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The sounds of the microwave are oh-so familiar. Whirrr… BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. Or perhaps yours simply goes "Ding!" In any case, it's time to breathe new life into the magic box, because it's not just for reheating last night's dinner anymore. The devil's tumbler (what, you've never heard it called that before?) was invented by Perry Spencer, an engineer at Raytheon, in 1945. As with many great discoveries, however, this one was apparently a happy accident.
Click here to see the Microwave, Microwave, Microwave Slideshow
Spencer was actually working on streamlining magnetrons — the device that is now at the heart of a microwave — for an entirely different project when he noticed a candy bar melting in his pocket as he activated the device. Curious, he attempted the same experiment with some popcorn. Surprisingly, the kernels popped, and the rest was history.
The first attempt at a commercial microwave oven was created in 1947, dubbed the Radarange, but it wasn't exactly home-friendly. It tipped the scales at 750 pounds, was 5 1/2 feet tall, and retailed for $5,000. There was clearly some work left to be done, but by 1967, after Raytheon purchased Amana, the device had been slimmed down, both in terms of size and price. It could fit on any kitchen counter, required a standard 100-volt outlet, and was priced affordably at $495. The microwave oven was poised to become the wave of the future.
Today, more than 200 million microwave ovens have been sold worldwide. It's hard to imagine life without a microwave — chefs shun them, but busy folks love them, and let's get real, the easiest way to reheat something is usually to pop it into the microwave.
But they can be useful for so much more. That's why The Daily Meal turned to Wendy Perry, personal chef, food stylist, and recipe developer. Perry taught microwave cooking classes at J.C. Penney's housewares department for eight years, and has a wealth of useful advice as well as recipes for you to try at home. Perry says, "Don't be afraid to be experimental with your microwave and to try stuff." Just make sure your containers are microwave-safe. Otherwise… melty melty.
Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.
13 Easy Microwave Recipes | 13 Quick And Simple Microwave Recipes
13 Easy Microwave Recipes: Microwave is one of the easiest cooking tools to use. And by that we don't mean just to re-heat food. Besides ease of use, the other great advantage of cooking in a microwave is the time you save. It's the quickest way to whip up something delicious and different. So if you're a beginner in the kitchen, have unexpected guests, or don't want to spend too much time stirring the pot, then a microwave is your knight in shining armor. Before you go ahead and try cooking with this, we bring to you a guide to understanding the different variants available in the market, how to use and some tricks that will come in handy.
20 Easy Microwave Meals and Snacks That Are Budget Friendly, Too
Surprise! Who knew you could make risotto in the microwave?!
Microwaves are often just as thoroughly used in kitchens as hot ovens and stove-tops, if not more yet, many home cooks (even experts!) are afraid of using the microwave beyond heating leftovers or frozen ready-to-eat meals. The truth is that many delicious items can be perfectly steamed or "baked" in a microwave if you should find yourself in a pinch. Maybe it's just because you forgot to defrost your meats, have discovered you are missing a key ingredient, or don't have time to preheat the oven, but you don't have to reach for a takeout menu if you have a microwave at home. And even if you just don't feel like making too much of a mess or a fuss (we've all been there), your microwave can help you get something on the table, fast.
It's hard to make an extravagant meal using your microwave alone, but there are many lightning-fast staples you can enjoy for breakfast, a quick lunch, or a simple dinner on the fly. And dessert lovers will be very pleased to hear there are a few ways to create ooey, gooey cake without even touching your oven dial. Raw meat may be too intimidating to tackle in a microwave given its complex texture and flavor profile, but you can actually get a good steam on seafood. Steaming is also a boon for fresh vegetables you might have in your crisper as well as those extra eggs as well.
Worried about making your snack or quick bite "radioactive," so to speak? Don't be! Microwaves don't use gamma rays or x-rays to cook food, and when they are used according to instructions, there isn't evidence that suggests they pose any risk to your health, according to the American Cancer Society. You should actually feel better about whipping up a quick meal with your microwave because the following recipes tend to be quite straightforward minimal ingredients translate to less of a blowback on your diet compared to fast-food options if you decide to hit a drive-thru instead. Here, we're sharing the best microwave meals and snacks to try this week.
19 Delicious Microwave Recipes that Come Together in No Time
Sometimes it happens: You need to make a meal and you don't have access to a working stove or range. Perhaps you're staying in a weird airbnb, or you're at a hotel&mdashor maybe you're just in the middle of a kitchen remodel and don't have all your appliances working yet. Whatever the reason, it doesn't mean you're stuck with cardboardy frozen dinners or heating up water for ready-made noodle soups. You can still cook fully from-scratch meals! All you need is a microwave and these recipes. From breakfasts to sides, from dinners to desserts, these nutritious and flavorful meals will ensure that you and the family are able to eat&mdashand eat well&mdasheven if you don't have a stove.
Of course, if you've got other countertop appliances, then there are even more options. We have plenty of ways to use your Instant Pot, and if you have a top-rated air fryer, you can make tasty crispy chicken or pork chops in it, to say nothing of salmon or french fries. But you don't need to have any of those to eat well. From a tasty salmon salad to an easy-peasy risotto, from a giant breakfast sandwich to simple mac-and-cheese in a mug, these recipes are easy, fast, satisfying, and nutritious. Want something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try the peanut brittle or mint Oreo bark. Want an easy breakfast? Check out the mason-jar omelettes. As long as you have a working microwave, we guarantee you won't go hungry&mdashand you won't need need to live on takeout.
This cross between a typical hummus and baba ghanoush is a fast and satisfying dip for pita chips, or a sandwich spread. And all you need to do is steam-cook the eggplant in the microwave!
Heat-beating and hands-off, this convenient corn-and-tomato risotto is simmered in the microwave from start to finish, so there's no endless standing and stirring at a steamy stove.
Like mug cakes, these cookies are all single-serving treats that you can make in just a few minutes. These are great when you want something sweet but don’t want to make a big batch of cookies.
Snickerdoodle Cookie | This soft and chewy cookie is the perfect treat for one.
Matcha Cookie | This single, soft, matcha green tea flavored cookie cooks in 50 seconds and takes less than 5 minutes to make!
Nutella Cookie | This cookie is soft and cakey with lots of chocolate chips.
Deep Dish Cookie | This microwave version of a deep dish cookie is easy to whip up. Add a scoop of ice cream and dig in while it’s still warm and melty.
Sprinkles Sugar Cookies | Sometimes you just need some sprinkles and this easy microwave sugar cookie is the perfect way to treat yourself.
Courtesy of Foodie Crush
But the microwave, although a shortcut, isn't just for indulgent, comforting recipes like donuts and cakes in a mug. You can also make quick veggie sides that don't require long cooking times. Zucchini is a prime example, because it's a beautiful, seasonal ingredient that works well half-raw, too.
Get the recipe from Foodie Crush.
This is seriously cool, and a great way to revive leftover rice you might have in your fridge. Get the recipe here.
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How To Microwave A Baked Potato
You could spend 15 minutes preheating your oven and then another hour baking your potato, but why would you ever do that when you can microwave your potato in just 7 minutes? Especially in the summer when the days are already hot enough on their own, a compact microwave is the perfect alternative to baking without the intense blast of 350° heat.
You'll need to clean your potato first, especially if you like to eat your baked potato with the skin on. Give it a thorough scrub to get all the nitty gritty off, rinse well, and dry well.
With a fork, stab your potato all over: this helps the steam escape during the heating process to prevent a potato explosion inside your microwave, and helps the potato take on a fluffier texture when cooked. It's an important step so don't skip it! If you want the skin to turn a little crispy, be sure your potato is totally dried off from the wash, then massage it with a little bit of oil right before it hits the microwave.
We like a traditional russet potato for our baked potato, but you can really give any tuber variation this same treatment&mdashdepending on the size and density of your potato, cooking times will vary. Start with 3 or 4 minutes, then flip the hot potato with a pair of tongs and continue with an addition 3 minutes of cooking time, adding more time as necessary to get the perfect tender, creamy, baked potato. Want something a little sweeter? Give a sweet potato the same microwave treatment!
Go easy or go crazy with the toppings, your choice! Just because you've made a meal in the microwave doesn't mean it can't be exciting. Load it up plain and simple with pat of butter, a dollop of sour cream, a pinch of salt and pepper, and your favorite fresh herbs. Or, add some cheese and pop it back in the microwave for a minute to get melty, then top with crispy bacon. You can also opt for the roads less traveled: pesto with freshly grated Parmesan, a smear of miso and a sprinkling of furikake, or serve with a runny sunny-side up egg and a drizzle of hot sauce.
Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below! Leave us a rating and maybe a picture of your "baked" potato too!
4 Tips for Beginners to Use Microwave
Although cooking has become way more easier with all the kitchen gadgets and devices, the efficiency would still depend on how well it used. Before we tell you the best Indian microwave recipes that you can prepare at home, let us give you quick tips and tricks on how to go about using a microwave oven.
1. Since the basic use of a microwave is to heat the food, so it is of prime importance to let the food rest for a while after cooking so it allows the heat to transfer and the temperature to come down on its own.
2. Use microwave friendly utensils as much as possible to avoid any spark. Avoid metal utensils since they may cause the microwave to spark.
3. While baking a dish, always use a slightly bigger utensil since the dish you will make will expand.
4. The best way to clean a microwave oven is to use a baking soda. Make a paste of baking soda with water and spread it all over the insides of the oven, avoiding the heating areas. Leave it for about 12 hours or overnight. Post this, spray some white vinegar on the surface. The baking soda will start foaming, use a damp cloth to wipe off the residues. The oven will be super clean and shiny.
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