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Make the Most of Your Microwave

Make the Most of Your Microwave


So there I was, a container of leftover chicken parm and penne in hand, plastic fork in the other, poking the frozen edges of pasta made out of irresponsibility and a refrigerator temperature setting of 7/7. I threw this college cafeteria gourmet dinner into the microwave, “2:00 START”, and continued doing absolutely nothing productive. I should have known the outcome would be the same. Frozen chicken parmesan, burning hot pasta pieces, the unwillingness to have to wait any longer or even go through the motion of re-heating again, and the decision to either deal with a hybrid-temperature meal or to get to the bottom of this once and for all.
I’ll save you the trouble, using all of Past Tala’s trouble’s, and explain just why microwaves seem to hate us and what makes them happy (which, in turn, would make us happy)

Photo courtesy of http://thedoghousediaries.com/

Have you ever noticed that microwaves are named after the actual form of energy it uses? The frequency of a micro-wave (which lies between radio waves and infrared radiation for any chemistry survivors out there) is around 2,450 megahertz, making it unique due to the fact that its waves are absorbed by water. Water molecules are set in motion, generating the heat that magically “cooks” all of your typical college meals. Foods that consist of the most water tend to heat faster than others, which explains those cold spots. The outer surfaces of food are also the most exposed to the micro-waves produced, which explains why the inside of our lumpy dinners can sometimes be colder than the outside which had been heated more due to the waves directly hitting it. Well enough about science, let’s talk about beating the system!

Since micro-waves tend not to penetrate deep into the outer food layers, the best way to get an evenly heated dish is to make the most use of the food’s surface area. I cut my cold chicken parm into smaller pieces and mixed it around, letting the pasta flatten out more evenly on the plate. By doing this the micro-waves were able to make contact with more of my food, heating it into a uniform temperature rather than those cold clumps.

Now that you know the science and the simple solution, here’s some microwave hacks:

1. Heat garlic in the microwave for around 15 seconds. It will loosen the skin, letting the cloves come out much easier (without all of that pesky peeling)

Photo by Delissa Handoko

2. Heat a bowl/cup of water in your microwave first for 45-60 seconds before heating up popcorn. The leftover moisture from the previously heated water will make your popcorn kernels more full and fluffy.

Photo by Maggie Gorman

3. Use a fork to puncture foods with skin (such as potatoes), preventing those sudden popping and mini food explosions due to the pressure from the steam building up underneath the skin. Try this guide to steaming sweet potatoes in the microwave!

Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

4. To learn how to make instant cake-in-a-mug, try out Paulo’s easy (and yummy) recipe.

Photo by Jay Soto

For more microwave hacks, click here

View the original post, Make the Most of Your Microwave, on Spoon University.

Check out more good stuff from Spoon University here:

  • 12 ways to eat cookie butter
  • Ultimate Chipotle Menu Hacks
  • Copycat Chick-Fil-A sandwich recipe
  • The Science Behind Food Cravings
  • How to Make Your Own Almond Flour

The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.


The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.


The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.


The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.


The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.


The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.


The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.


The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.


The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.


The Best Meals to Make With Your Microwave

Whether you're in a dorm, a hotel or a fit of laziness.

Food Network Kitchen’s Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

When you’re living an oven-free life, dining out is a huge part of the fun. But when you want to eat something homemade — and not even delivery or room service will suffice — it’s time to turn to your existing appliances — namely, the microwave. Armed with a little elbow grease, a microwave and mini fridge, you can whip up home-cooked meals like it’s your home kitchen. We’re talking loaded baked potatoes, noodle bowls, quesadillas and mac and cheese — and even possibly a homemade cake.

When it comes to microwave-friendly meals, one dish comes to mind before all others. Baked potatoes are an easy microwave meal for home cooks, and a go-to recipe for chefs on the road, too. Since leaving his native Australia, executive chef Peter Smith, who oversees the food and beverage program at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, has logged plenty of miles. His go-to travel recipe for the microwave is a loaded baked sweet potato, complete with bacon crumbles on top. He’s fine-tuned his recipe over the years to make his ideal of a sweet-savory DIY entrée:

Wash and scrub a medium sweet potato (or yam), poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork (so it doesn’t explode), then rub it with about a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. Place the bacon slices on the same plate as the potato, then microwave for 7 to 9 minutes until the bacon is crispy (watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn) and the potato is tender. Once the bacon cools, crumble it and reserve. Slice the potato in half and use a fork to fluff up the insides, then sprinkle cheese on top and microwave for another 30 seconds. Top with sour cream, bacon bits and chopped fresh chives.