Viral Video Alleges That We’ve All Been Using the Microwave Wrong

It's all about placement

Unrecognizable male putting food into a microwave
This person is definitely microwaving their food wrong!!
Getty Images

TikTok has already taught us so much, but the most recent hack making the internet rounds might be the most life-changing one yet. Especially if you’re a big frozen dinner/leftovers kinda guy.

A video from @tanyahomeinspo, a TikTok account that posts home hacks and inspo on the video-sharing app, is shocking users with a microwave trick. If you’ve ever warmed up a plate and found that some areas of the food are scorching hot while another part is still a block of ice, it’s because your placement is all wrong.

“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?” she says at the beginning of the TikTok video while placing a frozen dish in the microwave. “You shouldn’t actually have your food in the middle of the plate here,” she continues. “It should be on the edge, so it can actually rotate around and cook evenly.”

She then goes on to demonstrate the correct way to reheat food in a microwave, placing the dish on the edge of the plate instead of the more widely-used center position.

As they do with every other “life hack” for everyday, mundane activities like nuking leftovers, users are going bonkers in the comment section:

“I was today years old”

“This is why tiktok exists”

And because this is a TikTok comment section, a few users must make it known they aren’t convinced, nor particularly impressed:

“Known this for years,” simply replied one commenter.

“The whole plate is rotating so it doesn’t matter if it’s in the middle,” one skeptic responded. “What works is making a hole in the middle of your food.”

“Just put a cup of water and it heats up evenly!” recommended another user.

While this microwave hack is cropping up now, it isn’t actually anything new. As Mashed points out, a Reddit thread explained the benefits of employing the edge tactic six years ago.

“Humans tend to like symmetry, so we place items to be heated in the centre of the microwave plate. This is actually the worst place to put your food, and will explain the cold points mixed with the molten lava points. Due to standing waves which cancel the microwaving effect at certain points,” read the post.

“Placing your food asymmetrical near the edge of the plate has several benefits.

  1. The microwaves bounce off the metal interior and are more consistent and energy intense there.
  2. The food heats quicker.
  3. The standing waves are far less, so a more consistent cooking time.
  4. The heating is therefore more thermally consistent.

Quicker, cheaper, more consistent.”

So there you have it. Next time you go to warm up a TV dinner or some leftover pasta, go ahead and place that dish to the side. And if it doesn’t work, blame the internet.

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