Though microwaves can feature an array of fancy settings and confusing buttons, most people’s usage of them is usually pretty straightforward: stick the food in, press start, wait for the food to heat up.
Methods of heating up food may vary, with users choosing between whether or not to cover the food, whether you’ll follow the instructions and stir it halfway through, and what type of container to cook the food in, but one aspect of the process which often stays the same is the placement of the food in the microwave.
Upon opening the door, it’s common for people to set the food in the centre of the rotating plate. However, when it’s time to sink your teeth into the dish, often you can be met with a mixture of stone-cold sections and piping hot sections.
Reheating food in the microwave sucks, half of your food is burning hot while the other half is freezing cold
— B. (@brooke_c_ryan) April 13, 2015
TikToker Isabella Avila suggests this flaw may be down to the placement of the dish in the microwave, suggesting you ‘shouldn’t actually have your food in the middle’ of the microwave’s rotating plate.
They explain: ‘It should be on the edge so it can actually rotate around and cook evenly.’
Check out their video below:
@onlyjayusMicrowave Hacks ##fyp ##microwavehacks ##microwave ##cookinghacks ##cooking ##chef ##lifehacks ##lifeadvice ##onlyjayus♬ STAY – The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber
The TikToker isn’t the only internet user to share this apparent life-hack, with users on Reddit agreeing that placing the dish off-centre can lead to a more even cook.
In response to a Reddit user questioning the best place to put their food in the microwave, one person responded:
I put it off to the side. The microwave energy is fairly symmetric around the center, so by putting the food off center will mean the food will experience more varied microwave power and more uniform heating over the heating cycle.
Another user agreed, writing: ‘since there are varying spots of microwave acivity coming from the top in a nearly-symetrical pattern around the middle, placing it off center would actually heat it more evenly.’PA Images
According to the website Lifehacker, the trick of placing your food on the edge of the rotating plate is more effective in older microwaves, as newer ones ‘use more efficient magnetrons that cover the cooking chamber more evenly.’
Still, if placing a dish off-centre rather than in the middle could prevent you from alternating between scalding and freezing mouthfuls of food, the trick is definitely worth a try.
Isabella went on to share a number of other useful microwave hacks in their TikTok, including using a mug to create height distribution when cooking two things at once, and using a cup of water to prevent food from becoming dry when it’s being reheated.
With these hacks in mind, hopefully your next microwave meal will be your best yet.