Nowadays, the microwave oven is a convenient and compact kitchen assistant, present in almost every home. This device makes our everyday life easier, helping to quickly warm up and prepare food. At the same time, microwave ovens are very easy to use, multifunctional and unpretentious in operation. Did you know that in addition to the usual tasks, a microwave oven will help you, for example, disinfect a dishwashing sponge or cook chips, quickly bring the dough to condition or cook delicious and healthy steamed food? It turns out that there are many more pleasant surprises and useful solutions hidden behind its door. Let’s take another look at how to make the most of this kitchen wonder.
Metal in the microwave
Microwave ovens are known to operate on the basis of microwave radiation. These are electromagnetic waves with a length of the order of several centimeters. The passage of microwave radiation through a substance causes it to heat up. Water is primarily subject to this principle, but other compounds are also affected. Therefore, it is dangerous to put a metal object in the microwave, this can lead to the fact that an alternating electromagnetic field creates eddy currents in the metal, which will increase its temperature. The air in the microwave oven will be warmed from the metal surface, which means that its pressure will increase. This can cause an explosion of a certain power. This is the theoretical side of the issue. But in general, microwaved metal objects that have sharply defined edges without chipping do not produce such dramatic effects.
Metal objects with sharp edges or sharp ends, such as pieces of aluminium foil, cause a strong reaction in the microwave — most often sparking. The electric field has such a property that its strength is much greater near the metal blade. Near sharp corners of two metal objects, it can easily exceed the value sufficient to push throughair. In such a strong field, gas molecules between pieces of metal are ionized, a conductive plasma screen is formed, which we see as a spark. Such a spark can travel between two close metal edges or between the edge and the wall of the furnace. In microwave ovens at high powers, sharp metal ends or edges of objects can create a sufficiently strong electric field, a crown forms around them, that is, the so-called fire of St. Elmo – an area of ionized air. Doing so could ignite objects inside the microwave, so never place objects with aluminium foil or sharp metal objects in the oven cavity.
Many people who lead a fast lifestyle cannot imagine life and kitchen without a microwave oven. And probably about the same number of people claim that dishes cooked in the microwave are not so useful and healthy, and the microwave itself serves as a source of harmful radiation that has a negative effect on our health. The harmfulness of microwave radiation, however, is a myth. Studies have shown that the dishes prepared in this way do not undergo chemical changes due to the microwaves passing through the food. Also, a working stove does not significantly affect the health and well-being of the cook: the radiation of electromagnetic waves cannot penetrate outside the oven chamber.
Any glass and china utensil is suitable for microwave ovens, because it is only slightly heated by a hot dish. Earthenware and earthenware is also used, provided that the glaze with which it is coated does not contain impurities of metal compounds. Earthenware contains a certain amount of moisture and can be very hot in the microwave, which must always be remembered and removed from the oven with gloves. In earthenware dishes, food needs to be heated for 2-3 minutes longer than in another, but the food will also cool more slowly.
The microwave can also be used with plastic dishes made of a material that is resistant to temperatures of 65 degrees. When buying plastic utensils, check to see if they are labelled as microwave-safe.
How to avoid overheating?
To ensure adequate ventilation, the back of the oven should be at least 10 cm from the wall, and the distance from the top should be at least 20 cm. It is not recommended to place other objects on the microwave. Experts recommend installing the microwave oven in the kitchen so that it is away from the TV, radio or antenna, because there may be interference in the image and broadcast.
Cleaning inside and out
Many microwaves come with the convection technology so it is very important to clean your microwave quickly and efficiently, you can try an organic homemade mixture that will help you. To prepare it, pour 2-3 glasses of water into a large glass bowl. Take half of the sliced lemon, or squeeze two teaspoons of juice out of it. If you don’t have lemon on hand, add half an orange or half a cup of vinegar instead. Place the mixture in the microwave and run it for 2-3 minutes. Then you can leave the hot liquid inside for 15 minutes – the water vapour will dissolve the dried food residues and, in addition, give the microwave a fresh aroma. All that remains is to wipe the camera with a clean cotton cloth. The same mixture can be used to clean the outside of the microwave oven.