Most people purchase a microwave to reheat meals or thaw frozen food, but this compact appliance has numerous other uses. You can use your microwave for all sorts of household tricks and cooking cheats. Here are 16 more ways in which you can use your microwave that you probably didn’t know about:
Clean the inside quickly
Microwaved food often overheats and explodes, creating a mess on the inside of the appliance. When this happens, place a glass bowl of water with a drop of vinegar in your microwave and heat for five minutes. The inside will steam up, making it easy for you to wipe away the gunk that has accumulated.
No more lumpy sugar
Brown sugar can sometimes become an intractable lump. If this happens, you can place a piece of dampened paper towel in the box and microwave it for 20-30 seconds on high heat. The sugar will come out soft.
Enjoy reheated sandwiches
If you usually use your microwave to reheat sandwiches or other baked goods, they become soggy. Avoid that by wrapping your food in a paper towel. The towel will absorb the extra moisture.
Make an instant hot compress
Instead of waiting for your hot water to run or your kettle to boil, place a wet hand towel or washcloth in the microwave on high for one minute. You'll have an instant hot compress when the time's up.
Dry out fresh herbs
Quickly dry out herbs like parsley using your microwave. Place one cup of herbs on a sheet of paper towel and heat on high for 2-4 minutes. Crumple the herbs in the paper towel after heating. This method results in less mess.
Restore crystallized honey to liquid
When honey begins to crystallize, your microwave can restore it to its liquid form. Remove the jar lid and using 50% of your microwave's power, heat the jar for two minutes. The honey should liquidize once again.
Get extra lemon juice
Squeeze more juice out of your lemons or limes by zapping the fruit on high heat for 10-20 seconds. This will make the fruit juicier and easier to squeeze.
Tear-free onion experience
Avoid tearing up when chopping onions with this neat trick. Trim the ends and heat the onions on full power for 30 seconds. You won't feel the sting anymore due to the heat.
Thick-skinned vegetables such as potatoes, squash and tomatoes can be cooked in the microwave, but often explode because steam gets trapped. To avoid this, pierce the skins with a toothpick or knife before you begin cooking so that the steam can escape and your food won't explode.
For a single garlic clove, heat the clove for 15 seconds. The heat removes the moisture that gets trapped between the skin. The moisture-free clove can be easily peeled. For tomatoes and peaches, heat the fruit for 30 seconds on high. Let the fruit sit for two minutes. After these two minutes, the peel should slip off without much effort.
Poach an egg
Quickly make perfect poached eggs with this method. Boil water in the kettle and pour it into a microwave-safe bowl. Add a dash of white vinegar and an egg into the bowl. Lightly pierce the yolk with a toothpick and then cover the bowl with cling wrap. Microwave this on full power for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and gently turn the egg over. Cook for another 20 seconds on full power.
Save time soaking food overnight
If you spot a recipe you want to make but notice it calls for an overnight soaking, use the following shortcut. Place the beans in a bowl with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and cover with water. Heat the beans for 10 minutes on high. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and you've saved yourself an overnight soaking.
Revitalize stale bread
Rehydrate stale bread by wrapping bread in a damp kitchen towel. Heat it on high for 10 seconds at a time until the bread is moist enough.
Damage free stamp removal
Easily remove a stamp from an envelope without ruining the stamp or the envelope by using your microwave. Put a few drops of water on the stamp and microwave the envelope for 20 seconds. The stamp should peel off without damage.
Make soggy chips crispy again
Potato chips get soft and lose their crunch after time, but you can use your microwave to make them crispy again. If you briefly heat them in paper towels, you can restore your chips' former crispiness.