Covering food with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap holds in moisture and ensures even heating when cooking in the microwave. When using a microwave to reheat meat, always bring it to at least 160 degrees F. Since foods cook from the outside in, stirring them partway through cooking ensures even heating.
Only use cookware specifically labeled as being microwave-safe. Most paper plates, wax paper and oven-cooking bags are safe for microwave use. Brown paper bags, newspapers, takeout containers with metal handles and foam-insulated trays are not safe to put in the microwave. Metal pans and cold storage containers, such as yogurt cartons, are also not microwave-safe. Never place aluminum foil in a microwave, as it can destroy the machine.
To verify that meats cooked in the microwave come to a safe temperature, use a thermometer. Red meat should reach 160 degrees F, and poultry should reach 180 degrees F. Immediately transfer any partially cooked or defrosted meat to another heat source, such as a grill or oven, after removing it from the microwave. Do not cook stuffed birds in a microwave since they may not cook evenly. Never heat baby foods or formula in a microwave, as doing so can lead to overheating and burns.