How to use a microwave oven safely

Learn easy steps to safe use of a microwave oven

With the rate of quickly preparing meals with microwaves, a lot of families are beginning to adopt its use. From using it to cook, bake and heat food, the benefits of microwaves are numerous.

However, improper use of microwaves can result in burns and injuries. This makes it essential that you learn how to use a microwave safely. You stand a higher chance of avoiding dangers if you understand the proper ways of using a microwave safely.

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Is using a microwave oven safe?

From rumors of microwave radiation, it is normal to ask if a microwave oven is safe for health. Does microwaved food cause cancer? Is Microwave radiation harmful?

The truth is, the microwave oven is entirely safe to use. Nevertheless, you must ensure that you use them correctly, sticking to the right procedures of using microwaves. Microwaves do not cause cancer nor does their energy emission on the food cause harm to our body. 

There is no scientific proof that microwaves reduce nutritional value. But, you must ensure that your microwave is at the specified temperature and used with the correct containers. It is also important to always check your microwave oven for leaks or faults. Your microwave oven is safe to use if you stick to the proper measures.

Dos and don’ts using microwave

There are some basic microwave oven safety precautions that you must adhere to. We hope that you get familiar with some of these dos and don’ts rules to avoid mishaps when using your microwave.

1. Don’t use metal containers in your microwave

You should not use metallic utensils or items in your microwave. It is a hazardous adventure. A lot of people make the mistake of putting stainless steel and metallic mugs into their microwaves. 

Metals are good conductors of electricity. They stand a higher chance of sparking and catching fire in a microwave. 

This can result in a fire hazard. Metal containers block the circulation of energy around the microwave. This can cause a block or improper circulation of radiation which can spoil your microwave or set it on fire. Metallic containers include aluminum foils and wraps.

2. Don’t use BPA and low quality plastics in your microwave

Plastics are not safe items to put into your microwave. Plastics are components of different chemical materials. 

These materials will disintegrate and go loose, thereby contaminating your food. Most low-quality plastic products are products of acrylic, PVC, or BPA.

These chemicals have adverse effects on your body, hormones, and digestive system. These chemicals are easily transmitted to your food after heat exposure. Apart from contaminating your food, there are chances that the plastic will melt if it is heated to a high temperature.

To stay on the safer side, avoid using plastics in your microwave. Ceramics are better options for microwaves.

3. Regularly clean your microwave

Cleaning your microwave at least once every week helps eliminate and reduce the possibility of bacteria building up in the microwave. This will help you prepare healthy meals.

4. Don’t turn on an empty microwave

Some individuals out of curiosity try to use an empty microwave without any food in it. “What happens if you microwave nothing with it?” Curiosity kills the cat.

Turning on your microwave with nothing in it will damage the magnetron. At this juncture, your microwave won’t heat meals properly again.

When you turn on your microwave, there is an emission of energy. The goal is for the energy to target and heat food. Without any food, the energy returns to the magnetron, inflicting damages on the magnetron.

How to safely use microwave to reheat food

1. Check the user’s manual

This might sound like the last thing you’ll want to read. But, the manufacturer’s instruction will go a long way in ensuring safe usage of the microwave. It includes all the recommended procedures and precautions for the microwave.

2. Make sure that your food is properly covered while microwaving

Covering your food helps circulate steam. This ensures an even spread of heat. Covering your food doesn’t mean that you are going to trap yourself in the air. 

You should cover it with a firm lid, without creating an airtight seal. You shouldn’t completely cover them up in a way that prevents little air from getting into them, nor should you leave them uncovered. 

There are standard covers used for this. You must also ensure that these covers have openings that allow penetration of heat and escape of heat.

3. Sprinkle a little water on your food before covering and microwaving it

The popular use of moist heat and moisture in microwaves is to build up internal steam. This rule might not apply to all types of food. You might not need to add a little water when you wish to heat your French bread. 

You must be very careful with the quantity of water that you use and ensure that they are minimal. The use of moist heat in microwaves helps in the even distribution of heat. Apart from preventing the shrinking of your food, it also destroys bacteria

4. Stick to the required heating time

Understanding the required heating time of your microwave food is one of the difficult learning processes for first-time users. You try to verify the required temperature for each food and the heating time to achieve that.

With constant practice, you will achieve this. However, you can heat or cook your meals in batches. Cook for at least one minute, and check if they are good. You can repeat the process while you take note of the preferred timing for each food.

Nevertheless, these are required microwave temperatures for different meals.

  • Eggs and casseroles – 160˚F
  • Fish – 145˚F
  • Ground Meat – 160˚F
  • Raw beef, pork, lamb and chops – 145˚F

You can use a food temperature to check the food after cooking for one minute.

5. Stick to the standing time

Microwave standing time is the short period of heat recollection. When the oven is turned off, heat generation doesn’t stop immediately. This continues for at least 3 mins till it comes to a normal temperature. It is advised that you allow your food to settle and pass the standing time. This ensures that the cooking process is complete.

CONCLUSION

As one of the important rules on how to use a microwave safely, you must not allow your kids to use the microwave without supervision. 

Plug the microwave directly into the wall socket. This will prevent a fire hazard. If you wish to use reusable containers, make sure that they are microwave safe.

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