Microwaves today have become a kitchen essential, as they save your time and are convenient for cooking and heating food items. After all, without it how would one quickly melt butter, warm leftovers, pop instant popcorn or prepare a hassle-free meal?
To keep your microwave running smoothly for longer and to ensure you use it the right way, here are some mistakes to avoid…
Using Plastic Containers
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Most of us make this mistake. Not all containers are microwave-safe, unless you see it mentioned on the container. Plastic containers or plates are not safe to be used in a microwave oven to cook or heat food. Microwave ovens use high heat to cook food, which can easily melt the plastic and emit harmful chemicals. So if you’ve been using plastic containers in the microwave all this while, please stop! It’s harmful for your health as well as the microwave.
Instead use glass or microwave-safe plates and containers. They may cost a little more as compared to plastic but it’s worth spending on them, keeping in mind your health. Also, avoid heating food with paper bags, as they can release toxins that could potentially catch fire. Also, avoid putting any metal bowls, silver foils, plastic containers in the microwave oven, as they can cause serious danger to the appliance. They are not meant for microwaves.
Cooking Food on High Temperature
There are three power settings that most microwaves comes with – low, medium and high. Most of us end up using the ‘High’ microwave oven setting, which is not right. If you think cooking or reheating food on high temperature helps cook or reheat faster, you’re mistaken. In fact, high heat can lead to uneven cooking or overcooking. It’s best to use ‘medium’ heat setting even if it takes a bit longer to cook or reheat food. This way you at least know that your food will be properly cooked from all sides and not be left raw in parts.
Not Regularly Cleaning The Microwave Oven
How often do you clean your microwave? Once a month or once in two months? We recommend cleaning it once a week if you regularly use the microwave oven to cook food in it and not just reheat food. If you don’t regularly clean it, food and liquid spatters in the microwave may rot and produce harmful bacteria which in turn can make your food unhygienic, leave unusual odor and also impact the longevity of the oven.
A weekly cleaning session hardly takes 10 minutes and can easily be done with the help of warm water, liquid soap and a sponge. Dip the sponge/cloth in the solution and clean the microwave from the inside and outside and finally wipe it clean with a dry cloth. You can even use vinegar to clean the microwave. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar in a bowl and turn on your microwave for a couple of minutes. This should help too. Dirt and rotten food particles stuck in the microwave may not only make you feel sick but also result in poor performance or malfunctions in the oven.
Not Knowing What To Cook In The Microwave Oven
Knowing what food items can go in a microwave can prevent disasters in the kitchen. There’s one thing that people still debate over: Is it safe to heat drinking water in the microwave? Although experts, recommend never to use a microwave for heating water, as extremely high temperatures in the microwave can super heat the water. This can also cause an explosion leading to severe skin burning and damage to your microwave oven. So, it’s best to use a kettle to boil water instead of a microwave.
It’s also recommend that eggs should never be heated in a microwave. Do not even try to hard boil eggs. Neither can potatoes, chilli peppers, frozen fruits or hot dogs be heated in a microwave, as they all stand the risk of exploding under such high heat. Heat is trapped on the inside and causes these items to explode out of their skin. In order to prevent damage to the microwave and injury to yourself, avoid heating these food items in a microwave.