00 Microwave Could Do
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22 Surprising Things Your Microwave Can Do

Microwave oven makes it easier to live your life, or at least easily do defrosting, cooking, heating, and reheating at the push of a button.

Furthermore, if you’re only using the oven to heat up TV dinners, you’re only using a small fraction of the machine’s abilities. You can use it as a convection tool, a scientific laboratory, a baker’s oven alternative, and a crafting companion, among many other things. The arrival of smart microwaves also harkened the ability for device-to-device communication.

What Are The Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do?

The wheelhouse of the microwave contains almost everything in terms of capabilities. No wonder the government instituted a National Microwave Day (December 6th). The so-called science oven offers more than just heating up microwave dinners for sure. 

1. Give Your Plants a Boost

Soil sterilization helps propagate plants better. By heating up a pot of soil to sterilize it, you’ll be able to induce better growth from your seedlings.

According to Laura Pottorf of Colorado State University, heating up the soil before using it ensures better and healthier growth from your plants when push comes to shove.

Furthermore, she suggests that filling plastic containers with a thin layer of microwaved soil. Microwave every kilogram of soil for 90 seconds. That means for 3 kilograms of soil, it takes 270 seconds or 4.5 seconds.

2. Save the Stamp and Disinfect Sponges

Remove a stamp from an envelope without cutting or tearing it apart by putting a drop of water on the stamp before you microwave the whole thing.

Microwave the envelope for 10 seconds to 15 seconds. As for sponge disinfection, do the following. Good Housekeeping recommends that you microwave a sponge saturated with water for 60 seconds in order to destroy 99.9 percent of household germs inside your microwave, including about 99.8 percent of salmonella and E. coli.

3. Make Your Own Heating Pad for Sore Muscles

Get an old tube sock and cut the foot off of it. From there, put rice inside it and stitch or sew its top until it’s closed or sealed. Voila. You’ve made an inexpensive heating pad, bag, or bottle that you can use repeatedly.

09 Make Your Own Heating Pad for Sore Muscles

Enhance this heating pad by putting in with the rice some drops of lavender. This makes the heating pad more fragrant and pleasant. This gives you a pad that soothes your muscle soreness along with offering you aromatherapy on the side.

4. Save Your Stale Bread with Microwaved Moist Paper Towels

Is your bagel a little tough to chew because it’s two days old? You can microwave it back to something soft and chewy. Just wrap the bagel or any bread type in a paper towel that’s only slightly wet but not soaked to a pulp.

Microwave the wrapped bagel for about 20 seconds. This transfers the towel moisture back to the bagel, thus rejuvenating and refreshing it.

5. Unstick Brown Sugar Clumps with Your Microwave

This involves wet paper towels as well. You can use it to reverse the clumping common in brown sugar. Just wad up a moistened paper towel then put it inside a container with your brown sugar clumps.

10 Unstick Brown Sugar Clumps with Your Microwave

Close the container up without sealing the lid and microwave the whole thing for a length of 25 seconds.

This should result in the moisture from the paper towel wads to transfer into the dried sugar and let the clumps separate.

6. Peel Garlic Easily with Microwave Assistance

You can peel garlic without any suffering through the tedium of such a chore. Instead of using long fingernails and loads of patience, you can instead microwave bulbs for a period of 15 seconds.

This hot garlic now possesses peels that come off more readily without you scratching at their surface with your nails. According to Gavin Sacks, an assistant professor from Cornell University, the effect comes from the water or steam from the garlic. This hot steam breaks apart the bonds between the garlic skin and the individual cloves.

7. Microwave Citrus Fruits and DIY Toasted Nuts

Microwave a lemon or orange from 10 seconds to 15 seconds before juicing them. Do so before cutting them apart as well. The microwave rays make juicing more effortless, allowing you to squeeze every last drop of their citrus goodness.

As for DIY toasted nuts, it involves placing nuts and a little bit of oil on a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the bowl of nuts in minute-long increments, stirring them little by little every time. The overall toasting time depends on nut types. However, on average, it takes about 5 minutes tops. Apply the same trick on sunflower or pumpkin seeds too.

8. Cook Dinner from Scratch

Your microwave doesn’t only heat up water or reheat food. The device could microwave more than just leftovers and TV dinners.

Sometimes, you can cook food with a baking dish full of meat and potatoes microwaved to perfection using the right settings and timing.

Just search for the right recipe for chicken and dumplings, ropa vieja, enchiladas, risotto, and so forth then you’re good to go.

Microwave Cooking for One
Microwave Cooking for One


You can throw many dinners and meals together with just the right ingredients and microwave know-how. Become a dorm chef yourself.

9. Give Stale Chips Their Crunch Back and Bake a Cake Quickly

Microwave stale corn or potato chips for 10 seconds. This makes them crunchy again instead of stale. Additionally, go zap fresh herbs for 2 minutes instead to instead dry them out and make them as crunchy as chips. Quickly bake a cake without waiting too.

Go place a single-serving cake into your microwave’s interior and zap it for 5 minutes using the same ingredients you’d use to normally bake it. Avail of cooking instructions when it comes to a rundown on microwaveable baked goods.

10. More about Baking a Cake and Other Confectionaries

Bake a cake with a microwave, even if it’s a cupcake or a delicious mug-sized chocolate cake with powdered sugar on its surface.

You don’t need to preheat a microwave, unlike a traditional oven. This way, you can create a baked cake in your microwave quite quickly compared to your gas or electric oven.

07 More about Baking a Cake and Other Confectionaries

For example, bake a cupcake made with chocolate inside a mug or literal cup in only 90 seconds or 1 minute and 30 seconds. Meanwhile, a 10-person or 12-person cake with three layers of chiffon requires around 10 minutes of baking or heating inside your microwave oven.

11. Making Dough Rise with Your Microwave’s Assistance

Put dough on your bowl and let it sit to rise as it’s microwaved. Although it might seem easier to buy bread, making your own homemade bread can serve as a reward in and of itself. Most people don’t make their own bread because it takes such a long time to make.

However, a microwave oven can cut down the time-intense activity by a few hours or more. Use the appliance to speed up the process of making bread dough rise. Warm the dough up at 10 percent power for a 2-rise or 3-rise recipe. Afterwards, shape it and put it back in the oven to make it rise. You can cut down 45 minutes of baking down to 10-15 minutes.

12. Using Microwaves for Adding Crispness to Your Food

Along with fried or dried chips, you can also use a crisper tray in order to get your French fries perfectly crisp after they become stale and/or soggy. It works like with your soggy pizza. A microwave serves as a dependable crisper by using the right tools and microwave settings.

It heats up anything fast and thusly can dry out anything moist rather quickly as well. On Amazon, you can shop for a microwavable crisper pan for around $13. The pans double as griddles that keep leftovers crisp while they’re heated up, along with French fries and pizza. They’re also great for making crispy bacon.

13. Cook an Egg by Microwaving

A microwave could heat up a poached egg for use with your toast, among other egg-related treats. Eat breakfast for champions prepared by this appliance. A microwave isn’t limited by TV dinners or microwaveable dishes, after all.

Do you want a hard-boiled egg, a sunny-side-up egg, a poached egg, or a scrambled egg? No matter which types of egg you wish, you can achieve them with the assistance of a microwave and a couple of minutes of your time.

02 Cook an Egg by Microwaving

According to a Good Housekeeping test, hard-boiled or poached eggs prepared by microwaves prove better tasting than those prepared by the stove (or so their readers claim).

 14. Steaming Vegetables with a Microwave

A microwave could steam vegetables pretty well. Go steam a bowl of broccoli with your microwave instead of a steamer basket. This serves as the key to steaming vegetables as perfectly as possible.

A microwave heats up most anything rather quickly because of the effects of its rays on molecules, particularly water content.

03 Steaming Vegetables with a Microwave

Your microwave can steam small portions or servings of veggies such as bok choy, asparagus, and so forth. To do this, you should wrap them in several layers of moist paper towels.

Different vegetables require different steaming times. Vegetables could also be thrown into your oven along with a bowl of water for steaming or making soup.

15. Drying Herbs with Microwaves

Instead of steaming vegetables and plant life, you can instead dry them out. Put rosemary on a paper towel to have its moisture absorbed into the towel while leaving the rosemary dry. To be more specific, place 4-5 herb branches between two dry paper towel pieces.

Afterwards, microwave everything from 2 to 3 minutes. We prefer drying out herbs by microwaving compared to using a conventional oven, sun-drying, or air-drying.

04 Drying Herbs with Microwaves

The microwave rays quickly make the water turn into vapor inside herbs. This preserves the essential oils and flavor because it doesn’t heat the entire branch evenly.

16. Parmesan or Romano Cheese Baskets and Microwaves

Top your cheese with salad instead of topping your salad with cheese. How? Use a microwave. To be more specific, mold the Romano or Parmesan cheese into bowls by exposing the grated cheese across parchment paper with microwave rays.

Afterwards, flip the melted cheese onto the outside part of an upside-down ceramic bowl. The cheese then hardens into the bowl shape as it cools down.

Afterwards, you now made a Parmesan or Romano cheese basket!

17. No Tears When Cutting Onions

Microwave the onion for 30 seconds before cutting it. Go dry your onion tears by doing something extra before dicing them on the cutting board. No need for goggles or a mask. Keep your eyes free of tears during food preparation involving onion dicing.

Just microwave the onion to remove its pungency. Before microwaving the onion for half a minute, cut its tips off first. After heating with the oven, the onion could be cut down now without inducing tears from your eyes. The microwave could also caramelize or sauté the onions for good measure.

18. Soak Beans the Right Way with a Microwave

Usually, it takes overnight soaking in order to get your bowlful of beans ready for cooking. Your white beans soaking in a glass bowl could be quickly prepped at the last minute by putting them in the microwave.

Just make sure for every 1 cup of beans you put in 3 cups of water. Zap the beans on the high setting for 15 minutes until the water boils. Afterwards, allow the beans to stand for about 1 hour or more.

The end results compare to soaking them overnight. You’ve now ended up with ready-to-cook beans. There are recipes that recommend letting the beans boil in the unit before heating them up on a medium setting for 2 minutes though.

19. Corn Shucking with Your Microwave

Microwave corn to make it effortless to take off its husk. Don’t microwave it too hard though, or you’ll end up with popcorn on a cob. It works using the same principles as microwaving garlic to make peeling its cloves easier.

Microwaving corn also offers the additional benefit of eliminating hair from your ears of corn.

Shucking raw corn always leaves behind those extra strings. A microwave treatment should get rid of those hairs post-haste. Just remember to cut the cob’s stalk end before putting it inside the unit. Microwave for half a minute to a whole minute.

You can microwave up to 4 cobs. After it’s over, grab the uncut stalk then shake off the husk and hair behind.

20. Foam Milk with Your Latte

Here’s something fancy. You need a jar to make your milk foam for your at-home latte. Pour milk of the nonfat or 2 percent variety into the jar. That type of milk ensures you have the added protein necessary for making it foam.

05 Foam Milk with Your Latte

From there, seal the jar and shake it with vigor for up to 60 seconds until you get a foamy milk solution from inside the jar. Afterwards, stick the jar inside the microwave for about half a minute. Make sure to unseal the jar to keep pressure buildup from happening.

The heat should stabilize the foam so that it won’t immediately dissolve when poured into your cappuccino. Voila. You’re good to go.

21. Make a Soap Cloud

If you zap your bar of soap you can end up with what’s known as a soap cloud. This science experiment is easy, fun, and harmless. It requires just a tiny bit of cleanup on your microwave once you’re done as well.

06 Make a Soap Cloud

Using microwave rays on soap yields an expanding, fluffy cloud made of soap that both kids and adults who are kids at heart should enjoy. After 2 minutes and 30 seconds in the oven, the heated soap will start expanding.

Afterwards, the soap turns into a cloud shape so fluffy and squishy you can mold it with your fingers. Just make sure to use soaps from Ivory or any light soap with enough air to float in water. Other soap types won’t produce the same results.

22. Measure the Speed of Light

You read that right. You can measure the speed of light with the assistance of a microwave oven. For you would-be scientists out there, it works like this. You need some chocolate when doing this science experiment of sorts. Remove the tray from your microwave in order to prevent even cooking on your bar of chocolate.

Put the bar inside your microwave interior and zap it with microwave rays for 40 seconds or until it begins to warp. Afterwards, measure the distance between the pool of chocolate and the hot spots where the chocolate started melting. The distance is half-wavelength, so multiply it by two then multiply by 2.45 gigahertz (the frequency of most microwaves).

In Summation

A microwave provides a surprising amount of uses aside from cooking and defrosting. If you wish to use your microwave for something other than heating up water, you can try out some of the tips and recommendations available in this article. You can even hack your microwave to overcome its limitations.

Enhancing the microwave using a Raspberry Pi merely means making it accept voice commands. Then again, you can shop for voice-activated microwaves such as the AmazonBasics Microwave (it works with Amazon’s Alexa, in fact).

Just make sure to not be too adventurous with your microwaving and avoid things like microwaving metal or non-microwaveable plastics on your unit.


  1. Emily Price, “10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do“, Popular Mechanics, October 31, 2014
  2. Shaunacy Ferro, “25 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do“, Mental Floss, December 6, 2018


Through the years, the microwave oven has become a standard appliance for all homes. It is safe to say that there is no home without a microwave oven. If you are looking for a microwave oven that best fits your needs, You find the right website.

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