3 (Really Good!) Reasons Why a Microwave Still Belongs in Your Kitchen

updated Jul 22, 2019
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Instant pots, air fryers, sous vide machines, blenders that cook soup — we have no shortage when it comes to appliances that’ll cook or heat our food these days. And despite how much I love all of these small appliances, I can’t help but feel bad for the humble ol’ microwave. So I’m here to give you three really good reasons why a microwave still has a place in your kitchen.

Credit: Kitchn Video

1. It’s a super-fast way to get a (healthy) dinner on the table.

For some reason, when most of us think of microwaves, we think of unhealthy (and not-so-tasty) frozen microwavable dinners. But they’re good for so much more than that! Aside from reheating leftovers, you can also use a microwave to make a tender baked potato in just eight to 10 minutes and steam veggies in two minutes with very little cleanup. You can even use it to heat up whole grains and healthy proteins. Not only does it get dinner on the table quickly (no oven preheating or waiting for pressure to release), but it’s especially great this time of year when it’s too hot to even think about turning on the oven. Beyond dinner, I use my microwave regularly to heat up oatmeal in just a few minutes and heat up non-dairy milk for quick lattés.

2. Despite what you’ve heard, it’s perfectly safe.

For several years, I admittedly avoided microwaves because I’d heard myths about dangerous toxins flying through my kitchen and other health claims. Now, I laugh about this.

After doing some digging, I’ve found that many studies confirm that microwaves are more efficient at retaining nutrients than other methods — especially roasting at high temperatures, something most all of us feel safe doing in the oven. Another important fact: Most of us are exposed to more radiation through our cell phones each day than we are with one or two sessions a day of simple microwave use.

Also, no studies to date have found that microwaves cause cancer or any other major disease in humans. The tests that do link microwaves to cancer and neurological issues have only been performed on rats — not humans — which can’t be equally compared and shouldn’t be.

The most important thing to remember when using a microwave is to skip the plastic containers. Old plastic containers could have BPA, and that can leach into our food when the plastic heats. Even if you have new plastic, why not just use glass?

3. It can help migraine sufferers.

I do not suffer from chronic migraines, but I know plenty of people who do — and many of them say that their microwaves are key to helping them manage their pain. See, there are these little bags that can get heated up, and they almost provide instant relief. Yes, you can heat these bags in the oven, but then you have to wait for the oven to heat up and then for the bag to heat up. With a microwave, you just nuke the bag for two minutes and you’re in business.

More on Microwaves

Of course, all this isn’t to say you should only use a microwave. You should totally keep your other appliances. Let’s just give the microwave the love it deserves! How do you feel about microwaves?