Microwaves were born in 1946, and ever since, they’ve developed to not only heat food but also cook and defrost it. Using a microwave oven is convenient because it cooks food faster than other methods. However, it’s not that simple to get the best results. We’re here to tell you how to cook using a microwave oven.
1. Type of Food and The Time it Takes to Cook
What are you going to cook? For vegetables or meat, the cooking time varies depending on the size. Larger and thicker foods take a longer time to cook, that’s why it’s recommended to separate the types of foods cooked from each other.
Listed below is the food that takes the longest to the shortest time to cook in a microwave oven:
- Starchy vegetables
- Smaller Vegetables
2. Reduce the Time by Chopping Food
You can reduce the time of cooking by chopping up the food into smaller pieces. This method helps in cooking it faster. It’s highly recommended for large, hard vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, as well as for meats.
3. Pierce the Food
Just like if you’re cooking boiled potatoes on a cooking range, cooking potatoes and other food that has skin in the microwave requires piercing. This is to avoid popping or splattering all over the microwave oven when steam is held inside. Hence, creating small holes will allow the steam to vent through the food while its heating up.
4. Place Food in a Microwave-Safe Dish
You can’t place the food on any plate; it should be a microwave-safe dish. That’s not all, the food should be placed properly, the thickest part on the sides, for it to cook faster. Keep in mind, microwave-safe dishes are marked as ‘microwave-safe.’
5. Cover the Food When Placed in the Microwave
If you have a microwave lid, make sure to place it on top of the dish, leaving a crack for steam to flow. If you don’t, you can cover it with a damp or paper towel. This method helps keep food moist, cooked and keeps the microwave clean.
6. Regularly Stir and Cook in Short Intervals
Make sure not to cook the food for a long time. After choosing the cooking time, set a timer to cook in intervals. Here’s what we recommend:
- Small vegetables: 1-minute intervals
- Large vegetables: 2-minute intervals
- Meats: 3-minute intervals
And most importantly, don’t forget to stir to distribute heat between each cooking session.
7. Leave the Food for a Few Minutes Before Serving
Once you’re done, there’s no need to remove the food from the microwave right away. Instead, keep the door closed and let the food complete the cooking process. It’s recommended to wait from 5 to 10 minutes for vegetables and 10 to 15 minutes for meats.
If it doesn’t work the first time, you can try again, and once you get the hang of it, cooking using a microwave oven becomes easier. Just make sure to keep these points in mind, and it’ll help you cook quickly.