20 Microwave Tricks Every Cook Needs to Know
Your microwave can do more than heat up leftovers! Here are a handful of microwave tricks that will change the way you cook.
Bake a dessert
Craving something sweet but don’t want to sacrifice time—or wash all the dishes? Use your microwave to make a pan of oatmeal bars. You only need a handful of ingredients and about ten minutes. See all the treats (and meals!) you can make in the microwave.
Reduce onion tears
No more crying! Before you chop onions, place the whole onion in the microwave for 45 seconds. By heating the onion before cutting it, you help break down the chemicals that cause your tears. The most common use for a microwave might be popcorn popping, but we suggest you don’t use the “popcorn” button preset.
Vampires, beware! Peeling garlic doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Pop a full bulb in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften it, making peeling effortless. The cloves will slide right out of their skins with no mess or sticky, smelly garlic juices. Check out more clever kitchen hacks you’ll wish you’d always known.
Help bread dough rise
There are few greater joys in life than smelling (and eating!) freshly baked bread. But bread needs a warm place to rise, which can be a tricky feat in the cold-weather months. Here’s a quick fix: Try microwaving a bowl of water for two minutes, then place your bread inside the microwave with the warm bowl of water. Ta da! It’s the perfect condition for your bread to double in size.
Make a foamy latte
Fancy a foamy latte? Be your own at-home barista, no frother necessary. Fill a glass jar halfway with milk and microwave for one minute until hot. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously for 30 seconds, pour the milk into a mug, add espresso and enjoy.
Squeeze more citrus juice
Get every last drop out of lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits. If a recipe calls for citrus juice, zap the fleshy fruit in the microwave for about 10 to 20 seconds. Then, slice it in half and squeeze away. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! Here are 44 lemony dinners to try for dinner.
Revive stale bread
Make that bread good as new. Wrap stale bread in a damp paper towel, place it on a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for ten seconds. You can also put a glass of water in the microwave with the bread for more softness. Find out the best way to store every type of leftover food.
Nuts are toasted more evenly in the microwave than the oven or skillet. Spread your favorite nuts in a single layer on a plate, then microwave in one-minute intervals, mixing them each minute. Here’s everything you need to know about toasting nuts.
Use your microwave to conveniently steam all types of vegetables—broccoli, carrots, asparagus, green beans, and even artichoke. You only need some water in a microwave-safe bowl and a microwave-safe plate to cover it all. Delish! Perfectly steamed vegetables.
Cook crispy bacon
No more splattering bacon fat in the frying pan. With the help of some paper towels and a microwave-safe plate, you’ll be enjoying delicious, crispy bacon in your microwave in no time. Mmm… Bacon. Become a bacon pro with these cooking tips.
Honey that has solidified can be brought back to liquid life. Just uncover the jar and heat on medium power for 30 seconds to one minute. After a quick zap in the microwave, the revived honey is ready to drizzle into tea or over cornbread.
Make potato chips
You want to make homemade potato chips. No deep fryer? No problem! Thinly slice a russet potato, drizzle the slices with vegetable oil and salt and lay them out on a microwave-safe dish. Zap ’em for about five minutes until golden and crispy. Get detailed instructions here.
Instead of soaking beans in water overnight, place them in a large microwave-safe bowl, completely submerged in water, and heat for about eight to ten minutes (or until the water is boiling). The beans should be ready to use in an hour or two.
Instead of waiting to dry herbs in the oven or hanging them upside-down, microwave them! The electromagnetic radiation of your microwave quickly and efficiently evaporates water from the herbs, preserving the essential oils that give herbs their signature flavors and aromas. Beware of these things you should never, ever microwave.
Soften ice cream and frosting
If your favorite pint of ice cream or jar of frosting is hard as a rock, you can soften it in the microwave without melting it. Remove the lid and heat up in 15-second intervals until the desired softness of your sweet treat is reached. Find the right tools to make microwave cooking even easier.
Make corn on the cob
Corn on the cob in the microwave? We’re all ears! For one or two ears of corn, microwave on high for three minutes. Serve with plenty of butter, salt, and pepper. You can also finish the corn on the grill or under the broiler for extra color and toastiness.