Why Do People Put a Glass of Water in the Microwave? (Explained)

Categorized as Microwave
putting glass of water in the microwave

Convenience is key in today’s fast-paced world. We want things to be easy and accessible, which is why the microwave has become such a popular kitchen appliance. Just pop your food in and wait a few minutes – it’s as simple as that!

But have you ever wondered why some people put a glass of water in the microwave when they heat up their food?

Here’s The Answer To Why People Put a Glass of Water In The Microwave

People often put a glass of water in the microwave when they are cooking or reheating food. This is because microwaves heat up food by agitating water molecules in the food and causing them to vibrate. When these molecules vibrate, they produce heat which cooks the food.

As the water molecules heat up, they become agitated and escape in the form of steam. If the food doesn’t have enough water in it, then the food can become dry due to lack of moisture. To address this issue, people can add a glass of water or a damp paper towel in with their food when microwaving it.

The reason why adding a glass of water works is that it helps absorb some of the excess microwave radiation that would otherwise overcook your food. Additionally, as the water heats up, it will produce steam which will help keep your food moist and flavorful.

Some Examples Of How People Use The Glass Of Water Trick

There are a number of different ways that people can use this trick to help improve the taste and texture of their food. Here’re some examples:

Reheating Pizza

No one likes dry, rubbery pizza. And yet, that’s often what you get when you reheat pizza in the microwave. But by adding a glass of water to your microwaving food, you can help to retain moisture and prevent your pizza from drying out.

Simply place a glass of water in the microwave alongside your pizza and heat for 1-2 minutes. Then, enjoy your warm, delicious pizza.

Making Popcorn

Making popcorn in the microwave is quick and easy. But sometimes, the popcorn can come out burnt or dry. To avoid this, you can use the glass of water trick.

But this time, you don’t microwave the glass along with your popcorn. Instead, heat the glass of water for 1 minute before adding the popcorn. Remove the glass of water, add the popcorn and microwave the popcorn.

By heating the glass of water first, you create a moist environment that helps to prevent the popcorn from getting burnt or dry.

These are just a few examples of how you can use the glass of water trick to improve the taste of your food. With a little experimentation, you can discover other ways to make microwave meals tastier and more flavorful.

Other Microwave Cooking Tricks

Aside from using the glass of water trick, there are a few other tricks that you can use to make your microwaved food better. Some of my favorite microwave cooking tricks include:

Steam Veggies with Plastic Wrap

Many people are hesitant to cook vegetables in the microwave, fearing that they will come out soggy and bland. However, if you use plastic wrap, you can create a steamy environment which will help the vegetables to cook evenly and retain their flavor.

To steam vegetables in the microwave, first, cut the vegetables into uniform pieces so that they will cook evenly. Next, place the veggies onto a microwave-safe container, making sure to arrange them in a single layer.

Then, loosely fold the plastic wrap around the vegetables, leaving a small opening for steam to escape. Finally, microwave the wrapped veggies on high for two to three minutes. The key is to check them frequently so that they do not overcook.

Arrange Your Leftovers in a Ring

Who doesn’t love a good leftovers night? But let’s be honest, reheating food in the microwave can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. If you’re looking for a way to make your leftovers taste just as good as they did when they were first cooked, then you need to try this simple microwave trick.

All you need to do is arrange your food in a ring on a plate before microwaving it. This way, the heat will be evenly distributed, and your food will come out piping hot and delicious.

Cover With a Wet Paper Towel

Using a damp paper towel is another great trick for keeping food moist while microwaving it. Simply place your food onto a plate or bowl and cover with a damp paper towel.

The paper towel helps to create steam, which will help to prevent the food from drying out. Additionally, it can also help to prevent splattering and make clean-up a breeze.

Use a Little Tinfoil

Contrary to popular belief, it is actually safe to use a small amount of foil in the microwave. Just make sure that you don’t put too much, as it can create a spark, which could damage your microwave.

To use foil in the microwave, simply tear off a small piece and place it over the thin parts of your food, like the edges of a piece of chicken. This will help to prevent them from getting overcooked.

Rotate Your Food

Most microwaves have hot spots and cold spots. If you place your dishes in the center of the microwave, you may find that the food in the center is not as hot as the food around the edge.

This is why microwaves have turntable rings or rotating plates. To ensure even cooking and heating, always place your dishes in the turntable ring. And if your microwave doesn’t have one, you can rotate the plate by hand every now and then.


Water is an important part of the microwaving process because it helps to cook food evenly and prevents it from becoming dry. When adding a glass of water or a damp paper towel to your food, you are helping to ensure that your food will be cooked properly and taste great.

So the next time you’re reheating something that is prone to drying out, consider adding a glass of water to the microwave to keep it moist.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!