Congrats! You have got a new microwave oven. That’s why you want to know the answer to the query, “How to use a Microwave?”
A microwave oven is a simple device but the most useful one. If you love cooking, then it’s the most required appliance in your modern kitchen. Cooking is an art and can get more polished with the help of this magical gadget.
This device helps you to add an array of cuisines to your cooking food list. Also, this wonder box enables you to experiment with new cuisines and thus take your culinary skills to the next level.
So, to use this device to its fullest potential, you must be aware of some valuable tips and tricks to follow.
Here’s the list of some suggestions on how to use a microwave.
Carefully read the manual.
Before you plug in the microwave oven, you should carefully read the manual. Though most of the ovens function similarly, functionalities may differ depending upon the brands and models. So, it will be helpful for you if you read the manual to know details about the particular device. For example, it will give you the details regarding the modes, power setting, cleaning procedure, and other helpful information.
Time to plugin
After reading the manual carefully, plugin your microwave oven and set the time according to what you are heating or cooking in the device. Manual plays the role of guide to assist you in the cooking process. After that, you have to turn the knob or press the button, whichever option available on the device. Some best microwaves also provide you a choice of preset menus. Ensure other devices do not occupy the socket you plug the device in; it may lead to voltage outage.
Selection of suitable cookware
A microwave works on electromagnetic waves that reflect with metals and may lead to microwave arcing. Therefore, microwave-safe cookware is used in the oven. You will get a label at the bottom of the device, “Microwave-Safe.” You can use borosil cookware, plastic containers, and other recommended utensils. Brands generally provide a starter kit with a oven.
Time to cook.
Initially, it would be best if you cooked easy recipes like cooking potatoes or making coffee. Gradually, you will get the idea of timings, and you will learn how to use a microwave to reheat food. Some convection and grill microwave ovens do wonder with the food. But you have to be skilled in using a oven for pizza and how to use a microwave grill.
Time to clean
Having read the manual, you have learned how to operate the microwave oven from step one: turning on a microwave. Now you should also learn how to maintain the device as maintenance is a must if you want longevity of the gadget. In addition, it would be best if you cleaned the oven both from outside as well as inside. For this, you can read our article, “How to clean a microwave oven inside.“
Microwave oven working process
If you want to become an expert in cooking food in the microwave, you should know its working process.
- This gadget works on the principle of electromagnetic waves that cooks food from inside out, whereas the heat produced in regular cooking will remain on the surface of the utensils.
- You can cook food in the oven that has a high amount of water content in it. Food with less water content will become dry and won’t yield good results.
- Microwaves are locked in the cooking chamber and can’t be released in any condition as designed purposely and thoughtfully.
Microwave oven safety measures
A microwave oven has made our cooking process efficient and effortless, but you should use this device with great care and ensure the following measures.
Say no to metals
Electromagnetic waves reflect with the metals and may lead to sparkling in the oven. So, never use metal utensils in the microwave. Ensure to remove the aluminum foil from the food you want to heat in the oven. Also, don’t use disposable cookware and paper cups. For more details, you can read our article, “Best cookware for convection microwave oven“
Placement of microwave oven
Make sure this device is not placed near any heating or electric device. Also, you can’t put this device on top of the refrigerator or beneath any device. It is not recommended from a safety point of view as the device may get overheated.
No flammable foods
Do not heat any flammable foods that may catch fire and would harm you and your microwave. For example, food like oranges, flour, deep-fried peppers, and alcohol-based sauces are highly flammable. They can even lead to explosions in the device. So beware!
Never cook an egg in its shell.
When you cook an egg in its shell in the microwave oven, heat gets accumulated in the eggs, and they explode. So to avoid this disaster, you should prick a hole with a needle at the bottom of the oven. For details, check out our article, “How to cook an egg in the microwave without it exploding?”.
Unsealed the sealed food
Never cook or heat the food item in their packing as steam may get collected in the pack and may lead to an explosion in the oven. Instead, first unseal the packing and transfer it to a microwave-safe bowl and then cook the food.
Never cover the vent.
As we humans need air to breathe, our microwave oven is not different. However, if you cover the vent at the top of the device, the oven will get overheated, and it may lead to malfunctioning of the device.
Allow standing time
Always prefer to rest or stand cooked food in the oven for a few minutes after cooking to cook food in its heat. Moreover, it will bring down the oven’s temperature so that you can easily handle the vessel.
Must to do
Unfortunately, if the microwave oven catches fire due to some reason, immediately unplug it and call the professional.
Must not do
Beware! Never dare to operate the microwave oven with an open door. Or a broken door. It would be very risky for you and your dear ones.
Now you have become familiar with the concept of how to use a microwave, you must wonder at a point in time, How to test if my microwave is working properly?
You can quickly run a test without any expensive detector.
Things Needed: a microwave-safe bowl filled with water and a thermometer.
-Take a microwave-safe bowl full of water and note down the initial temperature of the water.
-Zap the oven for about 2 to 3 minutes.
-Now check the temperature; if it is 86 F, then no signs of an issue. But if the temperature is less than required, the magnetron may get faulty.
Also, if there are no changes in water temperature, immediate action is required to be taken.
Danger due to microwaves leak
Microwave ovens use high-frequency electromagnetic waves for cooking food. This device is purposely and thoughtfully designed to restrict these waves into Faraday’s cage. However, if these microwaves are allowed to leak, they may cause severe issues to the user. Levels of radiation about five milliwatts per sq. is supposed to be harmful.
Causes of microwave leakage
The microwave oven is appropriately designed and constructed in such a way to keep all the energy contained in the cooking area. However, due to damage to some parts of the oven, it may cause leakage.
- Damaged Door: The door plays a vital role in protecting us from harmful radiation. So, any damage to the door will prove dangerous for the user. Thus, due care is being taken for the door.
- Maintenance is the key: Everything in this world needs maintenance, so your oven is no different. If you handle it roughly or carelessly, any part of the device may get broken and may lead to leakage.
- Missing protective shield: You must have observed a mesh in the glass door of the oven. If you find improper mesh, it may cause a high amount of leakage.
How to test the microwave leakage
You can test the leakage in two ways.
- By your cell phone: The frequency that is used in the cell phone is almost equal to the microwave oven frequency ( 2.4 GHz ). So, if you place your cell phone in an unplugged oven, it will not catch signals. This is because this wonder box doesn’t allow its energy to escape and will lock the calls of the cell phone inside.
- Using leakage checker: The leakage checker has an array of LEDs to display a level of leakage in the oven. For this purpose, you need to microwave a bowl filled with water for about a minute. Now with the leakage detector, scan the door seals and front glass of the oven. If LEDs turn red at any time, the stove will have to be discarded. If it is always green, then of course everything is fine. Sometimes LEDs may turn orange, that’s a matter of concern, and you have to check your device with the professional.
Make sure you use a leakage detector in different orientations while observing leakage if any.
Hope you got a clear idea regarding how to use a microwave? You must be wondering what the difference between a microwave and an oven is?
A microwave is used for cooking or reheating food. It works on the principle of electromagnetic waves. This device has an inbuilt magnetron that produces rays that get penetrated inside the food. This entire process heats the food and would take around a minute.
Oven ( Convection Mode )
An oven is a traditional form of cooking. This device is a thermally insulated chamber used for grilling, roasting, and baking purposes. You can make cakes, cookies, fries, bread, pizza and even bruschetta. You can reheat the food in the oven, but it takes more time than a microwave oven. This device is best to use for bakery items. You can not reheat last night’s leftovers efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Usually, a microwave oven lasts for about ten years. But if you maintain it properly, its life may increase. For example, I have been using an LG microwave oven for the last 12 years, and it’s working fine.
The maximum level of radiation is about five milliwatts per sq. is considered harmful. Immediate steps to be taken for that.
Yes, microwaves can affect wi-fi as they are operated at the same frequency ( 2.4 GHz ).
Why not? Though some vitamins get destroyed while heating but that will happen on stove gas also. But the microwave is not at all harmful
This article contains every detail regarding the microwave oven. It’s working, dos and don’ts, safety measures and much more. If you still have any query, please do share with us.
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