Believe it or not, there was once a time when the average American home did not have a microwave oven. I know, it seems as if these useful appliances have been around forever but they haven't. While it may be true that the first microwave ovens came out in the late 1950s, most Americans didn't get one in their homes until the late 1970s.

The first microwave ovens were huge and expensive. In today's dollars, one of those first microwave ovens would have set you back about $10,000. Yeah, for a microwave. Of course, there was once a time when a pocket calculator cost well over $100 bucks too, so you can see the price of electronics has really come down.

By the early 1980s, microwaves were a very common sight in American kitchens. The more people that got a microwave, the more unique uses people started to come up with for them. Naturally, the first of those "hacks" had to do with food and food preparation.

I know for me, the ability to thaw frozen foods a lot faster was a big reason to have a microwave. I was the kid that was forever forgetting to heed my Mom's instructions to "pull the meat out of the freezer so it can thaw for dinner".  There's nothing like having to sit at the dinner table with your whole family mad at you because they were having to eat sandwiches instead of a hot meal because you "forgot".

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As more people acquired a microwave oven people began to experiment. Their experiments were just not limited to food, popcorn, and baked potatoes. People started to see a different value for these unique devices that could create heat without heating up the entire kitchen. They could also generate that heat in a short amount of time.

So, in case you haven't had a moment to examine all the wonderful ways a microwave oven can improve or at least speed up your life, let's take a look at some of those unique uses.

13 Uses for Your Microwave That Doesn't Involve Food