I haven't had a microwave in 10 years. Not enough counter space.
Like others, I reheat pasta and chinese noodles in a small pan with a quarter cup of water in the bottom. Cover with lid and turn up high and stir frequently. It basically steams it and the water you added to prevent sticking boils off so it ends up the same consistency as the original.
Reheat leftover meats and pizza under the oven broiler which takes about a minute. I frequently take all my leftovers ( green beans, mash potatoes, meat, etc.) Smush down real flat and broil it for a minute. Some of it gets crunchy, but I like that. Sprinkle with water first if you want it to stay soft. If it is a thick piece of meat, you will have to flip it once. I am too impatient to use the oven on weeknights.
When I make spaghetti sauce or chili, I make a bunch and freeze in individual servings. When I get home from work, I drop the rock hard frozen block of spaghetti sauce (because I never think far enough ahead to defrost) in a small covered pot with a tiny bit of water, and boil another small pot for cooking the angel hair pasta, and I am eating in 10 min or so. Now THAT is fast food!
The good thing about using an oven or broiler is that reheating for two or more people, does not take twice as much time as reheating for one, like it does in a microwave. And I can cook mashed potatoes from raw on a stove top much faster than someone using a microwave, because I cut the raw potatoes into small pieces and boil.
Try reheating your rice bags in a solar oven made from a few pieces of aluminum foil in a south facing window.
We haven't had a microwave oven for 5 year - we moved into a rented house and there wasn't any so we did without.
My primary health concern wrt microwaves is the plastic people use to heat their food... I don't trust that it is safe - I try to get rid of plastic in my house esp. in the kitchen.
I reheat food on the stovetop - usually in a casserole, or a skillet or in my Dutch oven, it works fine. Potatoes and rice are turned into a diferent meal - fried rice is my children's favorite food, right after fried potatoes. I recently got an instant pot - but to me it seems too big for heating single servings... I do still miss the ricebags though and am looking forward to getting our RMH installed so I can heat them there - the hot water bottles aren't quite the same... will try the solar oven tip - but then si think so would need to have them out there 24x7...
Microwaves and TVs--two appliances I did without years ago, because I had no space for them and no money to buy them anyway. I don't miss either one! Our last rental house had a built-in microwave, so I used it now and then, but the place we just bought doesn't have useful counter space for a microwave. (Most of the counter space in my kitchen is in the form of a big island.) I'm glad I know how to get along without one! A microwave won't do anything for you that a stovetop or a broiler won't do.
I have not used a microwave in over 10 years.
I do not reheat any of those foods, I am quite happy to eat leftovers unheated (including soups).
Maybe the rice in the rice bag can be removed from the bag and heated in a pan, then put back into the bag.
I myself quit using the microwave a few years ago and have learned that any food that would be thawed, defrosted or reheated in a microwave can be done on the stovetop or in the oven/toaster oven. I want to share the reason I chose to stop using the microwave, as I didn't see them mentioned in other posts. The wavelength of radiation generated in a microwave to heat food works by causing water molecules to spin rapidly, causing friction. This same wavelength of radiation has other effects, some of which are negative, and one is downright frightening. The radiation aside from making water molecules spin, breaks down delicate compounds like amino acids and certain vitamins, like some B-vitamins, into forms that can't be used by the body. The other frightening thing is how it acts on proteins. Protein molecules are complex and intricately folded in their natural state. Microwave radiation unfolds some proteins rendering some of them carcinogens which don't occur in nature. Microwaves partly destroy the nutritional value of food. Microwaving food in plastics is a great way to add toxic compounds to a meal. I used to use microwaves because they were convenient and safe. Companies wouldn't put products on the market that weren't safe, right? wrong. Dupont said teflon was safe to cook food on, and we would later learn they knowingly withheld information, got caught, paid a $700M+ penalty after a lawsuit, and teflon was taken off the market. There's a mountain of examples of other things that used to be on the consumer market that were considered safe, but were known otherwise. I hope this iota of information about microwaves will help others make an informed choice.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
I gave up my microwave quite by accident about a year and a half ago (it got buried for about 3 months before I realized it) and I don't miss it at all. Which quite amazes me, because I used to rely on it so heavily for cooking most of my life. I'm so happy to have it out of my kitchen; it was so big and bulky and a pain in the ass to clean. I wrote more about my experiencehere.
https://stonesoupwyoming.org/. A Permaculture demonstration site in southern Wyoming.
https://triumphoftheweeds.com/. On sustainability, food, permaculture, and homesteading in southern Wyoming.
I would like to chime in on another person/family that has not had a microwave in forever. We moved into this house 4 years ago and we never had a microwave here. Before that I can't remember when we had a microwave for awhile. My wife likes microwave popcorn that she takes to her job and makes it there but that's the only microwaveable food we've got. I also love cast iron pans and Revere ware cookware.
I'm sure glad that he's gone. Now I can read this tiny ad in peace!