13 Kitchen Appliances You Are Totally Using Wrong!

Have you ever taken food out of the microwave only to find that half of the food remains cold? Do you wonder why some dishes in the dishwasher get cleaner than others? Is your ice cream too cold when you take it out of the freezer? Believe it or not, there are basic solutions to these problems and they involve learning how to properly use kitchen appliances and gadgets. Here are 13 kitchen appliances that you may be using incorrectly!

  1. The Dishwasher: Loading Incorrectly

When it comes to loading the dishwasher, there is such a thing as doing it wrong. According to the University of Birmingham, which studied the issue, the middle of the dishwasher feels the water spray stronger. That means if you put your dirtiest dishes in the center of the machine, they will get cleaner. The spray is less strong at the edge of the machine, but the detergent is highest there. Experts recommend putting dishes contained protein-heavy food at the edges, since they need more time to soak in water and detergent. Conversely, put carbohydrate-messy dishes in the middle.


  1. The Microwave: Using the Wrong Containers

If you use square containers in the microwave, you’ll often notice that food in the corners gets burnt. It seems like uneven heating is just par for the course with high-energy cooking, but that’s actually untrue. The problem is about the shape of the container. Rectangular containers draw more heat into the corners, resulting in overcooked food in those areas. You’ll get a more even and consistent heat using round containers.


  1. The Blender: Loading It Backwards

There are many ways to misuse your blender but one of the most egregious is by throwing all the ingredients in haphazardly. There is actually a proper order to load up the blender. Always start with the liquid base first, whether it’s juice, milk, water, or yogurt, and then begin with the smallest ingredients. The largest fruit should be on the top of the blender, including ice. This will cut down on stalls so you spend less time opening the blender and stirring it to get it going again.


  1. The Toaster: Ignoring the Settings

The knobs on the toaster aren’t just for toasting your bread to your personal preference. The heat settings actually correspond to what you’re toasting. Rye breads and other heavier items need more time under the heat. The drier the bread, the lower the heat required to toast. Do yourself a favor and read your toaster’s instructions.



  1. The Oven: the Door Can Be Left Open

It’s safest to keep the oven door closed. For most things you do not want to let heat escape. However, this is not the case when broiling. The food will steam and it needs to vent. If you’ve noticed steam coming from the top or sides of the oven, that means you should leave the door open. Just be sure to keep kids and pets clear of the kitchen when the door is open.


  1. The Microwave: Hold the Salt

Using the microwave sparingly is the best way to cook flavorful food, but for those of you who love cooking with the microwave, cut down on how much salt you use. Don’t add salt before you cook in the microwave because it dries out the top of the food when exposed to the microwaves. Add salt after cooking for best results.


  1. The Coffee Maker: Forgetting to Clean It

No matter what kind of coffee maker you use, make sure you wash it regularly – every day! Many people clean the carafe and ignore the other parts. Remove anything that is not attached and also wipe down all the parts that cannot be removed. Otherwise you run the risk of mold.


  1. The Slow Cooker: Opening the Lid


It feels natural to open up the lid of the slow cooker to check on your food and stir the ingredients. However, you should stop doing this, since it lets the heat escape and changes the cooking time. Just let it stay closed until it is almost finished.

  1. The Freezer: Storing Ice Cream Too Deep

It’s understandable to want your ice cream to be scoopable, but don’t raise the freezer temperature too much. A freezer should be set on its coldest setting to keep food fresh. However, always store your ice cream in the door, where the temperature will naturally be warmer.



  1. Small Appliances: Leaving them Plugged In


No, I’m not talking about your refrigerator or stove. It’s the small countertop appliances you need to watch out for in terms of fire. Electric kettles, toasters, toaster ovens and blenders need to be unplugged when not in use. Not only does this reduce the risk of fire, it also cuts your electric bills.



  1. Knives: Holding Them Like a Frying Pan


Your knife is not a tennis racquet or a pan, so stop picking it up by just wrapping your whole hand around it. A knife is a tool and you should hold it more like a pencil. Use your pointer finger and thumb to steady the handle.


  1. The Blender: It’s Not a Food Processor


Many people think that a food processor and blender are interchangeable. Both have blades and grind up food. But there the similarity ends. Blenders have stronger motors and less sharp blades, whereas food processes have slower motors but sharper blades. Blenders are therefore appropriate for foods that you want to be smooth and creamy, like milkshakes, smoothies, or soups. Food processors are best to chop foods that are hard, like nuts. When you want something to be coarser in texture, you should use a food processor.



  1. The Garbage Disposal: Using Hot Water


Don’t run hot water in the garbage disposal! Your hot water can get to 120 degrees, which is way too hot to run over the blades. When you mix food and hot water, t turns the food into a sticky paste. When that paste gets into the disposal it can clog it up. Use cold water to rinse dishes into the dishwasher.


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