Do you know how to use a microwave to its utmost culinary potential? Though once considered the height of cooking technology, this everyday appliance is now often relegated to basic reheating. From juicing citrus to crisping bacon, our microwave hacks showcase its wide range of capabilities that make life easier and more delicious.
Microwave Hacks That Streamline Your Kitchen Time
Whether you’re an avid home chef or a culinary novice, cooking shortcuts can be appreciated by all. These microwave hacks, tips, and tricks simplify life by saving time and effort, while even enhancing your cooking.
Squeeze More Citrus Juice
One of the easiest microwave cooking hacks squeezes every last drop from citrus fruits, saving you some serious muscle. Simply heat the whole fruit for 10-20 seconds before cutting in half. Heating softens the skin, enabling you to extract more juice with ease.
Steamed veggies are one of those microwave recipes that not only enhance flavor but preserve nutrients. Follow these simple steps for perfectly-cooked vegetables every time:
- Cut veggies into bite-size pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl
- Add 1-3 Tbsps of water
- Cover with a microwave-safe dish
- Cook for 3-4 minutes before checking for desired doneness
Microwave hacks that do the dirty work for you perform double duty. Rather than pounding and peeling multiple cloves of garlic, simply heat a whole head in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. As with citrus fruit, heat softens the garlic’s skin, making for easy removal of each clove.
Trim Skin From Peaches
Did you know microwave recipes could include pie? Peeling peaches for pies and other desserts can be a messy and time-consuming first step. Instead, heat the whole peach in the microwave for 30 seconds. After allowing it to cool for 2 minutes, the skin can be easily trimmed away by hand or with a paring knife.
Preserve Fresh Herbs
Storing fresh herbs in the refrigerator can be a recipe for disaster, as their natural moisture can lead to rapid decay. Preserve your herbs with one of our favorite microwave tricks:
- Place dry, de-stemmed herbs on a paper towel
- Microwave for 30 seconds
- Flip the leaves and microwave for another 30 seconds or until leaves are dry to the touch
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight bag or container
Prep Lentils or Beans
Soaking dried lentils or beans for soups and stews can require hours of forethought we don’t always have. Fortunately, microwave hacks can take the prepping out of meal prep by softening these ingredients in under an hour.
Place the beans or lentils in a microwave-safe bowl full of water. Add a pinch of baking soda and microwave for 10 minutes. After resting for 30-40 minutes, they’ll be ready to use.
Make Scrambled Eggs
A true microwave cooking guide has to include scrambled eggs for a quick but nutritious breakfast. Simply beat 2 eggs in a microwave-safe bowl, adding 1 Tbsp of milk and a pink of salt and pepper. Heat for two minutes to enjoy a hot breakfast-on-the-go.
You can’t have eggs without bacon, especially when it can be cooked to crispy perfection. Just layer 2-3 sheets of paper towels on a microwave-safe dish and top with up to 4 slices of bacon. Place 1-2 additional paper towels on top and heat for approximately 1 minute per slice. Though it may be slightly underdone, the bacon will crisp up after resting for 5 minutes.