Kitchn Love Letters

I Finally Bought My First Microwave — And I Can’t Believe How Much Time and Money It’s Saving Me

published Aug 19, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I recently took a plunge I never saw coming: I bought my first microwave! Sure, I’ve used a microwave before (when visiting hotels, house sitting, or in sublets), but I never saw myself owning one. It just didn’t seem like something I needed. Of course, the convenience factor was obvious, but still I persisted … until I didn’t.

After a move in March, I found myself too busy unpacking (or maybe just too lazy) to prepare full meals and started ordering a lot of takeout. It quickly turned into a habit instead of a crutch. I knew I needed to make some changes after realizing how much money I was spending on takeout. So, I switched to frozen dinner shortcuts — things like potstickers, veggie burgers, burritos, and more. Still low-effort, but considerably cheaper.

I stocked up on a bunch of frozen foods and set about finding the ideal microwave, but experienced a little sticker shock. Considering how prevalent microwaves are, I expected to see lower prices. But, man, there are some expensive microwaves out there! I finally stumbled on this one from Hamilton Beach. And because I already owned and loved their electric kettle, I ordered their microwave without hesitation. Of course, the fact that it was way cheaper than other microwaves was a huge selling point.

And I am happy to share that I’m in love with my microwave. It’s so fast, so easy to use, and just so good. It features six convenient preset settings: popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, and dinner plate (for reheating leftovers!). It has 10 power settings and a light-up, LED interface that’s intuitive to use (because who wants to consult a user manual to operate a microwave?). And it has a stainless steel finish that both looks sleek and is easy to clean — just a quick wipe gets rid of fingerprints and any kitchen grime. Really, it’s everything you want in a microwave and nothing you don’t!

Credit: Nilina Mason-Campbell

Now I’m quickly heating up frozen burritos, frozen dumplings, and leftover takeout whenever treat myself (on much, much rarer occasions). I was even using it to make tea for a while before reuniting with my kettle, which was temporarily misplaced in the move.

I’m also getting back into my regular meal prepping, making dishes like stir-fries and casseroles in large batches to be divided throughout the week. But what a treat to have the food reheated and ready in just a microwave minute (versus eating it cold or waiting for my oven to preheat)! My microwave really has revolutionized my meals — and saved my wallet.

Do you have a microwave you love? Tell us about it in the comments!