11 Favorite Microwave Tricks

We know microwaves are great for reheating leftovers, but their strange, fast, clean type of molecular agitation can be used in a bunch of surprising ways. Here are our current favorite tricks.
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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Microwave Hacks    

Your trusty microwave is more than a one-trick pony for reheating food in a pinch. Check out these 11 genius uses for a microwave. 

More Juice

Microwave lemons or limes for 20 seconds before squeezing, to loosen them up. They’ll be easier to juice.

Corn on the Cob

Really fresh corn tastes amazing cooked in its own husk. Just cut off the wide end, right at the shoulder, microwave for 3 minutes and then slip it out of its skin (like the guy in the famous corn video).

Pre-Grill Game

Soften squash or other veggies before you grill them, so they are silky on the inside and striped with smoky char on the outside.

Dinner for One

Smaller portions cook more quickly in the microwave. We layer the cooking so everything finishes at the end. Microwave oil with some sliced mushrooms or scallions for a minute, then stir in a vegetable like bok choy, tiny broccoli florets or string beans for a couple of minutes, then top everything with a small piece of seasoned salmon or a thin piece of chicken breast for a bit until those are cooked. Let everything rest for a minute, then eat it.

Midnight Shrimp Cocktail

Microwave a handful of shrimp until they are opaque in the middle, then plunge them in salted ice water to chill them. Serve with required cocktail sauce.

Mason Jar Steamer

Put a half-inch of water into a Mason jar, fill with vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, carrots), season and put a pat of butter on top, covering the unlidded jar with a small plate or napkin before you microwave. Drain (be careful of heat!). Voila — veggies for one.

Prosciutto

Lay a few pieces of prosciutto on a paper towel and microwave to crisp. Add pieces of them to sandwiches or salads for crunchy, baconlike deliciousness, or serve strips instead of bacon with eggs.

Steaming Milk

Put some milk in a jar. Put the lid on and shake it up. Remove the lid and microwave the jar of milk. Put the lid back on and shake it some more (be careful — use an oven mitt). Add to hot chocolate or coffee.

Garlic Oil

Toast garlic in a bit of oil and use it in dressings or drizzle it over all the things that taste good with garlic oil.

Sunny-Side-Up Egg

Separate the yolk from the white. Microwave the white in an oiled bowl. Add the yolk and microwave for 5 or 10 more seconds to heat.

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

It’s cheaper and cleaner than what’s in most bags. Put popcorn kernels and oil in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid and pop them. Stop when the popping slows to every 3 seconds. Don’t let the popcorn burn, because that is super-sad and smelly. Don’t use a bag, because it can catch fire (boo!).

Next Up

Healthy Microwave Cooking

We’re not talking about zapping frozen entrees. How about real ingredients and healthy meals straight out of the microwave oven!?