The microwave oven is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Now almost 75% of the world’s population use a microwave oven in their homes either to heat up pre-cooked food or to cook a meal.

 Microwaves are a quick and convenient way to cook food, and have therefore, made life easier and more convenient. However, a microwave oven needs to be used correctly. A uniform temperature of 75 Degrees Centigrade is needed to cook food evenly in a microwave. Microwave ovens can sometimes cook food unevenly and leave "cold spots" where harmful bacteria can survive.

 It is important to cook food at the recommended safe temperature to destroy bacteria and other pathogens that could cause foodborne illness. The Microwaves penetrate the food to a depth of 1 to 1½ inches. It is therefore advisable to cut foods such as meat or poultry into evenly sized pieces if possible, or put larger or thicker items towards the outside edge of the dish. In thicker pieces of food, the microwave doesn’t reach the center, so that area would cook by conduction of heat from the outer areas of the food into the middle.

In a microwave oven, the air in the oven is at room temperature so the temperature of the food surface is cooler than food in a conventional oven where the food is heated by hot air. Therefore, food cooked in a microwave oven doesn't normally become brown and crispy.

To ensure even and uniform cooking, it is advisable to arrange food items evenly in a covered dish and add some liquid such as water.

 Cover the food with a microwave-safe lid or microwave plastic wrap. This will trap the steam and promote more even cooking. The moist heat that is created will also help to destroy harmful bacteria and ensure uniform cooking. Allow enough space between the food and the top of the dish so that plastic wrap does not touch the food. Loosen or vent the lid or wrap to allow steam to vent.

 While cooking meats, it is preferable to make use of boneless meat as bones could hinder the meat from cooking through. Stir, rotate, or turn foods over (where possible) midway through the microwave cooking time to even the cooking and eliminate cold spots.

 Wait until the standing time is over before you check that the cooking is complete. Food continues to cook even after the microwave is turned off.

 It is important to follow the Manufacturer’s instructions while cooking in a microwave as each unit is different.

 It is equally necessary to follow cooking instructions on a product label or the instructions for a recipe.

 If a time range is given, it is always better to start with the lowest number of minutes recommended, then increase the time accordingly as to reach a safe internal temperature.




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