The Jakarta Post
From cooking utensils and cutting boards to dirty sponges, microwaves can disinfect them in no time. (Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov)
For years, the microwave has remained one of the most useful kitchen appliances to have. Whether at home, in the office or even in universities, microwaves come in handy as a practical way to reheat meals.
But that’s not the only thing they can do.
Here are 10 other things your microwave can do as listed by Reader’s Digest Asia:
Certain foods like hard-boiled eggs, rice, processed meat and chicken should not be reheated in the microwave. However, according to Ron Shimek, president of appliance repair service Mr. Appliance, the insulated and airtight space of the microwave can help maintain the freshness of your meals for over one hour.
So, if you can’t dig into your food right away, place it in the microwave and then close the door.
From cooking utensils and cutting boards to dirty sponges, microwaves can disinfect them in no time.
“Simply place the sponge into a bowl of water with vinegar and place it on high power for approximately a minute,” Shimek said.
Placing utensils and other equipment that fit into the microwave for a while will also keep them clean.
Helps peel garlic cloves
Hand-peeling garlic cloves almost always leave your hand smelling the worst. One way to avoid this is to put the whole garlic head into the microwave and heat it first.
“Get around the nasty garlic smell that you get on your hands by simply blasting the whole head in your microwave on high settings for no more than 15-20 seconds. After that, the garlic cloves should be much easier to peel,” Mix Repairs suggested.
Chop onions tear-free
Chopping onions will most likely leave you crying but fear not: the microwave can save you the drama. Trim off the end of the onion, heat it for 30 seconds, and then make sure to let it cool before chopping it.
Honey crystallizes as quickly as within a month. At this phase, spreading honey on toast could be quite troublesome.
The experts at Mix Repairs suggested spinning honey jars in the microwave for a few seconds to return it to the original, flowy form.
Soften hard brown sugar
Popping your brown sugar in the microwave for too long can melt it, but popping it in the microwave for just a few seconds is a perfect way to soften the granules.
“Simply put the brown sugar lump in a bowl. Wet a paper towel and cover the bowl with it, then microwave in 10-second bursts until the sugar is crumbly again. Poke the sugar with a fork between bursts to help break up the lump,” microwave aficionados at Exclusive Repairs suggested.
Soil can contain harmful bacteria, pathogens and insects that will eat your plants, which is why sterilizing it first might be beneficial.
“Place 400 grams of soil on a flat dish and microwave it for a minute and 30 seconds on a medium setting until it is steaming,” said experts at Exclusive Repairs.
Help squeeze more fruit juice
Did you know that microwaving your fruit for a good 10-30 seconds before squeezing them might give you an extra gulp?
Of course, larger fruits need more time, but experts recommend this along with letting the fruit cool about a minute before slicing it in half and using a manual juicer to squeeze every drop out.
Bake a meatloaf for breakfast or snack
There are more and more ways to bake a cake using a microwave.
With a large egg, ketchup, mustard, bread crumbs, onion soup mix and some spices as ingredients, your microwave can bake a meatloaf in under four minutes.
This one is no surprise. A microwave actually produces less heat to the surrounding area and uses less energy than a stove.
With this, Matthias Alleckna, an energy analyst, suggests using microwaves more instead of stoves, especially in summer.
“In the hotter summer months, cooking simple microwave recipes can help you cut down your costs in two ways. One, you won’t be using as much energy on the meal and two, you won’t be tempted to crank up the AC while it’s cooking,” she said. (vel/kes)
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