Disclosure: This blog post was sponsored by Sharp Electronics. All opinions are mine alone.
Six months ago, my husband and I traded in our apartment lifestyle for a mortgage and bought our first home together. With the new house, we got a big fenced in yard and almost twice as much space as before, including a gorgeous kitchen with stainless steel appliances.
We were grateful to have purchased a home that was move-in ready and felt like we had everything we needed to hit the ground running as homeowners. As time went by, however, we realized that there was one essential thing missing… a microwave oven.
I’d always thought of a microwave oven as an appliance whose primary purpose was to help get pizza bagels and pizza rolls into my mouth as quickly as possible, not something that you NEED for your home to function. I have friends who keep their microwave ovens hidden in a cabinet due to their rare usage, so when I realized we were missing one in our new home, I figured we’d be fine.
My optimism (or maybe delusion?) had me thinking that this fresh start in a new home without a microwave oven could be our opportunity to do more home cooking, and rely less on frozen meals. Boy, was I wrong. What I actually ended up learning over the course of six months without a microwave oven is all of the things that they are crucial for in my day-to-day workflow in the kitchen. Imagine forgetting to take out the chicken for dinner and having to wait to cook an extra two hours while the meat thaws… very unpleasant.
Our microwave-less lives finally changed for the better when my friends at Sharp sent us their Stainless Steel Carousel Countertop Microwave. Just like that, my defrosting needs were solved with the units’ auto defrost mode for quick and accurate thawing. The design of this countertop microwave oven is bold, sleek, and looks fantastic next to our white cabinets and other stainless steel appliances. It blends right into my kitchen and is my most reliable appliance yet. Most importantly, it completes our kitchen and truly makes life SO much more manageable. The One-Touch cooking modes for popcorn and beverages make our movie nights a breeze, I can run to the kitchen and refill my popcorn bowl in minutes.
Without further ado, here are 10 reasons why I realized you can’t live without a Sharp microwave oven:
One of the keys to a successful burrito is a tortilla that you can work with, and you get a tortilla you can work with by steaming it. I do this by tossing the tortilla on a plate, sprinkling a few drops of water on them, and popping it in my Sharp microwave oven for 15 seconds or so! For tacos, I always use the microwave oven to quickly melt the cheese a little after my tacos are assembled. With innovative features like Sensor Cooking and the Carousel turntable system, the Sharp SMC1662DS Stainless Steel Carousel Countertop Microwave makes heating your favorite foods, snacks, and ingredients more relaxed than ever. Hello hassle-free cooking.
As we’ve all learned recently, food safety is no joke, and leaving your meat on the counter for hours is not a safe way to defrost it. Thanks to our Sharp Stainless Steel Carousel Microwave, instead of risking life and death every time we need to defrost meat (dramatic, but you all know what I mean), the hardest decision is if we should use the Time Defrost mode (self-explanatory) or the Auto-Defrost mode. The Auto-Defrost mode defrosts by the weight of what you’re defrosting, taking the guesswork out of thawing most foods, including meat, poultry, and fish.
MELTING INGREDIENTS FOR RECIPES
One of the silver linings with the COVID-19 pandemic keeping everybody at home is that most people, myself included, have been cooking in their kitchens much more often than before. So many recipes require softened butter, cream cheese, and similar ingredients. And a microwave oven is the easiest way to get them. In fact, a microwave oven is a crucial tool for my Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe.
When you need to be precise and also want to save time, there’s no better tool than a microwave oven for making sure things are melted or softened entirely for your recipes.
GIVING NEW LIFE TO LUKEWARM COFFEE AND HOT CHOCOLATE
Are you the kind of person who nurses their coffee so slowly that eventually, it needs a new jolt of heat? I’m not really, but my husband is, so he is thrilled that he can now reheat his coffee cups in the microwave oven by using the one-touch “beverage” cooking button. A more fun activity involving coffee cups and microwave ovens is making mug cakes, which are great for smaller servings. You can find mug cake instructions and recipes here on Sharp’s website!
HEATING UP MESSY LEFTOVERS
Out of all of the inconveniences I dealt with while not having a microwave oven, not being able to reheat leftovers was the most significant pain. My heart broke the first time I pulled out leftovers from our new neighborhood Chinese restaurant and realized that I had no way to reheat my fried rice and lo mein. Did meal prep burrito bowls? Also impossible to reheat, thanks to the rice and general messiness that needs to live in one container.
On top of everything else, I also couldn’t reheat the food that I brought home from my hostessing gig, leading to a sad pile-up of gnocchi alfredo and rigatoni bolognese in our fridge. We are huge on leftovers in our household, and it’s mainly for this reason that I can’t believe I ever thought that we could live without a microwave oven. Luckily, the Sharp Stainless Steel Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven features a family-sized 1.6 cu. ft. capacity, to cook food and reheat more substantial portions on a 13.6″ turntable, so I no longer need to worry about wasting my gnocchi alfredo in the future.
FOODS THAT WERE MADE FOR MICROWAVE OVENS
Yes, you can cook a pizza pocket or frozen burrito in the oven, but it’s going to take SO much longer, and the result won’t be the same. When it comes to microwavable popcorn and rice packets, forget about trying to cook them any other way. If you don’t have a microwave oven, you’re closed off from an entire world of food that was specially engineered to be cooked using one. Our Sharp Stainless Steel Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven makes it easier to heat up these foods with tools like the one-touch keys that get you started for the most popular cooking times, from thirty seconds to up to six minutes.
HEATING UP SOUP
My husband is a big fan of soup, but not a big fan of cooking soup on a stovetop. The way he sees it, cooking soup on the countertop just leads to extra work- it takes longer, and you end up needing to wash the pot after. His philosophy is “why heat soup on the stove when you can place it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for a few minutes right in the bowl you’re going to eat it from?” which is just another reason my microwave oven is crucial.
THE BUILT-IN KITCHEN TIMER IS A LIFESAVER
I don’t own a kitchen timer, and I didn’t even realize I was missing one until we moved into our new home. When you have a microwave oven, you don’t need one. This is definitely one of those things where hindsight is 20/20, but it was such a pain spending six months looking for my phone and opening the clock app every time I needed to use a timer. When I would bake a batch of cupcakes or cookies, adding an extra few minutes became frustrating because if I didn’t set the phone timer, I would leave the batch in too long. With my Sharp microwave oven, the built-in timer is conveniently right there next to my oven, ready to go whenever I need it.
Every now and then, I do mix some veggies into my diet (don’t be too shocked now). If potatoes counted as a veggie, my intake would be a lot higher, but that’s an issue for another day. Regardless, whether I’m steaming broccoli for a side dish, or microwaving a potato so that I can load it up with cheese and bacon, Sharp makes my cooking process easy. I just hit whatever sensor cook button I need, and our Sharp Stainless Steel Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven gets to work.
At one point in my life, when I was living in a college dorm, the only cooking tool that I had available to me was a microwave oven. I quickly learned that the size of your microwave oven is ESSENTIAL because the small rented microwave oven in our room did not fit many frozen pizzas inside of it. Don’t end up in my situation- make sure you have the right-sized microwave for your lifestyle and space.
Our current Sharp Stainless Steel Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven is the 1.6 cubic feet model, which has a turntable dimension of over 13 inches. It’s the right balance of being big enough to heat large meals (and a variety of frozen pizzas) without taking over the entire counter space.
Have you ever lived without a microwave like we did for six months? I’ve gotta say, it wasn’t great, and I don’t feel a need to ever do it again. Thank you again to Sharp for sending us a microwave oven that looks beautiful in our kitchen while allowing us to live our best lives in our new home!
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