The benefits of microwave ovens go beyond just popping popcorn quickly and reheating leftover meals. If you’ve only been using your microwave these ways, you’re not using it to its full potential. Here are some other microwave benefits you should be taking advantage of:
Cook Vegetables With Nutrients Retained
Contrary to popular belief, cooking vegetables in the microwave doesn’t remove its nutrients and vitamins. In fact, because of how microwaves are designed, it is able to boil water within the vegetables more quickly than cooking from the stove or conventional oven. As a result, veggies are cooked before water-soluble vitamins, minerals and nutrients are lost in the cooking process.
Aside from this, cooking vegetables in the microwave oven preserves the flavor of most vegetables like zucchini, eggplants or other veggies with high water content. The reason for this is because the internal temperature of a microwave doesn’t go higher than boiling point.
Teach kids to Reheat Food Themselves Without Worry
When you teach kids to reheat food in the stove and conventional ovens, the possibility of catching fire or burns is a lot higher than when they use a microwave. Kids as young as 6 or 7 can get cold meals from your fridge and reheat food in microwave-safe containers.
Of course there is danger if kids go too close to a broken microwave door, but the chances of this happening is very minimal.
Many parents who teach kids the proper way to use a microwave are able to prepare healthy meals ahead and just schedule the meals for the coming days.
No Supervision When Cooking From Scratch
If you’re working from home and have no option but to cook from scratch, using a microwave removes the possibility of burning food on the stove or oven. Even without watching your steak or veggies while they cook, you’d be able to just set the timer and leave the microwave to do the job for you.
Check if your meal is cooked, or reset the timer if it needs more cooking. When done, just transfer your meal to a plate and enjoy your food. You can even eat straight from your microwaveable container once it gets a little cold.
For meat, it is very important to double-check if you’ve cooked it well enough.
Can Be Used for Prepping Meals and Baking
You don’t need to actually cook your meals in the microwave from scratch all the time. But you can make the cooking or baking process a lot quicker by performing some time-consuming tasks in the microwave. For example:
- Defrosting fish and meats: This is a HUGE time-saver, but is self-explanatory.
- Melting ingredients: Melt chocolate, butter, hardened honey, and other ingredients super quickly. The only thing to note here is that most recipes require room-temperature ingredients, so cool them first before using.
- Roasting garlic or peanuts: Roasting garlic and peanuts takes at least 30 minutes under low heat on the stove or oven. “Roasting” them in the microwave only takes 10 minutes. If you’re in a rush, having this option is always welcome in my book.
- Dehydrating herbs: You can make your own dried herbs even without a dehydrator. This means you can also make your own essential oils from virtually any plant you want.
- Husking corn and removing garlic skin: This is always a cool trivia to tell people, since only a few actually know that you can remove garlic skin or husk corn from the microwave. Doing so saves a LOT of time.
Use for Non-Food Tasks
You can use the microwave to sterilize items, such as cutting boards, sponges, kitchen towels, and so much more.
Many gardeners even sterilize soil and alternatives like coco coir in the microwave when starting a batch of seedlings.
Reduce Proofing Time When Bread-Making
If you bake bread regularly, or have a small business baking bread or pastries, the microwave can be one of your favorite kitchen tools. Dough usually requires a minimum of 1 hour to rise, some even require a day.
With a microwave and some practice, you can reduce the proofing time to just 15 minutes. Of course, bigger batches need more time than this, but you get the point.
To do this, microwave your dough for 3 minutes, let it stand, run it again in the microwave for another 3 minutes, shape the dough, let it stand for another 3 minutes, and place it in the microwave for a final 3 minutes. After letting it rest for about 10 minutes for a final time, the dough should be doubled in size by now.
With the rise of newer and more exciting kitchen appliances like the air fryer, the microwave oven has become such an underused kitchen equipment. However, it can be a versatile and useful tool if you love to cook and bake. You just need to know how to use it properly.