16 Microwave Hacks to Help You Peel Garlic, Disinfect Your Cutting Board, and More

I love a good life hack (even if I still don’t know why we need to refer to every single trick or tip as a “hack” these days); I also love a good infographic; and I adore food and my kitchen… so I couldn’t very well let this fabulous little infographic full of hacks for your microwave go by without sharing it, now, could I? Created by appliance and electronics spare parts e-retailer PartSelect in conjunction with content marketing firm Ghergich & Co., it features 16 handy life hacks that employ the power of your microwave. They do everything from making cooking prep easier to handling some tricky cleaning questions — and as a bonus, there’s even a list of five things you should never, ever microwave at the end. I had no idea, for example, that frozen fruit is a no-no. Who knew, right? At least most frozen fruits thaw at room temperature relatively quickly.

Here are five of the tricks I either suspect will be the most useful or just get a kick out of; I’m planning on putting most of them into action ASAP, although they’ll probably be most useful for holiday meal preparation and execution. Scroll down to see the whole infographic.

1. To Peel Garlic:

Put a head of garlic on a microwave-safe plate and zap it for 20 seconds. The cloves should slide right out of the skin.

2. To Chop Onions Without Feeling Like You Need to Claw Your Eyes Out Due to All the Tears:

Trim the ends of the onion, then microwave it for 30 seconds before taking a knife to it (on a cutting board, of course). Voila! Tear-free chopping.

3. To Soak Beans and/or Lentils:

Forgot to pre-soak your dried beans overnight? No worries. Put them in a bowl along with a pinch of baking soda. Microwave the bowl for about 10 minutes; then, after it’s done, let the bowl stand for 30 to 40 minutes. It’s not exactly quick, but it’s the fastest solution available — and it also takes a heck of a lot less time than the overnight soak.

4. To Peel a Tomato:

I can’t say I’ve ever cooked anything that absolutely required peeling your tomatoes before using them, but hey, I suppose stranger things could happen. This one sounds like a neat trick, anyway: All you have to do is microwave your ‘mater for 30 seconds, then let it stand for a minute. Apparently the skin will slip right off.

5. To Disinfect Your Cutting Board:

Rub it with half a lemon and nuke it for 60 seconds. Note, though, that this trick will probably only work with wooden cutting boards; you don’t want to stick a plastic one in the microwave. Trust me.

Here’s the complete infographic. You’re welcome.

Partselect

Images: david_shane/Flickr; Giphy (3); enlea, Life with Wegener's/Tumblr; PartSelect