Microwaves might be the most underused kitchen appliance you have. If you only use it to heat up leftovers, you’re missing out. It can actually cook a wide range of food very well and because of its speed, it’s a great option for when you’re short on time. Here are the best tips we’ve come across online:
Make potato chips
Homemade chips are never quite as crunchy as store-bought, but these are much healthier and surprisingly easy. You need to slice the potatoes really thin, ideally with a mandolin. Next, line a plate with parchment paper and add the slices in one layer. Season to your liking. No oil necessary! Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, checking after 3 minutes. You don’t want them to start to brown. Once golden or very light brown, they’re done. Cool completely before eating, since that’s when they crisp up.
Cook scrambled eggs
Eggs in the microwave probably won’t taste quite as good as the real deal, but when you’re really short on time, it’s a much better option than grabbing a bagel or donut at work. Beat eggs in a bowl with a little milk, cheese, and seasonings, and then cook in the microwave for 40 seconds. Stir, and then cook again for another 40 seconds or so. That’s it!
Dry out fresh herbs
To dry your own herbs for herb powders and homemade spice mixes, you might think the oven is the only method, but you can use the microwave, too. It’s much faster. Wash, dry, and trim the herbs you’re drying and lay them on a paper towel in your microwave. Make sure they’re really dry, or the heat will cook them. Cook on high for 30 seconds, then flip the leaves. Keep this routine up for 2-4 minutes, until the herb is dry. They should crumble when they’re done.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with mug cakes
Mug cakes are one of my favorite uses for the microwave. They’re perfect for when you have a craving for sweetness, but don’t want to bother with an entire batch of something. You can find countless recipes online for mug brownies, cookies, and more. You can find eggless, oil-free, and grain-free recipe variations, too, so no matter what eating rules you’re following, there’s a recipe for you.
Make crispy bacon
I’ve had bacon made in a microwave, and it’s more often than not very limp and sad. However, you can actually get crispier strips by draping the bacon on an upside down bowl set on a plate. Cover with a paper towel so oil doesn’t splatter everywhere. The excess grease drips off during the cooking, so the meat can get crispier.
Steaming in the microwave is one of the easiest and best cooking methods for vegetables. Simply put the veggie of your choice in a bowl (that’s microwave-safe), add a little water, and cover with plastic wrap. Punch a hole in the middle, so steam can escape. Contrary to what many think, microwaving vegetables doesn’t destroy their nutrients. The only exception is broccoli, but every other veggie is just as healthy cooked in the microwave as with any other method.
Make hard taco shells
It’s Taco Night, and some people like soft shells while others want the crunch. Instead of buying both kinds, you can transform soft shells into hard using the microwave. Get out a mug and fold the soft shell into it, so it’s shaped like a hard shell. Microwave for just one minute to get it crispy, slide it out, and fill with toppings!
There’s at least one cookbook devoted entirely to microwave cooking. What other unique cookbooks are out there?