(Long Overdue) Kitchen Upgrade: Adding a Microwave

We moved into our house in July 2011, and for the next year and a half, we lived without a microwave.

It sounds like kind of a long time, right? Especially since there was really no good reason for it. It wasn’t like we had some kind of philosophical objection to microwaves, or to adding new appliances — we had the dishwasher installed before we even moved in, after all. And while we’re definitely not rich or anything, it’s not like we couldn’t afford a microwave, since as far as kitchen appliances go they’re not the most expensive.

Overall, I guess it boiled down to procrastination and indecision. Since our kitchen has a fairly limited supply of counter space, for the longest time we were thinking our best bet would be to install one of those over-the-range ones:

Range Top Microwave Selection

But in addition to being more expensive, an over-the-range microwave would mean extra work to install, and it seemed like there was barely enough clearance to fit one in without removing the cabinets above our current range hood — and the more time that went by, the more attractive the simpler little set-them-on-the-counter variety began to look:

Microwave Selection In Store

Until finally, last month, we finally pulled the trigger and brought home a shiny new microwave of our very own — just a simple GE Mid-Size microwave in stainless steel. To avoid taking up any valuable counter space, we put it on the other side of the kitchen, where it now lives on a wheely cart we found in the basement:

Microwave On Cart

Definitely not much to look at — that entire side of the kitchen is kind of a big clutter repository at the moment — but it has potential to be transformed to eventually include a proper microwave nook, and maybe a pantry and/or some shelves or cabinets to add to our kitchen’s storage capabilities.

As for us, so far we’ve been very happy with our newest kitchen appliance. We use it at least three times a day, all while asking ourselves, “how did we survive for so long without one of these things?”

What about you guys — does your kitchen currently have a microwave? How often do you use it, and how long do you think you could last without it?

6 Comments

  1. Hi! I’m actually wondering how you guys survived so long without one! LOL I know we love ours! I use it pretty much every day, at least a couple of times a day, usually three times like you do. I use it in the mornings to warm up our turkey sausage for breakfast (have to watch the fat and cholesterol around here), to warm up something for lunch since Bill and I work from home, and I cook a lot of those bagged steamable vegetables from the freezer section to go with dinner. Those are so good, by the way! Microwaves are valuable tools, especially for working parents! I think if ours went kaflooey right now, I would have to run out and get another one immediately!! LOL

    • Haha, I know! Breakfasts are one of the things we missed — up until getting the microwave we’d pretty much limited ourselves to what we could prepare in the toaster, but now Joe’s eating sausage biscuits, and I’ve been enjoying these tasty corndog-like things, except they’re breakfast sausage wrapped in pancake. (Delicious, but probably not very healthy!) I love those steamable frozen bags of vegetables, though — I think I’d almost forgotten how easy they were to pop in the microwave after spending over a year cooking them on the stove. Saves so much time!

  2. Oh, yes! Mine did go kaflooey a few months back, and since it had been a good one, I wanted to get the same model again. Had to wait for it to be shipped! Nearly starved to death, but unfortunately, did not lose even one pound! Besides the usual, I use it for prep, like melting butter or chocolate. Also heat milk without worry about boiling over, for cafe au lait.

    One thing to be aware of, should you remodel your kitchen, is which way the door opens. I didn’t think about that when I decided to put it on the right end of the cabinet wall, and it’s a little awkward. You can get microwaves in Europe that open in either direction, but in the US, all are hinged on the left!

    Enjoy yours!

    • Microwaves going kaflooey don’t sound like much fun at all! And I know what you mean about the little prep things — we’ve figured out how to cook almost everything on the stove, but when you have a little something you want to melt, or a small portion of sauce out of the fridge and you just want to warm it up for 15 seconds, it seems almost impractical to have to mess with the stove for those kinds of things.

      Thanks for the reminder about the microwave door thing — I just realized that I’d been envisioning a microwave nook toward the right corner of that wall, but it may be worth reconsidering with the direction the microwave door opens. So many little things to take into account when planning a kitchen!

  3. Wow, I have almost gone microwave-free, because I don’t like how they make meat textures rubbery. That being said, it has a lot to do with my being retired – I have time now to slow-cook stuff, which is WAY tastier, but not very convenient when you are working. And I still use my microwave (and have an extra from when I worked, that I kept in my classroom; eventually I will have it out in the rabbitry, probably) for warming casseroles, finishing off oatmeal, and melting stuff to go into recipes, like mom said. I like your cart, since a microwave is about convenience, and the moveability just adds to the convenience.

    • That’s true about the rubbery texture, and it was actually one of the few things we liked about re-heating all of our leftovers on the stove — the quality of the food always seemed to come out much better, even though it was a lot less convenient. Being able to do a lot of slow-cooking does sound like it would be a lot tastier though! And that’s a good point about the movability of the cart — I hadn’t even thought about that part, but maybe because there’s not much room to move it anywhere else, hehe ;)

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