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12 Home Hacks for Your Microwave

With kitchen space a minimum in small, cool homes, many are debating even keeping their microwaves. But we think that you ought to first realize just what a multi-functional appliance your microwave is before you decide to Freecycle it. Inside, we'll show you 12 cool things to do with your microwave besides nuking that ramen dinner.

Microwave, Microwave uses, Basil, Herbs

Dry herbs in the microwave (pictured above). If you buy fresh cilantro or grow your own basil, you can use your microwave to dry out herbs. Drying allows you to store unused portions or dry up a small amount for an extra-tasty spice rub!

What You Need

Paper Towel/Paper Plate (optional)


1. Wash Herbs: Herbs with thick stems work best for this method, though any will suffice. Rinse and spin out in a salad spinner to eliminate any remaining water (or wash and dry each leaf by hand). Place on a towel to catch any extra water that's still hanging on.

2. De-Stem Leaves: Since the goal of dehydration is to remove all the water stored inside the plant, removing the leaves not only allows extra evaporation points, but allows for even drying.

3. Heat Herbs: Place herbs on a paper towel on a plate, or on a paper plate if you have one handy. The process works without them, but they will help things dry quickly and evenly as they wick away water. Place in microwave in a single layer and microwave on full power for 30 seconds. Repeat the process until leaves are crunchy and thicker stems snap when flexed. Some herbs will take up to 3-4 minutes, while thinner ones might only take a minute or two. (if you don't use a paper towel, make sure to move each leaf between rotations so it doesn't sit in it's own herby-juices)

4. Store: Herbs will keep in any air tight container for up to a year. Add them to your usual dishes for a bit of added flavor.

Microwave, Microwave uses, Basil, herbs

Sterilize garden soil to make it fit to plant seedlings. Spread 400g soil on a flat dish and heat on high for 90 seconds or until steaming.

Soften Brown Sugar. Keep the sugar in its plastic packaging, add a few drops of water, and heat on medium for 10 to 20 seconds.

Make extra-tasty microwave popcorn by nuking a bowl of water first. Do a quick switcheroo and then cook the popcorn as directed. The moisture left in the microwave will make for some fluffier kernels.

Microwave, Microwave uses, Sponges

Disinfect sponges in the microwave. After you've given your sponge a good soak in water, nuke it for 2 minutes to kill 99 percent of bacteria.

Disinfect plastic cutting boards (if they fit!). Wash the board well, rub it with the cut side of a lemon, then heat for 1 minute.

Prepare your cutting board oil. Serious cooks who oil down their wooden cutting boards will benefit by zapping the oil for a spell first.

Get extra life out of a dried-up mascara stick by heating for 30-40 seconds on high with a cup of water in the microwave beside it.

Microwave, Microwave uses, Lemons

Get more juice from a lemon or lime. Just zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds and then roll it around on the counter a few times.

Bring solidified honey back to life. Crystallized honey is brought back to liquid life by uncovering the jar and heating on medium power for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Cook unexpected foods
. You know your microwave can cook frozen burritos, but you can also make more impressive dishes with your counter top tech. Try making no-fry potato chips, in-the-husk corn-on-the-cob, or even scrambled eggs if you're in a pinch. You can also use a microwave to cut down on dough-proofing time if you're making homemade bread.

Serve your delicious meals on warmed plates
for pro-worthy presentation. Sprinkle each one with water and pile them up. Heat on high for around 30 seconds—but make sure they don't have any metal decorations.

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