A household appliance that stands in many kitchen corners, most people are familiar with the microwave purely for its de-frosting or re-heating capabilities. Yet that would be to overlook its hidden depths. Infact the ingenious gadget that has been around for over 70 years has a number of versatile functions: microwave uses can in fact be simple and creative, saving you time and money. Here are some useful microwave hacks to know about.
9 Microwave Uses
1. Drying herbs
Microwaves are great for drying fresh herbs or flowers, letting you save them for autumn or winter. Just give them a few minutes in the microwave and then store them in a dry place.
2. Reviving lemons
If you usually throw away old and hard lemons as beyond saving, try popping them in the microwave for a few seconds instead and you will be amazed by the results; your lemons will instantly become soft and squeezable.
Photo: Abhijit Tembhekar/Flickr
3. Perfect for preserves
For a quick and easy sterilization solution give glass storage jars a quick whirl in the microwave before filling them with preserve or jam: Put them in the microwave without their lid and filled with a small amount of water, for just a few minutes.
4. Toasting Nuts
If you want to avoid heating the whole oven for the sake of toasting a few nuts, try re-creating those intensified flavours in a microwave instead. Spread a handful of nuts over a single layer on a plate and give them 4-8 minutes in the microwave. Whilst you won't get the oven toasty colour, you'll get the flavours.
5. Cooking Potatoes in Five Minutes
When you're up against the clock accelearate your potato cooking time by using the microwave. Peel the potatoes and place them in a bowl with three tablespoons of water. Cover with clingfilm and pierce with a knife. Bake for 5 minutes at maximum power.
6. Peeling Garlic or Onions
If you find peeling garlic cloves laborious simply place the head of garlic in the microwave for 20 seconds then just rub gently to remove the skin. The microwave will also be your best ally when slicing onions without crying. Peel the onion, cut it into several pieces and place in microwave for 30 seconds, during which time the gases that make your eyes water should be released.
7. Peeling Tomatoes More Easily
Looking for an easier way to peel tomatoes? Simply place them in a bowl of water and heat for 45 seconds at maximum power. then easily remove the skin and turn them into a delicious tomato gazpacho.
8. Re-heating a pizza (without drying it out)
To avoid dried out old pizza place a glace of water in the microwave along with your slice of pizza when you heat it. The steam will help prevent the dough base from drying out too much.
9. Helping Bread Dough Rise
Impatient bakers can use microwaves to aid the final rising process of the dough by giving it a couple of quick blasts in the microwave.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.
The story of baked Alaska is much more than one of cake and ice cream. It’s a story of war and exile, scientific endeavour, and, depending on how you look at it, either political buffoonery or political astuteness.