Today’s microwaves have come a long way from the first “radarange” that was sold in 1946. Modern microwaves can cook, steam and even convection bake. Move aside frozen burritos and left-over pizza, here are some ways you can use your microwave to help save time in the kitchen.


  • Toast Nuts and Coconut
    Spread coconut or shelled chopped or halved nuts in a thin layer on glass pie plate. Cook on High 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until browned.
  • Cranberry Sauce
    12 oz cranberries, fresh or frozen
    1 ¼ – 1 ⅓ cup sugar
    ½ cup water (or substitute orange juice for some of the water)
    1 teaspoon grated orange rind
    Combine all ingredients in a 3-qt microwave safe bowl; mix well.
    Cover with wax paper.
    Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
    Stir well; recover with wax paper.
    Microwave another 5-7 mins longer until cranberries pop, and sauce has thickened.
    Let stand, covered until cool. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  • Fall/Winter Squashes
    To make it easier to cut in half, place in microwave and heat for about 2 minutes on high power on each side. To continue cooking in the microwave, scoop out the seeds. Place 1 tablespoon of water into the space where the seeds were. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes on high, depending on size. Let stand 2-3 minutes.
  • Poach Chicken
    If a recipe calls for cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces, use the microwave to poach boneless chicken breasts. Place in a microwave safe dish and add 2 tablespoons water. Cover and cook on 70% power until no pink remains inside, internal temperature of 165F. For 1 lb of boneless chicken breasts: 8-10 minutes.
  • Heat Casseroles
    If all the ingredients are already cooked (meat, vegetables, pasta, etc.), combine into a microwave safe dish and heat on 70% power to reach serving temperature (165F). Stir half-way through the cooking time. For a 1 qt dish: 6-10 minutes; 2 qt dish: 10-15 minutes.