Do we know how to use the microwave correctly?
Nowadays, living in a hurry is the norm, that is why the microwave has become an almost indispensable appliance, since its main advantage is speed. It defrosts, heats or roasts a wide variety of foods at a speed higher than that of a conventional oven, but I wonder if we know how to use the microwave correctly.
The microwave oven is easy to use and very useful for busy people who need to have their food cooked on the spot. In addition, it is ideal to use as a complement to a freezer, since you do not have to be aware of taking things out in advance. With the microwave, food is quickly defrosted and then reheated.
How a microwave works
In a conventional oven, the interior of the oven and the container containing the food are heated. The heat gradually passes to the center of the food. In a microwave oven, these penetrate through the container, directly into the food. The waves vibrate the friction particles in food, creating heat.
The food heats up quickly, but the pan and oven interior are still cool. If the container becomes hot, it is only from contact with hot food. Food is not toasted because it does not stay in the oven long enough.
We should not use metal or aluminum containers in the microwave, since the metal reflects the waves interfering with them. However, we do not need a new equipment for this oven, since the dishes we have will serve us perfectly, as long as they do not have metallic or golden edges.
We will cover the container only if it is indicated in the recipe. Glass or plastic cling caps are used to cover food that needs to remain juicy. We must take special care when removing the lid because we could burn ourselves with the steam that has been condensed.
Using the microwave oven
Cooking with a microwave oven is faster than cooking with a traditional oven. A potato with skin is roasted in eight minutes, but if you have more than one dish in the oven, cooking times are longer, so four potatoes with skin will take twenty minutes to roast.
During microwave cooking, there is no loss of heat, moisture or flavor. Less seasonings are required, especially salt, which hardens the food, so it must be used with care. When we cook vegetables, we must season them and stir them in butter once cooked and drained.
Food reheated in a microwave won't burn or dry out, rice remains loose and light, roast meat stays juicy, and baby food and bottles heat up in seconds.
Once the food has been removed from the microwave, it should be left to rest in its container for a few moments, as the cooking will continue for a few more minutes. The heat continues to penetrate from the outside to the center of the food, as I have mentioned before.
Therefore, it is preferable, therefore, not to cook the food completely in the microwave oven, since it will finish cooking during the minutes of rest, and we will prevent it from being dry and not very juicy.
From the freezer to the table
All frozen foods, at home or commercially, can be quickly thawed in a microwave. It must be done in two stages. We must first defrost this food in the microwave and then let it rest, so that the temperature is uniform, before reheating or cooking it.
Only frozen vegetables can be cooked without counting the standing time, directly from the freezer to the table. This defrosting method is safe and fast and there is no need to remove food from the freezer in advance.
What a microwave doesn't do
A microwave does not offer as many possibilities as a conventional oven. It cannot toast food or make it crisp, nor is it suitable for dishes such as meringues, soufflés, large cakes and fluid doughs.
Adaptation of recipes
Generally speaking, all dishes that are boiled, steamed or baked can be adapted for the microwave oven. Dishes that must be crunchy do not look good without finishing by other conventional means. * Meat-based recipes require less fat and less liquid. * The time of the stews will be reduced by a third. * The sponge cakes and Genoese will contain 25% more liquid and will be cooked in greased containers. * We must stir the stews during cooking so that the ingredients are displaced and thus facilitate cooking.
Until recently, I was quite reluctant to use the microwave, but recently I have discovered that, used well, it is an almost indispensable tool in the kitchen and that it can complement the rest of the electrical appliances that we have. I hope I have dispelled any possible doubts about whether we know how to use the microwave correctly.
Photos | dcpamom, raymccrae, pasukaru76, cote and cbb4104 En Directo al Paladar | Quick microwave brownie. Recipe Directly to the Palate |
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