simple natural living on a budget
simple natural living on a budget
microwave with a slash

How to Live Without a Microwave

How to Live Without a Microwave

Could you live without a microwave? Have you ever thought about the harm it could be causing your family?

They emit radiation and degrade food, destroying vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Plus they make your food taste bad and hog too much counter space.

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If you’re thinking about ditching your microwave, you might be wondering how you will survive without it. I promise, it’s not going to be as bad as you think.

Here are some common ways we use microwaves and their simple alternatives:

Reheating Leftovers Without a Microwave

This is a simple fix: use the stove or oven.

It doesn’t take much longer and your food will taste so much better. If you were planning to reheat multiple plates of food in the microwave, it might even be faster to just heat it all at once in the oven.

I store leftovers in oven safe dishes like glass or ceramic casserole dishes. A lot of them come with lids, making them perfect for storing your leftovers. After dinner, just snap on the lid and stick it in the fridge. When you’re ready to reheat it, you don’t have to dirty any more dishes.

Other foods reheat better in a pot on the stove, like soup or spaghetti sauce for example. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until heated (when it starts to bubble).

TV Dinners and Convenience Foods

We rarely eat things like this at my house. I like to focus on a clean diet full of whole foods. There aren’t many TV dinners out there that pass for clean eating. If you do find some, they’re always super expensive.

If you do chose to eat them, you can find directions for the oven on the box. The oven takes a little longer, but the food will taste so much better.

Another concern about convenience foods is that they are often packaged in plastic. Heating food in plastic releases toxic chemicals into your food, microwave or oven.

Thawing Food

The defrost setting on your microwave can be a huge time-saver, but it also has it’s drawbacks. Besides the radiation, food often doesn’t thaw evenly. You might end up with a chunk of meat that’s half cooked around the edges and still frozen solid in the center. That’s not a good way to start out any recipe!

But there are better ways! If you plan ahead, take your meat out of the freezer the night before you plan to use it. Pop it in the fridge and it will be thawed by the next day.

Now I know we don’t or can’t always plan ahead like that. So what to do in a pinch? Fill your sink with hot water and submerge the meat. It will quickly be thawed.

Melting Butter, Chocolate, etc.

Anything you would melt in the microwave can be melted in a double boiler or a pot on the stove. Improvise if you don’t have a double boiler using a small pot with a metal bowl over it.

Another option is a small warming plate, like a candle warmer. My stove actually has a built in warming plate. It’s great for melting butter, I use it all the time.

Reheating Coffee

This one can be a little difficult without a microwave. Aside from heating it in a small pot over the stove, I haven’t come up with another good way to reheat it.

My solutions:

  1. Don’t let it get cold. My boyfriend often drinks his coffee from an insulated travel mug even if we’re at home. It stays hot for a long time. No need to reheat.
  2. Drink it cold. I know it’s not for everyone, but I love iced coffee! I keep a large mason jar of coffee in the fridge so I can make my own rather than heading to the coffee shop. (Cheaper and healthier!)

You could also keep it warm by leaving it on a candle/mug warmer like this.


Everyone loves popcorn. It’s a tasty and healthy snack, unless it’s from the microwave. Check out the ingredients in your bag of microwave popcorn. It’s full of nasty chemicals.

A healthier alternative is to pop your own corn on the stove in a popcorn popper.

Warming Baby Bottles

Whether you feed your little one breast milk or formula, you should never, ever heat it in the microwave. Microwaving a bottle can create dangerous hot spots, potentially burning your precious little one.

Aside from the danger of burns, microwaving a plastic bottle causes hormone-disrupting chemicals to leach into the milk. Microwaving also destroys nutrients in breast milk.

Gently warming the bottle in some hot water is a much safer way to go. Or don’t warm it at all. It’s perfectly safe, and didn’t bother my daughter at all to drink cold or room temperature bottles.

You can live without a microwave too!

As you can see, there are simple solutions to avoiding the microwave. Some of them do take slightly more time, but it’s worth it. Staying away from the microwave is safer, healthier, and makes food so much tastier!

Give it a try! It’s easier than you think and you’ll hardly even miss that nasty old microwave!

Do you have any other tips or thoughts on living without a microwave? Share them below!

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