Make the most of your microwave with these handy tips

By easyFood

27 March 2018

Adjust the power
Don’t automatically opt for the highest power setting. What you’re cooking (or baking) should determine the power setting you use, and this will lead to better-tasting food from the microwave.

Stick with high power when heating or boiling liquids; cooking firm, thick foods, like baked potatoes and spaghetti squash; and with quick-cooking items like mug cake.

This setting mimics the low heat of an oven and works best with delicate ingredients and foods that can quickly overcook, like eggs and smaller vegetables.

Plastic and metal
If plastic is labelled microwave-safe, it’s fine to use it in the microwave, but never, EVER put metal of any sort in the microwave – this includes tin foil!

Love your leftovers
How you place food on a plate affects how it’s heated in the microwave. Instead of piling food in the centre, spread it around the outer edge of the plate, leaving an opening in the middle. The more surface area the food takes up, the better.

Stir it up
The best way to heat your food is to microwave in short one-minute bursts, stirring the food between each interval. If you’re heating something that can’t be stirred (like a leftover steak), flip it over and/or reposition it on the plate.

Great for vegetables
Because microwaves heat quickly and with minimal water contact, vegetables cooked in the microwave retain precious nutrients that get drained away when blanching. We find one of the most useful things to do with our microwave is to par-cook potatoes quickly – just be sure to prick them a few times with a fork first to avoid exploding spuds!

Not for meat
Reheating is fine, but don’t use your microwave to actually cook meat. Its uneven cooking could easily lead to food poisoning.

Out with the old
Like all appliances, your microwave won’t last forever. Some signs you need a replacement:

  • Cooking much slower than normal
  • Making loud sounds,
  • Some of the buttons aren’t working
  • The door doesn’t seal properly
  • It’s over 10 years old
  • There are sparks or burning smells!