How to use your microwave oven: our top tips

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Knowing how to make the most of your microwave will make your life so much easier.

The microwave oven is the perfect appliance for those looking to optimise time without complicating life further. It’s easy to use, versatile, compact, and doesn’t consume much electricity. The microwave oven can be used for a variety of different needs and is equipped with lots of useful features thanks to the latest technology.

The power of the microwave oven

Yes, the defrost setting and food heating setting are two classics that will save you time. But the latest microwave ovens come with a whole host of additional features, such as automatic cooking programmes, steam cooking modes, and temperature settings for even, uniform results. We recommend choosing from Hoover's wide range of microwave ovens depending on your needs before following our simple but very useful tips.

What not to put in your microwave oven

Let’s start with what not to put in your microwave oven:

  • Uncovered liquids. If left for too long at high temperatures, liquids such as gravy, sauces and drinks will splash and splutter. You’re best off covering them with a lid to prevent your microwave from getting messy
  • Unpeeled foods. We’re talking eggs, potatoes, grapes, tomatoes, sausages, etc... We don’t recommend putting these foods in the microwave. Why? Because they are at risk of bursting. It might be worth pricking the surface of foods before cooking them to avoid any nasty surprises
  • Chili peppers should not be heated in your microwave because microwaving them releases a chemical compound known as capsaicin into the air, which can be very unpleasant to ingest

Microwave containers: how to use them

Pay attention to the materials your microwave containers are made from. It is worth avoiding:

  • Aluminium and thermos, as they can cause dangerous sparks
  • Paper and polystyrene. We recommend transferring takeaway foods into a different container
  • Plastic bags. Make sure your plastic containers are microwave-friendly before use

So, what are some of the best microwave containers to use? Material can be just as important as shape (round containers guarantee a more uniform end result).

  • Glass is perfect for any foodstuff, especially Pyrex glass
  • Silicone is extremely versatile and is great for cooking popcorn, cupcakes, fondue and omelettes
  • Gnocchi, polenta and cous cous cook very well in terracotta dishes
  • A must-have in any home kitchen is a crisp plate, which gives bite and a flawless golden finish to dishes such as pizzas, chips and pies

Turntables and greaseproof paper: how to use them

Can I use my microwave without its turntable? Can I put greaseproof paper in the microwave? These are two very common questions when it comes to the microwave oven.

If your microwave has a turntable, it is worth using. Why? Mainly because it allows radiofrequency power to be distributed evenly. We also recommend placing containers and dishes on an easy-to-clean base. But what about greaseproof paper, is it safe to use in the microwave? Yes, greaseproof paper is perfect for both defrosting needs and cooking food en papillote.

Thanks to our top tips, using your new microwave oven is bound to be child’s play!

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