Microwave ovens: How chefs use the unsung hero of the kitchen

Ten things you might not know your microwave is good at, from cooking rice to peeling chestnuts

In practice, many of us use our microwaves for little more than heating ready meals or making porridge and popcorn. Photograph: Getty

In practice, many of us use our microwaves for little more than heating ready meals or making porridge and popcorn. Photograph: Getty

Do you consciously avoid standing near a microwave oven in case some of its energy leaks out, or wait a moment before putting your hand in to retrieve something you’ve just nuked? You’re probably not alone, but the good news is your fears are misplaced.

“Microwave ovens are extremely safe. They are tested to release no more than 1/100th of the energy transmitted by your cell phone. If you are worried about microwave ‘radiation’, give up your mobile first,” says Prof Greg Blonder, professor of design and product engineering at Boston University.

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