It reheats leftovers. It pops popcorn. But there's so, so much more to your microwave. Try these recipes for a whole new appreciation of your most undervalued appliance, good for everything from five-star Bread and Butter Pickles to single-serve meatloaves to this Hasty Chocolate Pudding. Set the timer and press "start" on...

1. Potato Chips

Many readers were skeptical about making potato chips -- yes, real, crispy potato chips -- in the microwave. Then they tried this recipe, and wow. "Amazing," was the response. "So crispy and yummy." One reviewer even said that "store bought chips pale in comparison."


2. Risotto

The rich, creamy Italian rice dish is legendarily finicky and time-consuming -- unless you call in the microwave, that is. Reviewers praised this version's "delish" flavor, consistency, and -- not a phrase you often hear with risotto -- forgiving nature.


3. Rocky Road Candy

Two ingredients, five minutes, and you've got this Super Easy Rocky Road Candy. Warning: It's so good that it'll also get gobbled up in record time. (Extra tip: Your microwave is also a simple, reliable way to melt chocolate for any recipe.)

Photo by WannaBeChef

4. Corn on the cob

Tired of picking strands of corn silk out of your teeth? Had it with mealy, overcooked ears of boiled corn? Cook Chef John's "Easiest Corn on the Cob" right in the husk in your microwave for a "never-fail" hit.


5. Lemon Curd

Short on time? This microwave lemon curd makes a fast and fabulous dessert. Stored in glass jars, reviewers say it's pretty enough to give as gifts.

Photo by abapplez

6. Microwave Peanut Brittle

Six ingredients, 9 minutes of microwaving, and you've got this rave-worthy treat. Warning: Reviewer Joyce says "This is a wonderful recipe but you should only make it once a year, because you can't stop eating it."


7. Cauliflower Rice

This red-hot (or is that white-hot?) Paleo dish works best when the veggie "rice" grains are zapped in the microwave. Try this lime cilantro cauliflower rice for a zippy-tasting grain substitute.


8. Mug Cakes

Surely mug cakes are the true reason why microwaves were invented? This "so decadent" chocolate mug cake takes less than 2 minutes to bake, while this Chef John version does it one better at 45 seconds per serving.


9. Bacon

It's crispy, aromatic... and the cleanup is easy. Check out this Allrecipes video for three ways to cook bacon, with the microwave version at the end.


10. Eggs

Once you've got that bacon, wouldn't some eggs taste good with it? Microwave omelets like this one are "simple and filling," or breakfast goes on the table fast with the microwave recipe in this directory of How to Make Perfect Fried Eggs. If you're feeling fancy, turn the eggs into Benedicts with this well-received microwave hollandaise sauce.

Omelet in a Mug