Three years ago, our microwave broke. Although it would mean more dirty dishes and a little bit more work, I tentatively suggested to Alex that we try living without one. This was largely driven with my being too cheap to buy a new one, but I was also curious to see what it would be like to live without a mainstay of modern convenience.
He reluctantly agreed, visions of pots and pans caked with oatmeal dancing in his head.
That vision turned out to be not that far from the truth; we make a lot of oatmeal, and the pots do often end up soaking on the stove for a day or two, versus just tossing the dirty bowl in the dishwasher (a convenience I am thankful for every day).
Other than a few more dirty pots and pans, it hasn’t been that bad. I miss it most for defrosting, especially when I forget to take a vital part of a meal out of the freezer in time. But in general, all it means is taking things out of the freezer a few days earlier and sticking them in the fridge. Or if I really need soup in a pinch, I run hot water over the container to remove the frozen food and throw the big icy chunk into a pot on the stove. Defrosting safely is a bit easier for us as we don’t eat meat.
When it comes to reheating leftovers, we use our toaster oven extensively, and I actually prefer it to the microwave. Crispy things stay crispy, soft things stay soft, and everything reheats evenly. Yes, it takes longer. Pizza takes 10 minutes in toaster oven versus 2 in the microwave, but 8 minutes is the perfect amount of time to wipe down my cabinets or meditate or play with the cats. Living without a microwave inevitably makes you slow down a bit.
Who knew that living without a microwave would be so philosophical? I sure didn’t.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t avoid microwaves on the whole. We have one at work and I use it all the time to heat up my lunch or steam veggies to snack on. I appreciate the convenience factor of the microwave, we just haven’t missed it all that much, so I don’t think we need one at home.
What I’ve discovered living without a microwave:
- I get more oatmeal out of a single serving because it doesn’t explode all over the microwave
- Quesadillas actually get crispy when made on the stovetop.
- Stovetop popcorn is a million times better.
- I drink more tea because I have to heat up an entire kettle rather than a single mug.
- More counter space!
So if you’re thinking of living without a microwave – you can do it!