5 bestsellers in microwave cooking
The introduction of microwave cooking technology has made working the kitchen a cakewalk. If you are a not-so-keen cook who is trying their hand at home cooked food, say for a better lifestyle choice or mere experimental reasons, microwave oven cooking can help you hack the game and even sparkle a new interest in your culinary skills. Using this very technology, there are many recipes you can cook in microwave oven in minutes.
These ovens do come with a choice of auto cook menus which can prepare for you delicious gourmet at the ease of pressing a button. But now if you are trying to up your game a notch, and go past ready-to-eat finger foods and instant cup noodles, go for some home cooking recipe books specially written for microwave cooking. Unlike popular belief, a wide range of cuisines and cooking styles can be pulled off with ease and exceptional taste; from grilling and baking, to continental and even heavy Indian preparations. Also, the food prepared will not consume heavy and gaudy spices, and won’t compromise on the nutrients and texture like other heat-cooking styles. Now that’s a winner deal!
To get you started, here is our selection of 5 top selling microwave cooking recipe guides;
Instant Pot Cookbooks“Instant Pot Cookbook” is a series of ultimate recipe compilations, authored by top chefs and celebrity home cooks. Each book written specialises in either a style of cuisine, maturity of cooking, of simply the top picks of home cooked dishes that season. They also guide you with nutrition facts for every recipe in the book.
A Man, a Can, a Microwave- by David JoachimThe “A Man, A Can” series was written with a view that there are a number of dishes which any inexperienced man can well-prepare too. And now with this special microwave cooking edition assures you that these “guy-friendly” recipes will get you to practice fun cooking with boring packaged ingredients as well.
Microwave Mug Recipes- by Julie HatfieldIt just cannot get simpler than this. Julie Hatfield brings to you 50 recipes you can simply cook in a microwavable mug, right on the go... or if you are simply feeling lazy!
Vegan Microwave Cookbook - by Nancy BerkoffNope, nobody forgot about the vegans here. There are a number of food dishes you can prepare with the limited ingredient options of vegan diet, and Berkoff has made it clear that they are definitely worth a try. Non-vegans too can try for themselves how tasty can it finally be to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Microwave Cooking Made Easy – by Sanjeev KapoorAnd lastly something from our very desi celebrity chef, who truly has wanted us to believe for decades now that cooking, can be made easy. This must have book lists many Indian snacks and full course meals you can cook in microwave in just few simple button presses.
Bring home one now, and start experimenting gourmet!
7 smart ways to use your microwave oven
We all know how microwave ovens have helped shorten the time we needed earlier for cooking. But microwave ovens not only help in easy reheating and defrosting of foods apart from their cooking aim, but there are also a number of ways in which these versatile cooking devices can be used.
1. Help juice more pulp
Not just your proteins, but you can thaw your fruits too. Just put your citrus fruits or other items in a small water bath and heat twice for 10 seconds to thaw evenly and squeeze out more juice.
If your oil or honey has crystallized or frozen due to cold, you can microwave it for 30-40 seconds in intervals to obtain a smooth consistency. This is probably the best use of microwave ovens, especially when you use it to dilute the consistency of oil, honey, and cream for beauty routines. They make the product warmer and more comforting, and also easier to apply and be absorbed by the skin.
3. Prepare a heat pad
You can collect some grains in a small sock, like rice, knot it tight and heat it for a minute. It can help with targeted body aches and cramps. You can also prepare a wet pad by soaking hand towel in a water mug and microwaving for 2 minutes. Wet towel heating is highly recommended for cervical pains, and you can simply prepare with this common use of microwave oven.
4. Prepare garnish from herbs
You can take fresh herbs and chop them in tiny pieces, put them in a bowl and heat for 30 seconds. These homemade herbs can be saved for later and added to food as per taste.
5. Squeeze out the dried beauty product.
If your gel-based liners and mascaras have dried out, simply heat them in the microwave for 20 seconds and get the smooth finish just like the first apply.
6. Toast your items
If you are having problem picking out garlic cloves due to moisture, you can roast in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. This will dry the moisture and you can easily pluck out the cloves. This also works with nuts like pistachios, which when heated will crack, and become easier to obtain the nut.
7. Disinfect your accessories
This is a lesser known and uncommon use of your microwave ovens. You can soak in your sponge, brush and even small toy in water with lemon juice or vinegar to disinfect them. You may even add some of it to the used side of your chopping board and heat it for 1 minute.
These top 7 surprising microwave hacks can surely simply your life in unknown ways. Try them now!
Can food cooked in Microwave Ovens harm us
Be it reheating your last night’s leftovers, hurrying up on popcorn during movie intervals, or auto cooking ‘gaajar ka halwa’ for immediate guests, microwave ovens have truly given us some amazing hacks to work the kitchen. But a lot of speculation goes around if food cooked in microwave ovens is safe for our consumption? To understand this, we must study how these wonder devices work in the first place.
How do they work?
These new age ovens don’t use any heating coils, grills, or steamers to process our food. Rather they have an instrument called ‘Magnetron’ inside them which is a microwave generator. These are electromagnetic waves, just like radio waves and infrared waves; just of different wavelengths. The microwaves generated from the Magnetron bounces on the reflective insides of the ovens, directed towards the food. These electromagnetic waves’ have a particular wavelength which affects the asymmetrical molecules in the food, namely water, and other molecules with a positive and a negatively charged end.
These affected molecules begin to vibrate when disturbed. They generate friction among one another which leads to thermal energy. Hence unlike OTG machines, i.e. Oven-Toaster-Grills, which employ external heat, microwave ovens heat the food from the inside.
When does cooking harmfully affect food?
Any style of cooking, be it gas, induction, or oven, doesn’t explicitly ‘harm’ or destroy the essential nutrients present in the food. It is just high temperature or over cooking which can burn the food and break down the minerals in it. Even when we boil vegetables, so much of the nutrients are drained out of the food, compromising on taste and texture. Vitamin-C present in citrus foods is the most susceptible to breaking down in heat. Cooking time in microwave ovens is the least when compared to any other style, say baking, boiling or steaming, consequently ensuring lesser time to heat exposure and successfully retaining even Vitamin C, and other essential minerals.
More so, the electromagnetic radiation stops as soon as one plug out the oven and no radiation are present in the food; and definitely not after you take it out.
So, what’s the verdict?
Till the time you maintain the cooking temperature and not overcook the food, microwave ovens can provide a safe way to cook nutritious food.
features to look for in microwave ovens
If you are looking to buy the best microwave oven and have visited some stores or researched online, chances are you are already overwhelmed by the microwave oven types and models available on sale in the market and are wondering which the right model for your cooking needs is. Apart from power efficiency, price range, capacity, and warranty, there are so more important features to look for when making an important and informed purchase. Primarily, more than the sale schemes and post-sales promise, one must take a note of what features are good to have in a microwave oven, and if they are required by you.
Here is a list of some of the most important features to look for in your microwave oven model;
1. Auto Cook menu
This feature is the very basic feature your microwave oven must have. Some foods like instant noodles, popcorns, and other items require a specific set-amount of heating time at a constant temperature. For people on a run, to trying their hand at home cooking for the first time, this feature can be a handyman, as well as a lifesaver.
2. Multi-stage cooking
Some high-end ovens come with a set of preloaded heating programs as per the recipe you desire to cook. Just place your food item inside the oven, and the program will automatically alternate between various temperatures at different times, depending upon the stage of cooking. This is an ideal cooking tool for Indian foods like curries and ‘halwas’ which at a particular interval may require high temperatures to cook, and at other intervals would need to be set at a low simmer.
It is not safe to heat an empty microwave without any food for the microwaves to be targeted upon. But some dishes, especially bakery items, require the cooking process to be started only after meeting a required temperature mark. For these purposes, it is good to have a preheating mechanism.
Be it defrosting a big chicken before dinner preps, or thawing chilled fruits to juice them with ease, all you have to do is enter either the weight of the food, or the estimated time required by the food to defrost, depending upon the model. This can be extremely handy and save upon hours in your pre-preparations.
It is a very basic feature which helps you cook your food without any auto cook menus in your oven. Simply enter the time you estimate your food needs to cook inside the microwave oven.
If you are a big fan of barbeques and grilling, you should look for a model with this feature. While using this mode, place the special grilling racks inside, and simply cook the dishes you relish the most.
7. Child lock
This is a must have feature you need in your microwave oven if you have small and curious kids at home, who are likely to press some colorful buttons on the control panel and auto start your device without any food inside.
8. Operating control panel
Lastly, be sure your device model has an easy-to-operate control panel which displays out all functions, feature, and programs in an informative manner.
how microwave ovens changed our food for good
Can you recollect how the need for ‘quick fixes” has impacted our lives? Probably not, since we have grown so accustomed to them in our every-day routines. So look at it this way; what if you couldn’t reheat your last night’s leftover in seconds, or had to wait for hours if you forgot to get the chicken out of the freezer in time, or just were out of popcorn and needed pressure cookers to prepare some in the short movie intervals.
Well, now that we have your attention, one can make out what revolution this smart cooking technology of microwave ovens hasbeen brought about in our kitchens. It is easy, fast, efficient and convenient cooking on the go. The food prepared is very safe, hot, and nutritious too. One of these devices can be found in most ofthe modern kitchens all across the globe, and the shorter cooking time and ease in usage has significantly affected the life of working professionals and people who are always on the clock.
Most importantly, it has revived the practice of cooking meals at home, and that has a major impact on the lives of young professionals. The importance of home cooked food is well known and widely understood. No matter how many food joints are ready to deliver your favourite lip-smacking dishes right at your doorstep, such food is not the most nutritious, hygienic, and doesn’t help maintain a balanced diet. Contrasting to that if we compare the benefits of home cooking, the food we prepare at home is always prepared with more care and consciousness, and definitely helps define a routine.
The convenience of microwave cooking has not only made people more aware of their own diet, but also made the tedious task of self-preparation a breeze. After all, no matter how healthy something might be, we tend to neglect that in defence of our convenience. Making absolutely delicious gourmet out of boring packed ingredients wouldn’t have been so fun if it wasn’t for microwave cooking. And more than that, with its handy features like timer, auto cook menu, defrost and multistage cooking, not to forget the bundled recipe books, from simple cooking to complex, everything has been taken care of.
Now the only thing which will stop you from home cooking is going to be your own mood of the day. Since, no more excuses will be given room. Microwave cooking has simplified our lives just for the good!