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10 tips to master your microwave

Microwave cooking is one of the easiest and fastest ways to prepare food. But it can also be confusing and frustrating, with many people unsure how to use their microwaves properly. Here are 10 tips to help you master your microwave:

1. How do I understand how my microwave works?

The microwave oven doesn't cook food; it cooks the water molecules in your food. The water molecules vibrate and this causes friction between the water molecules and produces heat, which cooks the food.

2. Why do I need to use microwave safe containers?

Microwave safe food containers ensure your food, and the inside of your microwave oven, don’t spontaneously combust. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you can safely use in the microwave. Glass and ceramics such as bowls and plates are usually fine but steer clear of pottery and crystal. Paper towels are also fine to use in the microwave, they can come in handy to cover food to avoid spills or to place under foods like bacon to avoid greasy mess. Just remember to avoid metallic containers or single use plastics at all costs.

3. Why do I need to stir my food when I use the microwave?

There are plenty of things to worry about when you're cooking — but stirring your food while it's in the microwave shouldn't be one of them. That's because the purpose of stirring is to make sure that everything gets cooked evenly. You'll want to stir your food at around the halfway point of its cooking time, especially if you're using a microwave with multiple settings. Microwaves cook from the top down, so if you always stir at the same point in your recipe, you'll make sure that all of your ingredients are properly heated.

 If you don't stir, you could end up with some parts of your meal being overcooked and others undercooked — not exactly what you want when you're trying to enjoy a home-cooked meal!

4. Why does the microwave overcook my food?

Keep an eye on cooking times, especially when cooking in quantity or for something like potatoes which can vary in size so much! If you have a lot of something to cook, break it up into smaller portions and cook them separately rather than trying to cram them all in at once

5. Can I steam foods in the microwave?

The microwave is a great place to cook steamed foods. It's fast, easy and convenient. Stove-top cooking runs the risk of boiling the nutrients out of vegetables if overcooked. When you want to cook some frozen vegetables in the microwave – use a lid! By using a lid, you are trapping the steam and can cook the vegetables in a fraction of the time – this will ensure your food comes out as nutritionally rich as possible!

6. Why do I need to let my food stand after I microwave it?

Microwaves are the fastest way to heat food up but the problem is that the inner layers of food don't get exposed to enough heat to cook them thoroughly. So you need to let your food sit for a few minutes after the microwave beeps so that those inner layers can catch up. The heat will continue to disperse evenly through the food even after you remove it from the microwave, so always give it time to rest. (it’s also so you don’t accidentally burn your mouth!)

7. What is Sharp Sensor Technology?

If you’re constantly confused as to why your foods aren’t coming out right when you use your microwave, then it might be a good time to upgrade. Microwaves have come a long way since the 1960s, both in terms of design and function. Unlike the microwaves of old, Sharp’s range has Sensor Cooking – which takes the guess work out of microwave cooking. By detecting moisture, your Sharp microwave will determine the optimum cooking time automatically.

8. What type of microwave options are available to me?

Sharp have long been frontrunners in the production of advanced microwave technology and as a brand, is synonymous with lasting quality and innovation. Our modern range of microwave ovens come in a variety of sizes and stylish finishes to make a bold statement in any Kiwi home. If you dread the moment you open your microwave door, then it might be the perfect time to shop for a new model that you can rely on for decades to come.

9. How can I learn to love my microwave again?

Cooking with the microwave should be more than reheating old slices of pizza or warming up your morning oats. To breathe new life into your microwave, try experimenting with recipes. Cooking should be creative, and when microwaves afford speedier results, trying new recipes or techniques is easier than ever.

Have you thought about trying to perfect your 2 minute mug cake for when you have unexpected guests? Or using the microwave to prepare your vegetables when your stove is over crowded? There are so many exciting recipes online to try with your microwave and most of them cost very little money and time.

View microwave range

10. Where can I view Sharp’s microwave range?

View our full range of microwave ovens here.

Seamus O'Dare is Sharp's Marketing Coordinator. Originally from Northern Ireland, he has enjoyed travelling the world and developing a passion for digital marketing and content creation.