Getting your way around a microwave can be a bit challenging at first. Microwaves can be especially tough to handle for those who are used to ovens. The entire working principle is different, plus what works out for an oven might not actually work out for a microwave. Therefore, everyone needs a few handy microwave oven tips from time to time.
There are many do’s and don’ts circulating the internet that always cause confusion! Plus, with how different each material and each type of food is, you can’t always get a guarantee that you’ll be receiving the same output.
So, keeping health and the best output in mind, we’ve compiled some of the best microwave oven tips and tricks that you NEED to know before working with a microwave. For your ease, we’ve divided the tips into “Handling” and “Cooking” respectively!
Also, check out our article on How are Microwave Ovens better than Electric Ovens to get a hang of our perspective! If you want to learn about the types of ovens that exist in the market today you can check our article here!
Microwave Oven Handling Tips
Handling food inside the microwave isn’t quite simple. You need special types of containers, you need to avoid certain shapes of containers, and lids are a must in several cases! If you don’t carry out these simple precautions, the best-case scenario would be that your food might end up uncooked.
The worst-case scenario? Your food might cause an explosion inside the microwave forcing you to clean the mess afterwards. So, it’ll be best to go through the following microwave oven tips for your very own safety. Let’s get into it!
1. Get microwave-safe containers
If you weren’t aware of it already, you cannot use all types of containers inside a microwave. If you’re doing that, then stop right now! There’s a reason why the term “microwave-safe” was invented. Some containers shouldn’t be used inside a microwave, and we’ve got plenty of reasons why! If you want to read about it in-depth, then we’ve got a whole article for you right here.
Some materials are quite prone to heat. They might get too hot, would break, or get deformed at specific temperatures, which would be a huge nuisance. When heated, several materials also release harmful chemicals into the air! It is important for us to look out for the right type of container in this regard.
Materials that are generally safe to use include Glass and ceramics. Avoid metals and plastics at all costs. Metals get overheated and cause sparks, plus they don’t let the micro-waves pass through them. Whereas some plastics tend to soften due to heat. There are some plastic containers labeled microwave-safe, but you never know what kind of chemicals they emit when they’re too hot.
Some types of glass and ceramics might break inside the microwave too, so it is always best to use the 1-minute test here! Just place the container you want to test with 1 cup of water inside the microwave and heat it for 1 minute MAX. If the water gets hot but the container doesn’t then congrats, it’s microwaveable!
2. Go for round containers
Bowls and round cups should be your best friends when working with a microwave! We tend to through in any shaped container inside the microwave and then get mad at the poor machine for not heating our food up properly. It’s not the microwave’s fault! Stop blaming it.
The reason behind faulty functioning is actually the shape of the container. If you use a square or rectangle-shaped container with peaky corners, those areas would be way more prone to heat than, let’s say, the inner area. Therefore, the food located near these corners would get heated way more quickly than the rest of the food.
To avoid this, consider investing in round microwaveable bowls/containers that would give you an even surface to work with, making it easier for the microwave to cook food thoroughly.
3. Know when to use a lid
Using a lid for your container while cooking in a microwave might save you a lot of mess and keep your food properly contained but it can be hazardous in some cases. If you’re a clean freak then by all means use a lid because some foods like soups and broths can splatter all over the insides of your microwave, having you clean the entire thing out.
You don’t necessarily have to cover dry food when putting it in the microwave. But this may cause it to lose a lot of moisture. Therefore, it’s always better to use a lid. Plus, considering that the basic principle around the cooking of food inside the microwave is the stimulation of water molecules using heat to cook the food thoroughly, not covering the food with a lid will result in the water molecules evaporating off as steam and the food being left uncooked.
However, in some cases, letting the steam out may be necessary, just like a pressure cooker. You can easily purchase special lids with vents, made just for this purpose.
Also, read our reviews on the best steam ovens in 2023!
4. Size and shape of the mug/utensil
When cooking using a microwave, you must keep in mind the shape and size of the utensil you’re using. How well your food is cooked on the inside will be heavily determined by the shape. The size of the container will determine whether your cake batter will overflow or not.
Considering that we’ll be discussing mug cake recipes below, NEVER use tall and thin mugs for baking these cakes. Your batter will never cook through and your cake will remain mushy and wet inside. Be sure to use medium-sized or broad mugs for cooking cakes.
Overflow of the batter is a common problem that almost every one of us has faced before when working with microwaves. This happens when your batter rises way too much, thus passing the rim of the utensil. No matter how fluffy your cake turns out, such a mess is way too annoying and puts your mood down.
To avoid it, never fill your mug more than half. The cake will need the other empty half to rise properly. If you exceed the half limit, your cake will probably propel upwards and cause a mess. So, if your batter exceeds the half limit, shift it into another container.
Microwave Oven Cooking Tips
Cooking food with a microwave might be 10 times quicker than ovens and stoves but it isn’t necessarily simple. You need to monitor your food constantly and utilize special arrangements to make sure that your food is properly done.
Along with that, special types of foods need special care. You might have to get your cleaning supplies out if you mismanage even the slightest. That entire microwave might need a long cleaning soon. But don’t worry, we’ve got you! Read on below to help prevent your very own kitchen crisis!
1. Use small pieces of food
If you’re cooking vegetables inside the microwave oven then keep in mind to cut them into small pieces instead of large ones. This ensures that the heat properly penetrates into each piece from all sides, exciting the water molecules within and cooking every piece quicker and throughout.
2. Rotate and stir food
Microwaves have a pretty cool rotating plate that heats up the food from all sides. But when it comes to thorough cooking, the plate sometimes falls short. The food on the outside might get cooked properly but the stuff on the inside will remain mushy and uncooked.
You can solve this annoying problem by stopping the microwave in the middle during the cooking process and giving the food a good stir. Cook all the parts evenly by rotating the food from time to time. Repeat this process a couple of times during the entire microwave cooking and you’ll end up with perfectly cooked food!
3. Arrangement of food matters
When placing your food inside a microwave, remember to arrange food according to what would cook quickly and what wouldn’t. Going by this method will help ensure that all the food is cooked evenly.
Make sure to check other articles on Specially Fried as well. Here’s another article for you on the best electric wall ovens!
4. Food with films
Foods having a thin film over them, for example, sausages, potatoes, and whole eggs, can cause a lot of steam to generate right beneath the skin and result in explosions inside the microwaves. So, poke these foods first with a fork to create indents that will let the steam, out during the cooking process.
Compared to an oven, operating a microwave isn’t difficult at all. Equipped with a little bit of knowledge and tips, anyone can become a pro at using it! Don’t fear bad outcomes, only a dummy will make those mistakes, even after going through this article. And we’re sure you’re not a dummy!
Check out our amazing medium-duty microwave oven review article if you’re planning to buy a durable microwave!
Hope you liked our list of best microwave oven tips! Good luck.
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