Microwave ovens

Microwave ovens cook, thaw and re-heat food quickly.

These appliances use high frequency electronic waves, similar to radio waves. The waves penetrate the food, causing the molecules to vibrate; the vibration generates heat, up to a depth of 1 1/2 inches, all round. Some models have a sensor to detect when the food is cooked. Combining convection and microwave cooking delivers microwave speed together with the toasted look of conventional cooking.

With a little practice, it is easy to control cooking conditions and get perfect results.

Secrets of the microwave oven

Materials for the microwave: No metal containers at all. Suitable containers should be made of plastic - resistant to heat and suitable for food and cooking purposes- heat resistant glass, earthenware, and some china, with no metal ornaments.

Check it up: How to check if a container can be used for microwave work? Place it empty in the microwave and heat on high for 20 seconds. It should be cold or not warmer than the hand.

Hydrate fruit fast: Forgot to soak the fruit for your recipe? It is easy to hydrate raisins, dries apricots or prunes. It can be done in minutes. Place the fruit in a container suitable for the microwave, cover with water and microwave on high. About 2 minutes will do for raisins, dried figs or apricots may need 7-8 minutes - it will depend on the quantity, size and how dry they are. Don't use this method if your prunes still have the pit, it could explode.