5 Microwave Alternatives That Heat More Thoroughly
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Microwave alternatives may not be as fast as zapping food on the typical rotating platter, but they heat your food so much better. If you want equal heating all around plus on the inside (a problem microwaves have yet to overcome) then read on.
A microwave has become a staple in most households, however, there are several harmful practices a microwave may make people dependent on, in addition to exposing people to unnecessary waves and radiation.
You'll be more likely to eat packaged food when you have a microwave and it may do a quick job of reheating food, but it doesn't do so evenly. Get in touch with your inner chef as we answer the question of what to use instead of a microwave.
5 Microwave Alternatives
The following are five of the best and healthiest alternatives to microwaves ovens that you can consider for your kitchen. Let's start with a microwave substitute that you already have.
Go back to the simple ways of cooking and use your stovetop to reheat your food or to cook. A stovetop works by providing direct heat from a fire or heat source at the bottom, and this is how it works with any types of stoves.
A stovetop can be used for a variety of things, including cooking fresh food, making soup, popcorn, and more. It's also one of the best ways to reheat food without a microwave because it doesn't use waves of radiation.
If you are looking to slow cook a dish, a stovetop is one of the best microwave alternatives to use as it allows the flavors to simmer and really come together for a delectable final result.
A stovetop also doesn't draw power and energy in the way that a microwave does. If it takes a few minutes longer for you to bring a pot of water to boil on a stovetop, it's worth waiting for those few extra minutes because the stovetop offers several other benefits.
Choosing a stovetop over a microwave also means that you'll have to make fresh food or repurpose leftovers and will no longer rely on packaged ready-to-eat meals. On the whole, this is a better choice to make for your health.
An oven is one of the best things to have in your kitchen (and you likely have one). In a toss up between a microwave and an oven, you should certainly choose the latter.
An oven can be used to cook and bake fresh food and you can also use it as a microwave substitute to reheat food. Several homes that come with an equipped kitchen will have an oven already installed, so you are probably used to working with an oven anyway.
But to have an oven as well as a microwave in the kitchen seems like a waste of space and energy when the oven can be used as both, unless you're cooking huge meals and need to pull double duty.
It may take some time for you to get the temperatures right for heating different types of food. But in the end, you'll be making fresh food more frequently and perhaps on the weekend. Your home can also smell of delicious baked goods when you are not relying on the microwave for your meals.
Besides, an oven is even better than a microwave for reheating casseroles and large dishes. A microwave will not be able to get to the core of the dish and heat it evenly. At least, not as well as even a regular oven can. And ovens will deodorize themselves by reaching such high temperatures, meaning you'll never have to learn how to deodorize a microwave and go through the giant annoyance.
In fact, the general kitchen rule of thumb is to try to reheat food in the same way that it was cooked. So if you baked a casserole in the oven, it is best to leave it in the same container and reheat it using the same appliance.
If you find reheating food in the oven to be too laborious, that's understandable. Larger ovens will require you to preheat the appliance before you get the right temperature.
It can also take a few hits and trials to get the perfect low temperature for reheating the food without accidentally burning it. But despite the small complications that the oven may offer, you still don't need to resort to using a microwave again. A toaster oven is certainly an option you can consider.
A toaster oven is also the ideal appliance to use if you are looking to reheat smaller dishes, especially leftovers. This is a less strenuous and time-consuming way to reheat food, especially in hot, unforgiving summers. The appliance emanates less heat and will get the job done faster so you can get out of the kitchen quicker.
The ground rule is that if the food is the type that will retain its shape (meaning, not runny gravies), it is eligible for being reheated in the toaster oven. This includes casseroles, lasagna, pasta, some kinds of salads, etc.
The good thing about a toaster oven is that you can use it as a microwave to the extent that it is even a great appliance for cooking packaged, frozen foods. In addition to that, the toaster oven offers the functionality of a toaster so it can be used for crisping bread or bagels, too.
In other words, the toaster oven is like having a small oven in the kitchen that can also work as a microwave but does not cost as much as a bigger oven.
A toaster oven also comes in a variety of sizes so you can even opt for a smaller model if you don't want your microwave-like oven to take up too much counter space. It'll also give you a lot more flexibility compared to a microwave oven because you can use it for a variety of cooking and baking recipes.
A crock-pot is one of the best appliances in general to cook fresh food, especially for slow cooking. The great thing about a crock-pot is that you can simply leave your food to cook for a few hours.
You don't need to keep checking to see if it’s doing alright, like with an oven. If you rely on microwave cooking because an oven takes too long, a crock-pot is a perfect alternative, requiring less intervention.
It cooks rice dishes, meats, and even vegetables quite fast and doesn't require much intervention and monitoring. Even if you're looking to reheat food, a crock-pot is a great way to do that. Though a crock-pot may take slightly longer to reheat food than a microwave, it does a thorough job, which a microwave may not always do.
One of the best and least time-consuming ways to reheat food in a crock-pot is to simply add some moisture to the pot and put the dish you want to reheat for a few minutes. The crock-pot will work its magic. Sure, the magic may take slightly longer than a microwave but it is certainly a better and more efficient way to reheat food.
The great thing about crock-pots is also that they do not cost as much money and are also a much safer appliance to use than an oven or microwave. Though it is a more useful appliance to cook fresh food, it works perfectly well to reheat food as well.
A Dutch oven (or one of the dutch oven substitutes) can be one of the best gifts to grace your kitchen tops. They can be one of the best ways to reheat certain kinds of food, such as stews, rice dishes, pasta, soup, etc.
However, using a dutch oven means you also need to have a stovetop. But a combination of both these cooking devices will allow you to experience food like never before and will certainly be a better experience than eating heated packaged food from your microwave.
You only need to get the dutch oven hot and your food can be evenly reheated within minutes. In fact, people who don't cook as often or don't try slow cooking recipes use dutch ovens solely to reheat food, and it works as one of the most excellent alternatives to microwaves.
These dutch oven types of pots also channel heat evenly so you will not find random spots in a thick gravy or soup feeling cold while other spots may burn your tongue.
Coupled with a stovetop, this is one of the best and most reasonable alternatives to microwave ovens. What’s more, you can even try some incredible recipes and enjoy a slow-cooked meal on weekends when you have more time to experiment in the kitchen.
A dutch oven is a great way to wean yourself away from packaged foods and is a gateway to a healthier life and diet.
Microwave Alternatives Do a Better Job!
The various options that have been mentioned above offer a lot more than a microwave. A microwave may have several settings, but ultimately people end up using it to reheat food and leftovers.
However, with a stovetop, an oven, etc. you will be able to cook delectable meals and also have the ability to reheat food efficiently and evenly.
These cooking and heating devices will also present you with better tasting food than a microwave. You don't need to feel like you are eating food out of a cardboard box with these microwave alternatives. You'll be able to prepare fresh and easy meals that will satiate your palate and also keep you healthy.