Mistakes To Avoid When Using a Microwave
A microwave is one of the most essential kitchen equipment. You can use it to reheat cooked food or make one from scratch. It has been around for a while but for some reason, many people still can’t get used to it.
Perhaps, it has something to do with all those vague instructions and obscure buttons. They are just too difficult to understand and because of that, we make mistakes that can damage the microwave.
The good news is, these mistakes are avoidable if you know about them. In this article, we will be talking about the common mistakes to avoid while using a microwave.
9 Mistakes To Avoid When Using a Microwave
Using Containers That Are Not Microwave Safe
Most of us tend to believe that since a container is microwave-safe, every other container which looks like it is safe to use in the microwave too. This is not true. Many containers/accessories are not microwave-safe especially plastic containers even though some of them are designed specifically for microwave use.
Even those that are designed for microwave use can be harmful to your health when they are exposed to heat by emitting harmful toxins. To be on the safe side, using other microwave-safe containers such as glass is the right thing to do. At least, for the sake of your health.
Other things to avoid using in the microwave to heat or cook your food are; silver foils, paper bags and metal bowls since that can cause serious damage to your appliance.
Not Stirring While Heating
Microwave ovens are not designed like conventional ovens. Even though they are capable of heating your food, they do it very slowly and sometimes, not evenly.
That is why, sometimes after you are done heating your food in the oven, the outside is extremely hot, and its cold in the middle. This leads to an undesirable mixture of cold and hot food which could have been avoided by simply stirring the food while heating it.
Stirring and mixing food in the microwave distributes heat throughout the food. The end result is an evenly heated meal.
Cleaning Your Microwave Irregularly or Not Cleaning at all
It is important that you take very good care of them by cleaning them at regular intervals to cook tasty food and make the appliance last longer.
Not cleaning your microwave regularly can introduce germs into your food and also damage your microwave. Make sure to wipe away the splatters and rotten fold from the inside of your microwave. You can also decide to clean your microwave after every use to make it easier for you.
For effective cleaning, use warm water, liquid soap, and sponge. If you want to remove tough splatters, add a tablespoon of vinegar.
Cooking or Heating on High Power
Since most microwaves come with low, medium, and high settings, you might be tempted to push the highest button simply because you are hungry or in a hurry. That’s a terrible idea!
While some food may require you to cook them on high heat, most food, such as meat, fish, and eggs require low heat to cook evenly.
If you cook meat on high heat, the outer part is going to become tough and difficult to eat while the middle part will still remain the same.
Also, cooking on medium heat will allow your food to heat slowly but evenly. When you cook on high heat, the food is usually too hot on one side, not too hot on the other, and sometimes partly cooked. Medium heat is definitely worth the wait.
Using Your Microwave as a Table
Even if your kitchen is extra cluttered because you don’t have enough space to put the things you use, never put things on your microwave. It’s not a table and it’s not safe. Why?
Microwaves use waves and emit rays. When in use, they give off radiations which can be very harmful to objects and appliances around the microwave including the microwave itself.
Using a Damaged Microwave
Does your microwave have broken hinges? Fix it!
Many of us treat our microwaves the same way we treat our other appliances. We don’t repair or throw them away when they are damaged. We just keep managing them until they eventually stop working but microwaves are different.
For their size, they are extremely fragile and every little damage can result in a big accident sometimes in the future. So, if your microwave door is bent, don’t try to force it closed, just get a professional to repair it instead.
Heating Hard-Boiled Eggs Pizza and Seafood
Even though the microwave is a very convenient appliance to use for cooking and heating foods, there are certain foods that should not be heated in it, for example, hard-boiled eggs with shells.
For some reason, a lot of people with a microwave have tried to heat hard-boiled eggs with shells before and it has given the same result, explosion.
Furthermore, using a microwave to heat your egg just gives it a really bad texture and taste that you are not going to enjoy.
Also, reheating pizza in the oven is one of the fastest ways to get your oven dirty. As for seafood? Let’s just say, some foods are meant to be heated over the stove and never to be eaten straight from the microwave.
Not Covering Your Food
Just because it is not advisable for you to use certain things such as plastic covers, wrap and styrofoam covers for your food in the microwave doesn’t mean you should leave them open.
To avoid splatters, ensure that you cover your food with a microwave-safe plate or bowl to trap the heat and evenly distribute it through your cooking.
Disposable options for covering your food in the microwave are paper plates and microwave-safe napkins. They are also cheap to buy.
Not Cooking for as Long as you are Supposed to
Many of us are busy and it’s just too long to wait for some things to finish cooking so we just crank it up a level and take the dish out of the microwave when it looks like it’s done on the outside. This is the wrong way to cook.
For foods such as meat, cooking for a long time over medium heat is recommended. Taking it out too early can result in an uncooked meal. If you eat it that way, you may get sick.
Besides, if the food you take out of the microwave is not too hot to be eaten immediately, it needs to go back inside as soon as possible.
Using a microwave is wonderful but the mistakes mentioned above are probably the reasons why you prefer heating over the stove instead of using that abandoned microwave in your kitchen. In order to enjoy the full benefits of using a microwave, you have to ensure that you make none of the mistakes mentioned in this article.
However, if you make those mistakes, you are likely to cause a kitchen accident, make half done meals or reduce the lifespan of your microwave.