Even though the microwave is the kitchen gadget most of us in the kitchen, yet we rarely associate it with turning out good meals. But that needn’t be the case. When a Lifehacker reader wrote for advice on avoiding “soggy, unevenly heated, or undercooked” results, the site came through with some solutions to common microwave problems.
To begin with, you should find out the hot spots of your microwave; the trick is to use a plateful of marshmallows. The hot spots will reveal themselves in puffed up and melted marshmallows; the marshmallows that don’t change much will mark the cold spots. The recommendation is to even out the hot spots by keeping the food in constant motion (so don’t throw out that rotating plate, or get a microwave that has one).
Use parchment paper to make your foods crispier: “Place it underneath your lunch, or wrap your food in it, and it’ll help keep it crispy.” Lifehacker recommends a mid-cook-time shuffle (take the item out of the microwave and carefully shake it to even things out inside). After that, you can return your Hot Pocket, calzone, or other stuffed pastry to finish cooking.
For times where steaming your food—rice and vegetables, for example—would be best, just grab a paper towel. Dampen it, cover it tightly over your plate or bowl of food, and stuff the ends of the towel underneath. This is key as it will help keep the moisture locked in, which in turn generates steam.
Lifehacker also wants you to consider cooking fresh food in the microwave, like baked potatoes and mac and cheese. No suggestions are offered, but we’d probably forgo this option anyhow.