World War 2 gave birth to numerous clever and valuable innovations. And one such innovation is an appliance that is increasingly making its way into Indian kitchens - the microwave oven.
Operating on the principle of electromagnetic radiation, microwave oven (or microwave, as it is commonly called) warms up your food in a jiffy. However, there's more to it. With the advancement of technology, a number of features have made cooking, baking and even grilling possible in a microwave. But more features meant more instructions and MORE buttons on the appliance. And this simple task turned into a confusing and intimidating one.
Thankfully for us, chef Gautam Mehrishi has got it covered. Scroll through to learn how to operate a microwave like a pro!
What’s it made of?Take a peek inside the oven and you will see a steel body with a heatproof glass plate at the base. The plate is supported on a detachable ring which has little wheels on the sides that allow rotation.
Why use it?
Predominantly a microwave is used for reheating food. But recipes requiring baking, grilling, roasting or cooking can also be prepared in microwave ovens that come with advanced features.
But first…some important things to keep in mind
There are strict dos and don’ts when it comes to the kind of vessels that you can use in a microwave. Special heatproof, microwave safe, food grade utensils are the only kind that you can use in a microwave. In most cases, you will get these utensils complimentary with the microwave. Metals like steel, copper or aluminium should never be put in the microwave as the radiation rays may reflect and cause sparks.
How to use it?
Let’s take the example of a vegetable gravy that requires reheating. Transfer the gravy in a microwave-safe bowl and place it at the centre of the glass plate inside the microwave. The next step is to set the timer. Depending upon the quantity of your food, the heating time should be set.
What happens now?
Once you set the timer, the plate inside starts revolving. The electromagnetic rays reach the food. The water molecules inside the food start vibrating which causes friction and generates heat. Always make sure to press the stop button before you take out your piping hot food from the microwave. To avoid the steam from gushing over you always stand away from the opening of the microwave door. Oven mitts and kitchen towels come very handy while handling the hot utensils.
Can baby bottles be sterilised in the microwave?
The answer is a big fat NO. Baby bottles are made of plastic which is an extremely good conductor of heat. The risk of plastic melting is very high. Alternate sterilization techniques should be used to disinfect the bottles.
Difference between microwave and convection oven: explained
The major difference between the two is the source of heat. A microwave generates heat by releasing electromagnetic radiation while a convection oven has a heating element at the back, which exudes warm air. In the latter's case, there is a more even distribution of heat throughout the oven which is an ideal requirement for baking. A lot of microwave ovens in recent times have both the features combined in one single unit.
Cleaning the microwave the right way is equally important. Switch off the microwave and remove the plug. Open its door and let it cool down. Remove the glass base plate and with a moist cloth clean the insides. Wipe again with a dry cloth and keep the door open until the inside is completely dry.
Still unsure? Scroll up and watch Chef Gautam Mehrishi demonstrate simple ways to operate the microwave.
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