You've Been Microwaving Your Food Wrong This Whole Time

Food that tastes better microwaved might be rare, but these tips going viral online could help.

Originally posted by TikTok user Isabella Avila, @onlyjayus, the three tips provide handy insight into making the best of your reheated food, and more than 600,000 people have been impressed with them.

1. Temperature

Avila's first tip focuses on making sure your whole meal leaves the microwave evenly heated, rather than the some-hot-some-cold bites you may be used to.

"Do you know when you reheat food in the microwave and some parts of it are hot enough to burn your mouth, and the other part of it is frozen?" asked Avila in the video.

The solution? Placing the food on the edge of the rotating plate, rather than the center.

Essentially, microwaves have hot and cold areas. When left in the center of the microwave, the food either never leaves a hot spot, or never leaves a cold one, causing the dreaded hot and cold combination.

Placing the food on the edge of the rotating plate means it evenly moves throughout the hot and cold areas, and evenly distributes heat throughout.

This trick reportedly works best on older, less powerful microwaves, with many newer designs are built to evenly distribute the heat.

2. Time-Saver

The next tip is set to save you time when wanting to heat two food items in one go, when they don't fit together in the microwave.

Instead of waiting to do them one by one, allowing the first to potentially cool down while doing so, Avila recommended using a coffee mug to create "height distribution."

Simply place one plate or bowl of food on one side of the carousel, before placing an upside down mug on the other. Then, place the second bowl or plate of food on top of the mug.

You will need to appropriately up the heating time, to account for the double amount of food heating in the microwave at once.

3. Just Add Water

The final hack may just be the most useful for pizza and pasta lovers out there—though Italian fiances may want to look away.

To avoid the dreaded situation of the cheese and toppings being melted and hot, while the crust remains touch and uncooked, or vice versa, simply heat with a cup of water in the microwave.

According to Science Notes: "If you heat pizza sans water, the pizza absorbs all the microwaves. Water in the sauce and toppings quickly vaporizes and soggifies the crust. So, you can get a nice crust with unmelted cheese and cold toppings or a tough crust with hot toppings."

"The set frequency of a commercial microwave oven is designed to maximize heating of water-rich foods. In other words, a microwave oven is meant to heat water. Hydrocarbons (like the oils in cheese and crust) don't absorb microwaves, but they are heated indirectly by water. To heat your pizza, you want to slowly heat the water. Slow heating keeps the crust dry while giving the cheese and meaty toppings a chance to heat."

In 2020, Domino's actually recommended the water trick themselves, writing in a blog post to: "add a half full cup of water to the microwave with your pizza and heat for around 30 seconds. Crispiness not guaranteed, but worth a shot."

Although TikTok might provide some questionable information and tricks at times, some of it really is backed by science, including these microwaves hacks.

The video can also be seen in full here.

Woman pressing buttons on a microwave
Stock image of a microwave. Getty Images