In the age of social media and the internet, it's easy to get lost in the sea of information. Viral food hacks are everywhere, promising to make your culinary experience easier. But do they actually work? I tested 5 of the most viral microwave hacks to see if they’re worth the hype.

1. Pancake in a Mug

Kelly Yan

Hack: Microwave pancake ingredients in a mug for easy pancakes.

Verdict: This works. I mixed the ingredients in a cup and microwaved for one minute. For a quick microwave cake, the end result was decent. It may not feel or look like a pancake, but the taste is there. If you don’t have the time or a stove to cook pancakes, this is certainly a food hack to consider. 

2. Dried Herbs

Kelly Yan

Hack: If you have leftover herbs, place those herbs in the microwave to dry them

Verdict: Drying herbs in the microwave certainly works. I used my leftover mint, spread them evenly on a plate, and heated it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Some of the mint stuck to the plate but was perfectly dry and crumbly to the touch. However, the mint also completely lost its flavor.

3. Ripen a Banana

Kelly Yan

Hack: If your banana is still green, place it in the microwave to quickly ripen it

Verdict: This method of ripening a banana works. The banana I used was still  kind of green, so I microwaved it for a minute. After a minute, the peel had blackened, indicating ripeness. If you need a soft, ripe banana for baking, this method is perfect, but if you want a banana for immediate consumption, look elsewhere. 

4. Roasted Nuts

Kelly Yan

Hack: Use the microwave for quick and easy roasted nuts

Verdict: This did not work. I heated pecans at one-minute intervals for a total of five minutes. At the five-minute mark, the pecans were still chewy, and there were some other areas where the nuts were completely blackened but still raw. Save your time and roast your nuts in the oven. It’s easier, and it has a better flavor. 

5. Lemon Juice

Kelly Yan

Hack: Microwave your lemons to get more juice.

Verdict: This worked. I microwaved a lemon for 30 seconds and compared its juice to a non-microwaved one. The microwaved lemon was easier to squeeze and produced a considerably higher amount of juice. However, something important to keep in mind is that the microwaved lemon juice also didn’t taste as good.

#SpoonTip: Instead of microwaving lemons for more juice, you may also try rolling a lemon before cutting and squeezing it. 

Everyone always believes that they have most useful hack for the kitchen. Sometimes, they do. While the five hacks that I tried are not the most life-changing, they're generally practical solutions toward a potentially more unique kitchen routine.