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Maximize your Microwave: 15 Surprising Ways to Use this Underrated Kitchen Tool
Microwave ovens are one of the most overlooked appliances in the kitchen. They are often used only for heating up leftovers or making popcorn. However, microwaves can be more versatile than most people think. With a bit of creativity, it’s possible to use this handy kitchen tool to cook a wide range of meals and snacks. So, letâs get to it! Here are 15 surprising ways to use your microwave.
1. Cook Vegetables â The Healthy Way
Cooking vegetables in the microwave can be a healthier option than boiling or frying them. All you need to do is put them in a microwave-safe dish with a splash of water and microwave on high for a few minutes until they are crisp and tender. This preserves the nutrients and flavor of the vegetables.
2. Make Crispy Bacon â Without the Mess
Place bacon strips between two sheets of paper towel and microwave for a few minutes. The paper towel will absorb the excess fat, making the bacon crispy without making a mess.
3. Make a Quick Omelet
Beat eggs in a microwave-safe bowl, add your favorite ingredients, and cook in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until set. This makes a fast and easy breakfast or lunch option.
4. Cook Pasta â In a Jiffy
Microwave pasta is a time-saving alternative to boiling water. Add pasta to a microwave-safe dish with water, microwave on high for 10-12 minutes until tender, and drain. Add your favorite sauces and you’re ready to go.
5. Steam Fish â With Ease
Place fish fillets in a microwave-safe dish with a few tablespoons of water, cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes per fillet until fully cooked.
6. Soften Brown Sugar â Without the Wait
Microwave a bowl of brown sugar on high for 20-30 seconds until itâs soft and pliable again. Say goodbye to rock-hard brown sugar!
7. Roast Nuts â For a Tasty Snack
Spread nuts on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 1-2 minute intervals until they are lightly browned and fragrant.
8. Make Homemade Potato Chips
Slice potatoes into thin rounds and toss with olive oil and your choice of seasonings. Microwave in one minute intervals until crisp. Voila â homemade potato chips in minutes!
9. Make Fluffy Popovers â The Easy Way
Combine flour, eggs, milk, and salt in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for a few minutes until fluffy. Serve with butter and honey for a delicious treat.
10. Cook Rice â In No Time
Add rice and water to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 10-12 minutes until fully cooked.
11. Soften Ice Cream â Quickly
Microwave your favorite ice cream in 10-second intervals until itâs soft enough to scoop. This trick will save you from struggling with rock-hard ice cream.
12. Bake a Cake â In Minutes
Combine your favorite cake mix with water and eggs, pour into a microwave-safe dish, and microwave on high for 5-7 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Frost and decorate as desired.
13. Cook Chicken â Fast
Microwave chicken breasts in a microwave-safe dish with your favorite seasonings and a bit of water for 8-10 minutes on high until fully cooked.
14. Make Crispy Nachos â With Salad Bowl
Arrange tortilla chips on a large microwave-safe salad bowl, add your favorite toppings and microwave for a few minutes until itâs crispy and melty. Serve with guacamole and sour cream.
15. Reheat Pizza â To Perfection
Reheat leftover pizza in a microwave-safe dish with a glass of water for a few minutes until heated through. The water will keep the crust moist so it won’t get chewy.
So there you have it â 15 surprising ways to use your microwave. These tips show that this often underrated appliance can be much more versatile than we give it credit for. Whether you’re in a rush or simply want to experiment with your microwave, give these tips a try and see how they can improve your kitchen life. Have a favorite microwave tip? Let us know in the comments below!
Creative Microwave Uses FAQ
Is it safe to use a microwave for things other than reheating food?
Yes, it is safe to use a microwave for many things other than reheating food. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure that the object you are microwaving is microwave-safe.
Can I use a microwave to sterilize my baby’s feeding equipment?
Yes, you can use a microwave to sterilize your baby’s feeding equipment. Place the equipment in a microwave-safe container with water and microwave on high for 2-5 minutes.
Can I use a microwave to dry herbs?
Yes, you can use a microwave to dry herbs. Place the herbs on a microwave-safe plate or paper towel and microwave on the lowest power setting for 10-15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
Can I use a microwave to soften hard brown sugar?
Yes, you can use a microwave to soften hard brown sugar. Place the brown sugar in a microwave-safe container with a damp paper towel or cloth on top and microwave on medium power for 20-30 seconds.
Can I use a microwave to make popcorn?
Yes, you can use a microwave to make popcorn. Place the popcorn kernels in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a microwave-safe plate, and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until the popping slows down.
Can I use a microwave to make cakes?
Yes, you can use a microwave to make cakes. There are many recipes available online that are specifically designed for microwave cooking. It is important to follow the recipe carefully and adjust cooking times as needed since microwave wattage can vary.
Can I use a microwave to disinfect sponges?
Yes, you can use a microwave to disinfect sponges. Place the sponge in a microwave-safe dish with water and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes to kill any bacteria.
Can I use a microwave to cook eggs?
Yes, you can use a microwave to cook eggs. There are many recipes available for microwave cooked eggs, including scrambled, poached, and even omelets. It is important to follow the recipe carefully and adjust cooking times as needed.
Can I use a microwave to melt chocolate?
Yes, you can use a microwave to melt chocolate. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
Can I use a microwave to make DIY wax for hair removal?
Yes, you can use a microwave to make DIY wax for hair removal. There are many recipes available online that involve melting sugar, honey, or other ingredients in the microwave. It is important to follow the recipe carefully and adjust cooking times as needed.
Can I use a microwave to make potato chips?
Yes, you can use a microwave to make potato chips. Simply slice the potatoes thinly, brush with oil, and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Season with salt or other spices as desired.
Can I use a microwave to soften butter?
Yes, you can use a microwave to soften butter. The easiest way is to simply microwave it on low power for 10-15 seconds. Check every few seconds to ensure it doesn’t melt.
Can I use a microwave to make rice?
Yes, you can use a microwave to make rice. Simply combine rice, water, and any desired seasonings in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 12-15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Can I use a microwave to make homemade caramel?
Yes, you can use a microwave to make homemade caramel. Combine sugar and water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 5-7 minutes, stirring every minute or two until it turns a caramel color.
Can I use a microwave to defrost meat?
Yes, you can use a microwave to defrost meat. Place the meat on a microwave-safe dish and defrost on the defrost setting or at a low power level, checking every few minutes to ensure it doesn’t cook. It is generally recommended to use other methods of defrosting if possible, since microwaving can lead to uneven defrosting or cooking of the meat.
Can I use a microwave for steaming vegetables?
Yes, you can use a microwave for steaming vegetables. Place the vegetables in a microwave-safe dish with a small amount of water and microwave on high for a few minutes or until they are tender.
Can I use a microwave to dry clothing?
No, you should not use a microwave to dry clothing. This can be extremely dangerous and may cause fires or damage to the microwave.
Can I use a microwave to warm towels?
Yes, you can use a microwave to warm towels. Simply place the towels in a microwave-safe dish or bag and heat on high for a few minutes, checking frequently to ensure they don’t become too hot.
Can I use a microwave to soften ice cream?
Yes, you can use a microwave to soften ice cream. Simply microwave on low power for 10-15 seconds, checking every few seconds to ensure it doesn’t melt.
Creative Microwave Uses: Related Resources and Products
Did you know that your microwave oven can do more than just reheat leftovers? There are countless creative uses for this appliance that you may not have explored yet. Here are some related resources and products to help you make the most out of your microwave:
Microwave Cooking for One
If you’re living by yourself, or just need some recipe ideas for single serving meals, this cookbook is perfect for you. It contains over 100 delicious and easy recipes specifically designed for cooking in the microwave. With this book, you’ll be able to create healthy and satisfying meals without any fuss.
– By Marie T. Smith
Microwave Egg Cooker
Make breakfast time easy with this microwave egg cooker. It can cook up to four eggs at once in just a few minutes, and includes a lid to prevent any spills or messes. It’s also great for creating breakfast sandwiches or egg salad for lunch. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
– By Nordic Ware
Microwave Popcorn Maker
This microwave popcorn maker offers a healthier and more eco-friendly way to enjoy this classic snack. It’s made of 100% platinum silicone, which means it’s BPA-free and can be reused again and again. All you need is popcorn kernels and a microwave – no oil or butter required! Plus, it’s easy to clean and can be stored flat when not in use.
– By Lekue
If you’re a new parent, a microwave sterilizer can be a lifesaver. This compact one by Medela can sanitize bottles, breast pump parts, and other small items within a few minutes, killing 99.9% of germs and bacteria. It fits most microwaves and includes a convenient carrying handle for easy transport.
– By Medela
Microwave Rice Cooker
Cooking rice on the stove can be tricky, but this microwave rice cooker makes it foolproof. It can cook up to 4 cups of rice in just a few minutes, and includes a locking lid, a measuring cup, and a rice paddle. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe and BPA-free for added convenience.
– By Prep Solutions
Microwave Plate Cover
If you’re tired of splatters and spills in your microwave, consider using a plate cover. This one by Tovolo has a vented design that allows steam to escape, so your food won’t get soggy. It also fits most standard plates and bowls, and is made of BPA-free plastic that’s easy to clean.
– By Tovolo
Microwave Bacon Cooker
Love bacon but hate the mess? This microwave bacon cooker can help. It can cook up to six slices at once, and the raised ridges keep the bacon elevated so it doesn’t soak in its own grease. The tray and lid are also dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. A great way to have crispy bacon each time!
– By Presto
Steaming vegetables, fish, and other foods is a healthy and easy cooking method. This microwave steamer by Sistema is a versatile way to cook a variety of foods. It includes a steam basket, a vented lid, and a built-in pressure chamber that ensures even and fast cooking. It’s also BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
– By Sistema
Microwave Pasta Cooker
Cooking pasta in the microwave may seem unusual, but with this pasta cooker by Fasta Pasta, it’s a breeze. It can cook spaghetti, macaroni, fettuccine, and other noodles in just a few minutes, without ever boiling over. It’s also dishwasher safe and BPA-free, making pasta night even easier.
– By Fasta Pasta
Microwave Corn on the Cob Cooker
Get perfectly cooked corn on the cob with this microwave cooker. It can fit up to two ears of corn at once, and the silicone handles make it easy to remove from the microwave without burning your hands. This cooker is also great for steaming other vegetables, like broccoli or carrots.
– By Joie
With these products and resources, you can unlock the full potential of your microwave and make cooking and cleaning up a breeze. Happy cooking!
Pros&Cons: Creative Microwave Uses
- Versatility: Microwaves can be used for much more than just reheating leftovers. From cooking vegetables, to making popcorn, to baking cakes, and even sterilizing sponges, the possibilities are almost endless.
- Speed: Microwaves cook food in a matter of minutes, which is much faster than traditional cooking methods. This makes them perfect for busy individuals who don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals.
- Energy efficiency: Microwaves use less energy than other cooking methods, such as a stove or oven. This means lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
- Convenience: With a microwave, there’s no need to preheat or watch over your food as it cooks. Simply set the time and let it do its thing. This frees up time for other tasks.
- Budget-friendly: Microwaves are generally affordable and can be found in almost any store that sells kitchen appliances. They are also less expensive to operate than traditional cooking methods.
- Inconsistent results: Microwaves do not cook food evenly, which can result in hot spots and cold spots. This can make it difficult to achieve the desired texture and flavor in certain foods.
- Limited capacity: Most microwaves have a limited cooking capacity, which can make it difficult to prepare large meals. This may require multiple rounds of cooking, which can be time-consuming.
- Lack of browning: Microwaves do not produce the same browning effect as traditional cooking methods, such as broiling or baking. This can result in bland-looking food that may not be as appetizing.
- Health concerns: Microwaves have been known to emit low levels of radiation, which can be harmful if exposed to it for extended periods of time. Additionally, some people believe that microwaving food can decrease its nutritional value.
- Not suitable for all food types: Microwaves are not suitable for all types of food. For example, some seafood and meats may become rubbery or tough after being microwaved. It’s important to know what foods are suitable for microwave cooking.