8 Clever Microwave Hacks for Cooking and Sterilizing Kitchen Tools


1. Making Herb Seasonings

Do you want to turn freshly picked herbs into seasonings? Place the herbs between two sheets of kitchen paper towels and microwave them for about 1-2 minutes. This dries the herbs, preserving them as flavorful seasonings for later use. Cilantro, basil, and celery leaves work well with this method.

2. Roasting Nuts

Spread nuts or seeds on a ceramic plate, drizzle a bit of cooking oil or butter (about half a teaspoon per cup of nuts), microwave for 1 minute, and then heat further until they turn a golden brown color.

3. Baked Apples

Peel and core apples, slice them or keep them whole. Add a teaspoon of butter or your preferred seasoning like cinnamon. Cover with wax paper or parchment paper, heat for about 2.5-3 minutes, then let cool before eating.

4. Baked Potatoes

Microwaving potatoes is quicker than using an oven. Peel them, poke a few holes with a fork or chopstick to release steam, microwave for 7-8 minutes until soft. Remember to flip them halfway through to ensure even cooking.

5. Scrambled Eggs

Craving hot scrambled eggs for breakfast but rushing out? "Fry" eggs in the microwave! Grease a bowl or mug lightly, add a teaspoon of milk or water, crack the egg in, and microwave for 30-45 seconds. Stir with chopsticks, let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then enjoy.

6. Sautéing, Blanching Vegetables

Drizzle garlic with cooking oil, microwave at low heat for 30 seconds for a quick sauté. For fresh vegetables, place them in a container, add 2-3 tablespoons of water, cover with a small plate leaving gaps for steam to escape. Microwave for an appropriate time until the veggies soften, creating blanched vegetables.

7. Cooking Chicken Soup

Dice vegetables, add some cooked or canned beans, chicken pieces, and broth to a bowl. Cover with a lid, leaving a gap, and microwave for around 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally for even heating.

8. Peeling Garlic, Removing Fruit Skins

Microwave garlic for 20 seconds to easily remove the skin. The moisture inside the garlic heats up, making it easier to peel. Additionally, for fruits with thinner skin like tomatoes or peaches, cut them in half, place on a plate, and microwave for about 5 minutes to easily peel them.

Additionally, your microwave can serve unexpected purposes:

9. Disinfecting Dish Sponges

Dish sponges and scrubbers can harbor bacteria. Microwaving them for about 1 minute can effectively sterilize them. Ensure there's no metal in the sponge and moisten it slightly to prevent overheating.

10. Reviving Stale Bread

Wrap stale bread in a damp paper towel, microwave for about 10 seconds to make it soft and fluffy again. Alternatively, place a cup of water alongside the bread to achieve a similar effect.

11. Removing Stamps

To preserve stamps without damaging them while removing from envelopes, drip a few drops of water onto the stamp, then microwave for around 20 seconds. It should easily come off.

Using the Microwave Safely:

There are six guidelines for safe microwave use:

- Avoid using metal cookware or aluminum foil.

- Steer clear of microwaving plastics that may melt or release toxins.

- Be cautious while heating water to prevent overheating and splattering.

- Stir or flip food periodically for even heating and to prevent burning.

- Keep an eye on the microwave while it's in use and maintain a safe distance.

- Check for any issues with the microwave's door to prevent radiation leaks.

Sources: WebMD, One Good Thing, U.S. FDA, BBC Future, Science Friday


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