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Microwave Cooking Tips

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Microwave

Following a few simple tips can improve the way you use your microwave. This is a guide about microwave cooking tips.

Solutions: Microwave Cooking Tips

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Microwave Says "Child" On Display

Microwave Says I suppose this is only a funny tip on dealing with your microwave without losing your mind. A couple nights ago, I innocently pushed the 'Start' button as usual, when the screen suddenly said "Child." After staring at it dumbfounded for about a minute, hubby was called in to see if I might be mis-reading it. Nope, still said "Child."

I took a photo, reset it again, and now it's back to only numbers. And no, before you ask, it does NOT say 'Potato' when I try to cook one. That's just disturbing! It's never shown letters of the alphabet before.

Haven't a clue what it meant by that message, but I had the strangest feeling my over-used microwave just insulted me somehow. However, if it starts calling me 'Mom" I'm going back to using the stove.

By Mary from Mountain Pine, AR

Editor's Note: We did a little research and it sounds like the child lock was accidentally activated. This is usually done by hitting the start button 3 or 4 times, depending on your model.

Tip: Microwave Safety and Tips

Several times, I used the microwave oven, only to have pitted "microwavable bowls," and the inside of the microwave, a food mess.

I discovered on my own, to use a smaller "heat" setting for a longer period of time.

If a product says "heat on high for 5 minutes," and I know it will splatter all over the microwave, and pit the microwaveable bowl, instead, I will reduce the "temperature," or setting to about 4% or 3% on my microwave, and increase the cooking time. At the end of cooking, if the food still needs cooking, I will give it a final 100% "blast" for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Of course, this depends on your microwave oven, and may be done with a 60%, 70%, or more "blast."

Over the years, I have bought "microwave safe plastics" only to have them get pitted and deformed by following the cooking instructions, and the pitting and deforming makes them harder to clean.

One day, my husband and I bought some of these microwaveable plastics at a Walmart store, and the cashier remarked that hers always got ruined, and what an expense. We were in a hurry, and I didn't answer, but later that day, I called the manager, and explained the lower heat settings on the microwave.

If my microwave is set at 50% (5) it will splatter, so I started using 40%, and 30%, and increasing the cooking times for splattering foods. I don't have it down to a science, but I have found that by reducing the power to 40% or 30%, and depending on the food, giving it a final short blast at a higher heat, stops my microwaveable plastics from getting those nasty pits in them, and also stops all of that unsightly mess, and time-consuming cleaning of the microwave, using more cleaning products.

I usually increase the cooking time by one minute or so, more if the food is refrigerated, it takes experimentation, and I do this by cooking in increments of several seconds at a time, like 10 or 20 seconds toward the end of heating, depending on what I'm heating up.

I hope I helped someone today.

By Carol L. from South Bend, IN

Tip: Testing Dishes for Microwave Safety

To determine whether or not a dish is microwave safe, put 1 cup water into a glass measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in the microwave in the dish being tested. Then microwave at high for 1 minute. If the dish being tested is warm and the water cool, the dish is unsafe.

By Robin

Tip: Modern Cooking With The Microwave

Hey! Want to start cooking the 21st Century way, and leave all that 18th Century drudgery behind? Want a cleaner, cooler and sweat free kitchen? Want to cook with little or no fats or oils and less salt for a healthier life style? Want to cut down on your energy bills, and cook meals faster?

It's easy, buy a microwave cooker.

By Alan B Steele from The Potteries, UK

Editor's Note: What are your favorite ways to cook with your microwave? Tell us how it has made your life easier.

Tip: Cooking Tips With The Microwave

  • Soften brown sugar: place apple slice in bag, close tightly with string or scotch tape, microwave on high about 15 seconds.

  • Toasting coconut: place coconut in 9 inch glass pie plate, microwave on high for 4 minutes, tossing with fork after each minute.

  • Plump raisins: place in safe bowl, add 2 tsp. of water, cover with plastic wrap microwave on high for 30 seconds.

  • Warm syrup for pancakes: remove cover if in plastic or glass container, microwave on high for about 30 seconds.

By LRP from Lowell, MA

Tip: Microwave Food Safety

There are traits unique to microwave cooking that affect how evenly and safely food is cooked. "Cold spots" can occur because of the irregular way the microwaves enter the oven and are absorbed by the food. If food does not cook evenly, bacteria may survive and cause foodborne illness. Simple techniques ensure that meat and poultry microwave safely.

DEFROSTING FOOD

Remove Food From Store Wrap Prior to Microwave Defrosting: Foam trays and plastic wraps are not heat stable at high temperatures. Melting or warping from hot food may cause chemicals to leach into food.

Cook Meat and Poultry Immediately After Microwave Thawing: Some areas of frozen food may begin to cook during the defrosting time. Holding partially cooked food is not recommended because any bacteria present would not have been destroyed.

Remember to Take Food Out of the Microwave: Do not forget about a food item that has been thawing in the microwave. Food should not be left out of refrigeration more than two hours.

UTENSILS SAFE TO USE

If you are not sure if pottery or dinnerware is microwave safe, place the empty utensil in the microwave alongside a cup of water in a glass measure. Microwave on high 1 minute. If the dish remains cool, it is safe to microwave. If the dish gets warm or hot to the touch, do not use.

Safe Utensils for Microwave Cooking: These include glass and glass ceramic cookware and those labeled for microwave use.

Do Not Use Cold Storage Containers: Margarine tubs, whipped topping bowls, cheese containers and others can warp or melt from hot food, possibly causing chemical migration.

Wraps and Bags: Wax paper, oven cooking bags, parchment paper and white microwave paper towels should be safe to use. Avoid letting plastic wraps and thin plastic storage bags touch foods during microwaving. Never use brown grocery bags or newspaper in the microwave.

REHEATING FOODS

Heat leftovers and precooked food to at least 165 ° F. Food should be steaming and hot to the touch.

Cover foods to hold in moisture and provide safe, even heating.

Microwaving baby food and formula is not recommended because uneven heating can result in scalding a babys mouth. If microwaved, stir food, shake bottles and test for lukewarm temperature.

MICROWAVE COOKING

De-Bone Large Pieces of Meat: Bone can shield the meat around it from thorough cooking.

Arrange Food Items Uniformly in a Covered Dish and Add a Little Liquid: Under a cover, such as a lid or vented plastic wrap, steam helps destroy bacteria and ensures uniform heating. Oven cooking bags also promote safe, even cooking.

Cook Large Pieces of Meat on Medium Power (50 Percent) for Longer Times: This allows heat to conduct deeper into meat without overcooking outer areas.

Stir or Rotate Food Once or Twice During Microwaving: Turn large food items upside down so foods cook more evenly and safely.

Do Not Microwave Whole, Stuffed Poultry: Cooking of meat is so rapid, the stuffing inside might not reach a sufficient temperature to be safe.

Never Partially Cook Food: When microwaving food partly done to finish cooking on the grill or conventional oven, transfer the microwaved food to another heat source immediately.

Use a Meat Thermometer or the Ovens Temperature Probe: This is important to verify the food has reached a safe temperature after cooking.

Check in Several Places to Be Sure Red Meat is 160 ° F; Poultry, 180 ° F: Ovens vary in power and efficiency. Observe standing times given so cooking is completed.

Source: USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Microwave Food Safety. June 1997.

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Questions

Here are questions related to Microwave Cooking Tips.

Question: Recipes for Microwave Pressure Cooker

I am looking for a recipe book for my microwave pressure cooker.

By Hazel from Blackpool, England

Question: Instruction Manual for Microwave Pressure Cooker

I am looking for instructions for microwave pressure cooker, as ours arrived without any. Thanks.

By Rick from Cambridge, England


Most Recent Answer

By Denise Wagner W.12/20/2012

There are some basic ratios on this post:

http://www.recipelink.com/msgbrd/board_11/2012/FEB/12117.html

Question: Microwave Cooking

Could you start a section on microwave cooking? I am trying to conserve on my utilities, and I live alone, so I thought that cooking with my microwave would be a thrifty idea. Thank-you, Delinda Editor's Note: Sounds like a good idea. We have added a Microwave Cooking category to the recipes section, and a guide to collect all the tips together. We also have several guides with microwave recipes. If anyone has any tips or recipes, feel free to post them below or submit them using the Share option at the top of the page.


Most Recent Answer

By Leslie (Guest Post)12/02/2007

Is there a way I can cook dinner rolls in the microwave?

Archives

Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Recipes for Microwave Pressure Cooker

I have a MicroMaster microwave pressure cooker. Unfortunately, the recipe brochure that came with it is pretty spartan. Would anyone have other recipe ideas for this cooker? I'd sure like to start using it soon. Thanks so much.

Mandy C.

By Mandy from Bethel Park, PA

Archive: Recipes for Microwave Pressure Cooker

I recently received a 10 cup microwave pressure cooker and I need to find some recipes to use it, preferably to make dinners more than for desserts.

By Misty from Englewood, FL


RE: Recipes for Microwave Pressure Cooker

There is a recipe book for a 10 cup microwave pressure cooker made by NordicWare. I got one a few years ago and although it wasn't listed on their website catalog they sent me one for about $3 plus shipping. Good luck! (12/18/2010)

By ale1253

RE: Recipes for Microwave Pressure Cooker

Adding on, Recipelink.com has microwave pressure cooker recipes. A search of "Tender Cooker" (the name of the NordicWare model) comes up with several good ones; things like roast pork with sauerkraut. If you're concerned about any difference in the two brands, try something inexpensive like a bean recipe. Since they are the same size, I don't think there will be any problems! (12/18/2010)

By ale1253