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Screw the Nuke! My microwave died...


judiu
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My second hand microwave died, and now I'm discovering how much more tasty even "microwave" entrees are cooked in a real oven! I like even Hot Pockets, but they're so much better when they're baked than 'nuked'. I LOVE roasted veggies, and the microwave just doesn't cut it! Feelings?

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I've discovered that just about anything you can reheat in the microwave will be better either in a frying pan, or in the toaster oven. Now that I have a convection toaster...I say screw the microwave, too.

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I have a combination microwave, grill and fan ("convection") oven.

One unit with versatility.

I would never again give house-room to a sole-purpose microwave.

One point about such combis - do check out the user interface, in detail, before purchase.

'Someone I Used to Know' was always being caught out by the touch-pad Panasonic "defaulting" back to straight (and full power) microwave whenever the time ran out. So instead of giving another few minutes of fan oven heat to hold stuff a little longer, she'd accidentally zap stuff to oblivion...

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I've never owned one. I can't imagine having the counter space for such a coffin-like object. I don't like the way the food tastes when only the water has been cooked.

What are you going to do with the counter space?

For popcorn, I recommend the Whirly Pop. Note my abhorrance to extra stuff in the kitchen, and yet, the Whirly Pop rules.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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We have a GE Profile combination microwave and convection oven, and we absolutely love it.

I use the microwave for heating milk and butter for mashed potatoes, for softening butter, for partially thawing some things, for reheating soups and leftovers, and of course for popcorn. It's also good for softening ice cream that's been in the deep freeze, to get it just soft enough to be able to scoop without breaking the spoon.

The convection oven bakes the most beautiful pies I've ever turned out, and does fantastic roasted potatoes and vegetables. I could go on, but you get the idea.

My kitchen is small. As long as we're in this house, this combo device is the only way I'm going to have two ovens. If the house catches fire, my husband and I will likely endanger our lives, fighting over which one of us gets to carry it out. Screw the family pictures and the heirlooms... :biggrin:

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I've always wanted one of those big fancy shmancy convection microwaves. I think I would use it, a lot. I know I get a ton of mileage out of my convection toaster. I think I just hate my microwave.

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Our microwave lives on top of the refrigerator.  No counter space used.

Hmmm.......

Both my fridge and I stand a little bit over 5 feet. Makes it tricky to reach a microwave! :biggrin: But it would be loverly if that could work for me.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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For popcorn, I recommend the Whirly Pop.  Note my abhorrance to extra stuff in the kitchen, and yet, the Whirly Pop rules.

:wub: Yes, indeed, the Whirley Pop rules! (and no mystery shortening, preservatives, flavorings, etc. as in the microwave packets) :wub:

My favorite and most common use of the microwave is its timer -- to time OTHER things.

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Lindacakes,

I agree with you on the whirlypop. I gave them to to all my family and friends over the years. We can't eat any other style of popcorn anymore. After awhile, micro popcorn is unbearable and we can't stand the smell of it. I've turned into a popcorn snob. Very snooty indeed.

Oh, go put on your big girl panties and just DEAL with it!

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...

My favorite and most common use of the microwave is its timer -- to time OTHER things.

I do hope that you are not running the thing empty.

For most domestic microwave ovens running empty is serious abuse.

Beyond damaging the machine, worst case, you could start a fire...

Running empty

Warning! Never operate a microwave oven without food or liquid inside it.

http://www.repairclinic.com/0088_6_2.asp
• Refer to the instruction manual for your oven. Some microwave ovens should not be operated when empty.
http://www.fda.gov/consumer/updates/microwave112107.html

Unless you have specifically checked your manual for a statement that it is safe to operate empty - don't do it, please! Its cheaper and safer to use a simple purpose-built timer.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Dougal, how old is your microwave?

I've yet to see one that doesn't have a timer (and it doesn't require the waves to be on)

Both the micro/fan/grill combis that I get to use must be more than five years old.

Actually, neither has a "minute minder" function.

While that is a near-zero cost feature for a manufacturer to add to a unit with electronic controls, but I think its still rarely seen on those with simpler-to-use analogue knobs linked to mechanical switches... (if you check my first post in this thread, I indicate why simplicity was such an important virtue!)

Naturally, there's no harm (other than wasted space and money) in principally using it's 'minute minder' -- but the warning remains, don't run a microwave empty...

And the point of raising the subject of such combis, (though I forgot to state it explicitly), was this from the original post

... I LOVE roasted veggies, and the microwave just doesn't cut it! Feelings?

A plain microwave simply won't/can't roast food.

But in the same space, a combi can really roast or (not just and) nuke.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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As far as I am concerned, the microwave is for three things only:  1. reheating leftovers, etc; 2. speedy defrosting; 3. popcorn.

But it's crucial for those three things.

I was with you until popcorn.

I can make popcorn on the stovetop in about the same time it takes to make microwave popcorn, and the flavor is incomparable.

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...

My favorite and most common use of the microwave is its timer -- to time OTHER things.

I do hope that you are not running the thing empty.

Dougal,

Most microwaves (here in the US) have electronic controls, so the timer can be used independently from the oven itself. Thanks for your concern, though.

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I use my micro to heat my expresso cup. Indispensable.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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I have one of the combination microwave/convection ovens. I love the thing as it makes wonderful biscuits, crisp on the outside and tender inside. I will have to try it for pie. I found early on not to try to cook skin on chicken in it as the grease gets all over it and it is very hard to clean it all out.

It's good for casserole type dishes, too.

As to the microwave part it is mainly used to melt butter and rewarm coffee..

Popcorn is made in the Whirly Pop in this house, too. No scorched paper bags. Do we have a "gag" Smiley?

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I use my microwave a lot. First, I love that it has a "warm sake" setting; I use that quite a bit, it's terribly convenient. Second, I use it to nuke my bento fillings in the morning, to bring them up to temperature. I even have a small microwave steamer that cooks small bits of vegetables perfectly. I also use my microwave to cook some things like chicken, for chicken salad - I have a recipe that calls for chicken to be steamed with shaoxing, ginger and green onion that works out great. The broth it creates is magnificent, and goes into the salad dressing.

I'd trade it in a minute for a real oven, though, which I don't have. Convection/microwave ovens seem to be popular in Japan, but I'm not convinced I'd get a good baked/roasted product out of them - has anyone used one, and can comment?

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As far as I am concerned, the microwave is for three things only:  1. reheating leftovers, etc; 2. speedy defrosting; 3. popcorn.

But it's crucial for those three things.

I was with you until popcorn.

I can make popcorn on the stovetop in about the same time it takes to make microwave popcorn, and the flavor is incomparable.

I have to agree with you on this one - jolly time popcorn and peanut oil. But, I can't compare the two, since I haven't owned a microwave oven ever.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I'd trade it in a minute for a real oven, though, which I don't have. Convection/microwave ovens seem to be popular in Japan, but I'm not convinced I'd get a good baked/roasted product out of them - has anyone used one, and can comment?

I find the convection is also great for baked potatoes. I don't like microwaved "baked" potato but the convection one does it in about 45 minutes depending on the size of the potato. The skin is crispy and the middle tender. I love baked potato skin so it works great for us. I also love baked sweet potatoes roasted in it. :wub:

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I'd trade it in a minute for a real oven, though, which I don't have. Convection/microwave ovens seem to be popular in Japan, but I'm not convinced I'd get a good baked/roasted product out of them - has anyone used one, and can comment?

I find the convection is also great for baked potatoes. I don't like microwaved "baked" potato but the convection one does it in about 45 minutes depending on the size of the potato. The skin is crispy and the middle tender. I love baked potato skin so it works great for us. I also love baked sweet potatoes roasted in it. :wub:

Well, I do love a good baked sweet potato. Have you ever tried anything like cookies or cakes in yours? I'd like to be able to make things like that as well.

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I neglected to mention in my post about our GE Profile microwave/convection oven, that there are three ways to use it:

1) as a microwave

2) as a convection oven

3) combination microwave and convection

Ours is used as either a microwave or a convection oven. I've never used the two in combination, because it's my assumption it would be like learning to cook all over again.

Baked goods do really well in convection ovens, especially things like pies, biscuits and cookies that need to brown. I've never tried a cake. Someone on the pastry and baking forum may need to address baking cakes in convection vs. regular ovens. I wonder whether the convection would dry the cake out any. In that short of time, I doubt it, but I don't actually know.

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