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BRIANA: We’ll call this one “Defend the Downward Trend”: The microwave is a kitchen staple, but Jessica alerted me to the news that its sales in the U.S. have been flagging for almost a decade. How do you feel about microwaves? Are you attached to your “science oven” or are you more into toaster ovens? Do you think they’re an ugly waste of kitchen real estate or would you be lost without one?

Would  you miss your microwave?

FARIMA: I am a stove/toaster oven girl. I can’t remember the last time I used a microwave  — I’ve even switched to making popcorn on the stove (It’s so much tastier than microwaveable popcorn!) If it wasn’t built in, I would definitely get rid of it!

KERI: I’ll be the first to admit that I mostly just use my microwave for heating up water for tea in the morning. If I didn’t have it, I guess I’d just move right along to the stove. Plus, this year, I finally learned to pop popcorn over the stove. (Farima’s right: SO much tastier and healthier, too!) Wait, why do I have a microwave again? Oh wait, I steam vegetables in there, too. It has a purpose!

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I’m with Farima. Ours came with the house and I rarely use it. I say take it out and bring back the appliance garage.

ALYSSA: I feel like the microwave is something you think you don’t need until all of a sudden you need it. It gets a bad rap for all the unhealthy “healthy” frozen meals it nukes, but it’s also a lifesaver if you’re short on time. I’ll use it if I want to steam veggies in a hurry and can’t wait for the water to boil on the stove — not all of us have an Electrolux, Kelly Ripa.

DAVID HAYNES: I’m a dude, so I think you can guess where I line up. I don’t cook so much as I “warm.” I’d be climbing the walls without the microwave. And I’ve seen some design suggestions for squirreling them away in a walk-in pantry or some such. Nope. Mine stays front and center.

NANCY FIRE, Design Director of HGTV HOME: I agree with Farima on all counts…especially when it comes to popcorn. Seriously, I would get rid of our microwave because I hardly use it. I too am a toaster girl at heart!

KAYLA: Microwaves are hideous, but they get the job done quick. Plus, I don’t have the patience to wait for my ancient oven to heat up to warm leftovers. When I get a “real” home, I’ll opt for a toaster oven, but until then I’m happy with my college-style microwave.

LILI: I think our toaster oven gets more use than our real oven. It’s fancy so you can set the temperature and use it like a real stove in a tenth of the time. So I agree, I’m toaster oven all the way. Though I did just heat up leftover Chinese in the microwave last night…

JESSICA: At my old house the roommates and I mostly used it as a glorified breadbox/clock. Now that I’m [further] down South, I only got a microwave as of Christmas. It wasn’t bad and half the time I didn’t even notice…that is, until those days when you come home, you’re tired and there’s nothing you want more than to stuff your face with anything and go to sleep — almost impossible to do if you have to wait 25 minutes to warm up your scrappy burrito leftovers. Also, I don’t think I “get” toaster ovens? They make me really anxious and my first “use” of one was in the game The Sims. Summary: I’d rather have a Margaritaville.

WATSON HAWKINS: I still use a microwave to warm up a coffee mug and refrigerated leftovers, but primarily it sits on the counter because it just…won’t…break, which would give us the excuse we’re looking for to toss it. We did, however, invest less than $125 for the bad boy pictured, a Panasonic that uses infrared light to cook food 40% faster than conventional coils — plus it heats up instantly, which means super-fast cinnamon toast.

Do you like microwaves or prefer toaster ovens? Vote now on HGTV's blog!

Panasonic FlashXpress™ Toaster Oven with Double Infrared Heating

It’s been a godsend for our 3-year-old frozen-chicken-nugget connoisseur and it puts a nice crisp on the edges of day-old pizza that a microwave could only dream of doing. One more plus: it has a small countertop footprint — crucial for our tight kitchen — but it’s roomy inside if we’re looking to bake.

LIZ: I love my toaster oven very, very much. Who wants to eat microwaved pizza? Not this gal. However…I’ll always have a microwave because leftover chili just isn’t the same when you have to spend 20 minutes heating it on the stove. My dad actually uses his microwave to speed the cooking time of very delicious things, like macaroni and cheese and barbecued chicken. The key is, only partially cook said item, then finish it in the oven or on the grill. Personally, I’m probably not going to break out any microwave cookbooks, so I wish there was an option for a super-tiny (not to mention more attractive), plate-sized version.

KAYLA: I agree. The whole point of leftovers is enjoy a night off from cooking/waiting for something to cook. Microwave serves the “I want food NOW” purpose.

MARIANNE: I “bake” sweet potatoes in the microwave at least two nights a week. After working all day I just can’t wait for the hour it takes to bake them in the oven.

NANCY FIRE, Design Director of HGTV HOME: Not an everyday fan of the microwave, [but I] found this pizza maker combo appliance that could make the microwave a bit more interesting, especially for those late night snacks.

Do you like microwaves or prefer toaster ovens? Vote now on HGTV's blog!

Daewoo Pizza Maker and Microwave Oven Combo

We’ve gotten heated about microwaves, now tell us what YOU think:

 

23 Responses

  1. CplusE says:

    No way I'm giving up my microwave! I love all of the microwaveable bags of fresh produce now available, and I find I eat more vegetables now that I can just nuke them and eat. If you are a baker, microwaves are great for melting butter or chocolate, and I find I can even toast nuts in them. And there is no better way to heat up leftover rice than in a microwave, not to mention most other leftovers. Lately I have been making a sort of quesadilla with a whole grain wrap, grated cheese, and tomatoes — the cheese melts perfectly, and it tastes like a grilled cheese sandwich with a lot less bread. While I would never make an entire meal in our little microwave, the convenience factor has earned it a forever home in our kitchen!

  2. Maggie J says:

    Been using microwaves since Mom first got one of the early expensive models. I don't like microwaved meat but it's great for many foods when you're feeding a family of 6 after working as a bedside nurse 8 or more hours a day! It's near the top of my list after the wheel! Always use it for vegetables, individual servings, leftovers, warmed day old cookies (yum!), hot packs for medical purposes, and the list goes on. Loved it back with my infants and night bottles in a hurry! As with stove heating, caution with hot food or liquids is mandatory. The negative comments must come from stay-home moms, or folks who don't realize the potential, or have lots of time and love to cook!

    • Barbara says:

      Yikes! Never, ever use a microwave for heating baby bottles. I've been a nurse for over twenty-five years working almost exclusively with infants and I've seen things happen to babies that you wouldn't want to hear about because of this practice. And yes, mom tested on her wrist first, but due to the unevenness in microwave heating the poor infant got scalded anyway.

  3. Shirley Brown says:

    I'm with you Maggie, so many uses for microwave. I have a toaster oven not, what it's cracked up to be, rarely use mine unless toasting bread or preparing grilled cheese or simple sandwiches, love my steam veggies, so toaster oven is out for that, Not going to wait 30 minutes or more for oven to warm up to ideal temp to heat up leftovers. I cook for two so what's left over we will heat up doing the week. When you work all day and tired when you come home you don't want to spend 2-3 hours cooking when you can warm up leftovers or steam veggies.

  4. Betty says:

    I LOVE TO COOK FROM SCRATCH, BUT THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT ARE GREAT IN THE MICROWAVE: FRESH, CRISP VEGGIES & LEFTOVERS. LIKE ANOTHER READER MENTIONED, WHEN I AM COOKING FOR A LARGE CROWD, I DO SOME PARTIAL COOKING IN THE MICROWAVE, THEN FINISH IN THE OVEN ON ON THE STOVE. I HAVE AN OLD TOASTER THAT TOASTS ON THE FIRST TRY, SO I DON'T TAKE UP COUNTER SPACE WITH A TOASTEROVEN. WHEN THE TOASTER BITES THE DUST, MAYBE I WILL BUY ONE. MY VERY FIRST MICROWAVVE IN THE 70s was a combo microwave, toaster/broiler, and small oven. I left it in a house I sold last year. It still works.

  5. Mallory says:

    I never thought I could, but our current place came without a microwave. I love that we do all the cooking we need with the conventional oven and stove top. I don't miss it!

  6. Chris says:

    Good for somethings and great for others, I use mine for scrambled eggs, one big one, ostrich egg for the dogs each day. Just in the micro it takes approx 19 minutes to get the job done in a pyrex 4 quart bowl.

  7. Cristle says:

    I have a "speed oven" a combination microwave and convection oven which is the size of a microwave and is "built in." It is the most fantastic appliance I've ever owned and I use it daily for everything including baking.

    • Gabrit says:

      I am with you! I have an Avantium. Baked potato in 16 minutes. I can use mine as an oven, speed cooker or microwave. Hardly ever turn on my gas stove except for cooking a turkey. Saves a lot on utilities and does not heat up the house in the summer

  8. Linda Seidel says:

    People that do not like the microwave really do not know how to prepare foods with one. They obviously have no knowledge on how useful they really are. Take my oven and just give me my microwave. I prepare food everyday with mine.

  9. Kitty Kat says:

    NO WAY would I give up my microwave. I make the world's best brownies in it in 6 minutes and I'm not giving those up either.

  10. Christine Ashley says:

    We have TWO microwaves in our kitchen. I got one for the first time when I was a hospital nurse and it saved my legs from having to stand in front of the stove. I garden and freeze and can. I put whole a butternut squash in, cook it through, cool it, peel it, eat it with butter, or puree and freeze it for soup through the winter. I have a micro/convection with a spit that makes the best and quickest leg of lamb, etc. I would never be without one. My husband fixes our oatmeal every morning. I could go on, and on.

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...

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