Five secret microwave cooking hacks you never knew you could use.

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It pops corn with ease, melts butter in seconds and turns cold leftovers from yesterday into a warm meal in minutes. The microwave has been a staple kitchen appliance for over 70 years. All thanks to Raytheon engineer, Percy Spencer, who accidentally invented the microwave oven while working on a military magnetron during World War II.

After all these years of service, the humble microwave still surprises us with its versatility and wide range of capabilities. Turns out it doesn’t just warm up food … it can cook pasta, make a poached egg and even bake! We’ve put together a list of our top five microwave cooking hacks and recipes that will shine new light on the countertop oven.

microwave rice
fluffy microwave rice

1. Fluffy rice…in minutes!

Say goodbye to sludgy rice with this foolproof microwave cooking recipe:

Time: 10 minutes

Level of difficulty: Easy

You need:

  • 1 cup of rice of your choice (remember to rinse the rice thoroughly)
  • 1.5 cups of cold water (you always want to use half a cup more water than rice)
  • Shallow microwaveable bowl

Method:

  1. Add the ingredients. Add rinsed rice and water to a bowl and season as desired with tumeric, salt, pepper or herbs.
  2. Cover the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or just pop a plate on top to seal the bowl.
  3. Start the microwave. Microwave on full throttle for 10 minutes (you might need a little more time depending on how powerful your microwave is).
  4. Fluff rice. Remove bowl and fluff rice with a fork.

pasta cooked in microwave
Microwave pasta

2. Pasta cooked to perfection

Enjoy al dente pasta at the “beep” of your microwave without having to slave away over the hot stove.

Time: About 3 minutes (depending on the pasta)

Level of difficulty: Easy

You need:

  • 100 grams pasta
  • 400 ml cold water
  • Deep, microwavable bowl

Method:

  1. Prepare the pasta. Place the pasta and the water in a deep bowl. Make sure there is enough water to cover the pasta.
  2. Start the microwave. Microwave on the highest power setting for about 3 minutes (if the pasta is not cooked through, put it back in for one more minute).
  3. Add some flavour to the pasta. Drain the excess water and toss the pasta into a salad or add to your favourite sauce.

corn on the cob
Microwave corn on the cob

3. Corn on the cob

Enjoy this golden veggie as a snack, a side to your meal or as a lunch box filler.

Time: 10 minutes

Level of difficulty: Easy

You need:

  • 1-2 Corn on the cob
  • Paper towel
  • Microwaveable plate

Method:

  1. Clean up the corn. Remove the outer husk layer and wash the corn.
  2. Prepare the corn. Wrap a damp paper towel around the corn and place on the plate.
  3. Start the microwave. Microwave the corn on high for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Prepare the corn for serving. Take the corn out of the microwave, remove the paper towel, season and serve.

microwave Eggs cooked to perfection
Eggs cooked to perfection

4. Eggs: Poached or boiled?

Microwave cooking breakfast has never been this easy! No more dishes, pots, pans and utensils needed – just a microwave, a couple of ingredients and a bowl.

Soft, medium or hard-boiled eggs:

Time: 5 minutes

Level of difficulty: easy

You need:

  • 2 eggs (or as many as you would like)
  • Half a teaspoon of salt per egg
  • Water
  • Ice cubes
  • Microwavable bowl and an additional bowl

Method:

  1. Prepare the eggs. Place the eggs into the microwaveable bowl, pour in enough water to cover the eggs completely and add the salt (this is crucial).
  2. Start the microwave. Microwave for four minutes. Add 30 seconds for every extra egg i.e. four and a half minutes for 3 eggs and 5 minutes for 4 eggs.
  3. Prepare the egg for cooling. Fill the other bowl with ice cubes and water and place it next to the microwave.
  4. Cool the eggs to achieve desired doneness. Once microwaved, place the eggs into the bowl of ice water in the following intervals, depending on how well you would like your eggs boiled:

Soft: immediately put the cooked eggs into the cold water.

Medium: leave the eggs in the microwaveable bowl for about 1 minute, before putting them into the cold water.

Hard: let the eggs sit in the hot water for about 3-4 minutes.

Poached

Time: 5 minutes

Level of difficulty: medium

You need:

  • 1 fresh egg
  • Half a cup of room temperature water
  • Half a teaspoon of vinegar
  • Paper towel
  • Salt / pepper / chili flakes / Italian herbs

Method:

  1. Prepare the egg. Crack the egg into the mug of water.
  2. Start the microwave. Place the mug into the microwave and set it on high for 30 seconds. Check to see if the egg whites are opaque. If not, return to the microwave for a further 10 seconds, or until opaque.
  3. Cool the egg down. Remove the mug from the microwave and leave the egg in the hot water for about one minute or until the opaque egg white looks firm.
  4. Prepare the egg for serving. Carefully remove the egg from the mug and put it on a paper towel to absorb the excess water. Season and serve.

microwave cake
Microwave cake

5. Quick and easy cake

Yes, you can buy a “Cake-in-a-Mug” packet, pour the contents into a mug and pop it into the microwave… or you can make a real cake that will look (and taste) just like it came out of an oven.

Time: 15 minutes

Level of difficulty: Medium

You need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml oil
  • 150ml milk
  • 150g sugar
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of plain flour (add two tablespoons of cocoa for a chocolate flavour)
  • 3 table spoons of baking powder
  • Whisk
  • 20 cm round, microwave-safe casserole dish

Method:

  1. Mix the wet ingredients. Pour all the wet ingredients into a bowl and whisk until well mixed.
  2. Prepare the dough. Sift flour and baking powder and gently fold into the mixture.
  3. Start the microwave. Spoon the cake batter into a microwavable 20 cm, round casserole dish and place in the microwave. Set on high and microwave for about 6 minutes. Prod the sponge cake with a knife to check if it is cooked through. If the knife comes out clean, it is ready.
  4. Repeat the process as desired. Repeat this step two or three times, depending on how many layers of sponge cake you would like.
  5. Frost the cake. Frost the cake with butter icing and decorate with fruit, sweets or chocolate sprinkles or simply dust with icing sugar.

Let us pair you with your ideal microwave

Excited to try out these easy recipes at home? The success behind the best microwave meals is a powerful microwave. Take a look at our two favourite options:

Mighty microwave:

If you have ample space on your countertop and a family to feed, we suggest the Hisense 36L Digital Microwave. With 10 power level settings, this 1000W powerhouse will cook your meals in no time thanks to its advanced magnetron technology. It is also easy on the eyes, boasting a sophisticated mirror glass finish door and digital display.

No fuss, simple microwave:

Living on your own? The Hisense 20L Manual Metallic Microwave is the perfect fit for your needs. The traditional dials make for easy, straightforward setting options. Designed with a 360-degree rotating heating plate and built with 700W golden proportion transfer heat, this microwave will be able to cook up a meal for one or two with ease. The mirror glass door makes this microwave a stylish addition to your kitchen.

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