Make The Most Of Your Microwave

The chances are high that your microwave oven spends more than 90 per cent of its time not actually microwaving anything. So why not use of it for more than that purpose?

Picture by Mr Thinktank

In my case, I tend to use the ol' nuke as a bread bin; it keeps the bread out of the sun and in a position where it's handy to grab for toasting or sandwiches, and doesn't take up any more space than the microwave already does. Naturally, bread in plastic bags doesn't microwave well; you've got to make sure you empty it before you start zapping.

There's no reason at all that this logic can't be extended, either. A friend of mine has a perfectly functional regular oven that he worked out got used maybe once a year — if it was lucky — and so he converted it into shelves for all his plates and cutlery. On the very rare instance he wants to roast something, he slides the trays out, but otherwise it's a good use of the available space. Any other readers use the space of their kitchen gadgets in an unconventional — but sensible — way?


    Protip: if you have free space in your pantry its a great place to store socks so they will be more easily accessible. Likewise if your pantry is overflowing but you have free storage in your bedroom, why not relocate some canned goods or other long life items that aren't accessed in the pantry very often?

    I have a bit of free space under my bathroom sink so I like to store some motor oil there to maximize the efficiency of space usage in my home.

      I can't tell if this is serious or not...... My BS detectors are half on, and half off

        Chris ... yeh my sensors are boiling from this comment

      Well said!

      Protip: Do you eat cereal each day? Whether you eat it straight out of the box or pour it into a tupperware container, as you run out of cereal you will gain storage space. I like to store a pair of gym clothes into the box overnight and when I'm eating breakfast they are right there, ready for me to hit the gym.

      Do you frequently use your microwave but still require somewhere out of the sun to store a few slices of bread? Why not put the bread inside your dishwasher? I like to keep a selection of fruits on the top rack as they ripen. Just open your dishwasher, slide out the rack and viola - your own personal fruit platter ready to go. The bottom rack is great for curing hams and pickling sauerkraut.

      Don't have a dishwasher? Just use a clothes airing rack instead - fruit on the top, conserves on the bottom.

      Lifehacker - do you want me to write a regular column?

      I can only imagine the thoughts of any dates I bring home, when they discover Campbell Soup cans peeking out between my suits. She'd probably go make her self a drink, only to be buried by all the socks stored in the pantry.

        So to keep things out of the sun, put it in a microwave. I might put it on my head in summer instead of my sun visor.

    LOL. I keep all my valuables and a loaded gun in my microwave. Burglars never look there.

      You'd hope they don't steal the microwave.

    I never used the bath (only the shower), so I just sleep in that instead. suddenly my two-bedroom unit was a three-bedroom and I could fit waayyy more action figures in!

      Hahaha - good idea for when your mother in law is in town

    Sigh. Don't like the tip, don't use it. It's not like I'm holding a gun to your head... although I could be tempted.

      Apparently touchiness runs in the family. People are just having some fun here.

    I heard that you can pop your mobile in there and the microwave's shielding works and like a faraday cage. So you can avoid those unwanted calls.

      ...That's actually a very good point. I've occasionally wished I had a simple faraday cage around the house to test something, but I never even considered the microwave.

      Possible uses:
      -in your fancy home cinema setup, for visitors to keep their phone (or popcorn)
      -to avoid being tracked by THE MAN somehow
      -keep your hard backup drives in there, so your data is safe in the event of an EMP or Carrington-level solar flare.
      -those folk 'allergic' to wifi could sleep in an industrial-size microwave, as long as they remember to punch some airholes.

        Aluminum foil + heavy duty tape = Faraday pouch

    This reminds me of the guy who sold his car in Melbourne for $15000 and hid the money in the oven until he had time to go to the bank..... his wife used the oven unaware that he stashed the cash :)

      Or the other story I read a long time ago where someone stored their laptop in the oven until their wife/girlfriend preheated it to cook something.

    A good idea for anyone who gets a microwave is to look through the instruction manual and hunt out basic cooking techniques for particular foods. In some cases, preparing vegetables in the microwave or using the microwave to prepare rice can come in handy if you are cooking just for yourself.

    Totally maximise your space by storing the cereal box in the microwave, then storing the microwave in the oven.

    I use my microwave for storing nacho debris.

    Haha funniest comments I've read in a while!!

    90% of the time not microwaving? That's like nearly 3 hours a day of constant microwaving. More like 99.99% of time no microwaving.

      You're probably right. I'm off to hide in my Microwave in any case.

    I'm sure the author was accurate with his numbers. If 10% of the day is spent cooking food in the microwave then that is 2.4 hours per day during which the bread is exposed to sunlight. The thing to do is to buy a more powerful microwave oven. If the new microwave is 20% more powerful and cooks the food in 80% of the time, then the potential bread storage duration will be extended by half an hour per day. This may not sound like much initially, but yearly that adds up to 182.5 hours!

    In the alternative, the old microwave oven can be kept and used exclusively for bread storage which would completely eliminate the hazard of sun exposure to the bread.

    Yeah....but how do you hack your microwave and turn it into a time machine ?

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