How To Use A Microwave Oven For Various Kitchen Functions
- The microwave oven has become one of the most essential and used kitchen appliances in the world today; it has earned this reputation because of its convenience of use and its versatility- you will most certainly find most microwave ovens performing numerous functions in the kitchen, and they do this with utmost convenience. Microwave ovens are now much easier to use with their newly built-in technological controls.
- A microwave oven performs various cooking functions such as warming up coffee that has turned cold, heating up a quick microwaveable meal, defrosting frozen foods, and reheating leftovers or foods that have gone cold; a microwave oven is most commonly used for this purpose.
As technological innovations advance, microwave ovens also witness a lot of crucial improvements; modern microwaves now feature convection cooking, grilling, steaming, and lots more. They also come in various forms and sizes, from small models designed to sit on a countertop to larger ones that can be mounted over the cooking range or built into walls or cabinetry. Seeing that, by its nature, a microwave oven is used for several things. Controversies arise from time to time on the things to be used and other things prohibited from being found while it is heating up. When prohibited items are used in a microwave oven while it works, it may result in a monumental disaster. Hence, as one of the most used electric kitchen appliances, it is important to learn its appropriate usage. The section below discusses the items never used in a working microwave oven.
Things you should never put in a Microwave
Suppose the burst of sparks and a ruined microwave oven were the only dangers that may accompany the use of prohibited items in a heated microwave oven. In that case, the ensuing damages might have been containable, but sadly, there are even more catastrophic consequences of using prohibited items in your microwave oven.
Using prohibited items in a microwave oven may cause a ghastly explosion, razing your house. Cooking fires are the leading cause of reported house fires. According to a recent report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2014 and 2018, firefighters responded to an annual average of 172,900 home structure fires started by cooking activities. The NFPA says these fires caused an annual average of the following deaths, injuries, and damages:
550 civilian deaths
4,820 reported civilian fire injuries
More than $1 billion in direct property damage per year
Microwave ovens have been an integral part of many households for many years. It is one of the most important kitchen appliances you will find out there. While some of these households have learned never to keep some items in a heated microwave oven, others are eager to keep items such as aluminum foil and metal utensils in a microwave oven. For the preservation of your microwave and, more importantly, the health of your family, here are 15 things (in addition to metal that can’t go in the microwave) that should never be placed in the microwave.
1. Styrofoam Cups and Containers
Styrofoam containers and other polystyrene materials are made of foam. Hence they help to protect your foods in the refrigerator. Therefore, while they are quite fit for the chillness of your refrigerator, they can hardly survive the harsh heat of a microwave oven. Microwaving this type of foam can cause the carcinogenic substance styrene to seep into your food. The high heat can cause the container to break, dispersing hot food that can cause burns. Transfer the food to a microwave-safe container before heating.
2. Paper Bags and Takeout Containers
There are some paper bags developed to be used in a microwave ovens. Hence others not meant for this purpose should never be used in a microwave oven. A good example of those bags that should never find their way into the microwave is your popcorn bag. It can’t withstand the heat your oven produces. Similarly, Brown paper lunch bags and printed paper takeout containers can release toxins into foods and easily catch fire if the food becomes too hot.
3. Lightweight Plastic Bags and Containers
Bags and other lightweight containers should be kept in a microwave oven at all times. Grocery and other lightweight plastic bags are certain to melt when they are brought close to extreme heat. The same rule should be followed for margarine, yogurt, and cottage cheese tubs that are meant only for cold storage and one-time use. It may seem earth-friendly to reuse them, but it’s not worth the risk of the chemicals released into your food during heating or a fire caused by the container melting.
4. Travel Mugs
It is completely safe to boil water in your microwave oven. However, while you do this, it is necessary to take precautions in selecting containers with which you intend to boil your water. If you need to warm up some water, you need to use a glass or porcelain mug to heat it in the microwave before pouring it into a travel mug. Most travel mugs, cups, and bottles are made of plastic or stainless steel. You know that metal is a no-no for the microwave, and it will prevent the beverage from being heated. Plastic mugs may be unsafe and can even separate and ruin the insulation that keeps the beverage hot.
How to use a Microwave Oven
Just like most home appliances, it is important to learn the use of a microwave oven so that it is not abused. As seen in previous sections, the danger associated with a wrong use may go way beyond some damage to the oven- It is likely to also suffer some injury or even death, in the worst case scenario, when some precautions are not adhered to.
If you are still new to the world of microwave ovens and you wish to learn how to use them appropriately and effectively, then the next section is for you.
1. Plug in the microwave oven
The first step to using a microwave is to ensure the appliance is plugged into an appropriate outlet. When choosing which outlet to use, several factors must be considered.
First, the average microwave oven has a circuit rated at 120 volts and 20 amps, meaning it should get its dedicated outlet. It should keep an outlet separate from other high-energy appliances like a toaster or a blender. Plugging a microwave oven into a 15 amp outlet can cause electrical wires to overheat and present a fire hazard. Moreover, it’s recommended that microwave ovens be used with outlets that are protected by a 15 – 20 amp circuit breaker.
2. Place food in the microwave-safe container
Some types of containers and cookware are not microwave oven safe. For example, metal containers and aluminum foil should never be placed in the microwave. When they are, the electromagnetic waves produced by the microwave can cause the metal to spark, a process that can cause damage to the inside of your microwave.
Likewise, most plastic containers should also be avoided. When heated, many types of plastics release BPA and Phthalates into your food, both of which are known to cause cancer.
Most paper materials should also be avoided as they can release toxins and produce high amounts of smoke when subjected to electromagnetic rays. Of all available materials, glassware is the safest to use in a microwave oven. Not only is glass non-reactive with electromagnetic radiation, but the material doesn’t include any nasty chemicals that can leach into your food.
3. Choose the appropriate setting
Microwave ovens come with a variety of pre-set functions that control quite conveniently. For example, if you want to defrost frozen foods, most microwave ovens come with an auto-defrost function, which, when selected, will automatically defrost the frozen food based on how much it weighs.
Other popular preset functions include popcorn, pizza, and leftovers. Similarly, microwave ovens can be set to run for a certain amount of time; you can simply dial in your desired cooking or warming durations, and you will have it.
4. Press Start
Now that you’ve selected the right setting, the only thing left to do is hit start and wait for the process to end. When heating food in a container, it’s a good idea to remove the lid or leave it slightly ajar to allow heat to escape.
It’s also recommended that you don’t stand directly in front of the microwave while it’s operating, as there are some concerns regarding long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
The best Microwave Ovens On Amazon
The Toshiba’s EM131A5C-BS countertop microwave
Toshiba’s EM131A5C-BS is a countertop microwave oven with a sleek design and many features. The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS has 1100 watts of power and a spacious interior, making it a good choice for a family. The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS also has a sensor cooking function that adjusts the cooking time and power level based on the amount of food. The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS is a good choice for a family or anyone who wants a reliable and stylish countertop microwave oven.
The BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven
Though there are many types, styles, and brands of electric tankless water heaters on the market, the BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven is one of the best. This unit is designed for people who want to save money on their energy bills. The BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven uses less energy than traditional water heaters and will pay for itself over time. In addition to saving money, the BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven is also environmentally friendly. Microwaves are now a staple in almost every kitchen, so it’s no surprise that the latest models come packed with features and advanced cooking programs. The BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven is a great example of this, as it has a sleek design and plenty of features to make your cooking experience easier. But how does it fare in terms of performance? In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the features of this microwave and see if it’s worth your money.
The SAMSUNG MC12J8035CT/AA
The SAMSUNG MC12J8035CT/AA is a large-capacity, high-powered microwave oven that is perfect for those who want to cook large meals quickly. It has a powerful 1,200-watt motor and a spacious 1.2 cubic feet interior. The SAMSUNG MC12J8035CT/AA also has various features that make it a versatile kitchen appliance. These include a sensor cooking function that automatically adjusts the cooking time and power level based on cooked food. This microwave oven is also quite compact, making it extremely easy to pack when you are moving.
How do Microwave Ovens Work?
- Microwave ovens are popular in homes worldwide because they have been built to serve various functions. Their versatility is what makes them so adored in several homes. Microwave ovens work by using electromagnetic radiation to heat up their contents. Inside the oven, they’ll emit microwaves. Microwaves are also used in communications, radar, and other industrial uses. Your microwave oven will spin the food around whilst zapping it with microwaves. These waves are absorbed only by the food. Microwave ovens don’t heat the space inside the oven like a conventional oven but rather focus on the food inside. Microwaves do not have radioactive material inside of them. Microwaves have a component called a ‘magnetron.’ Using a heated filament, this component agitates electrons, generating and releasing microwaves.
Can a Microwave oven be repaired?
- Most kitchen appliances or even devices can generally be repaired when they are faulty. However, this depends on the damage that must have been done to the device/ appliance in question. Some faults are irreparable, while others may be quite easy to fix. But there is only one way of ascertaining which is repairable with adequate and thorough inspection/investigation. You can fix your microwave oven yourself if you have the know-how. We’d only recommend this if you have the right tools and working knowledge of electronics- You may proceed to procure an appliance repair tool kit if your repair exercise is carried out seamlessly. However, you need to take extreme caution while you do this. Be careful and make sure you don’t give yourself a shock.
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