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General Tips for Using the Microwave

Microwave energy actually penetrates food and is attracted to and absorbed by the water, fat, and sugar molecules in the food. The microwaves cause the molecules in the food to move rapidly. The rapid movement of these molecules creates friction and the resulting heat cooks the food.


  • Dense foods, such as potatoes, take longer to heat than lighter foods. Food with a delicate texture should be heated at a low power level to prevent it from becoming tough.


  • Altitude and the type of cookware you are using can affect cooking time. When trying a new recipe, use the minimum cooking time and check the food occasionally to prevent overcooking.


  • Food with a non-porous skin such as potatoes or hot dogs should be pierced to prevent bursting.


  • Frying with oil or fat is not recommended. Fat and oil can suddenly boil over and cause severe burns.


  • Some ingredients heat faster than others. For example, the jelly inside a jelly doughnut will be hotter than the dough. Keep this in mind to avoid burns.


  • Home canning in the microwave oven is not recommended because all harmful bacteria may not be destroyed by the microwave heating process.


  • Although microwaves do not heat the cookware, the heat from the food is often transferred to the cookware. Always use pot holders when removing food from the microwave and instruct children to do the same.


  • Making candy in the microwave is not recommended as candy can heat to very high temperatures. Keep this in mind to avoid injury.

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