Microwaves are very useful but you still need to be careful with a few safety tips. While warming food in a microwave, always cover the food with plastic wrap or a cover, leaving some room for steam to escape. The steam that is generated will help to cook the food properly. Make sure to stir the food while you are heating because microwaves don’t heat evenly and you want to avoid cold spots. If you want to cook some food partially in the microwave prior to adding to a dish, cook that dish immediately and don’t leave food half-cooked. And by all means, always use a thermometer to check the temperature in several places to make sure that the safe minimum temperatures for all foods are reached and maintained for the required times.

When you marinate meats, poultry or fish, always do it in the refrigerator. This way you avoid the risk of bacteria growing at room temperature and can marinade the food for several hours or even days to enhance the flavor. If you are going to use some of the marinade as a sauce, never use the portion that is left over from marinading the meat and always keep a portion on the side to use for this purpose. Discard any unused marinade right away. Marinades can become acidic, so never marinate meat in a metal container.

Grilling meats, fish and poultry gives the look of being cooked because of the charring but this may be very deceptive. Make sure that you use a thermometer to check the insides of the food because that is the only safe way to be sure that it has reached the minimum safe temperature. A lot of times, it is a very good idea to zap the food in the a microwave or otherwise partially cook it in an oven or on the stove before you actually grill the meat. This not only reduces the chances of leaving the insides uncooked but also reduces cooking time the the possibility of cooking the outsides too much. However, if you do pre-cook before grilling, make sure to keep the grill pre heated and then finish the cooking immediately. Never leave the pre-cooked food at room temperature for more than a few minutes. Naturally, you don’t want to put the cooked meat into the same plate that held the uncooked meat unless you have thoroughly washed the plate with hot water and soap and dried it completely.