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Savisto specialises in homeware, home essentials and kitchen accessories – everything you need to turn a house into your dream home.

19 Microwave Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

Did you know that microwaves can do more than nuke frozen meals for one? Seriously they can. Much more, in fact. Used right, your microwave can be quite the convenient kitchen sidekick, capable of saving you a lot of time and effort, as well as possessing the ability to knock up a mean snack.

To show you just how useful a microwave can be, we’ve put together 19 brilliant hacks (plus one bonus hack, because we’re nice like that). Have a browse through them, we reckon you’ll be using a few of these on a regular basis!

1. Microwave crisps

If you love McCoy’s, Pringles and Walkers, wait until you get a load of microwave crisps. With no oil or added preservatives, these things are a revelation.  

What you need:

  • 1 potato
  • Some paper towels
  • Salt and other seasonings (optional)

What you need to do:

1. Scrub potato and cut it into 1/8-inch thick slices. As you cut them, put the slices into cold water. The thickness of the slices is key, so make sure you’re using a sharp knife.

2. Leave the slices to soak in water for a few minutes. Rinse off and dry with paper towels.

3. Line three paper towels on a microwavable plate. Place the potato slices on the plate in a single layer, spaced apart.

4. Microwave the slices for 3 minutes on 100% power. Turn them over and heat for a further 3 minutes on 50% power. Continue to heat on 50% power at 1 minute intervals until every slice is crisp and golden.

5. Crisps will keep for a few days in an airtight container, but you’ll probably want to eat them all at once. 

2. Scrambled eggs

No more burning saucepans! Scramble your eggs in the microwave and have them cooked before your toast is done.

What you need:

  • 2-3 eggs
  • Dash of milk
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

What you need to do:

1. Beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a microwavable bowl.

2. Microwave on 100% power for 45 seconds. Stir and heat for a further 45 seconds.

3. No more tears

No one wants to cry when chopping onions; it makes you look like a right wimp. Instead, trim off the ends of the onions and pop them in the microwave on 100% power for 30 seconds. No more tears!

4. Easy peel – tomatoes, garlic, peaches and onions

Trying to scrape the skin off a tomato or garlic clove is way more trouble than it should be. Here’s how to make your life easier…

Wrap your tomato, garlic or peach in a paper towel and microwave it on high for 30 seconds (20 seconds for garlic cloves). Take it out and rub it lightly with the paper towel. Leave to stand for 1 minute. Easy peeling!

For onions, place on a covered microwavable plate and heat of full power for 1-2 minutes.

5. Re-moisten your bread

If you’re not quite ready to feed your stale bread to the ducks, wrap it in a wet paper towel and microwave it on 100% power in 10 second bursts until moist.

6. Re-heat your pizza

Want to bring yesterday’s pizza back to life? Fill a mug with about two-thirds water and place it in the microwave with the plated-up pizza on top. Heat it up on full power for 30 seconds and check to see if it’s heated. If not, pop it back in for a further 30 seconds. The water evaporates and prevents the crust from drying out.

7. Softened brown sugar

A big old hard lump of brown sugar is unusable. Put a dampened paper towel in the box and close the lid tightly. Microwave the box on 50% power for 30 seconds. Voila! Softened brown sugar.

9. Chocolate brownies in a mug

Of all the things microwaves are capable of, none are more special that a mug full of chocolate brownies.

What you need:

  • Microwavable mug
  • 70g sugar
  • 50g flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 60ml water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 drops of vanilla extract

What you need to do:

1. Pour the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and cinnamon into the mug and mix well using a fork.

2. Add the oil, vanilla extract and water and stir well until a smooth mixture is formed.

3. Microwave on 100% power for 1 minute and then in 20 second bursts until the brownie is cooked. Be careful not to overcook the brownie. It should be moist, not dry.

10. Juicier lemons and limes

Get more from your fruit by putting it in the microwave on full power for 20 seconds. Slice and squeeze easily.

11. Toasted nuts

Nuts are typically best toasted in the oven, but that’s too much hard work, especially when you can spread them on a plate and microwave them for 5-7 minutes with the same results. The nuts won’t look as good as they do when they come out of the oven, but they’ll taste virtually the same. Plus, you’ll have saved yourself 15 minutes. When microwaving, make sure you stop every minute or so to mix up the nuts.

12. Steamed vegetables

While meat is roasting in the oven, chop up your broccoli and other veg and put it in a microwavable bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of water to the bowl and cover with a plate. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Check the veg, if not’s done, re-cover and heat for a further 1-2 minutes. The result? Freshly steamed veg! 

Use a towel or oven mitt to handle the plate and the bowl – they get hot!

13. Dry herbs

Herbs with thick stems like parsley dry just as well in the microwave as they do in the oven. All you need to do is wash the herbs in the water, dry them off and de-stem the leaves. Place the herbs in a single layer on a paper towel and microwave on full power in 30 second bursts, flipping between each burst. Thinner herbs can usually be dried in 1-2 minutes, others make take 3-4 minutes.

14. Milk foam

Want a barista-style cappuccino without forking out £3 at Costa? Froth up your milk at home instead. All you need is some milk, a mason jar with a lid and your trusty microwave.

What you need to do:

1. Pour as much milk as you use in your coffee into a mason jar, secure the lid and give it a good shake for about 20 seconds.

2. Remove the lid and pop the jar into the microwave for 30 seconds.

3. Pour the warm milk into your coffee, while using a spoon to hold back the foam. Use that same spoon to scoop the foam on top of your drink.

15. Evenly warmed pasta

Avoid warm spots in your pasta by placing it in a microwavable bowl covered with cling film. Peel the cling film back at one side for the pasta to vent and microwave it on low power for 1 minute. Stir and reheat in 1 minute bursts until the pasta is the required temperature.

If you’re reheating pasta without sauce, drizzle on a little vegetable oil to keep it moist.

16. Cookie in a cup

On the days when you’re not enjoying chocolate brownies in a mug, get stuck into a cookie in a cup instead.

What you need:

  • Microwavable mug
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

What you need to do:

1. Put the butter in the mug and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds.

2. Pour sugars, salt and vanilla extract into the mug and mix with a fork until combined. Add the egg yolk and mix until combined.

3. Add the flour and chocolate chips and mix well.

4. Microwave on 100% power for 45 seconds.

5. Serve warm with cream or a dollop of ice cream.

17. Corn on the cob

Pining for a serving of corn on the cob? No need to fire up the grill, just nuke the unhusked corn in the microwave on full power for 6 minutes, cut off the bottom and watch the cob slide out, tender and ready to enjoy.

18. French toast in a mug

Breakfast for one? How does French toast sound? We’ve already shown that brownies and cookies are great in mugs. Well you can add French toast to that list.

What you need:

  • Microwavable mug
  • 2 slices of bread cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 120ml milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon

What you need to do:

1. Pour all of the ingredients into the mug and mix well until fully combined.

2. Add the bread pieces and squish it down with a fork until all pieces are covered by the egg mixture.

3. Heat the mug in the microwave on 100% power for 2 minutes.

4. Serve with topping of fruit, powdered sugar and maple syrup.

19. Poached eggs

Poaching is notoriously the most difficult way to cook an egg. You’ve got to wait for the water to simmer, swirl it, add vinegar at the right time and babysit the egg while it cooks. Too much work and too much chance of it going wrong.

From now on, just stick to the microwave.

What you need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Boiling water

What you need to do:

1. Pour boiling water into a ramekin until it’s about ¾ full.

2. Add the white vinegar and gently slip the egg into the water. Cover with cling film and microwave on 100% power for 30 seconds.

3. Use a spoon to turn the egg over. Re-cover and heat for a further 15 seconds.

4. Take the egg out of the water and drain on a paper towel.

5. Serve on a slice of freshly buttered toast with a sprinkle of black pepper.

Bonus Hack:

Clean-up your Microwave

With all of these food hacks, your microwave is going to take a bit of a pasting. Get it sparkling again by squeezing and submerging a halved lemon into a bowl of water and microwaving it for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl (using a towel or oven glove) and effortlessly wipe your microwave clean. 

Did you know that microwaves can do more than nuke frozen meals for one? Seriously they can. Much more, in fact. Used right, your microwave can be quite the convenient kitchen sidekick, capable of saving you a lot of time and effort, as well as possessing the ability to knock up a mean snack.