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Microwave Safety Tips

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March 9, 2010

Microwave Safety TipsSeveral 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.

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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.

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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.

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I hope I helped someone today.

By Carol Rodriguez from South Bend, IN

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October 9, 2004

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.

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March 3, 2010

Don't use the microwave for deep-frying, canning, or heating baby bottles. These applications don't allow adequate temperature control for safe results.

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