Handy gadgets for your microwave

From fluffy scrambled eggs to sticky rice, you won’t believe how many recipes you can try in the microwave with the help of some nifty cooking accessories.

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Curry in a bowl on white background
With so many of us short on cooking time, we often rely on our microwaves for preparing quick meals in a flash. It’s no surprise that there are now so many gadgets which make poaching eggs or steaming rice achievable at the click of a button. We tested a bunch of them to find out which ones really are worth the hype...
 

The rice steamer

White black and orange rice steamer on white backgroundJoseph Joseph M-Cuisine rice cooker
This super-slick rice cooker comes with an easy measuring jug so you can choose how many portions of rice to cook, as well as a small serving spoon, making it easy to serve straight from the pot. We put it through its paces with one of the hardest varieties: long-grain rice. We simply popped in a cup of rice, matched with the required amount of cold water, covered with the lid and placed inside the microwave for 10 minutes. The result? A generous portion of fluffy steamed rice, much simpler to cook than on the hob. It's dishwasher safe, too, so minimal washing-up was required.

 


The sandwich bags

Steam bags in grey packet on white backgroundLakeland Zip’n Steam bags 
Sandwich bags that can survive in the microwave are a revelation for steam cooking. We popped some frozen vegetables in one of these zip-lock bags then microwaved for three minutes. The outcome was not the dreaded soggy veg in a puddle of water we were expecting, but rather a portion of perfectly steamed vegetables. We have to raise some concerns about the bags not being stated as recyclable – however, should you feel confident that no cross-contamination may occur, we’d recommend cleaning them thoroughly and simply reusing.

 


The pasta cooker

 
Clear oval pasta box with red valveKitchenCraft microwave pasta steamer 
Cooking pasta in the microwave – which genius thought of this? KitchenCraft’s neat contraption (that looks a little like a basket for your clothes pegs) makes rustling up pasta super easy and fuss-free. Start by choosing your desired amount, then fill the tub with water and pop in the microwave for about 10 minutes or until al dente. The airholes on top are ideal for releasing steam throughout cooking, and the built-in sieve is practical for draining off water before serving (although be careful, as the water inside becomes piping hot). What’s more, it comes with a handy spaghetti measure to help with portion size. We don’t see why you can’t use this tool to steam your vegetables in the microwave too.

 

The porridge pot

 Red microwave bowl with plastic lid

Sistema microwave breakfast bowl 
Our porridge-crazed nation has been crying out for the perfect porridge bowl, and it just so happens we’ve found it. Wave goodbye to nasty spillages – this secure pot comes with built-in ventilation so air can escape during cooking, making sure your porridge won’t explode halfway through cooking. At 850ml in volume, it's the ideal size for breakfast for one. Looking for porridge topping inspo? We’ve got a guide for that.

 

The egg scrambler

 
Egg cooker on white backgroundOXO Good Grips microwave egg cooker
To some, the thought of scrambling eggs in the microwave is just plain wrong. To the fearless, however, this handy pot scrambles or ‘fries’ eggs in minutes – and the results are quite surprising. Crack an egg inside, season and seal, then pop in the microwave. After a minute, bring out the pot, release the bottom and slide the egg onto your plate. Give it a little whisk with your fork if you’re looking for scrambled eggs. This gadget does have its limitations – it’s definitely only suitable for one portion and you may find it a little tricky to whisk inside the bowl, but for a quick scrambled egg on toast job, we think it’s a winner.

 

The cling film
Cling film box on white background

Lakeland perforated cling film 
This cling film has been specially designed for microwave cooking. The tiny airholes allow steam to escape during cooking (meaning food doesn't balloon or explode in the microwave). We tried it out while cooking chicken and we were left with super juicy chicken breast, with all the moisture still sealed inside. Two thumbs up. 

 

For all of the products mentioned in this review, various retailers have been suggested by our affiliate partner Monetizer 101 and are not suggested or chosen by BBC Good Food. For more information on how these retailers are selected and the nature of our partnership, please read the Monetizer101 FAQ page

On the lookout for a new microwave? Check out our review

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This review was last updated in May 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com. 

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