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Posted Sep 13 2008 11:46pm
The containers recommended for use in the microwave oven are of ceramics like bone china, corelle for re-heating and short period cooking.

Glass, earthenware, paper plates, paper towels and plastic wraps can also be used. Out of these, paper and wood can be used only for re-heating.

For main dishes like veg, non-veg, desserts, glassware including ovenproof casserole dishes from Borosil, Arcopol, Arcoroc, Soga, Corningware, Corelle or Pyrex can be used.

Microwave-proof plastic utensils can be used for cooking. However, do not use dishes with gold or silver edges/ rims as arches may occur. It is better always to follow manufacturers instructions for safety.

Metals of any kind

Cut-crystal glassware
Crockery with metal rims
Non-microwavable plastic

In a microwave oven, round dishes heat food more evenly than a square one. Rectangular dishes will cook food on the ends more and the inside less, so half the food is overcooked or undercooked.

To soften butter to room temperature quickly, microwave one stick, unwrapped, for 15 to 20 seconds. Ovens vary, so start with less time and watch out for hot spots.

To melt chocolate, chop into small pieces and microwave 30 seconds at a time until chocolate looks shiny. Stir and microwave 30 seconds longer, if necessary.

Dense foods cook more slowly than porous ones. For example, mashed potatoes microwave much faster than baked potatoes and ground beef quicker than steak.

To peel garlic quickly, snip the pointy end off individual cloves and microwave them for 10 to 15 secods.

To get more juice out of lemons, limes and other citrus fruits, microwave them on HIGH for 30 seconds, then roll them on the counter to burst the juice cells; slice and juice.

Do not boil egg . Shell of the egg will break immediately.

To avoid low fat cheeses and other toppings from becoming tough or soggy, make sure to add them near the end of cooking.

Don't coat meat with flour or crumbs if you plan on adding liquid when cooking, as the coatings will only become soggy.

Pieces that are about equal in size and shape will cook more uniformly.

You can reduce the liquid used in cooking beverages, soups, vegetables, fruits, and main dishes by about one third because less evaporates in microwave cooking.

Choose a microwave-safe container slightly larger than the dish required for cooking the recipe in a conventional oven.

Use a high setting -100 percent power for soups, beverages, fruits, vegetables, fish, ground meat and poultry.

Use a medium-high setting -70 percent power for simmering stews.

Use a medium setting - 50 percent power for baking breads, cakes and muffins, and cooking less tender cuts of meats.

Do not turn your oven on when it is empty because microwaves may damage the cavity. If you accidentally turn an empty oven on, leave a cup of water in it to absorb the microwaves.

Only use your microwave oven to heat food. Do not use your oven to dry or heat clothing.
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