Microwave your Food

  1. It’s Got The Power: Each microwave oven is a little different. Learn your microwave’s cooking power and adjust your cooking times and power levels accordingly. Blindly following the cooking times on the food packaging may result in a poorly cooked item.
  2. Safety First: When cooking in the microwave, make sure you use dishes that are “microwave safe.” Some materials can’t take the heat and may melt. Metals will make sparks.
  3. Down With Damage: If your microwave oven shows signs of damage, such as a cracked or poorly sealing door, it’s time to replace it. The door protects you from the radiation.
  4. Outside First: Remember that microwaves cook the outside of food first. Even if your food feels warm, make sure it’s cooked all the way through for safety.
  5. Defrost Fact: If you use your microwave to defrost food, don’t keep it in so long that the food starts cooking. A 1lb steak should be defrosted for only about 6-9 minutes at most (check frequently).
  6. Vital Vitamins: Microwave cooking has a bad reputation for destroying nutrients. Not true! Microwaves cook food quickly, preserving more nutrients.
  7. Round And Round: If your microwave does not come with a carousel, be sure to turn your container every few minutes. The rotation helps ensure more even cooking.
  8. Don’t Be A Square: Don’t use square cooking containers in the microwave. The foods tend to cook unevenly in the corners.
  9. Metal Madness: When it comes to metals, some are microwave safe and others are quite dangerous. Unless your microwave recipe or a product specifically calls for using a small amount of aluminum foil, avoid metals completely.
  10. Cover Up: Covering microwave dishes helps food cook faster by steaming it and keeping it moist. Remove covers carefully to avoid steam burns.
  11. Pottery Problems: If you are microwaving in pottery and the food isn’t cooking well, the glaze may be the problem. Containers made with metallic glazes may block out the microwaves.
  12. Melamine Mistake: Melamine is a common substance used to make plates and bowls. However, the plastic-like chemical gets hot and softens in the microwave. It’s not microwave-safe.
  13. Pitch The Package: Microwaves can be useful for defrosting frozen meat. However, never defrost in the store packaging; it’s not made for the heat of microwaves.
  14. Bad For Babies: Don’t warm baby bottles in the microwave. The microwave method may make the bottle seem cool on the outside, but it may have hot spots inside.
  15. Put A Ring On It: When cooking in the microwave, arrange individual foods like potatoes in a ring formation. This will help the food cook more uniformly throughout.
  16. Easy Cleanup: Heat a bowl of water in the microwave on high for several minutes. The water will steam which helps messes wipe off easily.
  17. Ice Cream Issues: Need softer ice cream for desserts? Remove ice cream from its tub onto a plate or bowl and microwave for 10-second intervals on high power. No more bent spoons!
  18. Caution With Water: Water can be heated to boiling quickly in the microwave. Use caution! Microwave-boiled water may not bubble, but can still cause serious burns or a superheated explosion.
  19. Popping Poultry: If your chicken makes loud popping sounds when heating in the microwave, pierce the skin. Piercing allows the steam to escape, reducing the pops.
  20. Chewy Toppings: Add cheeses and other toppings at the very end of microwave time. Adding them early will make them chewy, dried out, or soggy.
  21. Toasting In The Microwave: Your microwave can be used to toast ingredients for baking. Shredded coconut, fresh bread crumbs, and nuts (minus shells) can all be toasted. Cook on high power at 1-minute intervals for up to 5 minutes as needed.
  22. Bacon Bits: Make quick bacon bits in the microwave. Place bacon between paper towels on a microwave-safe plate. Cook on high for 1-minute intervals. Cook thoroughly, cool, and tear or cut into small bits.
  23. Quick Taters: Potatoes can be baked quickly in the microwave. Wash and dry potatoes and pierce with a knife. Place on a paper towel on a plate and microwave on high for about 10 minutes. They will be very steamy; use caution to avoid burns. Test for doneness with a knife.
  24. Toothpick Taters: Stick 3 or 4 toothpicks into each potato before microwaving. Standing on the toothpicks will promote quicker, more even cooking.  Picture a table with toothpicks as the legs and the potato as the tabletop.
  25. Microwave Then Mash: If you’re mashing potatoes, microwave them instead of boiling. Since they’re getting mashed, the cooking method doesn’t matter and it saves time.
  26. No-Grill Corn On The Cob: Place whole corn cobs in the microwave and cook on high for about 6 minutes. Let sit for about 5 minutes, remove the husks and silk, and top with butter.
  27. Soft Spread: Use your microwave to soften butter to spread on bread. Place butter on a microwave-safe plate and warm it in 15-second intervals. Check for desired softness each time.
  28. Quick Sauce: To make a quick and easy butter sauce for pasta, mix butter, pepper, lemon, and minced garlic together in a bowl. Microwave at 20-second intervals. Stir and check for desired liquidity.
  29. Homemade Applesauce: Want fresh applesauce without lots of sugar? Combine 1 pound of peeled, diced apples with 1/4 cup water, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Cover and cook on high for about 8 to 10 minutes until soft. When done, mash with a fork and chill or serve warm.