How to Operate the Controls on a Microwave Oven

Microwave ovens have been popular ever since they were released on the market, due to their ability to cook foods at a faster rate than conventional ovens. The operation of microwave ovens is controlled by the buttons on the front of the unit that can be used to enter times and begin the cooking process. Though many makes and models of microwave ovens are available and each microwave has slightly different controls, generally you operate a microwave's controls in a similar manner.

Microwave ovens generally have similar controls.

Step 1

Set the time on the microwave oven when you first install it. To set the time on microwaves with only flat buttons, push the "Clock" button and use the number buttons to enter the appropriate time. On a microwave that includes both buttons and a dial, press "Clock" and use the dial to scroll to the correct time.

Step 2

Put the container of food that you want to cook into the microwave and close the door. Do not use aluminum foil or anything that is made of metal or contains metal in a microwave; it can cause the unit to catch on fire.

Step 3

Use the numbers on the front of the unit to enter the time that you want the food to cook. Some microwaves have auto-cooking features and when you press a number on the unit, such as the "1" or the "5," the microwave automatically begins to cook for 1 or 5 minutes. To enter a time on these microwaves without using the auto-cook feature, press the "Time" button and press the required numbers. On a microwave with a dial, set the cooking time by turning the dial to the right until the time you want appears in the display screen.

Step 4

Press the "Power Level" button if you want to cook an item at a power level that is less than the microwave's standard power level. On some microwaves, change the power level by continuously pressing the "Power Level" button until you get to the level that you want. On other microwaves, change the power level by pressing the "Power Level" button and then using the number buttons to choose the power level you want. Power levels on microwaves are set in increments of 10 percent, so if you want a 50-percent power level, press the "5."

Step 5

Press "Start." The microwave oven begins to cook the food. When the cooking cycle is complete, the microwave beeps to notify you.