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6 things you never knew about your microwave

Sheetal Bhandari Sheetal Bhandari
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Microwave ovens have transformed the way you we can cook and have gone on to find a place in almost every household kitchen. Whether you want to steam vegetables, melt butter, unfreeze frozen food or boil water, the microwave can help you do that in far less time than the traditional hob, oven or kettle. But there is quite a bit of information that you must know about your microwave so that you can maximize it's potential and make it work in the best possible way for you. Here are 6 things that homify brings you that you never knew about your microwave.

Metal in the microwave

Metal vessels are best avoided in the microwave. Of course there are some exceptions like aluminium foil, metal trays and metal that is part of microwavable food packaging that is safe to insert into the microwave. It would be wise to go through your microwave's user manual thoroughly to understand what type of metals are safe. Your best bet would be to use your traditional metal pots and pans for traditional means of cooking on the stove and microwave friendly glassware for quick and on-the-go cooking in the microwave. And once the timer beeps, you can use these unique kitchen accessories to serve your food.

Golden rims in the microwave

Golden rimmed chinaware has a charm of its own. But leave that charm for your coffee table and keep it away from the microwave. The golden or metallic rims on some cups or vessels can cause what is called arcing to occur. Arcing happens when electric current jumps from metal to metal, in this case from one part of the metal rim to another. This can damage your plate or cup and your microwave too. Arcing can even cause sparks or sometimes even a fire. Therefore it i best to avoid such vessels in the microwave and opt for glass or other safe material like porcelain.

How dangerous is the radiation?

There are several opinions in favour of and against the usage of microwaves. Those who dismiss microwaves say that it makes the food radioactive which can have damaging impact on our health. There is however no proven research to link diseases like cancer with the radiation generated by microwaves. The type of radiation that a microwave creates is non-ionizing in nature, which means that it is only absorbed by the water molecules in the food, which in turn move, vibrate and generate heat due to friction. This heat gets the food cooked and in essence there is no alteration done to the chemical structure of the food and its nutrients. What is important here is to follow the instructions on the microwave's manual and use the right type of microwave safe vessels, for the right amount of time and at the right temperature. 

Avoid overheating

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Kitchen planning for microwave storage

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Overheating in microwaves should not be left unchecked. It could cause damage to your microwave to say the least. Modern microwaves come with an automatic shut off feature in case of overheating. That would be a good-to-have feature and also a safe-to-have one. A microwave that is overheated, can even cause overheating of the food that is being cooked in it. You need to take note of the trapped heat within the microwave from the food or boiling liquids and set your microwave's temperature settings accordingly. The heat detecting sensors for automatic shut off may not get triggered by this trapped heat, and so care would be needed by you.

Not only for food

Microwave lovers can go on and on about how their cooking times have reduced drastically after installing their microwaves at home. Food can be cooked rapidly and huge amount of time can be saved. But did you know that this little machine that is neatly tucked away in your kitchen, can be used not just for food, but even for other purposes you never imagined. Look up the internet for ideas and you will be baffled. Right from warming up your dinner plates to warming up your bath towels your microwave can do it all. You can also use it to melt of leftover candle wax,  to warm creams and lotions before applying them during those cold months of the year! 

Cleaning on the outside and in

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Ceramic Bird Lemon Juicer

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Just like any other appliance, it goes without saying that your microwave ought to be kept clean all the time. You must give the microwave tray a wipe after every use to ensure crumbs and leaks do not stay there for long. You can set out to clean your microwave armed with cleaning liquid, sponge or kitchen wipes and some cooking ingredients like vinegar and lemon from your cupboard. The outside of the microwave and the inside walls are best wiped clean with a vinegar and water solution and then dried well. To deodorize the inside of the microwave place a bowl of water with vinegar and lemon juice added to and bring it to a boil. The steam from this boiling mixture will get your microwave smelling clean and fresh. If you are looking for more kitchen solutions have a peek at this ideabook on tips on maintaining the rest of your appliances at home.

Now that you know your microwave even better, you can make sure you use it even more productively and safely. The convenience a microwave brings along must be taken advantage of after a thorough understanding of all it's do's and don'ts. You can use your microwave to its fullest potential when you know all about it.

If you are looking for some more interesting kitchen accessories this ideabook can help.

Any other uses of microwave that you know of? Share with us.
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