Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Death to the Microwave Oven!

I remember our first microwave. It was a beast of an appliance; about 30” wide, 18” high and at least 20” deep. The first thing we cooked in it was a hot dog. We set the power to 9 and the timer to one minute and I got to press “START”.

We had read that food continued to cook after leaving the oven, so when the hot dog emerged stone cold after a minute, my brother, my mother and I sat and watched the hot dog for about a minute, waiting for it to get hotter.  It turns out that this microwave had not 10 power levels, but 100. Level 9 wasn’t going to cook that hotdog in a minute, no matter how long we watched it.

Today, the microwave is as much a part of our day to day kitchen life as a toaster. Yet, the standard radiant (or convection) oven the microwave oven was supposed to replace remains because the microwave does an incredibly poor job of cooking. Foods don’t brown, and in many situations the texture of the food is ruined.

So why does the microwave oven persist? An impromptu survey of my clients suggests the microwave exists exclusively to reheat our coffee (or tea) and to make popcorn. In simple terms, that’s 2.25 cubic feet of appliance dedicated to two, infrequently used kitchen tasks. I won’t even discuss power consumption …

It’s time to sound the death knoll for the stand alone microwave – to turn it into the toaster oven of our generation; barely adequate at the task it’s designed for and found almost exclusively in college dorm rooms. When assembling the appliance package for your dream kitchen, remember you don’t have to have a microwave just because you’ve always had one. There are much better cooking technologies out there (GE’s Advantium for one) and you can always go get yourself a fresh cup of coffee.

If you insist of keeping your microwave oven, the guys at Microwave This may be able to help you out with some new uses.


Brenda Lynn said...

Death to the microwave, love live the GE Advantium! We are all still lusting over those, aren't we? ;-)

Tracey Ayton Photography said...

I love the old picture! I remember when my dad brought home our first microwave in the 70s. The first thing they cooked was bacon because it came with this handy, dandy gadget to capture the grease while the bacon cooks... eewwwww.

John Nunn said...

The most common use for the microwave in my kitchen (apart from rubberizing chicken breasts) Is cooking corn on the cob. Simply trim off the tassel and stalk and then microwave for about two minutes, rotate 180 and then another two minutes. The corn steams in it's own juices and does not lose any nutrition.

I am looking Forward to ising my new Miele speed oven!


Arne Salvesen said...


Thanks for dropping by! I agree, there are some really good uses for a microwave ... just not enough to justify the space they consume. Your Speed Oven is a much better way to go.

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