Friday, 10 October 2008

Microwave Ovens - Not Totally Indispensable

Microwave ovens are part of the set up of many kitchens in many parts of the world, some people say they can't live without them. They are now relied on for many things, not just for food. But how many people really know about the microwave? I have given a few tips on aspects you might be surprised to find out about.

Microwaves have hot and cold spots; this is not obvious to the human eye so to find them there is a trick you can use. Quite simply cover the base of the microwave with white sliced bread; making sure the whole floor area is covered. Then set the microwave on maximum look for the brown spots that will appear on certain areas of the bread floor peering through the glass.

Many people are unaware whether the cookware or dishes are microwave safe. There is a simple method you can take to check whether they are safe to use. Put the empty dish in the oven and switch the setting to low. Place a glass of water next to the dish and turn the microwave on for one minute then check if the water has warmed up. From this you will know the microwave is working. Next, turn the microwave up to maximum power for one minute. After this, check and see whether the dish is still cool. If it is the dish is certainly safe to use. if it's hot you know that this dish is not for use with microwave ovens.

If you wipe out the oven after each use you will get the full benefits of the power that the microwave has to offer. Make sure you clean around the door seal, which is often neglected, you will save energy and subsequently money by doing this. It is recommended that you use a mild detergent or even a bicarbonate of soda based solution to clean with. To help soften stubborn stains and hardened food, use steam by boiling a cup of water in the microwave oven. Then clean with a synthetic scrubbing pad, don't use steel wool for obvious reasons.

Here's a cooking tip you can take on board. Meat cooked in microwaves don't brown. To get over this problem of a bland appearance, brush some soy sauce water diluted soy sauce on the meat before cooking. The finished result will be just like a conventional oven cooked meal.

After a while the microwave can get quite smelly from stale food smells. To freshen up your microwave you can put thick slices of lemon on a paper kitchen towel then microwave it on maximum power for 90n seconds. If you leave this in the microwave overnight the next morning you will have a microwave that is fresh as a daisy.

Finally, it is a fact that microwaves are very expensive to run if used for cooking. I personally just use them for defrosting and warming food up. If you're worried about high electricity bills avoid cooking in a microwave and use a conventional oven. It is much cheaper this way and most food also tastes better if cooked in an oven. not only that but you can cook other things alongside to economise even further.

The microwave has many uses but to get the best out of it you must understand its limitations and best uses.

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