Author Topic: 60 days without a Microwave  (Read 10024 times)

Gone Fishing

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2830
  • So Close went fishing on April 1, 2016
    • Journal
60 days without a Microwave
« on: October 22, 2015, 07:04:20 PM »
About two months ago, our microwave gave out.  I pulled it apart (despite several labels warning not to) found a burned out fuse, purchase said fuse ($8, had to buy the assortment pack) replaced it, just to have it pop again, declared it dead and sent it to the landfill (after pulling the large transformer for scrap).  We decided to go without for awhile, just to see what impact it would have.  We don't eat microwave popcorn or dinners, and don't make much tea, but I quickly realized that we used quite a bit to reheat leftovers, which I intentionaly cook extra to have.  Between washing the pots required to warm the leftovers (vs just using the plastic storage container or a bowl) and the extra energy used by the stove, I figured the microwave justified its existence, so I hopped on Craigslist and found a suitable replacement for $20.  Sure was nice to have hot curry in under 2 minutes and no pot to wash!

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 07:43:02 PM »
trying to get rid of mine if you want one.


MicroSpice

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
  • Location: Land of Enchantment
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2015, 08:32:33 AM »
We also haven't had a microwave since we moved into our house four years ago. Our previous place had a built-in microwave, so we didn't bring one with us when we moved in. Our current house is older with limited (read: almost no) counter space, so we just decided not to get one. We do the same thing as allsummerlong - I find that broiling leftovers often tastes better than nuking anyway. But good job finding a cheap alternative!

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4726
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2015, 08:52:40 AM »
This thread makes me want to hook a Kill-A-Watt up to my microwave and toaster oven and see which one reheats leftovers will less electricity. (I bet the microwave would win.)

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1634
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2015, 09:01:15 AM »
This thread makes me want to hook a Kill-A-Watt up to my microwave and toaster oven and see which one reheats leftovers will less electricity. (I bet the microwave would win.)
Please do and please post the results.

TravelJunkyQC

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Québec City, Canada
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2015, 11:55:39 AM »
I also haven't had a microwave in about 5 years. I make leftovers that I bring to eat at work (where I have access to a microwave), and or else, the rare thing I need to reheat, I do it on the stove or in the oven. I agree that it might take more electricity to heat up a bowl of soup on the stove than in the microwave, but it happens so rarely. And I balance it out by using a slow-cooker very frequently to cook meals - an appliance that is very energy-efficient for the amount of food it makes.

tallen

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2015, 01:26:54 PM »
We went about 3 weeks without a microwave recently. It was still under warranty so got it fixed for free but took a couple weeks. I grew up without a microwave so it was no big deal for me, wife took a little adjustment having to use the oven to reheat lefovers, she's had a microwave as far back as she can remember (she's younger than me by over a decade). But if it wasn't free to fix I'm not sure I'd have bought another one anytime soon (I'm sure wifey would have convinced me eventually though).

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5267
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2015, 02:33:43 PM »
This thread makes me want to hook a Kill-A-Watt up to my microwave and toaster oven and see which one reheats leftovers will less electricity. (I bet the microwave would win.)

That's what I was told. Our last apartment had only 2 outlets in the kitchen, so we had to plug in the microwave behind the fridge. The complex's handyman told us NOT to plug the toaster oven in back there as we would be tripping circuit breakers all the time.

I really like how the OP went through all the steps--try to fix, try to do without, then buy cheap. Awesome!

I use my microwave for everything humanly possible as compared to the stovetop.

snogirl

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 364
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2015, 02:59:08 PM »
Nice work OP! Back to the future!

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14155
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2015, 03:43:15 PM »
When my last microwave oven went I did the same as OP, and also found it was more than an easy fix.  I did without for a while, and really missed it.  I found a replacement (nicer than my old one) on Kijiji for $20 - over $100 at Costco.  I do like doing things like quinoa in a bowl in the microwave, versus a pot on the stove.  However, I don't have a toaster oven, so maybe most people use one more than the other and don't need both?

As an aside, I used to boil small amounts of water in the microwave, my kettle was very inefficient.  When it died I got a Russell Hobbs kettle, the kind that lifts off a base ($6 at Value Village).  I love it, the element is under a false bottom so it can also boil small amounts of water, faster.

alexrcraig

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Lansing, MI
    • Have a Rich Marriage
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2015, 03:48:01 PM »
I have lived without a microwave for three years.

When I eat leftovers I either eat them cold or warm them up on the stove. I do not like idea of tiny microwaves heating my foods. It seems unsafe to eat to me.

This is not justified by science or anything just a personal preference. I have not missed eating without a microwave.

I still drink Tea and everything I just use the stove.

choppingwood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 531
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2015, 10:10:20 AM »
I haven't had a microwave in 5 years. I think it is a false economy for me though, to not buy one.

When I first went from using a microwave for all the cooking it could do, instead of just using it to pop popcorn, my electricity bill went down noticeably. Nothing else I have done to save electricity has had the same impact.

I have taken a few stabs at getting one cheap or for free, but no luck. Think I need to just watch for a sale and bite the bullet. Because of the set-up of my kitchen, I'll also need some kind of stand to put it on, so it is a bit of a project.

 I don't think I'll use it for popping popcorn though. I'm deeply suspicious of the chemicals and fats in the bags.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5267
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2015, 10:51:33 AM »
I haven't had a microwave in 5 years. I think it is a false economy for me though, to not buy one.

When I first went from using a microwave for all the cooking it could do, instead of just using it to pop popcorn, my electricity bill went down noticeably. Nothing else I have done to save electricity has had the same impact.

I have taken a few stabs at getting one cheap or for free, but no luck. Think I need to just watch for a sale and bite the bullet. Because of the set-up of my kitchen, I'll also need some kind of stand to put it on, so it is a bit of a project.

 I don't think I'll use it for popping popcorn though. I'm deeply suspicious of the chemicals and fats in the bags.

I use mine for everything BUT popping popcorn, which I do on the stove in my Whirley Pop in virgin coconut oil :-). Supposedly you can microwave popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag, but I think I tried it once and wasn't impressed.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4938
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2015, 10:56:00 AM »
I haven't had a microwave in 5 years. I think it is a false economy for me though, to not buy one.

When I first went from using a microwave for all the cooking it could do, instead of just using it to pop popcorn, my electricity bill went down noticeably. Nothing else I have done to save electricity has had the same impact.

I have taken a few stabs at getting one cheap or for free, but no luck. Think I need to just watch for a sale and bite the bullet. Because of the set-up of my kitchen, I'll also need some kind of stand to put it on, so it is a bit of a project.

 I don't think I'll use it for popping popcorn though. I'm deeply suspicious of the chemicals and fats in the bags.

I use mine for everything BUT popping popcorn, which I do on the stove in my Whirley Pop in virgin coconut oil :-). Supposedly you can microwave popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag, but I think I tried it once and wasn't impressed.


 You can, and that's the only way I do popcorn. Then a spray on a little bit of olive oil using a Misto and a little salt and shake.


 I'm discovering I don't need an oven, just my  decent sized countertop convection oven. Once we get the woodstove going, probably won't need the stovetop, either.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6883
  • Location: BC
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2015, 11:18:02 AM »
I have lived without a microwave for three years.

When I eat leftovers I either eat them cold or warm them up on the stove. I do not like idea of tiny microwaves heating my foods. It seems unsafe to eat to me.

This is not justified by science or anything just a personal preference. I have not missed eating without a microwave.

I still drink Tea and everything I just use the stove.

Induction stove tops must really freak you out, then.  A stove top that doesn't get hot ...?

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6883
  • Location: BC
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2015, 11:23:26 AM »
I did the reverse, a townhouse I bought had an old, near broken wall oven, so I used the toaster oven an microwave and an electric skillet for everything.   So much less electricity consumed.

The microwave oven cooks a whole meatloaf in under 10 minutes.  Chocolate cake in 5-8 minutes, etc.  Rice, veggies, all worked out great.

I do use an oven more now, as I bake bread, make jam and all, but I always think about the energy cost.

monstermonster

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4271
  • Age: 33
  • Location: The People's Republic of Portland (Oregon)
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2015, 12:10:13 PM »
I've never had a microwave and I don't really feel like I'm missing out. The only time I ever use it is at work where we have one, though I've worked places without them and haven't found it problematic. Just as easy with a toaster oven and a tea kettle!

Edit: I also have an electric air popcorn maker from the 1980's and it's my favorite single-use kitchen item ever. I eat popcorn 4 times a week or so it's not as ridiculous as it sounds!

Marie13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2015, 12:20:34 PM »
I didn't have a microwave for years. No counter room in kitchen. But my landlord (I rent a condo) needed to replace the stove exhaust hood. He asked me if I wanted an over-stove microwave with built in exhaust fan. I said yes, and it's been wonderful having a microwave again. I use it for reheating leftovers and such. I have an electric stove and using the microwave is cheaper, especially for something like a baked potato.

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2177
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pueblo West, CO
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2015, 11:38:58 PM »
I have been in my new apartment for 3 months and it doesn't have a microwave. The landlord is installing one this week. I miss reheating leftovers and quick nachos.

WildJager

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
  • Age: 34
    • Can't complain.
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2015, 07:43:36 PM »
My wife and I were deciding on whether we wanted a microwave in our future home were designing.  After a quick cost/benefits discussion it became pretty clear that it's a solid piece of technology.  We cook a lot, but when we do we make enough for plenty of leftovers.  Using an oven to reheat a single plate is easily less efficient than running a microwave for a few seconds. 

notquitefrugal

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 193
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2015, 07:51:32 PM »
The latch on my old Panasonic microwave broke while it was under warranty. Took it to the repair shop and it took forever to get the replacement part. I don't remember how long it took, but it was over a month. I used a toaster oven in the meantime. It got annoying after a couple of weeks. The magic smoke escaped from the Panasonic a few years later, and I replaced it with a Kenmore. Now have a different house with an over-the-range microwave, so gave the old Kenmore to a neighbor.

Bonus with the new house: Microwave and toaster oven are on separate circuits, so I can run them both at the same time without popping a breaker.

pancakes

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2015, 08:25:55 PM »
I don't have a microwave.

I had one that was given to us for free but we lived in a small apartment and didn't use it often enough to justify the counter space (melting butter and pop corn was about it). I typically don't reheat leftovers at home but take them into work where there is a microwave in our lunch room.

I think when we have children it might be something that we look at again.

NWlady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2015, 11:27:16 AM »
We too have gone without a microwave for 2+ years at our home, due to lack of space. But we do have them at our offices to reheat lunch meals.

It was a little bit of an adjustment when we first went without like everyone has mentioned but honestly reheating things on a pan or with the broiler tastes better than the microwave which can make foods rubbery in my opinion.

We're about to move in a month into our first purchase home and a microwave is likely not going in there either!

FoodieCycles

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Princeton, MA
    • Foodie Cycles Blog
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2015, 08:38:12 AM »
I try not to use my microwave for reheating food too much. We have a small Toaster Oven that we use for almost all of our leftovers. It takes less energy than turning on the big oven and it's quicker and the food doesn't get soggy like the microwave! I'm sure you could find one at Goodwill or somewhere cheap- you wont be disappointed!

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
  • Age: 41
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2015, 08:57:17 AM »
No need to use a kill-a-watt tester, simple math can do the job. 

If you have a 900watt microwave and you use it for 5 minutes the math is:

900w * ( 5min/60) / 1000 = 0.075 kWh.  ( /60 to convert minute to hours, and / 1000 to go from watts to kelowatts)
at my electric power rate of 0.12$/kwh this comes to
(0.12$/kwh) * 0.075 kWh = 0.009$ or less than one penny. 

Then I assume the defrost settings use less power so rather than the full 900watts it is drawing 600 watts or some such.

After I moved I did not have one for a few weeks, as others have said you can work around not having one without to much trouble but if you have room there is not much of a reason not to have one.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16884
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2015, 09:49:09 AM »
Our microwave is from the late 70's, and appears to be an indestructible wood paneled kitchen appliance . . . so hopefully we won't have to find out what life without one is like.  We do a lot of batch cooking on weekends and just reheat stuff throughout the week, so I'd certainly miss it if the microwave was gone.

Sid Hoffman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 789
  • Location: Southwest USA
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2015, 10:34:22 AM »
No need to use a kill-a-watt tester, simple math can do the job.

Came to post the same thing.  All microwaves list their power rating right on them.  A great way to make a crude measurement of efficiency is to see how much waste heat there is.  When you put something in your microwave, how hot is the microwave inside and all around it?  Generally not at all. The microwave oven is still room temperature, or close to it.

Now put something in your oven.  How much heat is coming off the vents of your oven?  How much heat is still left in the oven itself?  It's a crapload!  Cooktops?  Same deal: they're constantly venting waste heat to the atmosphere, as is easily felt by all the heat that rises around the pot/pan.  Heat not in your food = wasted energy.  I 100% guarantee that a microwave oven is more electrically efficient than any open cooktop or oven.

I still use my cooktop, oven, and a small toaster/oven regularly because (obviously) different cooking methods give you different food texture, but I use my microwave for everything that is appropriate to do so.  It's just the most efficient use of resources.

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
  • Age: 41
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2015, 12:04:01 PM »
Now put something in your oven.  How much heat is coming off the vents of your oven?  How much heat is still left in the oven itself?  It's a crapload!  Cooktops?  Same deal: they're constantly venting waste heat to the atmosphere, as is easily felt by all the heat that rises around the pot/pan.  Heat not in your food = wasted energy.  I 100% guarantee that a microwave oven is more electrically efficient than any open cooktop or oven.

I still use my cooktop, oven, and a small toaster/oven regularly because (obviously) different cooking methods give you different food texture, but I use my microwave for everything that is appropriate to do so.  It's just the most efficient use of resources.

Energy is wasted unless you are also heating your home :-)  Using a gas oven when the gas furnace is set to a temperature more-or-less displaces gas used by the furnace to maintain the interior temperature.  Mixing cooking heat sources and home heating sources gets even more fun.  But all this is getting way down in the weeds. 

This is probably why engineers dont get invited to parties.

Gone Fishing

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2830
  • So Close went fishing on April 1, 2016
    • Journal
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2015, 12:12:13 PM »
Now put something in your oven.  How much heat is coming off the vents of your oven?  How much heat is still left in the oven itself?  It's a crapload!  Cooktops?  Same deal: they're constantly venting waste heat to the atmosphere, as is easily felt by all the heat that rises around the pot/pan.  Heat not in your food = wasted energy.  I 100% guarantee that a microwave oven is more electrically efficient than any open cooktop or oven.

I still use my cooktop, oven, and a small toaster/oven regularly because (obviously) different cooking methods give you different food texture, but I use my microwave for everything that is appropriate to do so.  It's just the most efficient use of resources.

Energy is wasted unless you are also heating your home :-)  Using a gas oven when the gas furnace is set to a temperature more-or-less displaces gas used by the furnace to maintain the interior temperature.  Mixing cooking heat sources and home heating sources gets even more fun.  But all this is getting way down in the weeds. 

This is probably why engineers dont get invited to parties.

We live in an area with a high cooling requirements and heat with wood, so excess heat from cooking hurts most of the year and offsets very little in terms of expense in the winter.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6197
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2015, 12:49:56 PM »
Now put something in your oven.  How much heat is coming off the vents of your oven?  How much heat is still left in the oven itself?  It's a crapload!  Cooktops?  Same deal: they're constantly venting waste heat to the atmosphere, as is easily felt by all the heat that rises around the pot/pan.  Heat not in your food = wasted energy.  I 100% guarantee that a microwave oven is more electrically efficient than any open cooktop or oven.

I still use my cooktop, oven, and a small toaster/oven regularly because (obviously) different cooking methods give you different food texture, but I use my microwave for everything that is appropriate to do so.  It's just the most efficient use of resources.

Energy is wasted unless you are also heating your home :-)  Using a gas oven when the gas furnace is set to a temperature more-or-less displaces gas used by the furnace to maintain the interior temperature.  Mixing cooking heat sources and home heating sources gets even more fun.  But all this is getting way down in the weeds. 

This is probably why engineers dont get invited to parties.

Unless you're one of the millions upon millions of households that are paying to cool their houses. :P

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
  • Age: 41
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2015, 01:21:04 PM »
Now put something in your oven.  How much heat is coming off the vents of your oven?  How much heat is still left in the oven itself?  It's a crapload!  Cooktops?  Same deal: they're constantly venting waste heat to the atmosphere, as is easily felt by all the heat that rises around the pot/pan.  Heat not in your food = wasted energy.  I 100% guarantee that a microwave oven is more electrically efficient than any open cooktop or oven.

I still use my cooktop, oven, and a small toaster/oven regularly because (obviously) different cooking methods give you different food texture, but I use my microwave for everything that is appropriate to do so.  It's just the most efficient use of resources.

Energy is wasted unless you are also heating your home :-)  Using a gas oven when the gas furnace is set to a temperature more-or-less displaces gas used by the furnace to maintain the interior temperature.  Mixing cooking heat sources and home heating sources gets even more fun.  But all this is getting way down in the weeds. 

This is probably why engineers dont get invited to parties.

Unless you're one of the millions upon millions of households that are paying to cool their houses. :P

Yes clearly running the oven while the AC is on is a double whammy of costs.  One could rig up a system to capture the heat the AC is pumping to the outside and cook with that but that would make the AC less efficient, so I will stick with paying 0.9 cents to make a cup of tea in the microwave.

Cadman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
  • Location: Midwest
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2015, 01:42:42 PM »
Just as an aside to some of the comments above, a good way to kill your microwave is to use it for popcorn. It's extremely hard on the magnetron since the moisture content is so low.

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3845
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2015, 02:35:21 PM »
I don't generally microwave at home since I reheat my food at work and cook dinner fresh every night, but my boyfriend uses it constantly. I do wish there was some way to make it take up less space, because we have a small kitchen, but it could be a lot worse.

redbird

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2015, 10:09:09 PM »
I've lived without microwaves for a month or so on end during overseas moves. Generally you're dealing with not having pots and pans too, so you can't cook with the oven/stove either. It's quite obnoxious. You end up eating a lot of things that don't require cooking.

I agree that heating up in the oven or stove does make food taste better than in the microwave, but there's a $$ cost and a time cost to doing so. The taste is not significantly enough different for most things to make it worth that to me. I find that the worst things in the microwave are anything with bread. Those feel more worth using the oven for.

Our microwave is from the late 70's, and appears to be an indestructible wood paneled kitchen appliance . . . so hopefully we won't have to find out what life without one is like.  We do a lot of batch cooking on weekends and just reheat stuff throughout the week, so I'd certainly miss it if the microwave was gone.

Microwaves are cheap nowadays. You can buy one for $50 or less. Honestly, your one from the 70's is probably costing you compared to a modern one. Probably is less energy efficient. If you use it that much, it would be worth the cost.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16884
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2015, 05:51:50 AM »
Our microwave is from the late 70's, and appears to be an indestructible wood paneled kitchen appliance . . . so hopefully we won't have to find out what life without one is like.  We do a lot of batch cooking on weekends and just reheat stuff throughout the week, so I'd certainly miss it if the microwave was gone.

Microwaves are cheap nowadays. You can buy one for $50 or less. Honestly, your one from the 70's is probably costing you compared to a modern one. Probably is less energy efficient. If you use it that much, it would be worth the cost.

Not sure if that's really a concern.  We use the microwave for 2-4 minutes a night on weeknights . . . that's not a hell of a lot of time for energy consumption to be a problem.  I'll have to check the sticker at the back to see what the usage is on it though.  I do know that in the last 15 years that my wife and I have been using this microwave my mother has gone through three newer ones.  :P

Last Night

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2015, 06:41:13 AM »
Going on our 3rd year without a microwave.  We didn't toss it because of cost benefit scenarios or because we save $0.0003 dollars/meal over using our stove, it's for the health risks associated with one.

We reheat leftovers in a pan using our natural gas range and at work I am bound by a microwave unfortunately.  It's far from a necessity, but I will admit you can't beat the convenience.

Cadman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
  • Location: Midwest
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2015, 06:54:10 AM »
Do NOT get rid of that 70's microwave- the efficiency gains are few and completely nullified by the fact that you'd enter the never ending cycle of today's throwaway machines. Your current MW can actually be repaired if something goes wrong...forget it with the new ones. I say this as someone that helps people keep their 1970's Amana Radaranges up and running as a hobby/side hustle.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16884
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2015, 07:00:57 AM »
We didn't toss it because of cost benefit scenarios or because we save $0.0003 dollars/meal over using our stove, it's for the health risks associated with one.

Which health risks are those?

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
  • Age: 41
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2015, 07:47:46 AM »
We didn't toss it because of cost benefit scenarios or because we save $0.0003 dollars/meal over using our stove, it's for the health risks associated with one.

Which health risks are those?

Maybe this one:  http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave/plants.asp (spoiler alert link does not say microwaves are dangerous).  But if there is actual science-n-stuff I would love to read it.  Otherwise I have read that it is thought that nutrition suffers as microwaves can make it really easy to live off frozen convenience foods - but this is bunk if you simply dont eat the junk convenience foods. 

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6883
  • Location: BC
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2015, 09:55:12 PM »
We didn't toss it because of cost benefit scenarios or because we save $0.0003 dollars/meal over using our stove, it's for the health risks associated with one.

Which health risks are those?

The same health risks from sitting in front of a fire that is radiating heat.  (If you ignore smoke inhalation).

Conduction, Convection, and Radiation.   The three ways to transfer heat.   

A fireplace uses all three.

A pot placed on a hot stone at the campfire -- conduction.
A pot places over a fire -- Convection
A pot placed beside the fire (or you sitting there) -- Radiation.

Microwaves -- Radiation.   Nothing weird about that.   The wavelengths may differ, of course.

Now here is a fact -- barbeque "char" is a known carcinogen.   I hope the anti-microwavers for health reasons don't eat salty foods or barbeque.


Sid Hoffman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 789
  • Location: Southwest USA
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2015, 10:31:41 PM »
Energy is wasted unless you are also heating your home :-)  Using a gas oven when the gas furnace is set to a temperature more-or-less displaces gas used by the furnace to maintain the interior temperature.  Mixing cooking heat sources and home heating sources gets even more fun.  But all this is getting way down in the weeds. 

This is probably why engineers dont get invited to parties.

I live in the desert, so the heating season is pretty minimal, plus the cost is asymmetric: my peak electric rate in the winter is only 10¢/kwh but the summer rate is 22¢/kwh.  The peak hours are 1pm - 8pm, which means that when I use the oven for dinner in the summertime, I'm using up the most expensive power during the time of the day that the heat pump is working its hardest to keep the house cool.  It's a pretty ugly mix for sure.

For someone in a cold climate with natural gas appliances I can see how it's a different story.  Even for winter though, my understanding of how a home heat pump works means that even for heating, the heat pump is more energy efficient than direct resistance heating, such as the oven would be doing.  It just doesn't matter much in the winter though since the electricity is so much cheaper.

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14155
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: 60 days without a Microwave
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2015, 09:05:36 AM »
As a Northerner I can talk about that.  If I have the house thermostat set low, and have the oven or stove on, my kitchen will be a bit warmer, which is nice for me since that is the room I am in.  Of course if the whole house is toasty warm, then the kitchen will be too hot.  So the system has to be in place to take advantage of local heat sources.

I actually take advantage of the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs that give off heat.  In the winter they are the lights for my bathroom - when I shower, and have the bathroom door closed, the rest of the house stays cool but the bathroom warms up just a bit.  Of course when spring comes, I change out the bulbs for CFLs, I don't want a hot bathroom in summer  ;-)  Hmm, maybe I should change the CFL in my favourite reading lamp back to an incandescent for winter - it is only on when I am sitting there, and the extra warmth would be nice.

Energy is wasted unless you are also heating your home :-)  Using a gas oven when the gas furnace is set to a temperature more-or-less displaces gas used by the furnace to maintain the interior temperature.  Mixing cooking heat sources and home heating sources gets even more fun.  But all this is getting way down in the weeds. 

This is probably why engineers dont get invited to parties.

I live in the desert, so the heating season is pretty minimal, plus the cost is asymmetric: my peak electric rate in the winter is only 10¢/kwh but the summer rate is 22¢/kwh.  The peak hours are 1pm - 8pm, which means that when I use the oven for dinner in the summertime, I'm using up the most expensive power during the time of the day that the heat pump is working its hardest to keep the house cool.  It's a pretty ugly mix for sure.

For someone in a cold climate with natural gas appliances I can see how it's a different story.  Even for winter though, my understanding of how a home heat pump works means that even for heating, the heat pump is more energy efficient than direct resistance heating, such as the oven would be doing.  It just doesn't matter much in the winter though since the electricity is so much cheaper.