Genius ways to use your microwave

Genius ways to use your microwave

Microwaves have been a kitchen staple since the 1950s. Here are some cool and innovative ways to use your microwave.

Get the most out of your lemons. Heating up a lemon for 20 seconds will squeeze out more juice for your lemonade

Don't be too quick to throw out your dirty sponges. Soak your dish sponges with a tablespoon of white vinegar. Heat for about one minute. Your sponge will be clean, sanitized, and ready to use.

Dried herbs
Turn your fresh leftover herbs into instant dried seasoning. Wash them and pat them dry. Microwave in 20 second intervals and store them in containers.

No more tears
Prevent yourself from crying while you cut onions. Popping an onion in the microwave for 30 seconds helps keep the onion from making you tear up.

Soften your sugar
Have rock hard brown sugar? Soften it up by placing a moist paper towel over the bowl full of sugar. Heat it for 20 seconds. Now you've got soft sugar ready to use for baking.

Crispy pizza
Reheat leftover pizza in a microwave with a glass of water. The water will keep your toppings moist, and will prevent your crust from being chewy.

Bake your potatoes
Avoid waiting 40+ minutes to bake your potatoes in the oven. Instead, microwave your potatoes for six minutes. They will taste the same in less than half the time.

Find out what food items you shouldn't microwave:

6 things you shouldn't reheat in a microwave
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6 things you shouldn't reheat in a microwave


The Right Way to Reheat: Start by adding a splash of water to the casserole — the resulting steam will help keep it from drying out as it reheats. Cover it tightly with foil and in a bake in a 325 degrees F oven until heated through. Make sure to check the temperature in the middle of the casserole — that’s where it’ll take longest to warm up. 


The Right Way to Reheat: Place chicken on a baking sheet or pan, and cover with foil. Revive it in a 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes, and then remove the foil. Continue to bake until the skin is crispy and the chicken is heated through.


The Right Way to Reheat: Heating up several slices? Bake them in a 375 degrees F oven until the cheese has melted and the crust is crisp. Got just one or two? Place slices in a dry skillet, and tent with foil. Heat it on the stove over medium heat until the cheese melts and the crust crisps.


The Right Way to Reheat: Unsauced noodles can be reheated in a pot of boiling water until just heated through, about 30 to 45 seconds, depending on the type of pasta.   Pasta in an oil- or cream-based sauce can be a little tricky to reheat --- if it gets too hot, the oil or cream (or cheese) can separate and the dish can become very oily. In a saucepan, place the pasta over medium-low heat and combine it with a small amount of the fat used when you first cooked it (oil or cream). Watch and stir frequently.   Pasta in a tomato-based sauce can be easily reheated in a small saucepan over medium heat. If it’s too thick (likely the pasta has absorbed too much sauce in the fridge), thin it out with a little water and adjust the seasoning as needed.


The Right Way to Reheat: First, thinly slice the leftovers, for even reheating. Place in a saute pan with a little oil over medium heat until the steak is brown on the edges and warmed through.


The Right Way to Reheat: French fries are pretty difficult to reheat without changing their taste, texture and overall deliciousness. But for the best results, heat a little oil in a nonstick saute pan until it just starts to shimmer. Put the leftover fries in the hot oil and fry until brown and crisp. Remove the fries from the oil and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy.

When to Repurpose Instead of Reheat 

Sometimes it pays to get creative. For instance, you can definitely reheat fish, but the leftovers do much better in new dishes like fish cakes or chowders, or tossed in a salad. Hamburgers don’t reheat too well, either, since they tend to lose most of their moisture the first time they are cooked. Try chopping them up and using them in soup or chili instead. And while leftover vegetables can be reheated in the microwave, they are also really good additions to soups, salads and stews.


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