Home Home & Kitchen Answers to questions about using a microwave oven

Answers to questions about using a microwave oven

by phuong.seo

I. Is microwave use harmful to health?

1. How does a microwave oven work?


How a microwave oven works

Microwaves have the function of converting alternating current into electromagnetic wavelengths, also known as microwaves. Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic wave that can travel through space at the speed of light. Inside the microwave, there is a component called a magnetron that converts electricity into shortwave energy. Microwaves vibrate the water molecules in food, thereby releasing heat quickly. These small electromagnetic waves excite particles in the food, causing these particles to collide with each other, generating heat. Due to the extremely small wavelengths, the impact on the entire food from the inside out makes the food heat up faster than other types of cooking. That’s why food is cooked at such a fast time.

It is worth noting that almost all methods of heating food, including cooking, can destroy or reduce the nutritional value of food. Each method alters the flavor and nutrients in a different way.

2. Are microwaves harmful to health?

Microwaves are not radioactive because radioactive rays are usually very high energy. Experiments show that nuclear fission does not emit microwaves – waves with energies lower than the infrared that each of us is emitting.

In addition, microwaves are not strong enough to stimulate the decay of unstable isotope nuclei (if any) in the air in the furnace during operation. Therefore, to say that a microwave oven is a radioactive furnace has no scientific basis.

The electromagnetic waves produced by microwave ovens are non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation similar to your phone waves but with greater intensity. To prevent possible harm caused by electromagnetic waves (electromagnetic waves are not always harmful).

Microwave manufacturers all design a metal plate around (including in the glass) the microwave, to prevent electromagnetic waves from escaping, ensuring safety for users.

Even so, there are many opinions that they are still harmful even when they are as weak as cell phone signals. However, to ensure the highest level of safety, you should stay away from the microwave for about 30cm because the strength of the waves decreases with distance.

3. Are the nutrients in the food affected when cooking in the microwave?

When food has been cooked, it will reduce nutrients in any way, just to different degrees. Factors that determine nutrient loss are high temperature, long cooking time, and whether you add water (water dilutes nutrients that run out).

Fortunately, microwaves are less affected by these three factors. According to research, compared to other cooking methods, the microwave does not reduce many nutrients.

Food heated by the microwave will heat up very quickly, the processing time is short, so vitamins are usually less destroyed than other cooking methods. Moreover, minerals and water-soluble vitamins (such as vitamin C, vitamins of group B…) will be partially dissolved when boiled, which will lose more nutrients.

The way to retain a lot of nutrients in food is to heat it up quickly, with a short processing time, and limit the amount of water in the food. Microwaves meet these standards.

4. Note when using the microwave oven

Note when using the microwave oven

One thing to consider when using a microwave is that microwaves may not always heat food evenly. Microwaves do direct food heating to a depth of 1 to 1.5 inches (2.54 – 3.81cm), the rest will be reheated by conduction.

Therefore, you can stir or mix the dish before putting it in the microwave to keep the whole plate hot. Besides, you need to remember that when using the microwave, less moisture is needed because the food is less volatile than the cooking process.

You need to be very careful with food containers when putting them in the microwave. Absolutely do not use metal or plastic utensils to store food when cooking in the microwave. Metal objects can cause explosions due to electromagnetic waves.

Plastic containers can create toxins that affect hormones. A prime example is a plastic with BPA which will cause thyroid cancer and obesity. Regardless of the method of reheating, you should not use plastic containers.

II. What foods should not be reheated in the microwave?

What foods should not be reheated in the microwave

1. Potato

Potatoes, after being cooked, if left to cool at room temperature for too long, bacteria that cause botulism will form. Reheating potatoes in the microwave or in the microwave may not get the potatoes hot enough to kill all the bacteria.

If you don’t immediately put leftover potatoes in the refrigerator after eating, you could run the risk of food poisoning if you eat them again the next day.

You should not reheat potatoes in the microwave to avoid the risk of food poisoning

2. Mushrooms

Reheating mushroom dishes is a big mistake and can put you at risk of stomach upset and food poisoning. Mushrooms contain proteins that can be destroyed by enzymes and bacteria if not stored properly.

Specifically, mushrooms that have been left at room temperature for too long, if reheated to eat, can cause you to have an upset stomach. If you really must reheat mushrooms, we recommend reheating mushrooms to at least 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit).

3. Chicken

Not all chicken when reheated will cause poisoning, but the process of reheating chicken properly is not simple.

To ensure the safety of reheated chicken, make sure it is reheated to at least 79 degrees Celsius (175 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill off dangerous bacteria. Furthermore, make sure cooked chicken is kept below 5.5 degrees Celsius (42 degrees Fahrenheit) at all times and do not eat any chicken that has been more than three days old.

4. Eggs

According to many studies and experiments, reheating eggs that have just been cooked not long ago at room temperature can also be dangerous.

Therefore, you should not leave eggs or egg-containing items out of the refrigerator for more than two hours, or more than an hour if the weather is hot. Bacteria like salmonella can multiply very quickly in egg dishes and cause serious food poisoning.

One note is that you absolutely should not boil eggs in the microwave because the oven pressure will explode the eggs, causing danger to you and your family members.

5. Rice

Reheating rice in the microwave is one of the most common mistakes. Rice can be contaminated with a bacteria called Bacillus cereus which produces toxic spores and can become harmless by heat.

You should eat all the cooked rice and not leave the rice at room temperature for many hours. If there is leftover rice and it must be reheated, make sure the rice is reheated very hot.

6. Breast milk or baby food

Breast milk or baby food

Breast milk and baby food can still be warmed, but should not be reheated in the microwave. Nutritionist Susie Garcia said that microwaves can heat food unevenly, causing hot food to burn babies’ sensitive mouths or throats.

7. Seafood

Seafood that is caught fresh and frozen immediately is safer than it is cooked again. Fresh or processed seafood that has been left at room temperature for a period of time may contain pathogenic bacteria, and reheating this seafood may not kill all bacteria. . Therefore, seafood that has been left out of the refrigerator should not be eaten for more than two hours in cold weather and for more than an hour in warm weather.

8. Buffet food

Buffets left at room temperature for hours are breeding grounds for many dangerous microorganisms. Most catering event companies or restaurants will follow strict food safety rules to prevent food-borne incidents. However, food in office buffets or home gatherings may not be strictly controlled. This means bacteria will grow at unsafe levels and reheating may not completely kill the bacteria.

9. Types of fried foods

Different oils will have different heat tolerances. Heating the oil above the safe temperature will produce toxic fumes. Greasy foods should not be reheated in the microwave because the high heat can cause the oil to smoke and create dangerous toxins. It is best not to reheat these foods or to just reheat them at a very low and slow temperature.

10. Carrots

Although carrots can be cooked or reheated in the microwave, raw carrots, especially with their skins on, are potentially dangerous. If carrots are not washed properly, dirt and minerals in the soil can cause sparks in the microwave, also known as arcing, which can cause serious damage to electronics.

11. Chili

Chili peppers contain high levels of capsaicin, which can be flammable. When this substance is exposed to electromagnetic waves in a microwave oven, it begins to smoke and is easily ignited. Fire and smoke emitted from microwave ovens can cause severe skin irritation and burns.

12. Water

Heating water in the microwave seems to be the simplest and most uncomplicated of the options. But studies show that many burns come from microwaved water, especially when handled by children. The electromagnetic waves in the microwave can overheat the water, make the water molecules unstable, and cause violent boiling and even explosion.

Read more: What types of food can you reheat?

III. Can a microwave oven bake cakes?

1. Can a microwave oven bake cakes?

Can a microwave oven bake cakes

With the above great and diverse features, can the microwave oven bake bread? In fact, today, most microwave ovens have a built-in grill function. And these modern microwaves are becoming a very useful and increasingly popular item.

If you want to know if your microwave oven can bake cakes, look to see if your oven has a “Grill” button for baking. This is a mode that makes it easy for you to bake food, such as baking a cake. If your home has a microwave with a double grill on the top and bottom, during the baking process, the food will be cooked evenly and more delicious. You just need to press this button and the microwave oven mode will work. At that time, your cake will be baked in a regular oven.

To bake delicious cakes, the Grill mode of the microwave oven must have a large capacity, about 1500W or more.

2. Should I use the microwave oven’s baking mode?

Advantages of the microwave

  • Save time: If you bake a cake in the microwave, the preparation and baking time are also very fast, the total process can take only 15 minutes to complete.
  • Using the microwave to bake cakes makes it possible for you to make a moderate amount, for a family of 4-5 people without worrying about having too many cakes after baking.
  • Saves kitchen space: If you use a microwave oven with a grill, it will save you the need to buy 2 separate appliances and thus save a part of the kitchen space.
  • If you know how to bake a cake in the microwave, the cake will be soft and fluffy, just like using an oven to bake a cake.
  • Suitable for those who want to try their hand at making cakes but are afraid of spending a lot of time.
  • The price is affordable but the quality is guaranteed, used for many different needs of the family.

Disadvantages of Microwaves

The capacity of the microwave oven is often small, so it is difficult to bake large cakes, the temperature in the oven is often unstable, so the surface of the cake burns unevenly and is as delicious as the oven, especially for thick cakes that need a high temperature. high.

The power of the microwave is small, making the cake not brown evenly. The benefit of a microwave oven is that it can only bake small cakes, but with large size cakes and making a lot of them, it is not suitable because of the limited capacity of the microwave oven. Those who want to do it in large quantities will not be suitable and should choose for themselves a dedicated oven.

Because it can only make a small amount of cake, unlike an oven, you need to measure the ingredients carefully or else the cake will not be delicious.

3. Note when using the microwave to bake cakes

Not all baked goods made in the microwave will taste delicious and will be baked in the microwave. It is best to find out what types of cakes can be baked in the microwave and then apply them.

It is recommended to use porcelain utensils to store cakes made in the microwave oven, with a maximum diameter of 10cm, do not use large cake molds. When using a microwave oven, do not use metal or metal utensils because the metal put into the microwave will cause microwave reflection, causing damage to your microwave oven. In addition, when heating the metal in a microwave oven, it will generate sparks, increasing the risk of microwave explosion, which is dangerous to users.

After turning for 1 to 1 and a half minutes, check the cake once every 10 seconds, if it takes a little longer, the cake will be dry and hard. If the cake is still wet, put it back in the oven for a few more seconds.

Read more: How to clean the oven properly and simply

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