Waste No Food Challenge — When Your Microwave Goes Kaput

by Katy on October 29, 2010 · 13 comments

I have recently learned a lesson on how to stay on top of eating my leftovers, which is to make sure that the microwave does not spark and billow smoke. Because I am fully on board with microwaving leftover spaghetti, but to spend time (and effort) heating it in a pan is apparently beyond me.

On today’s to-do list? Search Craigslist for a new microwave.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Krisha October 29, 2010 at 7:21 am

Our microwave bit the dust 5 months ago. We looked at replacing it but it’s one of those built-units and to buy a microwave plus have it installed (those suckers are heavy and we didn’t feel confident in our handiwork) was just more than we wanted to spend. We don’t have the space for a counter-top unit so we learned to reheat food without a microwave and I don’t even notice anymore. Although I was perplexed in the beginning on how to reheat some things (spaghetti I find does better in a covered dish in the oven instead of on the stove) I find that most things are actually better reheated on the stove or in the oven. I do miss melting butter on a moments notice though.


sandy October 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

I haven’t used my microwave in 3 or 4 years–it does change the chemistry of foods. I use my toaster oven (an older one without nonstick coating) to reheat things that don’t heat well in a pot. Many of today’s illnesses are due to toxins in our food, air and water so I’m slowly trying to clean up what I put in and on my body–and I haven’t even had a cold in at least 3 years so it must be working. I did feel a bit achy several months ago, then I read about nonstick coatings causing that symptom when they overheat.


Jana October 29, 2010 at 10:02 am

It’s so quick to reheat food in a pan on the stove. I haven’t used my microwave in 6 months.


Jacquelyn October 29, 2010 at 10:08 am

no microwave for two years here, and we love it. Food tastes better when it isn’t nuked to oblivion, it’s healthier, and we don’t have to make counter space for the microwave. I love it. We usually use the oven unless it’s much easier to do on the stove. I use the residual heat from heating up leaftovers in order to proof bread dough or bake cookies, etc.


Megg October 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm

We moved 2 months ago into a house without a microwave. For the first week or so I spent a long time scouring Craigslist looking for one…but then I decided to try to live without one. It’s really not that hard! We don’t have the space for one on the counter (I was going to put it on a microwave cart we have in the corner of the kitchen) but I’m loving trying to be creative with my lack of a microwave!


ellie October 29, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Love my microwave!! I do all my dinner prep – including cooking – in the early morning, and just nuke it for dinner. I know, I know, but I cooked for a family of 5 daily for almost 50 years, and now I don’t want to spend my afternoons in the kitchen! And I do want home prepared meals. Keep looking, Katy.


Practical Parsimony October 29, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Ellie, I’m with you on the microwave. I cook lots at one time, so I can just heat it all week or for three days, whichever comes first. There are just so many pans to wash if I use the stovetop, and the oven uses so much energy=heat=money. Of course, now that it is cold in the house, and I am using no heat, the heating of the house would not bother me. I have a divided Corelle plate that I can use to heat my whole meal. One plate and fork or even a knife and spoon doesn’t bother me. I was dishes in the dishwasher twice each week. Okay, now I am hungry, so I am having scrambled eggs now and a salad later, neither of which call for a microwave.


Marianne October 30, 2010 at 5:10 am

I bought a house a year ago and it didnt have one so we learned to live without. I reheat on the stove if i have to and learn to defrost a day ahead of time. I really dont miss it. Give it a month or so katy ans you will see you probably dont miss it either


Tracey H October 30, 2010 at 5:54 am

I love my microwave, too, and it’s healthier to steam veggies in it than boiling the $&& out of them. I don’t know where the whole “microwaves are evil” info comes from. I’m a scientist and I’ve researched this and they’re fine (just don’t overcook things in them–but that’s the same whether you use a microwave, stove or oven).

Try freecycle. Lots of people buy new things when their old ones aren’t broken and you can get one free!


Laura October 30, 2010 at 6:23 am

Agreed. Microwaves are just fine scientifically.


sandy November 3, 2010 at 5:46 am

I have master’s degrees in engineering and biology, so I’m a skeptic when it comes to science.


Joanne Wright October 30, 2010 at 9:40 am

Not a microwave fan but am aware it’s an essential bit of kit! When I reheat I tend to put it in a pyrex dish with lid and put in oven – takes longer admit but I think tastes better! Talking about essential bit of kit – Slow Cooker/Crockpot (although never ever reheat in one please!) I would marry mine if it wasn’t bigamy – I’m so passionate about it I have started blogging my simple recipes of which a big part is about slow cooking (frugal and nutritious). Why live life in the fast lane eh? Perhaps that’s why I am a little averse to microwaves 🙂


Carol November 1, 2010 at 6:10 am

I use the microwave for a lot of things, especially reheating. I hate to re-cook vegetables for example – they get too mushy – so the microwave is a much better choice. Nonetheless, I love to bake spaghetti leftovers. I put it in a Pyrex dish with the noodles and sauce mixed together, and then add some cheese on top and bake until the cheese is melted and the noodles are hot. Yum!


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