Many never realized that the same appliance they’ve relegated to nothing but a reheating machine can also be used to prepare food. Your typical microwave oven has enough power and heat to prepare some of your regular recipes at an even faster time. You can boil, steam, bake, or even roast foods like meat, fish, nuts, rice, noodles, vegetables, and even potatoes with it. But of course, you can’t treat it like the larger oven, or even a stovetop, so you should take note of certain rules before cooking with it. And always use microwave-safe containers- anything less, and you’re inviting a disaster.
Consider Cooking Time for Each Food
Starchy foods like potatoes take the longest to cook. Rice also does, and meats take a fair amount of time as well. Vegetables, however, cook faster. So always separate foods by their cooking time, and only place them in the microwave together when you’re sure they’ll cook at the same duration. But whatever you’re preparing, remember to reduce the coming time by a quarter, and at the end, check for doneness and adjust the time by 1 minute till doneness is reached.
Spread Food Evenly in the Dish
A good arrangement of food in the microwave allows you to get even cooking. As such, ensure the thickest parts of the food are pushed to the edges. This way, they cook faster as these areas are hotter than the center.
Cut Up Thicker Food Materials
You can speed up cooking time by cutting up thicker foods into smaller pieces. This exposes more surface area in the foods and allows you to finish quicker. Foods you can cut before cooking in the microwave include large chunks of meat, vegetables like carrots. You can also cut potatoes into slices, but cook whole when if you’re baking them.
Poke Some Foods
Some foods like potatoes and sausages have stretchy, thick skin that can trap steam. When you cook them in a microwave, the steak buildup on the food collides with the internal oven environment. At critical levels, the food may explode, causing a huge mess and sometimes even injury. To prevent this, you should poke the skin at different spots with a fork, so the internal steam in the food has an escape outlet. Never microwave eggs, though. They explode when you try to open them.
Adjusting Recipe Requirements
Microwaves cook faster than your regular oven, so you need to adjust the recipe ingredients to make up for this to get the best results. For broths, soups, and other recipes that use liquid, decrease the water by half. For seasonings, use half at the start of the recipe, and adjust to taste as you go. And if your recipe calls for browning with oil, you may have to omit it completely.
Cover But Not Completely
You should put a lid over the container before you cook the food with a microwave. Not only does this help the food cook evenly, but it also prevents it from drying out. When you cover, do so slightly, and leave a crack so steam can escape. Foods like potatoes can be covered with w damp towel.
Cook in Short Bursts, and Always Stir
When you cook in a microwave oven, remember to stir often, so the heat is evenly distributed in the container. Remember also that you can’t cook at long stretches in a microwave, so use intervals. Thick foods like meats and potatoes need 3-minute intervals, larger vegetables like carrots need 2, and smaller, lighter vegetables cook at 1-minute intervals before stirring.
Let Food Stand
Once the food is done, don’t take it out immediately. There’s still some cooking going on inside it, so close the microwave door and leave to stand for a while. Meat needs up to 15 minutes after it’s done. Vegetables need lesser time, about 6 to 10 minutes or so.Print
Microwave Mac and Cheese in Mug
- Macaroni, raw
- Cheddar cheese, grated
- Fill a large mug to about 1/3 with raw macaroni. With a measuring cup, pour in about 1/2 cup of water. Place in the microwave and cook until the water disappears. Remember to stir about every 2 minutes till the water evaporates.
- Add the cheese and a little milk, stir, and microwave for 30 seconds. Open, store again to blend, and microwave for another 30 seconds. Serve.
More amazing dishes can be made with the microwave, like this video recipe of microwave chicken soup.