A few years ago, I got this crazy idea to do away with our microwave. We rarely used it and I was in the midst of my first big decluttering session – if we didn’t need it, I didn’t want it! I also didn’t like the taste of the food we heated with our microwave and I had a bad habit of partially cooking food that I meant to defrost.
Unfortunately, Ian vetoed that idea. (He usually does … at first). However, the last time we moved, I was pleased to see that the new house didn’t come with a microwave. And so, being as frugal as I am, Ian agreed that it was the time to try living without a microwave.
Since we’d spent the previous couple of years rarely using our microwave, it was pretty easy. But there were times when we needed to re-heat food that we normally would have used a microwave for. Necessity being the mother of all things awesome, we improvised.
Here’s how we (re)heat food now without a microwave:
We use this most often for melting coconut oil and butter and for re-heating things like soup and stir fries. Popcorn also gets cooked on the stove now.
For melting, we now use our heavy duty metal measuring cups. We used our sauce pans for a little while, but then I got lazy and decided it would be faster to clean the measuring cups, especially since we were just heating a small amount of butter or coconut oil at a time. This works best on your smallest burner, with the heat turned on medium.
We use our oven a lot for heating things that were previously baked that are too big for our toaster oven. This method takes the longest, so we’re sure to get started well before we intend to eat. At least, we try.
One way Ian has recently found to speed things up, is to use our cast iron pan. He puts the food in that needs to be heated, along with a tiny bit of water and covers it with the cast iron lid from our Dutch Oven (the fantabulous birthday gift he scored for me at a yard sale for $10 a couple years ago).
This little trick takes about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven and our food doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
This is one of the simplest ways to heat up your food sans microwave. The controls are easy to use and it does a pretty good job of quickly and evenly heating your food. I love my toaster oven because it’s a multi-purpose appliance.
It does away with the need for a toaster and a microwave and will even bake a sweet potato when you don’t want to use your oven. It works best when actually plugged in …
My favorite part? I got it for free. Back in the day, our local bank gave points for using your debit card. So we used those points to get some goodies. Like a toaster oven. And an immersion blender. And that $50 gift certificate for a massage that I still haven’t used. (Why?!)
Now we use a different checking account that gives us cash for debit card purchases, but that’s another post.
Do you heat food without a microwave? What’s your favorite method?
Latest posts by Nina Nelson (see all)
- Frugal Real Food Meal Plan (for our family of six) - April 16, 2014
- How to Become Your Family’s Herbalist - April 14, 2014
- How to Prepare Loose Leaf Tea - April 11, 2014