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How to use a microwave oven effectively and safely

6 minute read |

Microwave ovens are a real game changer in the kitchen. They enable you to enjoy perfectly cooked and piping hot food within minutes. In this guide, Electrolux Indonesia will show you how to use your microwave oven in general and explain some specific usages you may not know about.

We all know that microwave ovens can be used to reheat previously cooked meals, but that’s where most of us stop. Some people also use the microwave oven to defrost frozen foods, but did you know you can bake a cake and cook rice with it as well? Read on and find out how.

How to use your microwave oven to heat food

Note that the functionalities and buttons your microwave oven offers will vary depending on the make and model of the microwave oven you’ve purchased. For the purposes of this guide, we will refer to the most common features of Electrolux microwave ovens.

1. Familiarise yourself with your microwave oven

Before you start using your microwave oven, read the user manual. It will explain in detail which functionalities are available to you and which best suit your purposes. Always follow the instructions in the user manual.


Here are some common functionalities of a microwave oven:

Microwave oven functionalities When to use
Defrost Use this program or setting to thaw frozen foods before cooking them
Reheat Use this program to heat previously cooked food that has been stored in the refrigerator
Grill Use this program to cook meats and other foodstuffs to a perfectly crispy finish

Place the food in the microwave oven

2. Place the food in the microwave oven

After having plugged in your appliance, it’s time to get cooking. Make sure to use a microwave oven-safe dish and place your food in or on it. Then place the dish in the centre of the rotating plate inside the oven.

It’s a good idea to cover the dish to prevent food from drying out or spraying and soiling the inside of your oven, but make sure not to heat food in an airtight container. Instead, use a specially designed microwave cover.

3. How to heat food in the microwave

Let the program you chose based on the user manual run its course. If you must check on the food while it’s being heated, press the stop button or door opener, depending on the appliance.

How to heat food in the microwave

4. Remove the food

Be careful, since the dish will be hot. Use oven mitts to remove the dish from the microwave oven and enjoy your food.

>>> Read more:
Frequently asked questions about microwave ovens

How to bake a cake in your microwave oven


You don’t need a convection microwave oven to bake a cake. A normal microwave oven can do the job just fine. However, there are some small differences when compared to baking with a full-size oven.

If you have a convection microwave oven, let it preheat and place your cake batter inside in a microwave oven-safe container. The cooking time will be slightly reduced by around 25% when compared to a regular oven, so make sure to adjust your planning.

When baking with an oven-safe regular microwave oven, place the batter in a microwave oven-safe container and put it in the microwave. Then, bake it for 8-10 minutes on full power for a full-size cake.

How to bake a cake in your microwave oven

How to cook rice in your microwave oven

While rice is a real staple food around the world, cooking it on a stovetop can be tiresome. You need to be watching your pot the whole time to regulate the temperature, and there’s lots of cleanup involved. So while it may sound strange, hear us out when we say the microwave can do it for you.

How to cook rice in your microwave oven

Clean the rice and put it in a microwave oven-safe container

Add about 2 cups of water for every cup of rice you use. The amount of water varies depending on the rice you use. Make sure to check the cooking instructions for your rice. Make sure that the container is big enough, since the rice will expand while cooking.

Cover the container with a lid

Make sure the lid still allows the steam to escape. Some retailers even sell specially designed rice cooker containers for the microwave that come with little holes in the lid.

Set your microwave to the right power

Microwave the rice at 900W for 5 minutes, then reduce the power by 50% and microwave for another 15 minutes. Then, let the rice rest, still covered, for a further 5 minutes.

Check the rice and cook more if needed

The rice should now be perfectly fluffy. If it’s still a bit hard, microwave it a bit more in 1-minute intervals, checking after every time.

>>> Check out some easy cooking recipes using microwave ovens:

How to defrost food in your microwave oven

You’re looking to cook those steaks, but you don’t have time to let them defrost in the refrigerator? Your microwave oven is here to make your life easier.

  • Choose your microwave oven’s defrost functionality (consult your user manual for its usage) and place your food in a microwave oven-safe container. When you choose the defrost function, your microwave’s power will be reduced, allowing it to defrost your food without cooking it.
  • Refer to your user manual for recommended defrost times, but a good rule of thumb is allowing for 15-20 minutes of defrosting per kg of meat. It’s also good practice to turn the meat over every few minutes to let it defrost evenly.
  • Most importantly, immediately cook the meat after you’ve defrosted it. Don’t leave it for later, since the warm temperatures could leave the door open to bacteria.

3 extra tips on how to use your microwave oven safely

1. Avoid putting metal in your microwave

Metal utensils may create sparks when put inside a running microwave, and these sparks may damage your appliance. Metal racks that come with your microwave oven are the exception, since they’ve been designed to work with your microwave.

>>> Equip your kitchen with
Electrolux essential kitchen accessories

2. Avoid reheating meals twice

If you’ve already reheated food in a microwave, don’t put it back in the fridge and reheat it again. This may allow bacteria to multiply in your food.

3. Avoid microwaving certain foodstuffs:

Foodstuffs not to put in the microwave Why
Whole eggs They may explode from the steam built up inside
Thick sauces Sauces, especially tomato-based pasta sauces, will start popping inside your microwave oven as the steam from inside the sauce tries to escape, covering the inside of your oven in the process
Processed meats Hot dogs and other processed meats may release harmful substances when heated in the microwave

Avoid microwaving certain foodstuffs

Choose the right microwave oven for you

Different models of microwave ovens come with different functions that may offer even more convenient options for the above-mentioned uses. To choose the best microwave oven for you, consider not only the functions you need, but also the size and wattage most suitable for your household.

Our Microwave oven buying guide can help you to find the perfect microwave oven. You can also check out some of our best-selling Electrolux microwave ovens below:

  • Inverter technology cooks evenly and efficiently.
  • Convection function for roasting or baking.
  • AirFry your food for a fried taste with less oil.
  • Convection function for roasting or baking.
  • CombiGrill to grill and microwave in one program.
  • Crispy Reheat restores food’s crispiness and crunch.
  • CombiGrill to grill and microwave in one program.
  • Crispy Reheat restores food’s crispiness and crunch.
  • 10 pre-set programs expertly cook a range of foods.
  • CombiGrill to grill and microwave in one program.
  • Crispy Reheat restores food’s crispiness and crunch.
  • 5 power levels for cooking flexibility.
  • Intuitive menu provides an optimal cooking method.
  • Defrost setting for quick and even food thawing.
  • 5 power levels for cooking flexibility.

FAQs about how to use a microwave oven


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