10 Uses for Your Microwave That May Surprise You

We all know what a microwave is for, right? It's for reheating leftovers and steaming broccoli. Well, if you're going to allot so much precious kitchen real estate to a microwave oven, you better make it work harder than that!

Here are 10 more things you can do with your microwave, from making potato chips to frothing milk foam for your latte.

The microwave is looked down upon by many home cooks, given its associations with TV dinners and frozen burritos. But it is actually a healthier way of cooking vegetables, says Harold McGee, food science guru. It leaves more nutrients intact, and you can use it to steam food without using as much fat.

Beyond these benefits, though, you can use the microwave for some unexpected and rather awesome purposes.

Your Microwave Can...

  1. Poach eggs - Great for the office. Take some leftover greens or pasta and poach a fresh, gooey egg to throw on top.
  2. Make potato chips - Easy, crispy potato chips — from the microwave? With no fat? Believe it.
  3. Froth milk for your latte - No, you don't need a special machine — just your microwave and a jar, and you can have
  4. Cook polenta - Polenta doesn't have to be a time-consuming stovetop affair. This makes a quick bowl for breakfast or supper.
  5. Make a quick bowl of mac and cheese - from scratch! - Yes, cook the pasta and the sauce in the microwave. It's ready in less than 10 minutes. This method wins over the box every time.
  6. Toast nuts - Yep, you can toast nuts in the microwave. It's quick, with less chance of scorching them.
  7. Dry herbs - A good way to preserve fresh herbs for the fall and winter.
  8. Proof bread dough - Hurry up your last bread rise a little bit with a couple zaps from the microwave.
  9. Sanitize kitchen equipment - You can use the microwave to sanitize sponges and disinfect cutting boards.
  10. Make popcorn, without a bag - Wait, you say — I know the microwave makes popcorn. You just buy those little packets... Well, yes. But did you know that you can skip those and just put regular popcorn kernels in a greased bowl and pop them in the microwave that way? Read through all the comments on that post for more details.

We could go on and on, actually — how about lemon curd or softening cheese for the cheese plate?

But it's your turn now ‐ do you have any smart, unexpected uses for your microwave?

Related: 6 Smart Alternate Locations for the Microwave

(Images: See linked posts for full image credits)

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