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What Good Is A Microwave In An Rv?


Totem
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for all of its high maintenance requirements I simply fail to see why anyone would want a microwave in their RV unless food quality and taste are not of importance.

I am sure some people don't care that a microwaved steak tastes like a burnt tire, or a microwaved hot dog like a rubbery split open elastic steamy balloon. Microwaves are for fast guilty reheating of leftovers or popcorn as far as I am aware.

I know one can use them to steam vegetables, cook corn etc but one could just as easy do this with propane and with better texture in the end result. Fresh coffee is always better than micro warm up.

Then there is the pre-requisites, huge batteries, a running motor, expensive high wattage inverters, generators or the like are now needed just to power the silly box that makes nasty food.

Heres a list of things that microwaves do sort of well: (by taste)

  • popcorn
  • instant oatmeal
  • instant rice
  • warm up left overs.

But lets think about this, because the microwave takes up space, weight of its pre-reqs, huge power loads is it even worth it?

You are on vacation, retired or on living in a non traditional home, why not take the time to jiffy pop, cook rice on the stove or feed spot the leftovers and make something fresh? The only reason I can think of is kids; and mine are so picky they wont eat stuff the first time its cooked let alone after being rubbery reheats.

Does any one out there that uses these things have any good reasons for them , recipes etc?

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Works well for us and my wife loves having it in the RV. Easy solution is - if you don't want one, don't get one.

We don't use a microwave for any real cooking at home or in our RVs. It's for reheating left-overs, maybe heating up a cup of water for tea or coffee, etc. We find it very handy to have in the RV. 26 lbs. and not any "high" maintenance that I've ever noticed,.

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I'm not a betting man, but I'd put money on this topic having been derived from mine! haha

I can agree that they are a luxury that most people seem to have replaced good old fashioned cooking with. I myself can see why having it as a backup would be worth the added 20+/- pounds. If something should happen where you are not able to use your stove, then at least you have SOMETHING.

Mine will probably stay in my rig so I can have the option of fast prep (uncle bens bagged 90 second rice, reheating cold pizza in 30 seconds, etc.)

Are your feet cold? Throw your socks in there for 30 seconds! haha

There are entire cook books written around microwaves, and I'm not saying that is any way to live, but there is a market for them still.

In my case, a high milage road trip, everything will be about continuing to move forward and stopping to smell the roast cooking with the family isn't going to be a concern.

All in all, I'd say the nomadic lifestyle of owning an RV might have a slightly different view of microwaves than say someone who is camping with the whole family and making memories.

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Hi Vermonter, welcome to the thread on microwaves.

Yep, you called it I wanted to discuss food prep and it was off topic so I created one to discuss microwaves in Toys; Never thought to use it on beans, but I will add that to my list of things it probably does well thanks for that!

In my experience polling people for why a tool should be used helps me to use that tool better. Unfortunately when it comes to the common microwave I have a very hard time... in particular its because my mom when alive used to teach microwave cooking classes in the 80s when the things first came out and were thousands of dollars. People actually used to think back then that microwaves were better than stoves etc. I remember all of that food, the classes my mom taught and thinking and sometimes saying aloud "YUCK" I want dad's grill food! Microwaves to me are a perfect example of whats wrong with society when it comes to food.

They have their place in desperation I suppose but honestly no one can tell me they are more efficient or better at dang near anything and waste space in an RV (imho). In this thread I am downright soliciting people to join me in my loathing of their food, the interference they cause to other appliances and devices when running, as well as that sheepish look one gets staring into them in that awkward 60 sec wait for instant gratification while wondering at the same time if their brain is getting cooked from errant rays and if they are too close to the door.

Aint nothing and I mean nothing like a camp fire cooked Koegel brand natural casing in a string hot dog or grill cooked steak, burger or chicken. When you have just spent 8 hours getting to the camp before you decide to crash why spend more time nuking food in the rig?

I guess I agree with Karin Corbin (god did I just say that again?) in that the question starts being why have a generator or microwave at all if you have propane, but it seems so many people are removing propane from their rigs in favor of electric only setups. To me this would be a reason not to... good food. Even stove top mac & cheese tastes better than instant nuked Mac & Sleaze I say. :)

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my mom when alive used to teach microwave cooking classes in the 80s when the things first came out and were thousands of dollars. door.

the question starts being why have a generator or microwave at all if you have propane

Totem, I don't see how you were in any way "off topic" on the other Vermonter-thread, in regard to cooking. His (Vermonter's) incipient post gave a list of over a dozen separate "fields of interest" he wanted info on. That is a pretty broad spectrum. Also note that besides that list, he stated, and I quote . . :"ANY advice or tips are welcome." Hey, to me . . "any" means "any."

My wife likes having a micowave. And note that she is not a person that generally like modern devices. She's an expert on historic (1700s-1800s) cooking and teaches classes on wood and oil cooking and baking. We never use a microwave at home for any real cooking. Defrosting when something needs to be unfrozen fast - yes. Reheating left-overs, yes. Microwave is generally more efficient then using LP gas when it comes to reheating.

Now in an RV? Is a microwave a luxury? Well yeah. So is having a d*mn motorhome. I'm sure there are people starving in Africa while we waste gas taking trips in our decadent RVs. That's life. Propane is a luxury. So is a "new fangled" refrigerator that does not have to be filled with ice cut out of a pond.

For us? We mostly use the microwave to reheat left-overs, or to heat maybe a single cup of water for a single cup of tea or coffee. It's a h*ll of a lot easier then using the propane cook-top when "on the road" and just puled over for a break.

Now for those that claim a 26 lb. microwave is "too heavy", or the $39 it cost me "too expensive" . . I'm not sure what to say. How many people here talking about their need for AC and yet, that is NOT an extragavance?

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Do you really heat up 1 cup of tea while camping or on a road trip?... or warm up something?

I guess I am old fashioned (and Greek ) in the nature that when we make something we make a lot. the routine when camping or on the go in the RV for us is quick always the same. In the morning wake up get water and pour into old antique cobalt blue enamelware percolator. Wife and I are such coffee addicts that we never drink tea and always require at least 2.5 cups (and a cup to us is more like 3 by measure) to wake up and get moving. (I know, we are unhealthy). brewed on propane.

At the end of the day the meal scraps from any meals go to the shepherd, or boxed up and at the end of a rv trip/camping adventure all the leftovers get consumed at home where the only microwave we have might get used. I say might because more likely said leftovers will continue to mummify in the home fridge until they are dried out and now definitely going to the dog as "chew".

AC is a requirement if Death Valley, desert or summer south is considered and you have dogs and children. Thats my boat anyway and thus its for climate control. I cant speak for you but my rig approaches in between Hell and a glass plant in temp in July; and is not nice for large dogs that are busy at work protecting the mobile domicile from would be looters intent on taking their "fair share".

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I am the only one who drinks coffee in my family. I.e. no big pot made except in the morning when I drink the whole damn thing.

Our Border-Collie eats what we eat. If we eat pizza, she gets pizza. If we go to Burger King, she gets Burger King. If we eat left-overs, she gets left-overs.

In some ways, she spends more time with my wife and I then our little kid. We all go everywhere together (kid is home schooled), and we all eat together. But the kid has his own bed-room and bed. The dog sleeps with us.

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So it would seem for you also, that a microwave is a backup thing and rarely used in reality but is present in your rig to have it in case you need it.

If I was going to purge propane from my rig completely I will still not have one. I would use electric burners; lol.

lighting a burner is harder than finding your inverter, turning it on, starting the truck going back to the microwave and heating something up?

interesting.

My mother did in fact do too good of a job it would seem. She was a rep for MCI and Sharp prior to opening her store (that sold mostly microwaves and their gadgets). Not MCI the phone company by rather "Microwave Cooking Instructors". My mother was constantly being given the latest demo models and going to conferences on how to get an older more traditional public to accept the microwave as an indispensable kitchen appliance. The government even got in on it; they actually wanted people to use these things. Today I cant believe there was an organization that actually paid people to go out and preach a technology and even pay them to do it but they did. Most people don't even realize this about microwaves but they were rejected by the public early on and a massive market campaign went on to get people to love them; its main donors were comprised of the manufacturers.

When wife and I and kids go on Toy home trips we often argue about space, whats going and whats not and weight. because its a tiny home with very limited space and not a "decadent huge RV" I often send things back in the home. On our maiden voyage my wife sent the microwave back in... it was a 600w tiny one i got for $25 brand new. I didn't argue when she told me to ditch it; i simply laughed and complied. I think that thing is still in the plastic. LOL

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We pre cook a lot of sauces and such like. Microwave works great for a fast diner with noodles. Popcorn yep although a cast iron pot over a fire has its points.

I guess the way to put things is the microwave is for getting there, the fire pit is for where ever there is.

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I took my microwave out to get the extra storage space and because we never camp with shore power. We own property where we frequently camp, the closest line power is 3 miles away. The only time I have a generator with me is if I am doing a building project and have a truck load of power tools along.

Most of my cooking is done on a couple of Coleman stoves, the number of stoves is dependent on the number of people I am serving. It can be anywhere from 4 people to 35.

When traveling, my wife and I usually cook with a Coleman while sitting at the picnic table. We rarely eat in the RV unless the weather is bad. We do frequently use the oven to made pizzas or take and bake bread.

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I'm with you on a lot of your well-made points, totem.

The fact about the microwave, to me, is that it's kind of like when you see a child under the age of 7 playing with an ipad. You think to yourself "what kind of parent just throws an electric babysitter in front of their child and allows them to be zoned out on visual stimulants while their youth passes them by, all so you can have a couple hours of silence without having the inconvenience of having to entertain your child?"

I'm not a parent, but if I was I would probably let my kids do the same damn thing, and not care what others think. It's a fact.

Maybe that was hard to follow and if you don't know how my brain works you might be wondering how the heck that is even remotely close to how you feel about microwaves.

I wouldn't blame you. What I'm trying to say is that I believe we ALL hate our microwaves (in some way) because we resent what they have done to CULTURE and being that we are a group of outdoorsy types, we probably have more resentment than anyone!

I can see why anyone can hate the microwave, but I can also see why JD or anyone else would defend it. I think we all cringe a little when we use the nuke, but can justify it when caught using it.

And since it was brought up, I want to apologize if anyone got the wrong idea about my last post in my previous thread. I hope everyone saw the lighter side of that remark. I also want to apologize if anyone here has kids that use an ipad regularly. I mean no harm by that remark, I often add theatrics for entertainment value.

Take care!

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lighting a burner is harder than finding your inverter, turning it on, starting the truck going back to the microwave and heating something up?

interesting.

My mother did in fact do too good of a job it would seem. She was a rep for MCI and Sharp prior to opening her store (that sold mostly microwaves and their gadgets). Not MCI the phone company by rather "Microwave Cooking Instructors". My mother was constantly being given the latest demo models and going to conferences on how to get an older more traditional public to accept the microwave as an indispensable kitchen appliance.

When wife and I and kids go on Toy home trips we often argue about space, whats going and whats not and weight. because its a tiny home with very limited space and not a "decadent huge RV" I often send things back in the home. On our maiden voyage my wife sent the microwave back in... it was a 600w tiny one i got for $25 brand new. I didn't argue when she told me to ditch it; i simply laughed and complied. I think that thing is still in the plastic. LOL

If it makes you feel better, my grand-father was a genuine French Chef. Never learned any English but lived to see mircowaves. He frowned on them,. My uncle, also from France - was one of president Kennedy's personal cooks. He too lived to see microwaves come out and also "sneered" at them, in a French way. My grandfather also never drove a car, and never owned a TV. He sneered at them too. Heck, he even sneered at the French language. He said that "friends do not speak to friends in French." It was considered the national language forced on them and his preferred language was Catalan in southern France. I'm a little different, I like cars, I like trucks. I like RVs. I like TVs..

When "on the road", we find it a lot easier to heat some leftovers on a paper plate in the microwave - then getting a pot dirty to heat on propane stove. No "engine starting" usually needed. My mechanical-dial microwave works fine off a pair of batteries and inverter. It's only my large Panasonic-Inverter microwave that requires the engine running IF used at full heat. Note -that word "Inverter" with the Panasonic is consusing, perhaps. Can't help it. It is what it is callled and the "Inverter" there has nothing to do with the inverter used to turn 12 volts DC into 120 volts AC.

Not sure about our Toyota RVs not being "decadent." That is a relative term.

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Understood JDE and agreed I would be doing that too if I wasn't married to someone who is anti paper plate. Yep, old Totem is married to tree hugger. I try to respect some of the hugging but I have gotten her to change her views on some of the types of trees and that some need cutting down as well as most old ones being excellent to burn.. preferably in a non epa approved stove or slammer. :lol2:

No Problem Vermonter. I follow the segway on Ipads, although I'm the guy that lets his little girls use ipads for the quiet moment after configuring said tablets appropriately to be safe enough.. 4 & 6 years old, the little darlings. They want the ipad they get it; the apps they have are actually from their school which is the one that uses ipads to teach "technology" to them per the common core program. I figure if the core is giving them one during the day at school to learn how to read, count beans, visit cnn etc, then they can continue at home on ours; they also get the mental opiate of disney princess apps etc etc etc. I don't see the analogy on that with an RV in a microwave other than yikes what have we become. I wish I would have the courage to home school, but alas I have a day job and so I have to settle for sending my kids to a school I inspected and interviewed teachers with all of whom hate common core.

To me there are two main issues with toyhomes space/weight and fun. To me, leftovers aren't very fun and I don't have the space in the rig with (until last year) 2 sheps, 2 kids and a wife traveling. Weight wise I wouldnt even drive on the scales last summer. Then old Shepherd finally was put down and now we back to 1 dog. Yep I am agreed with you that the AC is a must have for the dogs.

I love freedom of speech; feel free to run off topic on my threads; all is ok to me I wont ask anyone to delete words I just put people on ignore list and poof they are gone forever. I only have one person in here that ever got that honor, so far.

True enough our society is quiet sad. When I am camping/RVing/Road tripping I like to cook outside on a fire. In fact I drag along a wood fire oven sometimes than suspends by chain over the fire and bakes great pizzas, cookies etc. Took that to a rally once, was a hit with the kids. Sometimes I'll bake pies in the toy oven but thats the next thing I wish i could remove or cut out. The oven in our toy home is only an oven; it has a fake broil setting but no upper burner in mine. I require broil or do not need an oven. recently I have discovered the joy of the Pizzaz pizza maker. its so low profile, low watt and fast and it reheats things better than a microwave leaving only the disc to wash which is easy. Food quality is excellent out of it and leftovers from it are fresh crisp and awesome.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Presto-Pizza-Oven/3218

I'd highly advise anyone RVing to get one.

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My Toy days have past and I now have a 26ft Class A. At the current $2 a gallon it gets better MP$ than my Toy did at $3.50.

Any way one of the major advantages is the carrying capacity. My camp stuff includes 2 11" Dutch ovens, a 85K BTU burner on 30" legs and a 22" steel wok made out of a plow disc. Camp cooking makes great food. BUT we still use the micro wave when actually traveling.

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Totem-

"I don't see the analogy on that with an RV in a microwave other than yikes what have we become"

You saw what I was getting at exactly haha. It's more or less the fact that technology that we despise that is our most demanded luxuries. It's a "guilty pleasure"!

Like I said, not judging anyone. If I had kids, that Ipad would be real tempting, I'm sure. I'm just used to living close to a ritzy town filled with irresponsible rich parents who throw devices in front of their children specifically so they don't need to interract with the little monsters that they've no doubt neglected. Not saying that's the case with everyone!

Leftovers, not fun? Oh come on, everyone loves leftovers... :sarcasm:

I will say this... Microwaves are good for lazy sunday "will it blow up?" science experiments. Do not attempt inside Rig.

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No, leftovers from a microwave are no fun... leftovers in the pizzaz are awesome. fries will be like original; burgers/sammichs get toasted buns, wings be crispy as if fried. in fact the pizzaz is that device i use for leftovers. It takes longer but is well worth the wait.

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I agree pizza reheated in Microwave is junk.

Did you know that a cast iron fry pan with a proper lid is great for reheating fried food or pizzas. Even works on a rv cooktop.

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I agree that nearly no food is "better" when cooked or heated in a microwave as compared to a camp fire, gas fire, wood-bake oven, etc. A microwave IS however, one of the most efficient ways to heat something. Propane gas cook-top around 40% efficient. Conventional microwave around 65% efficient. Panasonic "inverter" microwave around 75% efficient (according to their claims).

Microwave is also "efficient" in the way left-overs can be reheated with no pots or pans to wash when done.

To "each his own." We like having a microwave in our RVs. Thus we use them. My wife would prefer a wood-fired bake oven but that's not really practical in an RV.

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get the cast iron ones only... we have seen the aluminums melt several times...Have seen fake cast iron ones that were coated aluminum.

Best hobo pie maker I ever seen/bought was a triple! scored it in the bargain cave at cabellas and gave it to my mother in law for xmas one year; as she loves those things. I am pretty sure I have a single cast iron one in my rv somewhere.

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my wife likes pie irons also. Personally I call it the capn crunch maker, cause the scalding hot pies are gonna take more skin off the roof of your mouth than eating a box o' crunch.

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my wife and I never reheat any pizza in a microwave we like it cold leftover right out of fridge LOL. and microwave stays at home. good for a lot of things but not cold pizza .

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One note when talking about how bad, or how useful microwaves are. There are two distinct types. Conventional or "inverter." I have the inverter model and am impressed with it. Has anyone else here ever tried one? I suggest before condemning one on how bad it reheats pizza - you try it.

With conventional microwaves, the magnetron, the element that cooks the food in most microwaves, can only deliver full power. Even when set to “50% power”, the microwave oven is actually going through cycles of delivering 100% power, followed by a period of no power. Set to 25% power and it still runs at 100% power.

The inverter-microwave modulates the level of energy being transmitted by the oven to achieve a consistent level. So when you set 50% power, for example, you actually get a steady stream of 50% power for the entire cooking time. The result is more evenly cooked food, defrosting without cooked edges, and even the ability to keep foods warm until mealtime.

Panasonic was the first to come out with it and I find mine to be amazing. Pricey though as compared to conventional microwaves.

One BIG advantage when used in an RV is when run at 25% power - it actually only uses 25% power. A conventional microwave when run on low power - still runs at HIGH power. Just cycles on an off less.

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  • 1 month later...

I finally found a good use for microwaves... White castle frozen cheeseburgers. Basically they are nuked at the restaurant in a "steam" grill which is a fancy way of saying (throwing frozen processed sleezeburgers still in their BPA baggy into the microwave).

I actually used my microwave at my cabin this weekend to eat several and did the pepsi challenge against them pan grilled; they actually came out better out of the microwave.

- so theres that.

Of course that kind of food is the whole thing I am looking to avoid altogether....

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White Castle is a guilty pleasure. Probably why they go so well with microwaves.

I occasionally have to utilize the vending machine at work for my lunch break and I have the option of candy, soda, $5 cheeseburgers, or a double pack of white castle sliders for $2. I figure if I am at the mercy of the vending machine, I'd rather pretend I'm eating real fast food as opposed to questionable no-name burgers.

I'm hoping I can convince myself to strip the microwave out of the Rig, but I REALLY doubt my wife will allow it.

I am, however going to counter-sink a crockpot into the countertop so it can sit safely in place, but still be used. Just an idea that popped into my head. That way (pending results) I can in theory, slow cook at 60mph. :)

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That's pretty awesome. Although I am thinking 6-quart. I like this one: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hamilton-beach-6-quart-slow-cooker-stainless/5687045.p?id=1219148659254&skuId=5687045

It's also spill-proof.

It might seem big, but I can see it being beneficial to cook a big meal once and eating as you go, as opposed to making small dishes as you want them.

Oh, and this comment "The only thing a toyhome will slow cook at 60MPH is the tranny."...I'd like to add "...and a potroast in a crock pot!

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The only thing a toyhome will slow cook at 60MPH is the tranny.

I did find this unit below though, which ensures a spill free crock experience:

http://www.amazon.com/RoadPro-RPSL-350-Quart-Slow-Cooker/dp/B0013IR88A

Don't buy it unless you are absolutely sure of your electrical system. In the reviews there are several reports of the plug melting.

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Derek that reminds me of two of my favorites, the hot dogger and pipe stove for snowmobiles.

I used to have two sleds that I had hot doggers strapped to the Pipes on each. We would trail ride in the woods near Cadillac and get hungry. in one i would always put white castles and in the other dump a can of Hormel chili with Koegels skin ons...Had the buns in the trunk box. Those 485cc fan cooled chili dogs were epic and great and the white castles were pretty dang good too for what they were.

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