Consumer Articles

Microwave Oven Safety, Usage Tips & Trends

Date: May 19, 2009

Courtesy of U.S. Cold Storage

Practically everyone uses the microwave these days. Its speed fits perfectly with today's busy life-style. And the frozen food department in your supermarket has kept pace with the times by providing an unlimited variety of frozen foods you can microwave, from breakfast to dessert. Frozen foods and the microwave offer delicious and nutritious meals in minutes.

Microwave Do’s & Don’ts


Do's
  • Do read package directions carefully. Different brands have different cooking specifications.
  • Do read recipes ahead of time. If you plan to use frozen food as an ingredient, the recipe may call for a thawed product.
  • Do be aware of whether your microwave oven has a longer or shorter cooking time than the average.
  • Do use frozen food immediately if it has thawed but is still cold to the touch. Be aware that the cooking time will be much shorter than specified on the package.
  • Do teach youngsters who like to cook how to correctly and confidently use the microwave oven. Keep in mind that although containers are not heated by microwaves, they will absorb heat from hot foods.
  • Do buy frozen foods in dual oven trays and cooking bags so they can be cooked easily in the microwave.
  • Do place cooking bags on a microwave-safe plate and cut a slit in the bag's center, or pressure will build-up and the bag may burst.
  • Do keep your microwave oven clean, since any drippings affect the efficient operation of microwave energy. A messy microwave oven will cook more slowly and unevenly.
  • Do consult your microwave's directions for any limitations on heating TV dinners in metal trays. 
 
Don'ts
  • Don't add an extension cord to the microwave oven's own cord. Microwave ovens should use a separate 110 grounded circuit.
  • Don't deep fat fry foods or cook foods from home preserving since the microwave's temperature cannot be controlled properly.
  • Don't use plastic wrappings from purchased refrigerated foods in a microwave oven since they may melt.
  • Don't connect other appliances to the same circuit. Reduced electrical energy affects cooking and may harm the microwave.
  • Don't use unsafe/non-microwaveable containers. Either the containers or the microwave itself may be damaged.