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5 Useful Tips For Using A Microwave Oven Correctly
India has deep connections with cooking food. So made-for-convenience appliances like microwave ovens don’t really fit well in our psyche and culture. But such are the effects of globalisation. We now have a generation which can’t live without appliances like the microwave.
While there is much to like about a device which can easily and quickly re-heat your food or warm things up without you keeping a constant eye, there are things that need caution. Or perhaps things which were unbeknownst to you. So here are our tips to keep in mind while using a microwave.
1. Plastic & metals
It goes without saying that metal plates, containers and cups should never be used to heat food in a microwave. Metal being a great conductor of heat will either burn your hands or start bending its own shape. Plastic and glass containers work best. But if you’re using plastic wraps to cover your food, ensure you use slightly thicker quality plastic wrap which is never in contact with your food.
2. Water & food
There is now a consensus that there is no loss of nutritional value while cooking food in microwaves. But we have to remember that microwaves work best for re-heating rather than cooking. The thicker is the food being cooked (e.g. red meat), the tougher it is for the microwave tech to actually cook the food. If you’ve ever had food which was hot on the outside but cold on the inside, then you already know what we’re talking about.
As for water, it is a more complex story. Though you should always use plastic for heating water, keep in mind that microwave tech has a tendency to ‘superheat’ the water. This phenomenon can cause the water to ‘explode’ and should be avoided at all costs. If you absolutely want to heat water in the microwave, set the timer for a max of 2 mins.
3. Foils & wraps
When it comes to foils and wraps, things are pretty easy and straightforward. Aluminium foil is okay as long as you don’t overheat the food for a really long time. There is no hard and fast rule here, but if the microwave is already pre-heated then keep the duration for heating at less than 2 mins, when using a foil.
As we stated earlier, plastic wraps should only be used if they are slightly thicker and at no point in time should be in contact with your food.
4. Quick & slow
Haven’t heard about slow and quick cooking? Though it may seem like a waste of time to even think about slow cooking, there are reasons why it’s important. Slow even cooking ensures a uniformly cooked meal, which is especially important while cooking red meat. In any case, a convection microwave oven is preferred to a regular microwave for cooking meat in any way you want.
5. Cleaning tips
Avoid washing the inside of a microwave with too much water. Instead, you could use a wet tissue and a light sprinkling of mild soap. You will then need to wipe it clean with a dry cloth and leave the lid open for at least an hour for the soap’s smell to escape. If you don’t want to wait that long, then a more natural way of cleaning is to use vinegar and lemon to clean the inside of your microwave oven.