Microwaves are lifesavers. They reheat our leftovers to perfection and allow us to nurse a mug of coffee well into the afternoon. It’s a pretty safe bet that even the most basic kitchen is equipped with one of these. Put away the instant popcorn and discover some of the microwave’s best kept secrets.

1. Steam milk

Why settle for a splash of cold milk in your coffee when you can create a Starbucks worthy foam in your own microwave? Simply fill a jar halfway with milk, shake vigorously, then microwave for 30 seconds with the lid off.


Photo by Gabby Phi

2. Poach eggs

Eggs are the perfect pairing with toast for breakfast or to toss atop leftovers that aren’t big enough for a full meal. Crack an egg into a bowl with ¼ cup of water and microwave for one minute. Nuke for another 20 seconds to achieve a more hard-boiled consistency.


Photo by Maggie Gorman

3. Toast nuts

This varies based on the size and amount of nuts. Times range from four to eight minutes and typically work best on small batches of nuts.

Nuts 2

Photo by Alex Tom

4. Peel vegetables

Peeling veggies can be time consuming and a deterrent for putting together a vegetable-heavy dish. Leave your cutting board out of it and put the vegetables in the microwave until the skin shrivels (usually around five minutes). Then slide off the skin with a fork or your fingers.


Photo by Alia Wilhelm

5. Bake a potato

Preheating and baking a potato can take upwards of one hour. Instead, prick a potato all over with a fork and microwave for two minutes. Then flip to the other side and heat for an additional two.


Photo by Alex Tom

6. Make a mug cake

Satisfy your sweet tooth in five minutes or less with an epic dessert that’s ready just by nuking a few simple ingredients in your microwave. Get the recipe here.


Photo by Patrick Domingo

7. Disinfect a sponge

Not food related, but definitely an easy way to sanitize one of the most useful but also most bacteria-harboring piece of cleaning equipment. Microwave on high for two minutes.

Sponges 2

Photo by Alex Tom