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How many times a day do you reheat food in the microwave? How many times a day or week do you COOK food in the microwave?

by (6229)
Updated about 14 hours ago
Created December 10, 2011 at 4:13 AM

I'm trying to get a sense of how people use the microwave.

I personally reheat food about 2-3 times a day in it but rarely cook food with it. I usually cook using the stovetop, oven, pressure cooker, toaster oven (not for toast anymore LOL), and rice cooker.

Just curious. I eat clean Primal/PHD at home, which is about 90% of the time, so wondering if cooking potatoes, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and the like would be all that bad in it.

I know I prefer the taste of cooked food that is NOT microwaved but honestly when reheating it I don't notice a difference between microwave and stovetop except for certain textures like chicken.

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4059 · January 07, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Yep, Aili spoke for me- ditto.

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78422 · December 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

On the other hand I've owned one (several) for over twenty five years, and I've used them less than ten times. I may never reach double figures.

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6709 · December 18, 2011 at 4:59 AM

No way, bacon takes a long time to cook compared to warming up beef/eggs/broccoli and if you wait to add those things until the end the grease is everywhere. Furthermore, unless your eating non grain fed bacon (only .0001% of the US is) you dont want nor need that extra Omega6 rich grease bomb. Cook your bacon in a ban and pour off the grease or between paper towels, and don't forget the fish oil pills to offset the Omega6's

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11557 · December 18, 2011 at 4:43 AM

I am totally with you, I don't have any room in my tiny closet-kitchen. If I had one, I would probably use it to reheat leftovers, it seems like a waste heating up the whole oven just to reheat a casserole...however, I agree that it tastes better in the oven, re-crisps and doesn't get a soggy texture.

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37187 · December 18, 2011 at 3:24 AM

90% of my use too, when I'm cooling things and don't want to forget to put them in the fridge.

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6087 · December 12, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Eggs, beef, broccoli, whatever. I just microwave the bacon while cooking other stuff.

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6229 · December 12, 2011 at 8:44 PM

What foods do you put atop the bacon? Thanks.

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1387 · December 12, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Ha ha, yea I don't really like sweet potatoes...too sweet.

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6087 · December 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

^ Wrong. Put the bacon on a plate with no towels. Put rest of food on top. Food absorbs bacon grease. Win-win.

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3717 · December 11, 2011 at 3:09 AM

Usually cooked between paper towels, which has the negative effect of soaking up some of the fat. I've done this but am now sold on cooking in the oven, starting with a cold oven. Just as easy as microwave, just need to start 15 minutes sooner.

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6229 · December 11, 2011 at 1:09 AM

never tried - does the melted bacon fat splatter or do you cover it?

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6229 · December 11, 2011 at 1:09 AM

never tried - does the melted bacon fat splatter?

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1716 · December 10, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Mind you, my reluctance to the use the microwave has nothing to do with fearing "teh scary brain rays" rather its just an issue of space. Plus I genuinely think that food reheated on the stove and oven taste a helluva lot better.

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6087 · December 10, 2011 at 8:38 PM

strange .

Medium avatar
8239 · December 10, 2011 at 6:12 PM

US Dept. of Labor, OSHA: "Non-ionizing radiation is essential to life, but excessive exposures will cause tissue damage.... Non-ionizing radiation is found in a wide range of occupational settings and can pose a considerable health risk to potentially exposed workers if not properly controlled" (http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation_nonionizing/index.html).

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1373 · December 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Mmmm, sweat potatoes.

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5949 · December 10, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Same here. I have no intention of ever buying one.

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2949 · December 10, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Nothing common sense about avoiding standing next to one: microwaves have non-ionizing radiation and are safe.

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5904 · December 10, 2011 at 7:19 AM

I cook a big batch of something on Sunday and then freeze it in ready to eat portions. Then I "re-heat' it during the week. This is the most efficient way to eat good quality food with the minimum amount of time spent. I don't have time to cook during the week.

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3743 · December 10, 2011 at 6:44 AM

Nothing against microwaves but I don't own one.

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20519 · December 10, 2011 at 4:27 AM

Not me - I don't own a microwave. All stovetop or oven for reheating.

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29 Answers

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860 · December 10, 2011 at 7:31 AM

Several times a day. I do the bulk cook-and-freeze-then-reheat method. Microwaving food has both positives and negatives, just like conventional cooking vs. eating things raw. I haven't found any convincing evidence that microwaving is better or worse overall compared to other forms of heating and cooking.

Wikipedia lists some good studies that show both positive and negative effects of microwaving. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven#Effects_on_food_and_nutrients

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8239 · December 10, 2011 at 5:24 AM

Never microwave anything in plastic. Including wrappers. In fact, if your food comes in "wrappers," stop that. (I'm referring to seriously "packaged" food, not literally everything wrapped.)

"Re-heat" is an odd term. In general you don't want to be cooking and re-cooking your food. Cook once, consume. If you're large quantities and reheating portions sequentially, I'll just say that's not my approach.

Oh, and for what it's worth. I don't recommend standing next to an active microwave. Something like common sense, it would seem.

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5904 · December 10, 2011 at 7:19 AM

I cook a big batch of something on Sunday and then freeze it in ready to eat portions. Then I "re-heat' it during the week. This is the most efficient way to eat good quality food with the minimum amount of time spent. I don't have time to cook during the week.

Medium avatar
8239 · December 10, 2011 at 6:12 PM

US Dept. of Labor, OSHA: "Non-ionizing radiation is essential to life, but excessive exposures will cause tissue damage.... Non-ionizing radiation is found in a wide range of occupational settings and can pose a considerable health risk to potentially exposed workers if not properly controlled" (http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiation_nonionizing/index.html).

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2949 · December 10, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Nothing common sense about avoiding standing next to one: microwaves have non-ionizing radiation and are safe.

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549 · December 10, 2011 at 5:07 AM

never, ever use it. We had one years ago, got rid of it and have not missed it at all.

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6087 · December 10, 2011 at 8:38 PM

strange .

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4059 · January 07, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Yep, Aili spoke for me- ditto.

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15003 · December 10, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I'm with Paul Jaminet: "microwave warming is a central part of [my] lifestyle." Science FTW!

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1716 · December 10, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Don't use a microwave at all, don't miss it in the kitchen. Our kitchen is too small for one anyway. Most meals are cooked fresh and leftovers are reheated on the stovetop or baked in the oven.

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1716 · December 10, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Mind you, my reluctance to the use the microwave has nothing to do with fearing "teh scary brain rays" rather its just an issue of space. Plus I genuinely think that food reheated on the stove and oven taste a helluva lot better.

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11557 · December 18, 2011 at 4:43 AM

I am totally with you, I don't have any room in my tiny closet-kitchen. If I had one, I would probably use it to reheat leftovers, it seems like a waste heating up the whole oven just to reheat a casserole...however, I agree that it tastes better in the oven, re-crisps and doesn't get a soggy texture.

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11111 · December 10, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Never and never - microwaved food just does not taste right to me.

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376 · December 10, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Don't own one, don't use one.

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5949 · December 10, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Same here. I have no intention of ever buying one.

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5904 · December 10, 2011 at 4:57 AM

I never cook food in a microwave. I do use it for reheating meals 2-3 nights a week. And I always use glass containers.

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6087 · December 10, 2011 at 4:21 AM

Microwaved bacon is legit.

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6229 · December 11, 2011 at 1:09 AM

never tried - does the melted bacon fat splatter or do you cover it?

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09
6087 · December 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

^ Wrong. Put the bacon on a plate with no towels. Put rest of food on top. Food absorbs bacon grease. Win-win.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e
6229 · December 11, 2011 at 1:09 AM

never tried - does the melted bacon fat splatter?

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3717 · December 11, 2011 at 3:09 AM

Usually cooked between paper towels, which has the negative effect of soaking up some of the fat. I've done this but am now sold on cooking in the oven, starting with a cold oven. Just as easy as microwave, just need to start 15 minutes sooner.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e
6229 · December 12, 2011 at 8:44 PM

What foods do you put atop the bacon? Thanks.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09
6087 · December 12, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Eggs, beef, broccoli, whatever. I just microwave the bacon while cooking other stuff.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3
6709 · December 18, 2011 at 4:59 AM

No way, bacon takes a long time to cook compared to warming up beef/eggs/broccoli and if you wait to add those things until the end the grease is everywhere. Furthermore, unless your eating non grain fed bacon (only .0001% of the US is) you dont want nor need that extra Omega6 rich grease bomb. Cook your bacon in a ban and pour off the grease or between paper towels, and don't forget the fish oil pills to offset the Omega6's

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1307 · December 18, 2011 at 3:12 AM

I mostly just use my microwave for the timer (while I cook on the stove).

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37187 · December 18, 2011 at 3:24 AM

90% of my use too, when I'm cooling things and don't want to forget to put them in the fridge.

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78422 · December 10, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I hardly ever use it to warm or cook foods but it makes a super safe place to thaw meats with 4 dogs in the house!

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8879 · December 10, 2011 at 5:37 PM

The only thing I cook in a microwave are those steam-in-bag veggies. I reheat stuff often. Everything from coffee to leftovers.

Water still boils at 100 degrees C in a microwave. That's what cooks your food. I've yet to see any evidence of microwaves altering food in any sort of meaningful way, though I remain open to the possibility (show me the money!).

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41460 · December 10, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Oy, are folks still freaking out about microwaved food being "hazardous"?

I cook on the stovetop or oven 3-4 times per week, the rest of the time I'm simply rewarming in the microwave.

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4306 · December 10, 2011 at 2:25 PM

I cannot bring myself to ever use a microwave oven. From what I have read, it does some kind of damage to the food or water that it treats. Unhealthy methinks.

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1579 · December 10, 2011 at 1:13 PM

I make big batches of meals and reheat them in the microwave; I'm in college so that works best with my schedule. Usually I use it 1-2 times a day. I also cook sweet potatoes in the microwave and steam broccoli in a glass container. I never microwave in plastic containers, only glass and ceramic.

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2417 · December 10, 2011 at 6:19 AM

I probably use my microwave three times a week - twice to reheat food (usually not for me) and once to thaw some meat for the dog or I in a hurry.

I keep thinking I'll get rid of it, but I have such a crummy stove/oven - it's horribly inefficient to reheat food that way. One of these days I'll get a countertop convection oven...

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37187 · December 18, 2011 at 3:25 AM

Once per day, I heat a little water so I can dissolve rapadura sugar for making water kefir.

Once per week, I heat white sugar and water to make syrup for hummingbird feeders.

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2936 · December 18, 2011 at 3:21 AM

I boil coffee water in the morning, one o them little single-cup drip funnels. Then sometimes I give the slow-cooker a head start by boiling the water. Other than that, I rarely use it anymore. If I decide to reintroduce rice to my diet (I got tons in the pantry), I'll use the microwave a lot then. But that's still just basically boiling water, isn't it? Microwaves are good for that, at least.

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10255 · December 10, 2011 at 10:02 PM

i use a microwave at work to boil distilled water for tea...my coworkers pollute the kettle with tap water :(

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115 · December 10, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Never. I gave away to a friend of mine before paleo in exchange for a large freezer.

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70 · December 10, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Got rid of the microwave about a year ago. I don't miss it. You just have to plan ahead for thawing meat and other items. Everything else I use the oven. Just a simple change in lifestyle, if I'm in a hurry, I eat it cold.

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572 · December 10, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Once in a while I have to heat water when I'm at work so I can have some tea. I'm toying with the idea of bringing in an electric tea kettle, but I may be hard pressed to have anywhere to plug it in. Sad!

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1373 · December 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM

I don't like old food in general, so I usually cook my food right before I eat it. My microwave, however, still gets extensively used as I bake potatoes in it. Every. Every. Day. I really don't notice a taste difference between microwaved and oven-baked potatoes, and I like to have my potatoes within ten minutes time as opposed to one or more hours. I've noticed almost as a rule that microwaved red meat is nasty. I'll occasionally do salmon and chicken in it though, because I'm either too hungry to wait for oven baked food or it's too hot to turn on the oven.

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1387 · December 10, 2011 at 3:30 PM

If there are leftovers to eat, I definitely reheat in the microwave. I think it is a superior way to warm leftovers. I also occasionally cook sweat potatoes and other tubers in the microwave.

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1373 · December 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Mmmm, sweat potatoes.

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1387 · December 12, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Ha ha, yea I don't really like sweet potatoes...too sweet.

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235 · December 10, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Less than once a week, if I am in a real hurry. I prefer to rehead food in the oven or a pan.

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11683 · December 10, 2011 at 3:10 PM

I am trying to use mine less and less. I'm just not convinced it's all that good for you. Also, food reheated in the microwave doesn't stay warm for as long as when it's reheated on the stove. I'm not making that up, I read the science about it somewhere.

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813 · December 10, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I never had one and I'll never have a microwave.

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13635 · December 10, 2011 at 1:01 PM

It's very very rare for me use the MW. That's not a conscience decision to avoid it, it just turned out I didn't need it after going paleo. My MW has become a giant boxy clock that takes up a lot of space.

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3808 · December 10, 2011 at 4:57 AM

I used a microwave for the first time in probably 5 years last night.

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