The speed and convenience of microwave ovens has changed the way many people cook, but there are some major differences between microwave and conventional cooking that you should be aware of. By keeping these in mind, you can get the best results from your microwave oven. Foods with a high fat or sugar content will heat faster in a microwave, and can even catch fire if not watched closely. For best results, cut down on the amount of water and salt in recipes. Large amounts of water take longer to cook. Vegetables require hardly any water, and are actually healthier when microwaved. More vitamins, especially vitamin C, are retained this way. Planning a barbecue? Try precooking meats for three minutes per pound in the microwave, then transferring them to the grill. You’ll cut your grilling time in half. Be sure and move them from the microwave to the grill immediately, so there’s no time for bacteria to grow. Microwave ovens can also affect flavors. If the recipe calls for dried herbs, you’ll probably need to add more than usual to achieve the same results. If you use the fresh versions, use less. Finally, don’t serve food immediately after microwaving. Allow a few minutes for the heat to equalize throughout the food. Standing time can range from a minute or two for vegetables to fifteen or more for a whole roast.