There is a lot of debate for and against using microwave ovens. But truthfully what it all comes down to is preference. For anyone who uses one, there are several tips and tricks to consider. If you’re interested in purchasing one, check out our product lineup for space saving compact microwave ovens.
Microwave Safe Containers
Many people have seen what happens when tinfoil is microwaved. You get your own personal fireworks show. However, just because something isn’t metal doesn’t mean it’s safe. Most ceramic, glass, and some plastic containers are safe. Most are even labeled as microwave safe or have an icon. Though it’s handy to use butter, whipped topping or sour cream containers to store and reheat leftovers most are not safe and will start to melt if heated too long. Here’s an easy test to make sure a container is safe to use.
- Fill a mug or cup you already know is safe with cold water.
- Place the mug on the container you want to test in the microwave.
- Heat on high for 1 minute.
- If the water is hot and the testing container is cold the container is safe. If the container is hot, it’s not safe.
One of the primary reasons people use microwaves is to reheat yummy leftovers. Many people cover their food because no one likes to clean out food splattered on the sides. While plastic wrap can be safe, make sure the plastic does not touch the food. Many kitchen appliance stores sell plastic shields which are in many ways easier to use. It’s also recommended to periodically stir the food while reheating. This will help even the cooking and reduce the risk of bacteria surviving in cold spots.
Foods that Shouldn’t be Microwaved
Though these appliances are a great way to prepare a meal there are just some foods not meant to be nuked. Hopefully this tip will save your appliance and a possible trip to the emergency room. Hard boiled eggs are a no. Don’t try to cook them and don’t try to reheat them, even if you remove the shell. When the egg is in the shell it acts like a mini bomb. An egg without the shell can still build up enough pressure to explode. If you want to cook an egg, crack it open and puncture the yolk before cooking. Whole stuffed poultry is not recommended. Since the microwave oven cooks much quicker than a conventional oven, the stuffing may not have enough time to reach the correct temperature. If you’re cooking whole stuffed poultry it’s best to use a thermometer to double check the temperature before eating.
When the inevitable food explosion has occurred, there are a few ways to make the job easier than just soapy water and elbow grease. Heat a glass bowl of water with a small amount of vinegar in the microwave for five minutes. This will make the inside nice and steamy. Wipe down the inside and the gunk should come off without a problem. You can also cut a lemon in half, place the cut side down on plate with a tablespoon of water and heat it for one minute. This should also produce enough steam to clean the inside easily.
Microwave ovens are great appliances that can make yummy meals in a shorter amount of time than a conventional oven. And hey, they’re always useful for popcorn on a movie night.