Using your microwave is about more than just pressing buttons. As compiled from Reader’s Digest, here is how you might be using the kitchen appliance all wrong.
1. You don’t cook your veggies in it
We all know vegetables lose the highest amounts of nutrients when they are exposed to heat and water. This means microwaving them will preserve more nutrients than pretty much any other method, besides stovetop steaming. And the best part of this is that it’ll leave you with fewer dirty dishes to scrub later.
2. You don’t use the pause button
Slow and steady! It’s important to stir leftovers and ready-to-eat frozen meals halfway through the reheating process. This allows the food to cook evenly and prevent cold spots from lingering, which are a breeding ground for bacteria that could make you sick.
3. You microwave plastic containers
Unless the box says “microwave safe,” don’t put it in there! Many plastic storage and takeout containers contain chemicals that have been linked to health problems like diabetes, infertility, and heart disease. These can seep into your food during the cooking process.
4. You don’t know its wattage
If you don’t know your microwave’s wattage, you could be in trouble. Many premade meals require certain wattage to properly be cooked. Following the recommended cooking time could still leave you with undercooked and possibly contaminated food if you’re not heating it at the proper wattage too. Hence, it is advised to check the wattage on the box or in the manual given inside the microwave’s box.
5. You don’t have a regular cleaning schedule
Even if your microwave looks clean, it most likely is not. In fact, it’s probably far from clean. You must regularly scrub the inside as well as the outside of your oven. This will keep harmful bacteria from raw meat or fish at bay and remove food particles that can be smelly and full of germs. Perhaps investing a good oven/microwave cleaning solution could come in handy too?
6. You re-heat leftovers with the lid on
While you should always cover your food in the microwave, the lid shouldn’t be cracked or never sealed tight. The latter can get stuck, making it nearly impossible to open until the container till it has cooled. Not to mention, heating liquids like soup or coffee, in an airtight containers can cause it to explode too.
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