Consumer experts share the microwave mistakes you should never make — so how many are you guilty of?
- Consumer watchdog reveals the biggest mistakes people make with microwaves
- The eight biggest mistakes include defrosting meat incorrectly and not cleaning it
- Other mistakes include placing the machine in the wrong place in your kitchen
The biggest microwave mistakes you should never make have been revealed — including zapping food without a lid and not immediately cleaning up spills.
Consumer watchdog Choise revealed the top eight mistakes to avoid and how the common mistakes can ruin your microwave or make you sick.
The first mistake many people make is putting the handy device in the wrong place.
In reality, it doesn’t matter if the microwave is tucked away in the pantry or sitting on the couch taking up space.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when using a microwave is not covering their food (stock image)
What does matter is the amount of space around it, there should be four inches on the sides and eight inches at the top to allow for adequate airflow.
Failure to do so can be an expensive mistake as your microwave is likely to overheat and malfunction.
The second most common mistake is not covering food which can be messy but can also cause your meal to heat unevenly, leaving it cold in some places and piping hot in others.
Failure to clear clutter is another common problem that can cause your food to not cook properly.
“Leaving splatters in your microwave slows down the cooking time because both the residue and the targeted food are cooked,” says Choice microwave expert Fiona Mair.
Microwave users should also take care to keep grease and grime in their machines for the same reason.
What Are The Eight Microwave Mistakes Most 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 – Do not cover food
8 – Put in the wrong place
Buying the wrong microwave is also a common mistake people make. It’s important to research the kind of device you need and buy accordingly, Choice said.
Not defrosting meat properly can also be a problem, according to the report, and will leave you with partially cooked, partially frozen meat.
Using the microwave’s defrost setting, checking the meat and removing thawed parts and freezing food in smaller quantities is helpful here.
Using materials such as Styrofoam and plastic packaging in the microwave can also be dangerous.
These non-microwave safe containers can leach chemicals into your food when heated.
Using the wrong heat setting is also a problem – because not everything needs to be cooked on a high setting (stock image)
Other materials such as paper bags and foil can cause a fire.
The seventh mistake most people make is not using the microwave enough, according to experts who say it should be used for more than just reheating leftovers.
“The best advice I can give you is to read your microwave’s instruction manual. You’ll be amazed what it can do to save you time in the kitchen,” Fiona said.
The experts also say it’s not recommended to use the wrong power setting – and it’s ineffective to turn the microwave on the highest setting and set it for 30 seconds.
‘It’s best to use a lower power level when reheating food; it may take longer, but you will get a better result.’ And if you’re softening butter or ice cream or letting dough rise, for example, a low setting is all you need,” she said.