What are some handy tips with a microwave oven?

  • Do not use metal, foil dishes, dishes with a metal trim, porous earthenware or melamine in the microwave.
  • To test if a dish or bowl is suitable for microwave use:
  • Put a glass containing about half a pint of water into the dish and cook on full power for 2 minutes. If the water is hot and the dish cool, the dish is suitable. If the dish is hot but the water is still cold, do not use it in the microwave.
  • Prick and heat oranges, lemons and grapefruit for about 10 seconds. They will give more juice when squeezed.
  • Roast peanuts, almonds or coconut. Spread out on a plate and cook on full power for about 5 minutes, checking and stirring every minute.
  • Make stock by putting bones (or a chicken carcass) and some vegetables in a large bowl. Add some herbs and a little salt and pepper. Cover with water and cook at full power - about 20 minutes for the chicken or up to 40 minutes for beef, lamb or ham bones.
  • Poppadums or pita bread can be puffed to perfection in 20 seconds or so.
  • Bring cold foods to "room temperature". Ice cream, butter, cheese, marzipan etc will benefit from 10 seconds at full power.
  • Gelatine can be dissolved quickly. Put liquid in a cup, sprinkle on gelatine and cook for about half a minute.
  • Melt chocolate at full power, about one minute per ounce.
  • Honey gone hard in the jar? Take off the lid and give the honey a couple of minutes at full power.

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