Microwaves are great time-savers, but cooking in a microwave is much different than cooking in an oven or on top of the range. Along with following the manufacturer's directions, keep these tips in mind:
  • Be sure to use nonmetal utensils in the microwave.

  • For microwave cooking, cut meats and vegetables in uniform sizes to make sure that they cook evenly.

  • Paper plates, cups, and napkins can be used in the microwave. But don't use foil-lined paper products, paper towels that include nylon or synthetic fibers, or newspaper.

  • When using plastic roasting or cooking bags in the microwave, discard the wire twist tie and use a plastic fastener or a piece of string instead.

  • To ensure that food cooks fully and evenly in the microwave oven, stir food and turn dishes periodically while they're cooking.

  • Remove large bones from meat before microwaving it because the dense bone may keep the area around it from cooking.

  • To get more juice from a lemon or other citrus fruit, pop it in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds.

  • Paper towels around sandwiches, rolls, or other baked goods will absorb moisture that would otherwise make the food soggy.

    A microwave oven can be a useful cooking device.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    If you wrap a sandwich in paper towels before placing
    it in the microwave, it won't get soggy.

  • Potato chips that have lost their crunch can be placed on paper towels in the microwave oven and heated briefly. The towels will absorb moisture and restore the chips to crispness.

  • Thick-skinned foods, such as potatoes, squash, and tomatoes, trap steam during microwave cooking. Pierce the skins before cooking to allow steam to escape.

  • If your brown sugar has turned into an intractable lump, just place a piece of dampened paper towel in the box, close the box tightly, and put the whole thing in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds on high to soften the sugar.

  • Ease the chore of peeling such foods as tomatoes or peaches. Heat for 30 seconds on high, then allow to stand for 2 minutes. The peel will slip off easily.
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