7 Ways to Use Your Microwave As a Dehydrator

Move over, popcorn. We've got a new use for your microwave.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Karen Cohen

Photo By: Karen Cohen

Photo By: Karen Cohen

Photo By: Karen Cohen

Photo By: Karen Cohen

Photo By: Karen Cohen

Photo By: Karen Cohen

Photo By: Karen Cohen

Photo By: Karen Cohen

The True MVP

The ubiquitous microwave, beloved by frozen-dinner connoisseurs everywhere, can do more than defrost; it can also dehydrate. Follow these simple steps to preserve the flavor, color and shelf life of your favorite fruits and herbs without any additional special gadgets.

For Apples

Arrange thinly sliced apple rounds on the glass tray in your microwave. Be sure not to overlap the slices.

Lightly pat the slices with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.


Microwave the apple slices on DEFROST mode for 15 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes.

For the Best Results

For the best results, allow the microwaved slices to cool and dry out completely on a drying rack for a few hours. Sprinkle with cinnamon for some spice! 

For Bananas

Did someone say banana chips?

Spray your glass microwave tray lightly with cooking spray to prevent sticking, then arrange pieces of thinly sliced banana on the tray.

Microwave on DEFROST mode for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping midway. Your banana slices will be dry to the touch when ready.

For Extra-Crispy Results

Transfer the rounds to a cooling rack and let them sit overnight.

For Basil, Parsley and Other Delicate Herbs

Arrange the leaves of your delicate herbs in an even layer on the paper-towel-lined tray of your microwave.

Cover with another paper towel and microwave on HIGH for about 30 seconds.

Checking for Doneness

The leaves should be completely dry and crumbly when done. You can use your DIY dried herbs to flavor sauces, soups and braised dishes. 

For Rosemary, Thyme and Other Woodsy Herbs

Separate the leaves from the stems and sprinkle on the paper-towel-lined tray of your microwave. Microwave on HIGH for about 1 minute.

Checking for Doneness

Look for completely dry and crumbly leaves to indicate that your herbs are ready.

Storage Best Practices

Store your DIY dried herbs in airtight containers to use in your favorite dishes. You can also combine the dried herbs to create your own spice blends.