Ten tips and tricks to help you master your microwave

They are fickle machines but these tips and tricks will help you to master your microwave.

Ten tips and tricks to help you master your microwave

Microwaves are fickle machines; your first mouthful might scold your mouth while the second bite is into a chunk of ice. These tips and tricks will help you learn how to master your microwave.

Reheating pizza

Place a mug half full of water in the microwave with your leftover slices of pizza and you’ll find the crust nice and moist, rather than brittle and dry.

Testing a container

If you’re unsure whether or not a container is microwave safe, put a mug full of cold water in the container and then heat it on high for one minute. If the container is still cold when the minute is up, then it’s microwave safe. If it’s hot then it isn’t; just be careful with the mug of hot water!

Easy juicing

Pop a lemon or lime in the microwave for 10–20 seconds to warm it up and make it easier to juice – be careful it doesn’t get too hot.

Steamed veggies
Fill a bowl with chopped vegetables (evenly cut; smaller pieces will help to ensure even cooking), then put a very small amount of water in the bottom of the bowl and cover with cling wrap. Microwave for two minutes, then move and flip the vegetables in the bowl with a fork. Cover and cook for another four minutes. If the veggies can be easily pierced with a fork they’re done, otherwise move the pieces around again and cook for another minute, repeating until finished.

One ring to rule them all

Microwaves generally heat food on the outside more than the inside, so if you place your food in a big ring on your plate leaving the centre empty, your food will heat more evenly. On some older microwaves you may find that placing your bowl on the edge of the rotating plate will make it heat more evenly; experimentation is necessary for perfect results.

Double trouble

If you need to heat up more than one dish at a time, place one towards the corner of the microwave and then place the other on top of a mug, rather than heating them up separately.

Re-crisp those potato chips

If you’ve got potato chips that have gone a little bit stale and soft, cover them with paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds, the paper towel will absorb the moisture and once they’ve cooled down, they’ll be nice and crispy again.

Don’t be a square

Due to the way that microwaves heat, you should try to use a circular dish rather than a square one in the microwave, square dishes will heat less evenly.

Zesty cleaning

Fill a bowl with half a cup of water and then juice a whole lemon into the bowl. Heat on high for 5 minutes or until the steam has condensed on the walls of the microwave. Now remove the hot bowl and you should be able to wipe down stains from the walls of your microwave with ease. Don’t forget to clean the plate.

Easy to peel garlic

Peeling garlic can be frustrating, but if you microwave a clove for around 15 seconds, the skin will loosen and be much easier to peel. 

Now to put those tips and tricks into use, why not get started with some microwave nachos?

Have you got any microwave tips or tricks to share with your fellow readers? What is the greatest trick you’ve learnt for using the microwave? 


    To make a comment, please register or login
    The Bronze Anzac
    30th Dec 2015
    I found that Ox Kidney explodes when trying to reheat, so it's best to cover the plate with kidney with cling wrap, with a few small puncture holes to let the steam out.
    30th Dec 2015
    So far I've Mastered how to Reheat My Cold Cuppa ! :-)
    30th Dec 2015
    Good info - two things I would add.
    Do NOT use cling wrap in the micro wave to cover food - the plasticisers in it are a known carcinogenic. Just put a plate on top of your container.
    If you have a multi purpose convection micro wave be aware that if you are in convection mode and you open the door without using the stop button the unit will automatically revert to micro wave power. Not a good thing if you are cooking on a metal tray!
    30th Dec 2015
    ZZzzzztt !! ZZZttzzzz !! :-( :-(

    30th Dec 2015
    Also good for drying out desiccants for ongoing use.
    Golden Oldie
    17th May 2016
    My microwave does inexplicable things. I set the timings manually because the times on the programs are for 4 serves and I live on my own. However, sometimes, when the time set has finished, the microwave timer settings will automatically add another 60 or 70 seconds to the cooking time instead of stopping. I have a 1200w Sharp Carousel Oven. Does anyone else have this problem?
    17th May 2016
    Does it have a Stop Reset Button ? if so push it ! Mine is a National, I got it given to me in 1999 and it doesn't seem to ever want to die !!
    :-) :-)
    Golden Oldie
    18th May 2016
    Yes, it does have a stop/reset button, but this tendancy of the microwave to sometimes add extra minutes to the time I have specified means that I have to watch the timer everytime I use it. My old Sharp microwave did not have this problem. I regret leaving it in the house that I sold. It was only about 25 years old, and had no problems.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles