Microwave facts

June 24, 2009 RENU

  1. Popular b’cos they cook food in amazingly short period of time, convenient, energy-efficient as heat only food & nothing else, need low-maintenance, affordable.
  2. Uses microwaves called radio waves with frequency of 2.5giga hertz to heat food. Radio waves in this frequency range have an interesting property: they are absorbed by water, fats & sugars. When they are absorbed they are converted directly into atomic motion — heat. 2nd interesting property: they are not absorbed by most plastics, glass or ceramics.
  3. Metal reflects microwaves, so aluminium foils or containers may cause fire or arcing inside. However, if have to shield parts of food with sm amounts of foil, it’s acceptable as long as directions followed carefully.
  4. Cordless phone, wireless router, MW all operate @ same frequency. So there’s chance of interference.
  5. Microwaves are all around us – radars, telecommunications, satellites etc. We are exposed to low levels of radiation on a daily basis.
  6. Mw is accidentally discovered by an employee during WWII when a piece of candy in his pocket melted while he was working with radars.
  7. They cook from outside in. Waves penetrate food & excite h20 & fat molecules all at once evenly.
  8. They penetrate unevenly in thick pcs of food & there are also hot spots due to wave interference.
  9. Air in the oven is at room temp, so there is no way to form a crust.
  10. Can toast nuts, coconut, bread crumbs, spices etc.
  11. Can decrystallise honey or coconut oil.
  12. Can roast garlic, steam veggies, skin tomatoes, soften limes for juicing.
  13. Never attempt to repair a damaged microwave oven as it is one of the most dangerous appliances as they are radiation emitting devices. Also the high voltage potential inside it is a deadly threat.
  14. http://www.gallawa.com/microtech/how_work.html
  15. Magnetron produces microwaves which are EM radiation of long wavelengths.
  16. Waves enter food @ diff angles as they are deflected to random trajectories by a rotating fan. This causes the water molecules to rapidly shift their alignment causing them to rub against each other & produce heat. This heat cooks food.
  17. Cooking is more even in Mw equipped with turntable as the randomness is enhanced.
  18. Foods with more content/greater surface area will cook faster.
  19. Tomatoes, potatoes, etc. shd be pierced before microwaving or else will explode since water that becomes steam inside needs to escape.
  20. To prevent burns, uncover hot food by lifting the farthest edge of the lid & pulling it back towards you to carefully release steam.
  21. Salt draws moisture to the surface & forms a layer that slows the penetration of microwaves & increases the reqd cooking time. It can also make meat & veggies tough & less juicy. So salt after cooking.
  22. Microwaves bounce off metal objects & typically there is a metal mesh on the door which deflects the microwaves back into the appliance.
  23. It’s not safe to stand in front of MW & stare at the food inside since there is a background of radiation that leaks out.
  24. If operate when empty, damage to MW may occur since no absorption of waves, also leakage will be higher.
  25. If an empty glass or ceramic container remains cool after 1min in MW, it can be used for cooking. If it gets lukewarm then can be used for reheating. Avoid using it if it gets warm.
  26. If the number @bottom of plastic container ays #1,#2, or #4 it is safe to use. PVC, Vinyl or plastic #3 can leach phthalates into food, so avoid. Polyethylene ones are good b’cos they are plasticizer free. Yoghurt/margarine containers are #5 & are less safe. Styrofoam, classified #7 are unsafe.
  27. Acc to FDA, cling wrap, microwave plastic wraps, wax paper, cooking bags, parchment paper, white microwave-safe paper towels shd be safe to use. Do not let plastic wrap touch foods during microwaving, as chemicals can leach into the food.
  28. If it is @ waist level and within easy reach, to provide for ease in the lifting of hot foods.
  29. Cover foods leaving small vent to avoid splattering & let steam escape.
  30. Open containers away from the face because they could be extremely hot.
  31. Few areas may burn b’cos of hot spots, few areas may not get cooked enough due to cold spots, so stir as per instructions strictly.
  32. Never operate a microwave if the door is damaged or doesn’t close securely.
  33. MW may interfere with the workings of pacemakers.
  34. Vegetables cook beautifully, keeping their vibrant color & natural aroma.
  35. They retain more vitamins & minerals b’cos of the shorter cooking time.
  36. Foods with high moisture content, like fish & most seafood cook extremely well in it.
  37. Cooking in it also requires very little oil.
  38. Clean-up is easier since there’s seldom any baked-on fat or grease to deal with.
  39. To disinfect a dish sponge, wet it & Mw 2mts to kill all kinds of bacteria. Or soak sponge in vinegar/lime juice & water, MW on high 1min.
  40. To disinfect a plastic cutting board, rub with cut side of lemon, MW on high 1min.
  41. To deodorise & clean Mw, put a bowl with 2c h20+2Tlemon juice, Mw high 5mts, wipe it clean.
  42. To plump dried fruit, spr water, cover tightly with plastic wrap, MW on high 10secs.
  43. To dry fresh herbs, lay between paper towels, MW on high 1-2mts, cool, check or continue till dried, store airtight.
  44. Place onions on a covered microwave-safe plate, MW on high 1 to 2 mts to peel skin easily.
  45. MW garlic @ 80% power for 1/2min, let cool so you can handle them, peel away skin.
  46. MW 1stick butter or margarine @ 50% power.
  47. MW on high 1/2 gallon container of rock-hard ice cream for 30 secs to soften it just enough for scooping.
  48. To toast coconut, spread in a thin layer, MW on high 2 to 3 minutes or until light golden brown.
  49. To toast sesame/sunflower/pumpkin seeds, spread on gr’d plate, MW on high 3 to 4mts.
  50. To toast sliced/slivered almonds, spread on gr’d plate, MW on high 3 to 5mts.
  51. MW uncovered on 50% power 1 or 2squares of baking chocolate for 2 to 3mts, stirring every 20secs.
  52. To soften brown sugar, put it in plastic bag along with 1white bread slice or 1/4apple, close tight, MW on high 20secs. Discard bread or apple & stir.
  53. MW @ 50% honey stirring @ every 15sec intervals to liquefy it.
  54. MW on high 4c bread cubes/crumbs for 5 to 7 mts.
  55. Loosely wrap a stack of 3 to 4 corn or flour tortillas in waxed paper, MW on high for 15 to 25 secs.
  56. To freshen chips/crackers, MW uncovered for 1min on high.
  57. Pre-cook chicken, ribs or chops in MW, then finish it on a hot grill.
  58. To remove splatters & odors, MW on high 5mts a small bowl of water+lemon juice+its peel.
  59. Due to the possibility of uneven heating & hot spots, microwaving formula or milk for baby is not safe. Heat water in a deep, narrow bowl, place filled bottle in the hot water to heat instead.
  60. Do not attempt to deep-fry in a microwave oven.

Entry Filed under: Kitchen equipment

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