter and holder), and rarely pull out the blender (but it was my grandmother's so I'll keep it til death do us part), but we couldn't go very long without our espresso/caupaccino maker. It's been our main coffee maker for about 2 years now.
But I would love more counter space. We'd like to remodel our kitchen, maily to update the appliances and replace the countertops, but I'd like to have more counterspace when it's done too. We had thought of putting in a shelf for a small micr to take up less room that then built-ins; maybe I'll make it big enough to accomodate the convection/combo. Or has anyone tried those Advatium or other light cooking ovens?
[This message has been edited by Beth (edited 06-23-2000).]
06-23-2000, 12:46 PM
I do a whole lot of cooking, but don't know how often (other than maybe Thanksgiving) I have every burner on the stove in use...
If my kitchen and pantry were a BIT LARGER ...perhaps I'd give in and try one of them rice steamer thangies...sigh....till then...
06-23-2000, 12:57 PM
I use my microwave to cook oatmeal, egg whites and to bring store bought hot fudge to life!!! The last use is my favorite...
06-23-2000, 11:42 PM
Deanna -- http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/redface.gif
I'm ashamed to admit that I have that same RevereWare steamer http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif AND a gadget!! (We got it as a gift).
Actually, I especially like using the gadget version when my stovetop is filled with other things... and it's my preference when cooking rice. My husband cleans it, so I'm not sure how tricky it is http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
I mash potatoes in my KitchenAid mixer http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif Talk about cheating!!
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