Microwave ovens may seem magical, but they use science to heat up and cook our food.
Basically, the microwaves from the appliance make the water molecules in foods vibrate, creating heat. Here’s how to use that science, and some other cool tips, to get the most out of your microwave.
Make your food thin
Most microwave ovens can only penetrate food that is an inch thick or less. So, for best results cut the foods you are cooking in the microwave into pieces that are an inch thick or less.
Put a hole in it
Microwaves tend to heat the outside edges of a plate of food first, often leaving the food in the center of the plate cold. When you’re heating up foods, leave the center of the plate empty and line your food items around the edges. Your food will heat more evenly.
Also, place thicker items, like drumsticks, around the outside edge of the plate and thinner items more toward the center.
Salt after heating
Salt attracts microwaves, so if your food has a fine layer of salt on top of it, the upper part of the food will get dried out. If you like your foods salty, add the salt after you heat it in the microwave or make sure that the salt is mixed in.
Put more than one bowl in the microwave
If you need to microwave more than one bowl at once, boost one of the bowls with a cup so that you have more room.
Steam your food
You can steam veggies and other foods in the best microwave oven. Simply cut them into pieces that are less than an inch thick, put them in a ceramic bowl, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and place a ceramic plate over the top of the bowl like a lid. Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes.
Prevent rubbery meat
Cooking meat in the microwave can leave you with a rubbery, dried-up mess. If you simply must nuke raw meat, use the steaming method mentioned in the last slide. The meat will have a much better texture and it won’t dry out.
Test your plastic
Not sure if your bowls or plates are microwave-safe? Michigan State University says that you can find out with a simple test. Place the dish you want to test inside the microwave, and then place a glass of 1 cup of water next to it.
Heat both of them on high for 1 minute.
Is it safe?
If the empty container is cool after 1 minute it is microwave-safe, but if it is slightly warm, you should only use it when reheating foods, not for cooking.
If the container is hot it’s not microwaved safely.
Don’t be square
The American Chemistry Counsel suggests only using round or oval bowls in the microwave. The corners of square and rectangular containers receive more energy than the center, so food heats unevenly.
Find the hot spot
Every microwave oven has areas where food will heat faster. To find your microwave’s hot spots, place a plate covered in marshmallows in your microwave for 50 seconds. The areas that puff first are in the hot spots.
Next time you warm up a plate of food, set it in a hot spot for faster heating.