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26 Ways You're Not Using Your Microwave To Its Full Potential

It's not just for frozen meals.

Jenny Chang / Buzzfeed

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1. Get delicious bacon by cooking it in layers of paper towels or by draping pieces over a microwave-safe bowl.,

The first method results in almost no clean-up, whereas the second method gives you a lot of grease that you can use for other recipes. And if these aren't good enough, there's always the power crisp bacon rack ($18).

2. Steam all your veggies in steamer bags or by placing them in some water and covering.

These steamer bags work really well and they're BPA-free and microwave-safe. Get them here ($9).

3. If you want something that'll easily cook pasta and rice in the microwave, try these appliances.,

Fasta Pasta takes about 12 minutes for one serving and the rice steamer takes about 14 minutes.

Get the pasta maker here ($15) and the rice steamer here ($15).

4. Make your eggs scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, and even fried.

Poaching eggs in the microwave is so much easier than doing it on the stove. For poached eggs and fried eggs, make sure to poke the yokes first before microwaving. See how to satisfy all your creggings here.

5. Pop popcorn in any paper bag.

Just use any regular lunch bag ($20 for 500). See how to do it here.

6. While you'll never get the same texture as bread made in the oven, you can make gluten-free bread in 90 seconds.[[rssitem_title]],

Just pour the mixture in a sandwich storage container ($7) and heat it up for 90 seconds.

Or, if you don't want gluten-free bread, you can make delicious English muffins in the microwave. It'll take about an hour and a half for the dough to rise, but only seven minutes to cook. See how to do it here.

For even easier bread making, try this silicone bread maker ($27).

7. If you're craving chips, lay tortilla pieces on a plate and microwave for 30-second periods, flipping them in between.

The best part of making your own tortilla chips is that you can flavor them with anything. Recipe here.

8. Or make potato chips by slicing potatoes really thin with a mandolin.

You need to soak and dry the slices before microwaving. Full instructions here. If you don't know what a mandolin is, you can get one here ($20).

9. When heating up leftover rice, pasta, and dry breads, cover them with a damp paper towel to retain moisture.,

Alternatively, you can add some water to the dish and then cover it with a lid, essentially "steaming" your leftovers.

10. Cook corn-on-the-cob easily and mess-free in just four minutes.

After microwaving, take out the corn with oven mitts, wait a little, and then effortlessly squeeze them out of their husks.

11. If you want something better than a cookie or a brownie, try this mochi cake.

You're just substituting wheat flour for rice flour ($5.45). Recipe here.

12. Cook brown rice in 30 minutes instead of two hours.

Recipe here. And what's better than rice? RISOTTO.

13. Salvage stale bread by wrapping it in a damp paper towel.

Heat it up for about 20 seconds.

14. Throw garlic in the microwave to make it easier to peel.

You can also do this with peaches and tomatoes. Just heat them up for 30 seconds before peeling.

15. Make a whole loaf of banana bread in the microwave.,

Yeah, you can cook it in a mug, but why do it for one serving? You know you're going to want more.

16. Toast your nuts evenly and efficiently in the microwave.

To get the same flavor as oven-toasted nuts, coat them in a dollop of oil before microwaving.

17. Place thicker foods on the outside of the plate so your entire meal heats up evenly.

If you're heating up different-sized food, place the thicker and bigger foods on the outside so everything heats up at the same time.

18. Prepare pickles in the microwave that'll last you three months.

So you can satisfy your pickle cravings any time you want without having to go through the hassle of canning. See here.

19. Froth milk by shaking it in a jar and then quickly microwaving in order to stabilize the foam.

Science! Cool!! Full details here.

20. Soften hardened brown sugar by placing a damp paper towel over it before microwaving.

Or, place a cup of water next to the brown sugar in the microwave to get the same steaming effect. Microwave for about 10–20 seconds.

21. Make healthy toppings for your oatmeal like dried fruits and toasted coconut.,

Dried apples recipe here and toasted coconut here.

22. Get fancy by steaming fish with sriracha mayonnaise.

Microwave meals don't have the be sad. You can cook fish! Get the spicy salmon recipe here.

23. For a romantic way to treat yourself, roast some garlic.

It's actually steamed garlic but it achieves almost the same flavor as roasted garlic. See how to do it here.

24. You can definitely cook potatoes, squash, and other thick-skinned foods in the microwave, but poke them first.,

For potatoes, you'll want to poke them before you pop them in the microwave. For squash, microwave for 10–12 minutes, and then poke before thoroughly cooking.

25. Microwave lemons and limes to make them easier to squeeze.

Contrary to the popular belief that warming them will give you more juice, putting them in the microwave is just going to help your arms out.

26. To get A+ results, convert recipe times to match your microwave power.

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Most recipes rely on a one wattage (1,100 watts) microwave. If you know yours is higher (for example 1300 watts), you can change to cooking times to get the same results. Here's the equation: (recipe watts / your microwave watts) * recipe time in seconds = the new time! Or, if you don't want to do the math, you can use this site.

Finally, if your current microwave is a filthy cesspool, then maybe it's time to upgrade.,

Get a top-rated inexpensive one from Amazon for $70 or a more expensive, higher-power one for $174.

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