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Are You Making These Microwave Mistakes?

By Sara Butler

Ding, ding, ding -- your really hot bowl full of cold food is ready!

Microwaves have their pros and cons. They're a fast way to heat and cook food, but they're also a way to improperly cook and heat food if you're not aware of what you're doing wrong. According to the United States Census Bureau, 97 percent of homes have a microwave. But how many of those homes are using their microwaves the right way? Here are some common microwave mistakes you should avoid while cooking your food.

Mistake No. 1: Not Playing with Your Food

Microwaves heat your food from the outside in, increasing the temperature on the outside far faster than the temperature on the inside. That's how hot spots happen. The outside can be piping hot while the inside is ice cold.

Your mom may have warned you not to play with your food, but you have permission to do just that when cooking with a microwave. Stir your food or flip it when you're using the microwave to ensure even heating.

Mistake No. 2: Not Covering Your Food

Covering your food in the microwave helps to keeps splatters and spills to a minimum while also ensuring a more even heating. Putting a lid on it helps to hold the steam in and cook your food more evenly -- and maybe even a little faster too.

Mistake No. 3: Not Using a Microwave Safe Container

This may come as a surprise, but not all dishes are safe for the microwave and neither are containers food comes in. Make sure to use only microwave-safe containers and dishes for your food, otherwise, you risk burning yourself on too-hot plates or exposing your food to unsafe chemicals as it cooks.

Remember, the microwave doesn't discriminate -- it heats everything, including the vessels your food is in.

Mistake No. 4: Going Heavy Metal

Metal has no place in a microwave. This is because certain metals can damage your microwave, sometimes even resulting in a fire. If you care about your microwave at all, not to mention your house, then remember to remove any metal from what you're cooking before you hit the start button.

Your microwave is a great tool for home cooking but understanding a few basic rules will make it a safer appliance in your kitchen! Don't forget to read the manufacturer's instructions when you get a new microwave and follow them to cook your food the right way.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Long Beach, Calif.

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