diy rack for oven problem

When making casseroles in the microwave combination oven, I try to fill the oven right up; so as to be frugal with electricity.
Although some casserole dishes come with lids, I find that these fairly close fitting lids usually create a build up of pressure and some of the liquid then squirts out, all over the place.
To utilise all available oven space it means stacking two casserole dishes one on top of the other. Using a normal oven this would be simple to do (bearing in mind I'm not using lids) by using a metal rack on the lower one to support the upper one.
But when using the combination feature (which I find usefully lessons the cooking time) both normal heating and microwave are used "together". So when the microwave is on, a metal rack cannot be used.
We have been trying to think of a means of supporting one casserole dish on top of another one ( the top one usually a smaller diameter ) by means of something that will tolerate microwaves and the hotter temperatures using the normal oven heating element. Does such a thing exist anywhere for this purpose, or what might be some neat way to solve this problem? Thanks for advice.
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On Wed, 4 Nov 2009 13:56:19 -0000

Let's get this straight... you are trying to think of a creative way to save about .0000000000002 pennies worth of electricity? C'mon, be serious now... is this a troll? -Dave
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On Wed, 4 Nov 2009, Dave C. wrote:

No, problem solving can be cheap.
But in the original question, there is the assumption that filling the microwave saves money. I'm not so sure, since the more you put in, the longer it takes to heat up, and hence electricity use increases. The advantage of smaller portions at a time is that you can better control how it cooks, and it's certainly easier to open the door, take the lid off one package and stir (when stirring is needed) than to deal with a full oven.
So in order for the need for some sort of rack, one first has to see if there really is a savings from filling up that microwave, or is it basically the same electricity useage cooking things separately.
Michael
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Michael Black wrote:

Full does however reduce the inevitable losses, most obviously heating the oven itself, particularly if he uses the convention part at all, but even if he only uses it in microwave mode.

Yes. But if you are into documenting the batches properly, you should be able to get the detail right so you dont need to inspect and adjust with the later batches with most food.

Thats unlikely.
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wrote:

These nut cases appear every so often. To store all of those casseroles, he needs a large freezer... when the freezer is empty, he's wasting electricity. It's a cycle he hasn't give much thought to. Being frugal doesn't mean being cheap, it just means don't waste. However, he's taking the concept to the point of being a cheapskate. I wonder if he reuses toilet paper?
--
I love cooking with wine.
Sometimes I even put it in the food.
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sf wrote:

I thought many things about his post, but I decided to answer the question that was asked.
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Some people are so *opinionated* dont you think? The original question was not 'just' about saving money, (which if you are not a merkin, might actually have consequences) sometimes its just more convenient to cook as much as a microwave will take; which often is not all that much anyway.
Our cooking rarely if ever gets frozen, so why introduce to others such aspects as this that your over active mind uneccesarily produces? You readily call someone else a nutcase for asking a valid food related question, but empty vessals make the most noise, and you certainly qualify wouldn't you say? Its always a big problem in (therapy) groups that the shallow and opionated want to *hog* everything. when two or more empty vessals start talking to each other they succeed and then spoil the newsgroup for others. Why dont you look at yourself?
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On Thu, 5 Nov 2009 11:39:21 -0000, "john royce"

John, your message was lost after "merkin". Lose that word and you'll be listened to more closely.
--
I love cooking with wine.
Sometimes I even put it in the food.
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john royce wrote:

oh you're gonna fit right in with AmandaF/Mandy Ruby. You both sound like twits.
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In article <hcudhj$60a$ snipped-for-privacy@news.eternal-september.org

wrote:

I'd suggest you ask your question in
rec.food.cooking rec.food.equipment
or if it's that important, try to find a bigger microwave/combo unit
or why aren't you just using a regular/convection unit
(btw I actually don't have a full sized one but use a counter-top convection/toaster unit for lots of my meals. I also have an advantium microwave/convection oven but I don't really like it and am hoping to switch it out for a full sized convection oven)
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john royce wrote:

Would it be possible to use the casserole lid but upside down, so that it doesn't create the seal? Stand the top dish on the lid. Hopefully it would give more stability that something flat.
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john royce wrote:

[snip]
If I had to support one pot on top of the other, I'd probably just take a couple of chopsticks out of the drawer, lay them across the lower pot, and sit the upper pot on top.
Have I missed something?
Pete
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wrote:

Great idea, Pete! Better than mine and I wish I'd thought of it first.
--
-Barb, Mother Superior, HOSSSPoJ
http://web.me.com/barbschaller - Who Said Chickens Have Fingers?
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On 4 Nov, 13:56, "john royce" wrote:

Could you make a rack out of chopsticks across the lower casserole?
You could also put the chopsticks across the casserole before putting the lid on top.
Owain
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On 4 Nov, 13:56, "john royce" wrote:

Could you make a rack out of chopsticks across the lower casserole?
You could also put the chopsticks across the casserole before putting the lid on top. Owain
Thanks to the sensible responses. The glass casserole dishes are so well made that the lids are too closely fitting even when placed upside down. Using the oven eating element easily brings the temperature up to where the wood (chopsticks) cannot cope with it.
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john royce wrote:

what about the bottom of one of those chinese bamboo steamers which are a grid of bamboo sticks?
These are pretty cheap, or you could use the lid of a microwave streamer as sold by matalan.
dedics
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On Wed, 04 Nov 2009 14:30:58 +0000, Ian & Hilda Dedic wrote:

You should actually be able to use metal skewers instead of chopsticks. As long as the gap between them both and between them and the metal walls is large enough, they will not spark and will have little effect on heating.
Oddly enough, our first microwave (a Tricity combination oven fifteen years ago) had a metal rack and specifically mentioned that it was okay to use it for combination cooking - I can only think that thanks to the glass turntable, it was held far enough away from the metal casing.
SteveW
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<snip>

From http://www.economy-point.org/i/ignition-temperature.html "Ignition temperature of some solids: Solid Ignition temperature in "C Fir wood 280 Wood 280-340 Cork 300-320"
A normal convection oven should not go above 250C so bamboo is unlikely to catch fire - especially as it is over food which is cooking and therfore giving off steam.
How do you expect the chopsticks not to cope?
If you are worried you could always soak them in water first.
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How full are we talking here? You need some space in there for heat circulation.

A build-up of pressure? That's a new one to me. Are you sure it's just not the contents of the casserole bubbling due to the cooking?

My microwave came with a metal rack. . . .

Invert a pie place over the bottom one and don't fill the bottom casserole so full that it will bubble over. Set your second casserole on top of the inverted pie plate.
PS: I am not responsible for any burns you may incur, nor any mess, nor any bad language.
Alternatively, get a pizza stone, the right drill bit, and drill holes in it the DIY rack you seek.
--
-Barb, Mother Superior, HOSSSPoJ
http://web.me.com/barbschaller - Who Said Chickens Have Fingers?
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Melba's Jammin' wrote:

Yeah, not sure what the whole deal is with metal and microwave ovens - ours also came with two metal racks of different heights intended (mainly) for combination-cooking of baked potatoes; ie micro first, then direct heat to brown/crispen them.
I don't know whether the issue is that metal can become disproportionately hot with microwaves only, thereby maybe melting a plastic bowl or burning the unwary user?
Then again, the legs of our racks even have little rubber feet! so don't ask me.
David
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