You don’t have to do jail time like Ja Rule to have an epiphany about the joys of cooking with a microwave. As any college student living in a dorm will tell you, a microwave is good for more than just re-heating leftovers. True, you’re not going to win any awards nuking stuff in your microwave oven, but it sure does save you a lot of time and makes for a decent substitute when you don’t have an oven around. Kitchen purists and traditionalists might shake their head in disapproval, but futurist culinary wizards like Dave Arnold think chefs will be using microwaves in the future.
So arm yourself with microwave-safe bowls and plates and try out these tricks—from crisping bacon, scrambling eggs, and frothing milk to making edible cheese bowls, baking a brownie in a cup, and turning out crunchy no-fry potato chips (these are seriously so good). One word of caution before you get to it: microwaves vary in size and power, so it’s best to get to know your own microwave a little better (by peeking through the glass window, for starters) rather than following the specified times to a tee.
Step your microwave game up with these 15 recipes and tricks.