You know how sometimes you microwave food and it ends up smelling like something you made last week?
No one wants broccoli vaguely reminiscent of burnt popcorn or that super greasy pizza.
But as much as you clean it, you just can’t get rid of that darn stinky odor in the microwave.
Frigidaire passed along this odor-removing solution that requires little more than pushing buttons.
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
grated lemon peel
several whole cloves
Combine all ingredients together in a glass measuring cup and boil for several minutes in the microwave on full power. Allow the hot mixture to sit in the microwave until cool (this is when the magic happens).
Despite the sensational headline, yes, it is safe to microwave foods.
But some methods of microwave cooking and reheating can be harmful or downright dangerous.
This becomes especially important knowledge for college students now away from the watchful eye that kept them from blowing up the house for 18 years. I stopped flammables from going in a microwave more than once as an undergrad.
For the rest of you, here are some basic DOs or DON’Ts (adapted from the USDA and Food Network) :
DON’T put metal in a microwave…ever. You will cause sparking and potential damage. This includes aluminum foil and those portable coffee mugs.
DO microwave by number. Avoid plastics No. 3, No. 6 and No. 7, as these could leach chemicals into your foods. Plastic wrap and Styrofoam can also melt. Transfer to a different container and use a glass lid to cover the food.
DON’T heat acidic foods, like tomato sauce, in plastic containers.
DO choose containers made of glass or ceramic or plastic that’s made for microwaving.
DON’T cook large cuts of meat on full power. Instead, use medium power (50%) for longer periods to ensure heat reaches the center without overcooking outer areas.
DO stir or rotate food halfway to eliminate cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive.
There’s really no harm in using vinegar in your dishwasher, but I suggest only using it in lieu of rinse aid between trips to the store. Rinse aid should be called drying aid, and modern dishwashers need it to properly dry dishes.
2. Microwave cleaner – Heat a microwave-safe cup of vinegar in your microwave and let it boil, so the steam can loosen up all the stuck-on splatters for a minute or so. Wipe down the interior immediately, while it’s still moist inside — no scrubbing necessary!
3. Clothes washer cleaner – Just like your dishwasher, your washing machine benefits from a regular vinegar cleaning. Run a cup through an empty cycle using the hottest setting.
4. All-purpose surface cleaner – Equal parts vinegar and water work well for cleaning windows or glass. Also try the solution for an all-natural way to clean the inside of a refrigerator. I hear you can use it to clean stainless steel as well, though, I recommend using a stainless steel cleaner for a shiny, polished finish.
5. Coffee maker cleaner – This tip, learned from my mom, is among my favorites. I try to run a full coffee pot of vinegar through my coffee maker (remove any coffee or filter, obviously) every few months. It’s satisfying to watch all the grime flake off into the pot, and you’ll be amazed how much faster your coffee brews without all the sediment slowing it down!
6. Stove top and oven cleaner – I’ve already blogged about using a paste of vinegar and baking soda for oven cleaning, but that same paste can be applied to your stove top to scrub out those stubborn brownish discolorations and food splatters.
Have you ever tried cleaning with vinegar? What other household cleaning remedies have you tried?
When appliances claim to “revolutionize” kitchen design, skepticism is only fair — except in the case of Sharp’s microwave drawer.
Microwave placement poses a problem (it’s an ongoing series for a favorite blogger of mine, Sarah Lloyd of Kitchen Clarity) for many concerned with the aesthetics and functionality of their kitchen.
Standard microwaves easily clutter an otherwise beautiful design, especially within kitchen islands and open-plan kitchens, when placed near eye-level.
And — I’m sorry — but who in her right mind would put a standard microwave under the counter? Retrieving hot and possibly heavy items while bent down begs for trouble.
So when Sharp introduced the first microwave drawer, it truly did offer a solution to what many consider a problem.
The newest 24″ microwave drawer and 30″ microwave drawer models expand capacity (now 1.2 cu. ft and tall enough for 20 oz. coffee cup) within their existing footprints and include new, feedback-driven functions:
Short cut options such as “Warm” to heat maple syrup and dessert sauces
Keep Warm function maintains the serving temperature for up to 30 minutes
Soften and Melt functions keep me from having to press my face up to the microwave glass to make sure I don’t make a buttery mess all over my microwave
Sensor Cook settings expanded to include popular items such as brown rice and sweet potatoes
Defrost options available for both boneless and bone-in poultry
Opens quietly and smoothly (minimizes messes!) automatically at the touch of a button
I’d personally love to have one of these. I use my microwave mostly for defrosting meats, steaming veggies and softening ingredients while cooking, so I like the idea of keeping it tucked away yet accessible.
What do you use your microwave for?
Does the idea of a microwave drawer seem like a novelty or practicality to you?