Microwaves can play a crucial part during meal times; however, one must take care to make sure the food is cooked evenly. See, microwaves directs heat towards the middle of the oven. This is the reason the turn table was invented so that the food would getting evenly “nuked”.
Care must be taken to ensure that all the potential bacteria in foods such as eggs, chicken, and pork are killed. I have listed a couple of tips to ensure you safely cook your food to prevent from getting sick.
Cooking in the Microwave Oven
1. Cooking foods such as frozen vegetables, meats, etc, in a container with a lid will ensure that the food gets cooked evenly. To help with this (and the flavor) add some chicken or beef broth to the container. This will help steam the food and further ensure that the bacteria have been killed. Be sure not to fasten the lid all the way, other wise the steam from the liquid would blow the lid off.
2. Big pieces of meat need to be nuked at a lower power setting for a much longer time period (compared to other items such as vegetables and such). Doing this will allow the microwaves to cook the inside first, rather than to overcook the outside of the meat. This is especially true if you’re heating up foods that you put into a food dehydrator.
3. Even if your microwave oven had a built in turn table, it is still a good idea to rotate or stir the food approximately halfway through cooking time. This will ensure that the “cold spots” get nuked as well.
Using the Microwave to Defrost
4. Defrosting items in the microwave can help speed the process of cooking. One thing to remember is to remove frozen items from the package in which they came such as a foam tray, plastic bag, or plastic wrap. This should be done because most of these said materials are not microwave friendly and could possibly burn or melt thus ruining the food. Note: If you’ve used one of our recommended vacuum sealers, then you don’t need to worry about this. We recommend only using BPA free bags.
5. Another crucial step following defrosting your food using the microwave is to cook the food immediately after defrosting. This should be done because during the defrosting in the microwave some of the areas of the food may start to cook.
Re-Warming Food in the Microwave Oven
6. Reheating foods in the microwave tends to dry out the food. To prevent this, try putting the food in a container with a lid. Plastic wrap can be used to cover the container if you do not have a lid. This helps to hold in moisture as well as making sure the food gets heated thoroughly.
7. A good tip to remember is to let the food stand for a few minutes after cooking in the microwave. The use of a thermometer to check the foods temp would be wise to do as well.
8. Keep in mind that the container you use for microwave cooking should specifically say that it is microwave safe. Most containers state this on the bottom or on the lid.
9. Containers NOT to use for microwave cooking are butter tubs, carry-out tubs (Chinese food containers), and other containers of this type. Most of these are made VERY cheaply could possibly burn or melt if heated to a high temperature. Obviously this would be a bad thing causing the chemicals of the container to contaminate the food.
10. Instead of the above container types, try using alternatives such as paper towels, or bags specifically designed for microwave use.
I hope these tips help to better your understanding the importance of microwave cooking!
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