There was a time when all I did with my microwave was heat up leftovers and steam the occasional vegetable. Thankfully, those sad days are in the past now that I know how much the tiny appliance can do.
Work your microwave to its fullest potential with these unbelievably useful hacks:
1. Get the perfect scoop
Is your pint of ice cream too frozen to scoop? Don't test your patience. Simply remove the lid from the carton and zap it for 15 to 20 seconds to soften the sweet stuff just the right amount.
2. Peel the garlic
Prepping garlic has to be one of the most tedious cooking tasks (but, of course, I love it way too much to forfeit the flavor). Thankfully, you can have your garlic and eat it too with some help from your microwave. Abbey Sharp, R.D., blogger and cookbook author, tells Self magazine to put a whole head of garlic in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds on high. The result? The cloves pop out of their skin no problem, slashing your prep time in half.
3. Juice your fruits
Does your recipe call for some fruit juice? According to Refinery29, you can microwave lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits and other citrusy goods for about 15 to 25 seconds to get more juice out of them.
4. Speed up the ripening
Naturally, life is never convenient enough to ripen a bunch of bananas when you have time to bake with them. Nope, they just go bad when you were actually hoping to have a banana with your breakfast and still have green on their peels when you want to bake some banana bread. Here's a hack for you: Use a fork to poke some holes in a banana. Then, microwave it for a minute or two. When you take it out, it will be perfectly ripened for your baking recipe.
Learn More About Home Repair Plans Near You
5. Whip up some bacon
Don't have time to fry the bacon? Can't be bothered to deal with a greasy pan? Simply just obsessed with bacon? Time to rejoice because you can make some bacon in your microwave in less than 10 minutes. Line a microwave-safe dish with a paper towel, lay out the bacon and then cover it with another paper towel. Pop the plate in the microwave for about 6 to 7 minutes, and you're ready to get your bacon on.
6. Make your own chips
No need for Lays when you know this trick from Lifehack: Cut a potato into thin slices, and arrange them in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Cook for three minutes on medium power, then flip the slices over and repeat the three-minute bursts until you have crispy potato chips. Mind = blown.
7. Cry onion tears no more
Quickly cut off the ends of your onion and then microwave it for 30 seconds on medium power. Remove it and chop away, no tears included in the process.
8. Freshen up your sponge
When you use it to wash your dishes several times a day, your sponge will eventually need a clean, too. According to Lifehack, you can disinfect it in the microwave. Simply soak it in water, ring it out and microwave it for two minutes to kill 99% of bacteria on the sponge's surface.
Now that your microwave usage is about to double, make sure you remember to deep clean it on a regular basis. (Another hack for you: baking soda can help restore shine in your stainless steel microwave.) This kind of upkeep is the key to ensuring all of your appliances remain in good working condition.
Being prepared for home repairs and appliance issues is always a good strategy. See how plans from TotalHome Warranty by HomeServe can help with the costs of covered appliance and home system repairs.