Mythbusting With Microwaves – Share Your Cooking Disasters to Win!

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This post is sponsored by Breville and Marmot Inc.

“Wow, I really love how crispy and evenly-heated my food is when it comes out of the microwave”.

Said no one ever.

I’ve had a hate-hate relationship with microwave ovens ever since they were hailed as a revolutionary force in home cooking back in the 1980s. I mean, unless your culinary preferences lean towards soggy food that is still partially-frozen – with surprise pockets of scalding heat – there hasn’t been much to love.

I still remember the first microwave my parents ever bought because it was larger than the studio apartment I rented in Newtown when I moved out of home. If our old Sharp Carousel was the square metre equivalent of Sydney real estate it would probably be worth somewhere in the vicinity of $600 000 by now.

I also remember the apprehension that came with this newfangled technology that could create searingly hot food in mere seconds. In a quirky hangover from the nuclear paranoia of the Cold War days we were all kind of worried that we’d grow a second head or slowly develop prehensile tails, but none of us sprouted additional limbs and microwaves soon became a ubiquitous kitchen staple despite being good for only three things:

Heating up leftovers, making microwave popcorn and reheating cups of tea when you have a newborn baby.

(Actually make that four things: I’ve been on Lite n Easy for the last four weeks so most of my meals are conveniently prepared in the microwave these days. I’ve lost 3.2kg, y’all – YAY ME)

So, when I was asked to test-drive a new microwave that heats evenly and actually makes food crisp, my first thought was “As if”. My second thought was “Oooh, there is an event with cocktails”. My third thought was: “One cocktail contains like 80% of my daily calorie quota. Pfft. Whatevs”.

I was sold. But I was skeptical.

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Enter the Breville Quick Touch Crisp. I took possession of my sexy shiny new stainless steel appliance and had a briefly sober moment when I realised that I had to cook something in it. A recipe. My own recipe. Regular Hugzilla readers will be painfully aware that I don’t “do” recipes. I “destroy” them.

So I did what I always do when I need advice, support, mild public humiliation and general hand-holding: I threw it out to the Hugzilla brains-trust on social media. I like to fancy that Hugzilla readers have higher-than-average levels of general intelligence but – alas – my little social experiment seemed to suggest otherwise.

Here were some of the bewildering responses I received to my request for crispy foods to try out in the Breville Quick Touch Crisp:

  • Sponge pudding
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Risotto
  • Chocolate cake
  • Impossible pie (not even sure what this is – possibly a gee up?)
  • Coffee

Working with that level of comprehension fail was somewhat exasperating, so I was forced to rethink my entire strategy. I decided to go right back to basics, and cook in the traditional way that generations of tired parents have done for their fussier-than-average toddlers:

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I decided on a ham and pineapple pizza and chunky Angus meat pies, straight outta the freezer.

To be honest, I was pretty apprehensive when I took the slices of pizza out of the microwave for the first time. This machine has had over 3000 hours of testing, but it hasn’t encountered me yet. I’ve had over 3000 hours in the kitchen making food turn out in lots of ways it isn’t meant to turn out.

When I took a bite of pizza the first thing I thought was…

**Brand representatives look away now**

HOLY CRAP THIS PIZZA IS ACTUALLY CRISPY!

(Note to self: don’t say “crap” in a sponsored post)

I figured that I’d just been witness to an unprecendented event of sorts, so I thought I’d try my luck with the fussy toddler.

I gave him a piece.

I stood back.

I watched.

HOLY CRAP MY FUSSY KID IS ACTUALLY EATING IT!

(Note to self: refer to previous “Note to self”)

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My kid was eating food! Food that I prepared myself! As far as I was concerned that machine was making miracles happen.

Confidence was running high so I cooked the frozen meat pies for my husband, and hot damn, eight minutes in the microwave and the pastry was as crisp and flaky as if it had come straight out of the oven. His verdict: “the best I’ve ever tasted”. You heard that right here. Something I cooked was “the best”.

And remarkably, everything I’ve tried has heated evenly too, which means no more noshing into big frozen lumps of Lite n Easy mashed potato (it’s as delightful as it sounds).

How the heck does it work? Unlike other microwaves, the Quick Touch Crisp has a grilling element on top and a special crisper pan that goes all Chuck Norris* on the steam that usually turns microwave food soggy.

*errrr…. sort of….

Three enduring myths:

  1. Microwave food is soggy
  2. Microwaves heat food unevenly
  3. Hugzilla explodes everything she cooks

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And check out my starring role* in this video from the event. Yes, they really DID call me an “influential food and lifestyle blogger”. So there. It’s official*.

*errrr…. sort of….

COMPETITION BELOW! Share your epic cooking disaster and go in the running to win one of these babies.

WIN A BREVILLE QUICK TOUCH CRISP!

Thanks to the people at Breville, Hugzilla blog is giving away one of the Breville Quick Touch Crisp microwaves (RRP $449.00).

HOW TO ENTER

Entering is easy. All you need to do is like the Hugzilla Facebook page (so I can contact you) and leave a comment on the blog or Facebook page answering the following question:

What is the worst cooking disaster you’ve ever had?

The most interesting and/or creative answer will win.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. Entries close on September 21st and the winner will be announced shortly after.
  2. The competition is a Game of Skill and chance plays no part in determining the winners.
  3. Entrants must be Australian residents aged 18 years old or over.
  4. The winner will be notified by Facebook and has 5 days to reply and claim the prize.
  5. The owner of this blog takes no responsibility for prizes damaged or lost in transit.
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95 thoughts on “Mythbusting With Microwaves – Share Your Cooking Disasters to Win!

  1. We are soul sisters of cooking disasters. I have too many to name, but my most infamous would be the time in high school home economics when I set pancakes ON FIRE while I was cooking them on the stove. True story. I also do not own a microwave and the oven where we are renting is severally impaired, so I would love something to heat a dinner that doesn’t involve pasta. 😉

  2. OMG – a competition I have a chance of winning. Now, which disaster to share. I have blogged about this one before but I once nuked a pie in a microwave, misreading the cooking instructions. Apparently I was only meant to put it in the microwave for 1.5 mins, not the 15 mins I thought it said. Not surprisingly, disaster quickly followed. Cue much smoke, sparks, a sad, burnt remnant of a pie and a microwave oven that needed to be thrown away because I had literally made it explode. Plus it smelled like a cigarette on acid so it had to go. My husband laughed at me for a week once he got over the annoyance of us having to buy a new microwave. On second thought, maybe I don’t deserve a shiny new microwave oven – I cannot hand on heart promise that I will never do anything similar again!

  3. Because I’m perfect and never have disasters (bahahahahaha!) I’ll share my sister’s: aged about 12 or so she decided to cook microwave rice (this was before those convenient pouch things we’ve got these days). She emptied it into a container, hit start and walked away. A couple of minutes later the smoke alarm went off. I opened the microwave and thick smoke poured out. I peered in: “Did you put water in this?” “Um, no.” #cookingfail

  4. On Saturday I was child free all day and the boys weren’t due back until Sunday and so I didn’t want to go to the trouble of cooking a meal. I had mac and cheese in the cupboard so I was set. I added 2 extra minutes because I have a sharp carousel (I’m not even kidding, I will post a picture on your Facebook) and it’s getting on in age. Sat down to watch Netflix in peace while my mac and cheese cooked. I was looking so forward to that damn mac and cheese. You know when you can actually taste it you are looking forward to it that much? The microwave beeps. Did you know that it’s possible to burn something in the microwave? It was so far gone that it would have passed as paleo. The clincher? It was the last packet of mac and cheese. There may have been tears.

  5. I once put the squeezy bottle of honey in the micro to soften the honey- know how it goes all hard in winter? Suffice to say, it softened the whole bottle considerably. The nozzle bit was mostly intact but it sank into the molten plastic of the bottle which combined nicely with the now equally molten honey. A sweet, vaguely toxic aroma must have caused the momentary idiocy that made me reach in to try to pull it all out. The immediate blistering brought me back to earth pretty quick!

  6. I shall share my Mums cooking disaster. My lovely mum was boiling eggs on the stove when her friend from across the road came over and they decided to make a trip to Masters, 15 minutes away. I am sitting at home when my phone rings and its a call from Mums alarm company saying the smoke detector has been activated and no one has responded to their calls, do I want a fire truck sent or am I happy for them to disregard. I tell them to disregard as history dictates Mums super sensitive alarm has been activated by smoke from the oven. I try Mum she doesn’t answer the home phone or her mobile so I call my Brother who stills at home but he is out. We both rush to the house to find exploded egg all over the roof and 3m from the stove, stove still on saucepan boiled dry and burnt. 5 minutes after we arrive Mum comes home wanting to know what all the fuss is about. 4 years later she still hasn’t lived it done lol

    • Oh. my. god!! That’s intense! She was so lucky it wasn’t something even more flammable, like chips. Hahahha that could have ended very differently, but it’s a good thing that you guys are still able to laugh about it now. I’d love having something like that to hold over mum. BAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!

  7. Okay I will enter this competition on the guarantee you will send my prize to a homeless shelter because I’m moving and I don’t want another thing to pack.
    My worst cooking disaster was when I was ten and I left a can of condensed milk boiling on my grandmother’s stove, got distracted by a shiny light, went home with my mother and my elderly grandparents were forced to spend many hours cleaning caramel from their ceiling, stove and four walls because the can naturally exploded. This was my first foray into cooking and things have barely improved. God rest my grandparent’s souls.

  8. I was desperately trying to impress by new boyfriend (now husband) and decided to cook a lovely lamb roast. It was all going well, the roast vegies crisped up nicely, the lamb smelt great. Pulled it out of the oven and got him to carve a big lump of sealed on the outside, very raw most of the way through. Hangs head. Husband does not let me forget the night I tried to serve him raw lamb.

    • Ohhhhhh BLEURGH!!! Nothing worse than cutting into uncooked meat. I am a huge offender in this department! You must have done alright on the rest of the date though, given he was willing to throw in a life of good food to live with you. LOL.

  9. We don’t have a microwave anymore because… soggy. But this sassy Breville number could be just the thing to change my mind. As for my biggest disaster that would have to be my four-year old’s “Frozen” cake – though more due to perception than design. I was seriously proud of my hours of effort until she announced to 25 other small people and their snooty parents that my masterpiece looked like a “Chocolate Vagina Cake”. Ingrate. Next year she’s getting a supermarket sponge.

  10. Cooking is my thing so it pains me to admit to a kitchen disaster… BUT I may have on one occasion, served raw chicken to a man I was trying very hard to impress… which lead to food poisoning a couple of hours later… putting paid to any romance that was on the cards! Horrific, ghastly scenes in my studio apartment with a tiny ensuite :(.

    • Oh jesus. My hubby and I (and half the company) once got food poisoning from a work Xmas party and we were sharing a one bedroom flat at the time as well. NASTY. It was tag team to use the one bathroom. Luckily we had moved past the “trying to impress” stage so it was too late. BAHAHHAHAHHHA!

  11. As usual you make me smile and laugh and even enjoy a post about microwaves. You got it in spades, girl. I have had many disasters over the years but my favourite is probably the first. My brother and I (10 and 8 at the time) decided to bake a cake by ourselves. God only knows where my mum was at the time. We put most of the baking contents of the pantry in our mix – so advanced, cooking from scratch and all that – and what came out of the oven was black (and not from burning) and heavy. We used one of those tins that puts a hole in the centre of the cake so we essentially had a tyre. We begged our mother to try it but she would not play ball. Hmph Could have been the best tyre cake of her life!

    • HAHAHAHHAHAHA! You just described every cake I’ve ever made. I was LOLing at your free-ranging childhood though. I still remember putting some chips under the griller when I was about 10 for an after school snack (both parents at work). I ran outside to play elastics with my friends and forgot all about it. Came back to a house full of smoke that, thankfully, was not on fire… Kids. hey? How did we survive?

  12. The worst “cooking” disaster I ever had was when I was trying to boil some water (I’m good) and dissolve grated soap in an effort to be all domestic and shit. It had worked before so I was like “yeah this will work again”. Only I forgot what I put in so I added some bi carb and kind of made a volcano that spewed all over the stove, cupboards and floor. I guess at least it was dual purpose in that it was like a brief scrubbing too.

    • HAHAHAHHA I have no idea why anyone would want to dissolve grated soap, but as soon as you mentioned bi-carb soda I knew where that post was headed. That stuff needs to come with massive warnings on the box. BEWARE: Explosive.

  13. Ooh, pick me, pick me!
    Soggy microwave food drives me nuts!
    My worst food fail was floor pie. The pie was great — perfect even. Until Boatman dropped it on the floor right in front of all our guests.
    Amazingly, they still ate it. That’s true friendship right there.

  14. The idea that a microwave can cook and deliver a crispy pizza, I’m in. My worse cooking disaster was making stroganoff and not realising that sour cream mixed in hot pan would curdle.. and it did . Thankfully my friend was most gracious and ate the lumpy mess!

  15. You had me at ‘crisp’!
    I’ve had many a disaster in the kitchen… Not my favourite room in the house that’s for sure. The most embarrassing was when we had people over and I was baking a chicken filo thingy in an Italian oven that I had no idea how to use and I thought it was on the oven setting but it wasn’t, it was on the grill setting and I grilled the shiz out of those things… Raw chicken in the middle. Xx

  16. Oh my goodness you are funny. We have a crappy microwave that takes twice the time to heat. Agghh more time to make our food radioactive. My worst cooking disaster was putting 2 tablespoons of Baileys into my fudge instead of two teaspoons for an international party I was going to. I was going as the idiot Irish who makes baileys sludge. It tasted good though 🙂

  17. This is quite honestly the best sponsored post I’ve ever read. As for cooking disasters, I’ve had my fair share. Let’s see … there’s the time I made a number one cake for my daughter’s first birthday. I thought it looked great until my brother told me it looked like a giant penis. The icing was a little more skin coloured than pink and the bottom of the one was a little rounded. Fail. There was the time (and numerous times) I’ve put much love into a meal like lasagne only to pull it out of the oven and drop it upside down on the oven door or on the floor. I can see my Dad shaking his head right now. Then there was the time I was making the kids a nutritious dinner of hot chips. I opened the cupboard above the chips and some candles fell out and melted into the hot oil. Then there was the time I tried to make risotto out of regular rice. Anyone want glue for dinner? The list goes on 😉

    • Oh wow, thank you! And I love how we are totally soul sistas in the cooking disasters department. I am literally sitting in my kitchen and laughing out loud at the thought of penis cake at a one year old birthday party. BAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAH!!

  18. This actually sounds pretty amazing. I’m guilty of microwaving frozen food, thinking its hot, only to find a frozen spot in the middle and instead of getting up and reheating some more, I may just crunch my way through the ice spot hahahaha biggest disaster…hmm..rock solid scones that were non possible for human consumption or a pavlova that resembled a crunchy pancake thanks to my mixer dying mid way. No stiff white peaks happening 😳

  19. Well there have been many disasters, but I’ll share this most recent one. 10 y.o. daughter had a friend over to play in the holidays and they decided to bake cookies, while I was downstairs in my home office trying to ignore them. I kept popping upstairs now and then to make sure they weren’t burning the kitchen down, but they assured me they knew what they were doing, so I left them to it. Right near the end of cookie dough making, the mixture seemed really dry so I told them to just add a bit extra milk. Well, cookies really didn’t turn out well at all. In fact – completely inedible. Working backwards to see where they went wrong we found that the recipe called for “250g of Meadow Lea Salt Reduced”. Which the girls read as “250g (brand name) salt”. They put 250g of salt in the cookies instead of 250g of brand name margarine. They were beside themselves when we worked it out. “Why on Earth couldn’t they just write BUTTER? OMG That is so stupid!” Then it took them hours to crumble up all the bad cookies and pick the chocolate chips out. The Good News – cooking like this keeps two girls busy for an entire school holiday day.

  20. Worst cooking mistake that was made in our house was made while actually pre-heating the oven, even before the cooking process had even started! Miss 17 decided she would pre heat the oven…except she turned the griller on by mistake. I arrived home to screaming, a house filled with smoke, flames leaping out of the griller and the smoke alarms going crazy. In my most impressive “Wonder Woman” moment, I grabbed the fire extinguisher, pulled the pin and put the fire out. The kids were outside in the freezing cold, while we waited for the house to clear from the smoke. In the dead of winter you really don’t want every door and window open..brrrr…big lesson learned that day!

  21. Early on in our marriage, I made a lemon meringue pie and FORGOT THE SUGAR IN THE MERINGUE. My pie looked wonderful and tasted feral. To this day the hubster will not touch anything made of meringue!!!! Love the sound of that microwave!!!

    • HAHAHAHAHAH! Oh dear, I’m imagining all that bitter, sour-ey goodness! Props to the hubster for standing firm all these years, but he’s really missing out. Lemon meringue pie is the BEST.

  22. I cooked Christmas dinner for 30 friends. It included turkey. From a box in the freezer department, because I’m not the world’s best cook either. I read the box, but clearly not well enough. It needed 1.5 hours in the oven. I read that bit. It also needed defrosting in the fridge overnight before cooking. I did NOT read that bit. I got frozen turkey out of the oven to serve for Christmas dinner. And promptly had a meltdown. Dinner was rescued by the only attending vegetarian, who promptly put the turkey in the microwave for ten minutes then tended to my meltdown. The turkey was perfect after that! But the vegetarian got all the credit, and I am still regularly the butt of this friendship group’s jokes. Deservedly so.
    (P.S. **brand representatives read this bit** Tops sponsored post. Love that it’s still 100% you. x)

    • Hahahhahahah I had another one on my FB page that was a turkey disaster! Moral of this entire post: stick to chicken. And extend dinner invitations to friends who actually know how to cook. (and thank you x)

  23. This is a great post and I agree – love/hate relationship with microwaves. But this one does sound promising! Cooking disasters…well, there’s the one where I had a tribe of foodies turning up for a dinner party and I had to chop spinach in the food processor. My husband thought he’d push the spinach down into the processor bowl to help it along – cue half a finger MIA in the spinach. In shock and pain, husband yanked his hand out – cue kitchen redecorated by Quentin Tarantino. So husband wrapped up his hand and headed to the emergency department while I turned up the jazz, wiped blood of all surfaces and salvaged the meal. Looking back, I’m not sure if I had my priorities right. Dinner parties seemed terribly important pre-kids!

  24. My cooking disasters are usually because I get distracted. I recently had a boiled egg explode all over the kitchen because I forgot about it and all the water in the saucepan evaporated. I burn rice a gazillion times {should really get a rice cooker!} and have even managed to burn chocolate while melting it in the microwave for some chocolate-based recipe. Oh well, you live and learn.

    I also managed to somehow have my regular oven explode a year or so ago when I was grilling kangaroo steak in there. I still have no idea what happened — not sure if it was too hot — but when I opened the oven, the glass exploded. The steak was still fine though. Go figure!

    This microwave is impressive though because all I use my microwave for is reheating.

  25. This appliance sounds amazing! I depend on my soggy microwave pies daily to get me through the grind. Crispy ones sound delish!
    Your post on bushfires has me pooping myself! I am one of those clueless city kids living in the big dark woods. I hate it! Selling up soon and fleeing!

  26. This appliance sounds amazing! I depend on my soggy microwave pies daily to get me through the grind. Crispy ones sound delish!
    Your post on bushfires has me pooping myself! I am one of those clueless city kids living in the big dark woods. I hate it! Selling up soon and fleeing!
    PS: After months of not remembering my login deets to leave a comment here, I remembered! X

    • High five to a fellow city kid! As much I as love being semi-rural I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the wilderness. Snakes, man. If there is one thing that has me pooping my pants it’s snakes!

  27. I am actually a great cook! Like, the kind that brags to everyone about the Lemon Meringue Pie she just whipped up… but I remember on my first Valentines Day with my now hubby, I thought I’d make a sexy Spanish Paella. It was going along swimmingly until I actually tried to cook it, the rice wouldn’t absorb the liquid and I kept adding more and more water hoping it would cook, but 2 hours later (and an hour late for our date) I finally gave in and served my then new boyfriend crunchy, watery Paella with a lovely burnt crust. I was so embarrassed of my little disaster that I was surprised he kept me around! I bet this Breville Microwave would have cooked it perfectly for me!

  28. Haha, only you could make a sponsored post on microwaves so hilarious! Gosh, cooking fails are a pretty regular occurrence in these parts too, but the one that does spring to mind – which I’ve written a post on – was when I managed to stuff up a two-ingredient recipe. Yep, you heard. It was Nutella popsicles, which involved mixing Nutella with milk and freezing it. The first step in the recipe was ‘Gather the ingredients’ and I was already struggling. From not being able to find my popsicle moulds, to shaking half my mixture into the sink, to finally finishing it and going to pull it out only to have my stick come out naked, let’s just say I was really winning at life that day. For the full humiliation, just click here! http://adventuresindomesticity.com/40-weeks-to-a-better-cook-week-3-again/

  29. I love this post almost as much as I love my microwave which is a lot. A whole lot. I love that you are an influential food and lifestyle blogger, and your starring role, but next time the director must give you a speaking part, don’t they know that you are the inventor of the Croquemeatball?! Happy cooking – may every mealtime be the best!

  30. Marmalade! I tried to be a domestic goddess, broke the oven heating the jars and the marmalade itself was inedible. Fail.

  31. My worst cooking disaster is why I probably should a microwave so I can just microwave my popcorn safely in a bag…

    I was cooking popcorn on the gas stove, everything was going well, I’d heated the oil up, added the popping corn, put the lid down, but it just hadn’t started actually popping so I grabbed the lid to check – didn’t think the metal lid could have heated up in that time so burned my hand (not badly, but, startled myself) so I got a tea towel and took the lid off and while I was looking in at the popcorn and poking about trying to work out why they weren’t popping yet I could smell something smokey…….. then realised I’d draped the tea towel in the gas flame and set it on fire.

    SO I panicked and threw the tea towel – lid and all – into the sink to put out the fire.

    Which is when the popcorn finally kicked in and started popping out of the pot all over the kitchen AND that’s when the smoke alarm went off. With the noise and the panic I couldn’t process what I needed to do next (ie. Put. the. lid. back. on. the. pot.)

    So my partner rushes in to see what happened and I’m standing there, somewhat bewildered, in the kitchen with popcorn flying everywhere. Luckily he saved the day by removing the pot from the heat and turning off the stove. *phew* at least there was one proper adult around.

    • BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHHAHA!!!! To have been a fly on the wall! This is why we can’t have gas hobs at our house because I GUARANTEE you I would do exactly that. People like you and me do not mix with open flames in the kitchen.

  32. Oh we had one of those LARGE Sharp microvaves too for heating baby food and cups of tea,. Good fast times of the 80s! I’m amazed this microvave gets all the frozen lumps sorted AND produces something crispy (not the over cooked cripsy either). Bravo for your new culinary title! Let’s hope there’s a medal/trophy in your future cooking adventures Hugzy!

  33. A microwave that actually makes food crisp? ha, if it wasnt coming from such a credible source who admits to being not so ahhh handy in the kitchen, well then I wouldnt believe it. When my microwave next dies i will definitely look into one of these and I am sure it wont be long before it does actually die as i have three kids that are experimenting with cooking at the moment so I am guessing we wont be waiting long before they explode something. 😉 xx

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