MICROWAVES are a handy kitchen appliance that make life so much easier – but did you know you're most likely using yours incorrectly?
According to consumer watchdog Choice, there are eight main mistakes people make that can ruin your food and your kitchen.
Placing food inside incorrectly
One common mistake many people make is placing their food incorrectly inside the microwave.
According to the experts, there should be ten centimetres around the sides and 20 centimetres on top to allow for enough airflow.
Not only will this help to heat up your food thoroughly and evenly, but it will also stop the microwave from potentially overheating and malfunctioning.
Not covering up food
The second most common error is not covering food, which is not only messy but can cause your food to cook unevenly.
More often than not, not using a lid will leave your food cold in some places and boiling hot in others. Popping on a lid will help the meal heat up more thoroughly.
Not cleaning it properly
Not cleaning up messes in the microwave is not only gross, but it can also stop your food from cooking properly.
"Leaving food splatters in your microwave will slow down the cooking time as it cooks the residue as well as the intended food," Choice microwave expert Fiona Mair said.
She suggests placing a few slices of lemon in a bowl of water into the microwave on high for two minutes and then cleaning the inside with a microfibre cloth.
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Buying the wrong microwave
A typical blunder is purchasing the incorrect microwave. It's critical to investigate the type of appliance you require to avoid any issues.
Putting hazardous materials in the microwave
You must make sure to never put materials such as Styrofoam and plastic packaging in the microwave. This type of packaging can be hazardous and leak chemicals into your food when heated.
Paper bags and foil can also cause a fire.
Defrosting meat incorrectly
Choice expert Rebecca Ciaramidaro says it's important to pay attention to when your microwave beeps mid-cycle while defrosting meat.
"It's your signal to turn the meat over and remove any sections that are already thawed out before they cook," she said.
Rebecca also recommends freezing meat in "smaller quantities to make defrosting more efficient".
Not using it enough
The seventh mistake most people make is not using the microwave enough.
"The best advice I can give is read your microwave's instruction manual. You will be amazed at what it can do to save you time in the kitchen," Fiona said.
Using incorrect power settings
Using the incorrect power setting when reheating food should also be avoided.
While it may take longer, they recommend using a lower power level when reheating foods. While this might take longer, you will most likely have a 'better result'.
The eight most common microwave mistakes people make
1 – Use the wrong power setting
2 – Only use it to reheat and defrost
3 – Heat food in hazardous packaging
4 – Defrost meat incorrectly
5 – Buying the wrong microwave
6 – Not keeping it clean
7 – Not covering food
8 – Putting it in the wrong spot
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