It actually came across to me this week that all of us have been
our microwave ovens(Radaranges if you prefer to brand name call your
appliance, excuse, let me grab a Kleenex to wipe my eye!)
And it's not entirely our fault. Microwave ovens are default at the
factory to run at their highest power "nuking" level. Level 10.
Max. Whatever your's calls it. We just throw something in the
microwave, set the cook time, and press Start. Presto, whammo, a few
minutes later out comes *something* hot enough to put the SUN to
shame! It will probably take more time to reach a safe edible
temperature than it took time to nuke it!
My proposal to microwave manufacturers: Redesign entirely the range
of power settings you provide on these things. Leave "Defrost"
it does serve its purpose. Have as many power levels as you desire(I
think 5 are plenty Low, Low-Med, Med, Med-High, Max), but set the
default level to "Normal". Normal on my microwave would = "5" or
"Medium" on current appliances. 10 or "Max" would be an optional
setting you would have to select for the oven to run at it's most
powerful-continuous. In the instructions would have to be longer
times than we are accustomed to with microwaves. Longer than we are
used to, but still faster than a stovetop, even than the newer
glasstops. On medium you would also hear the magnetron(the heart of
the oven) cycle on and off the way it should. This would allow
but more even cooking of the food than continuous running of the
magnetron(Max) or 10. Something you wouldn't get at Max even with a
carousel turning your food.
Having Maximum output level as the default on microwaves is just a
lousy idea. Too many people don't consider just how strong these
ovens are compared to models of just a decade ago. They select 5 min
of cooking time and come back to food that is crisped around the
and so hot you have to wait 20mins to cool down to eat it!
Until then, make it a habit to select a mid-range cooking level(4-6,
or Medium, however it is labeled on your personal microwave oven),
add an extra minute or two to your cooking time, depending on what it
is you're cooking and how much. If you are boiling water for tea,
obviously you know what level to use for that. :) I personally NEVER
use anything higher than Medium, or 5, for anything I cook in my
microwave, unless I'm boiling up water. For packaged microwaveble
frozen food, I also cut back, to Med-High even if the instructions
call for High. But then again, my suggestions pertain more to *real*
food, not processed ready-for-mic stuff.
You'll also save energy and extend the life of your microwave oven,
and yield better tasting food.