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Just Nuke It


When you’re in a hurry and want to prepare a meal in minutes, a microwave is probably the best option. This innovative invention is quick, easy and convenient… and it’s also almost 70 years old!

Microwave Mania

In 1947, the first commercially available microwave oven weighed in at 750 pounds, stood 5’11” tall and sold for what would be about $53,000 today.

Fast-forward 20 years to the introduction of a countertop model with a much smaller price tag, and the microwave craze was born. Today, you would be hard pressed to find an American home without one.

What Makes Them Tick

Microwave ovens convert high voltage electricity into electromagnetic energy, and vibrate the water molecules in food to generate heat. These microwaves vibrate the water molecules in food to generate heat. The higher the water content, the greater the effect ‒ which is why fruits and vegetables cook quicker than other dry foods.

Microwave Responsibly

Microwave ovens convert high voltage electricity into electromagnetic energy. These microwaves vibrate the water molecules in food to generate heat. The higher the water content, the greater the effect ‒ which is why fruits and vegetables cook quicker than other dry foods.

Microwaves definitely make our lives easier, but they can also make us sick if we use them improperly. Here are some guidelines to keep your family safe:

  • Arrange food evenly in a covered dish and add some liquid if necessary. Moist heat ensures uniform cooking and helps kill bacteria. Lids should be loosened and plastic wrap should be vented so steam can escape.
  • Larger cuts of meat should never be cooked on high power. Select medium power (50%) so the heat can reach the center without overcooking the exterior.
  • Harmful bacteria can survive in cold spots, so stir or rotate dishes midway through the cooking cycle.
  • If you partially cook food using the microwave, transfer it immediately to the stovetop, oven or grill. Never store partially cooked food.
  • Because cooking times vary from one microwave to another, always use a food thermometer to confirm safe internal temperatures. Remember to let food stand before checking internal temperatures since food continues to cook after it is removed from the microwave.

Minimum Internal Cooking Temperatures

  • Beef, veal and lamb steaks, and roasts and chops ‒ 145˚F
  • All cuts of pork ‒ 160˚F
  • Ground beef, veal and lamb ‒ 160˚F
  • Egg dishes and casseroles ‒ 160˚F
  • Leftovers ‒ 165˚F
  • Never cook stuffed poultry in a microwave; cook each separately at 165˚F

 

So, enjoy your microwave oven ‒ and be thankful it no longer weighs 750 pounds.


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