Microwaves: Do’s and Don’ts

There are some basic tenets and rules to follow when you’re microwave cooking. We would hope that you know most of these, but that’s not a guarantee. Using a microwave oven is about as straightforward, fast and convenient as it gets but there are still some myths and misunderstandings to bust, and hot tips to know.

If you want the low-down on all the things you should and shouldn’t do, then read on. For our full range of microwaves, head over to our Cooking section, to browse from top-quality microwave ovens from market-leading brands. With great value prices, free delivery available and quality assured, it’s the best place to update your appliances!

So, What are the Dos and Don’ts for Microwaves?

DON’T put metal in the microwave

One everyone should already be aware of. Putting metal in the microwave is a big no-no. Metal will spark in a microwave oven and if left unattended, will eventually cause a fire. Make sure you don’t do it. If you have children in the house, make sure that they are aware of this rule too.  

DO check on your food

Microwaves achieve the best results if you regularly check, stir and keep an eye on the food. All too often when people are microwave cooking, the outer edges of the food is piping hot but the middle is still cold. Regular stirring and turning sees that this isn’t an issue. Check out our combination microwaves, or microwave grills that offer a more thorough and consistent cook and added features than most standard microwaves.

Microwaving food

DON’T leave your food uncovered

When you are microwave cooking food, if it has liquid or fat in it, make sure you cover it up. It’s best practice to cover anything you’re cooking in your microwave oven anyway, as it will cook quicker and more consistently. Little pockets of moisture can form in your food and when heated these can lead to explosions. For example, pork sausages got their British pet name of ‘bangers’ because of their high moisture content during the war. When cooked, these would explode with a big bang. Covering your food will reduce the amount of times you have to clean the inside of your microwave.

DO follow the instructions of your microwave meal

If you are cooking a microwave ready meal, make sure you have read and followed the instructions. There will be differing cooking times for microwaves of different power levels. A 700W microwave will take longer to cook something than a 900W one, for example.

DON’T be afraid to let your food bubble up/steam

This is especially true of reheating meals. If your food is steaming or bubbling up, this means it’s piping hot and will have been thoroughly cooked. Embrace it! Let your food get piping hot and then let it cool down a bit before eating it.

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DO allow for different cooking times

Different foods will take different amounts of time and power in the microwave to cook properly. If your pasta dish took 4 minutes to heat up in the microwave, that doesn’t mean your soup will too. This relates back to our earlier point of always checking, stirring and maintaining to make sure your food is perfect every time.

DON’T let it get too dirty

Cosmetic appearances aside, letting your microwave oven build up germs and grime is bad news for your gut. The bacteria that can be found in dirty microwaves can cause infections, and create sickness. Wipe it down with a damp cloth every now and then and make sure it’s gleaming.

DO take extra caution when thawing meat

Some people will tell you to never defrost meat in the microwave. These people are wrong. Meat is perfectly okay to defrost in the microwave, you just need to be vigilant. Make sure it’s removed from all its original packaging and check on it regularly. Thin cuts of meat especially will begin to cook if left to defrost in there for too long, and this can cause complications.

DON’T use containers that aren’t microwave-ready

Some plastic containers like salad bowls or food packaging aren’t designed to be put in the microwave and can melt. The smell alone should be enough to put you off, but the clean-up is even worse. Make sure any container you put in the microwave is microwave-ready.

DO leave a gap for your food to breathe

We did mention that you should cover your food, but make sure you’ve left a little gap in your container for your food to ventilate. For example, microwave-ready Tupperware containers can warp and damage if you put them in the microwave with their lid completely fastened. Leave the lid loosely on top with a very minor gap to make sure that doesn’t happen.

For our full range of microwave ovens, head to our Cooking section. Shop our Samsung Microwaves, Bosch Microwaves and our full range of microwaves from a selection of market-leading brands. We have complementary ranges of built in ovens, range cookers, hobs and more for your kitchen. We only stock high-quality appliances from top, market-leading brands and there’s free delivery available across the board. Save money when you buy online today!