Ask the Audience: Microwaving

girlHeather says:

Modern microwaves come with a ton of functions, but how many do you regularly use? Nine times out of ten, I just press the add minute button and cancel when I’ve decided it’s been long enough.

So Home Eccers, tell me, what is your function?


  1. dcrmom on January 14, 2008 at 8:23 am

    The only one I use besides the minute buttons is the Popcorn. I agree, most of those buttons are such a waste!

  2. malia on January 13, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I mainly use my microwave for the following:
    -reheating my coffee
    -defrosting meat when I’ve forgotten to take it out of the microwave in time
    -kitchen timer when I have multiple things I need set on a timer (my over has a timer, too and then there’s my cute ladybug timer on the fridge)

    There’s also the reheating of leftovers, softening butter (I set a low heat temp and microwave for short periods of time), and melting chocolate (especially around the holidays) for various confections.

  3. Mom of 4 on January 13, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Mine’s probably 15 years old, but it’s so great that I don’t want to replace it. It does a terrific job on “defrost” and “reheat”. I also love the lower power settings for melting butter or chocolate for recipes.

  4. Amit Patel on January 13, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    “Add Minute” is the most important UI innovation in Microwave ovens, ever!

  5. Need A Nap2 on January 13, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    We use the defrost lb button for hamburger and chicken a lot. We’re using the power level for child #4’s baby food. I use the timer a lot. Otherwise, it’s just basic numbers and add a minute. But all of our kids now like to open and shut the door, push buttons, etc. so I wish there was a “not do anything unless an adult is present” button! 🙂

  6. chele on January 13, 2008 at 11:14 am

    I’m a gadget girl. I use the reheat buttons, the hot water button, the popcorn button, the melt, soften and warm buttons.
    I finally got a GOOD microwave when I moved into my house. It’s huge!.. so I have to shorten most of the cooking times on frozen stuff by 1/3.

  7. Divakitty on January 13, 2008 at 10:43 am

    I used to have a small one & pretty much only went the minute/cancel route, or used it as a timer. Then the buttons bugged out & I put it out by the curb.
    Then I moved in with my husband, and our micro is SO OLD and huge. It even has a browning function. Which of course we don’t use. The sad thing is, the cancel button is broken. And if you take something out before the timer runs out, it beeps at you. Repeatedly. So I’ve gotten real good at “Oops, I hit the 2 instead of the 3 when I was going to enter 30, so I’ll make it 29…”
    That being said, we only use it to reheat leftovers occasionally, and melt butter for recipes (1 minute at 40 or 50 power is just right for a stick).
    Oh, and I got a FlyLady-type timer for that function.

  8. moonablaze on January 13, 2008 at 3:15 am

    ya, when I get a new microwave, I want one with add 30 seconds instead of add 1 minute.

  9. Early Retirement Extreme on January 13, 2008 at 2:35 am

    Flank speed, full ahead, dead slow, stop, and reverse ;P

    Well, I wish. I usually put in 77 seconds at 7 for a cup of tea or 555 at 5 for reheating food – mostly because I am too lazy to press more than one button.

  10. Kris on January 13, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I mostly use mine to defrost things; however, I have some Tupperware cookware that does an awesome job of cooking meals, so I do that about once a week.

  11. Kendra on January 13, 2008 at 12:56 am

    I actually don’t use mine so much. Mine also has the number = minutes and the add 30 seconds…but honestly when changing our eating habits….its become as useless as an electric can opener. 🙂

  12. imabug on January 12, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I use power levels quite a bit when i want to heat something slowly (like a slab from yesterday’s rib roast…zapping it at full power turns it into shoe leather). Defrost button gets a lot of use as does the timer. Mine has veggie and potato buttons, but I haven’t tried them yet.

  13. Princess Leia on January 13, 2008 at 12:00 am

    1-5 give that many minutes, and there’s a +30 sec button. I use the auto-defrost (put in # of pounds), and on the rare occasions that we have microwave popcorn, we use the popcorn button.

    I’m jealous of the lady with the potato button with the sensor!

  14. Margaret on January 12, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    ha – my microwave is so old it only has numbers and “start!” I chose it because it’s small and unobtrusive and I don’t use it to cook – just to reheat stuff. So I didn’t want to pay for the bells and whistles.
    But my mom has a fancy mic and uses many of the buttons, so I know it’s just a matter of knowing thine own cooking style.

  15. Lisa- domestic accident on January 12, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    I’m all about the potato button.

  16. Bramble on January 12, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    we use the popcorn button religiously.

  17. Ann at mommysecrets on January 12, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    I’m the same as you are – I use the minute buttons and the 30 second button.

  18. Mrs.W on January 12, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    When I used my old Montgomery Ward model counter-top microwave, I used only the 1:00 minute button (which also functioned as +1 minute) and the timer function. LOVED that!

    Our current home came with a ghetto brand over-the-stove microwave, on which I use the automatic defrost button and simple number buttons for quick heating. We don’t eat popcorn, but when we have someone who does, we use the popcorn button.

  19. The Chatty Housewife on January 12, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Buttons I use on my microwave:
    potato- it has a sensor
    soften (choose butter, by sticks)
    regular # buttons and “start” for regular warming
    defrost chicken (by lbs)
    defrost beef (by lbs)

    I have a fancy schmancy microwave which is also a convection oven, so it’s sad that I only use those 6 functions.

  20. themomhalf on January 12, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    i don’t have one, i decided it was just one more thing to clean, and who needs one more thing to clean

  21. Kathy T. on January 12, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    The self-timing microwavable popcorn and the minute button are my two.

  22. Pam on January 12, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    I frequently defrost “stuff” in the micro or use it to melt butter for garlic bread. Other that that it’s reheating a left over or cooking a Lean Cuisine. Pam, South Bend

  23. chocolatechic on January 12, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    I generally either hit the ‘add 30 sec.’ button or on my machine, the numbers 1-6, if you hit just one of them that is how many minutes it does, so I will hit one of them.

    My favorite feature on my microwave is the timer. I set timers for everything.

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