I only purchased a microwave a year ago in preparation for the birth of my family’s second child. Before this, I lived my entire life without a microwave thinking they weren’t good for me, opting to reheat food in the oven and defrost food under hot running water.
Talk about wasting energy and resources!
With the magic of the microwave, meat can defrost in minutes, the baby’s homemade food frozen in ice cube trays can be warmed up in seconds, and coffee turned cold can be warmed up again in a jiffy.
I also love how the microwave doesn’t add heat load to my kitchen. With the hot summers we have in Texas, not having the stove on makes the air feel just a bit cooler.
Now understood as a staple of energy efficiency in most modern homes, microwaves can be used for so much more than reheating cold coffee. We’ve collected five of our favorite foods we enjoy cooking in the microwave, producing results that are just as tasty as if they were cooked on the stove top or in the oven.
Microwaves come in varying power with different wattages, so times might vary. Feel free to experiment with your microwave to determine what is needed to produce delicious results. As always, use microwaveable safe dishes when preparing your foods.
1) Microwave Potato Chips
The trick to making potato chips in the microwave it to slice them super-thin – as in, no thicker than 1/8 inch to 1/16 inch. We recommend using a mandoline slicer with the guard on!
- Wash them in cold water immediately until the milky water runs clear.
- Dry them with a paper towel.
- Arrange your slices onto a dinner-sized plate lined with paper towel making sure not to overlap them. If you do they’ll merge as one.
- Season your chips with salt and other dried herbs as desired.
- Microwave on 100% for 3 minutes, then flip them over and reduce power to 50%, cooking for another 3 minutes.
- If you notice they are browning too fast, take them out. Microwave chips that aren’t brown yet for 1 minute at a time.
- Remove and toss into a bowl.
If you store them in an air-tight container, you can extend their crispiness for up to 3 days!
2) Steamed Veggies
Forget dragging out the pots and using the stove top. Microwaves make steaming veggies a cinch, and even better, there’s no oil or added fats involved in the cooking process.
- Wash and chop your veggies into bite-sized pieces. You can’t leave broccoli looking like trees, otherwise it will never cook evenly.
- Place your veggies into a microwave safe dish.
- For every pound of vegetables, use about 3 tablespoons of water.
- Secure a tight-fitting lid.
- Microwave for 3-4 minutes until tender but not mushy.
Carefully remove as steam will escape quickly.
3) Sizzling Bacon
We love this method because it eliminates the greasy mess made on the stove top that inevitably comes from frying bacon! And it means you can cook small portions of bacon with ease.
- Lay 2-3 paper towel sheets onto a microwave-safe plate.
- Place your bacon on top without overlap.
- Fold the paper towel back over your bacon, enveloping it, and cook it for 2 minutes per piece of bacon. So for three slices, cook it for 6 minutes.
- You’ll see the fat seep into the towel once you remove the plate. Don’t worry – that’s supposed to happen.
- Remove bacon and serve with an egg and toast!
4) Scrambled Eggs
Forget scraping over cooked eggs off the frying pan. This method reduces energy use and the amount of dishes you need to clean.
- Coat a microwave-safe mug with cooking spray or butter.
- Crack two eggs into the mug, along with two tablespoons of milk and two tablespoons of shredded cheese. Include salt and pepper if you like.
- Beat them until blended.
- Microwave on high for 45 seconds.
- Stir and then microwave for another 30-45 seconds longer.
The eggs are light, fluffy and have never cooked faster!
Stop worrying about boiling water and achieving that perfect al dente status. It’s time to microwave your pasta.
- Place your preferred pasta into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Add just enough water to cover it.
- Add three minutes to your cook time beyond what the bag or box of pasta says.
Once your microwave beeps, drain it like you would regular pasta and poof – an easy dinner is ready!