Someone who is using the microwave to heat only food and water, is under-utilizing the microwave. Read on for some incredible ways to use the Microwave that will not just surprise you, but will also allow you to get the maximum utility out of it.
1. Making the Perfect Poached Egg
Pour boiling water into a microwave safe bowl and add a pinch of white vinegar to it. Crack the egg into a bowl and lightly pierce the yolk with a toothpick. Cover the bowl with cling film and microwave it on full power for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl, turn the egg gently, and then microwave again for another 20 seconds. You eggs will be perfectly poached.
2. Soaking Lentils and Beans
Do you often forget to soak lentils and beans overnight ? Microwave, comes to the rescue in these situations. Soak the beans or lentils into a bowl full of water. Add a pinch of bicarbonate soda to it. Ensure that the beans or lentils are fully covered in water, Microwave the bowl at full power for 10 minutes, and then leave them inside for another 40 minutes. Your lentils or beans will be soaked perfectly by then.
3. Re-hydrating Stale Bread
Cover the loaf or slice of bread in a water soaked kitchen towel, and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Repeat the procedure as necessary until you find the bread properly hydrated.
4. Inducing Crunch in Potato Chips
For the potato chips that have lost their crunch, place them in the microwave on a kitchen towel for 30 seconds. Repeat the procedure as necessary until the towel absorbs the moisture from the wafers and the chips crunchiness is restored.
5. Toasting Nuts and Spices
In order to bring out the beautiful aroma of nuts, spices and seeds, one could zap them in a microwave in bursts of 15 seconds. Repeat the procedure until the aroma from the nuts and spices engulfs your kitchen. Your nuts should be perfectly toasted by then.
6. Disinfecting Sponges
Do you throw away dirty kitchen sponges after a couple of uses ? You need not do that. Instead, put the dirty sponge into a bowl filled with water and a dash of vinegar or lemon juice and zap the bowl at high power for around a minute in the microwave. This will clean the sponge and disinfect it thoroughly
7. Disinfecting Cutting Boards
Similar to the kitchen sponges, the cutting boards can also be disinfected in the microwave. Wash the cutting board well, and scrub a slice of lemon on the side that is cut. Microwave the board for a minute and the board will be fully disinfected. You could use the same procedure to disinfect children’s and dog toys.
8. Using it as a Proofer
This is a tip for all those people who bake bread at home. The microwave works as an excellent proofer – A contraption that remains warm and moist for yeast breads to rise. Bring to boil a cup of water for 2-3 minutes. Once the water starts boiling, stash your dough along with the cup of boiling water in the microwave, and leave it there until the yeast does its thing.
9. Cooking Potatoes
Potatoes can be cooked in a microwave rather quickly. First prick the potatoes on all sides using a fork. Then put as many potatoes as will fit in your microwaveable bowl, and cook them at high voltage for 2 minutes. Remove the bowl and turn the potatoes over, Cook them again for a further 2 minutes. Your potatoes should be cooked and ready.
10. Cooking Fish
Fist can be cooked quite perfectly in the microwave. Wrap the fish in a microwaveable plastic and add some seasoning – salt, pepper and lime. Microwave the wrapped fish for around 2 minutes. The cooking time depends on the strength of the microwave and the thickness of the fillet. Watch the fish closely, to prevent it from getting over cooked.
11. Cooking Bacon
Wrap the slices of bacon in kitchen towels and microwave them for 2-3 minutes. The Kitchen towel soaks the moisture from the bacon and makes the slices crisply cooked
12. Steaming Vegetables
Similar to fish and potatoes, vegetables can also be cooked in the microwave. Prick them with forks and cook them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes as required. Steaming vegetables in the microwave minimizes nutrient losses, and is faster than steaming the vegetables inside a cooker or a steamer.
13. Recrystallizing Honey
If honey solidifies inside the jar, then use a microwave to soften it. Uncover the jar, and microwave it for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This will liquefy honey and bring it back to a good consistency.
14. Peeling Garlic
Do you find it hard to peel cloves of garlic ? If yes, then microwave the garlic cloves on top of a kitchen tissue for around 10 seconds. The tissue will absorb the moisture and allow you to peel the garlic effortlessly
15. Chopping Onions
Do you get teary eyed, every time you chop an onion? Place the onion in the microwave for 30 seconds before you start chopping it. Microwaving the onion, takes the sting out of the onion juice. Hence you will not get teary eyed, even if onion juice enters your eyes.
16. Squeezing Lemons
Are you in the habit of squeezing every little drop of juice from a lemon before throwing it away ? Putting the lemon in a microwave for 1 minute, makes it very juicy. This allows you to squeeze the lemon easily until you reach the last drop.
17. Removing Postage Stamps
If you are a collector of stamps, then you would rather not cause damage to the stamp when tearing it out of the envelope. To avoid causing any damage, sprinkle a couple of drops of water on the postage stamp and microwave it. The stamp gets peeled easily off the envelope.
18. Warming Hair Oil and Other Beauty Products
In winter the hair oil hardens inside the bottle, and it becomes difficult to remove oil. In this case, microwave the bottle for 20 seconds. This liquefies the oil within the bottle, which can then be poured out quite easily. Similarly, if hot wax cools down before you are done waxing your leg, then microwave the jar for 20 seconds. It is an easy and a non-messy technique to reheat wax.
19. Heating Medical Aids
In order to effectively get a hot water compress, do you use hot running water? You could get a hot water compress by soaking a hand towel in water, and then microwave it for 1 minute. In no time, will you have a soothing hot compress. Similarly, if you use heated gel packs to alleviate head aches, then again you can heat and reheat the gel packs inside the microwave.
20. Identifying Microwave-safe Containers
A microwave can itself be used to test if the container is microwave safe or not. Fill a cup that you already know to be microwave-safe with water. Place the cup of water on or in the container (do not pour the water into the container) and microwave both of them for one minute until the water starts boiling. If the containeryou are testing is cool to touch then it is microwave safe, if it is warm or hot, then you shouldn’t use it in the microwave.
Featured photo credit: Stefan via flickr.com