Do I really need a microwave?

A short while before Christmas, my combination microwave went up in a puff of smoke – quite literally. There was no actual fire, but a smell of burning, and a minor temporary smog.

I immediately unplugged it, and it has been sitting in the corner waiting for an opportune time to take it to the tip.

I started looking around for a replacement, but I am beginning to question whether I need to. I used to find a microwave really useful – especially when I was travelling a lot for work, getting home late, and wanting to fix something quick for tea/supper. However, my work pattern has changed such that that seldom happens now, and I almost always have time to cook. As cooking good fresh ingredients is supposedly the core of my diet, if anything, the microwave is now in the way; as it provided a lazy option to “pop over to Tescos and get something quick”.

Over Christmas, I have done without it, and I have found I have cooked proper meals a lot more as a result – I have almost finished my Christmas vegetable box, apart from a swede and some potatoes.

A couple of times I have missed the microwave when I wanted to defrost something out of my freezer, but that is just lack of planning.

So I am considering not replacing it, and putting the money towards my new gas cooker instead;getting a twin oven model, where I can use the smaller oven to cook economically for one. It will also free up a large corner of top space – the steamer and bread machine can take its place, and so will probably get used more.

Besides, let’s face it – where does the really tasty food come from – the microwave, or the gas cooker, bbq, or slow cooker? I think I know the answer to that!


  1. January 5, 2011

    Just got my new (to me!) fan oven sorted out. I was astonished to discover that it has a defrost setting! It’s basically the fan working without the heat element. In a single go, this makes my own microwave fairly redundant… I wonder if gas ovens have the same set up?

    Sounds like a good idea to me! (But then you knew it would, didn’t you?)

    • chris
      January 5, 2011

      Wow, that sounds an excellent feature!

  2. January 5, 2011

    It’s just possible that I use my microwave more often as a kitchen timer than as a cooking appliance! It has a delay start function which can be used between or before/after cooking programs, or on its own – which makes it a perfect count-down timer.

    But it does make very good porridge.

    And Zander and the Countess gave me a slow cooker for a birthday present, so we’ll see what happens with that…

    • chris
      January 6, 2011

      Slow cookers are the bee’s knees. Working from home most of the time, I find them really convenient, as 10 minutes chopping up stuff at lunchtime results in a hearty meal ready for tea-time.

      Also, you can use cheaper cuts of meat, which – when cooked slowly – tend to have a lot more flavour than the more expensive tender cuts.

  3. chris
    January 6, 2011

    Looking into it, I have found a couple of gas ovens with this feature, but only in a large format, too big for my kitchen.

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