Cooking Techniques for the Microwave (ME21K7010)
Microwave energy actually penetrates food and is attracted to and absorbed by the water, fat, and sugar molecules in the food. The microwaves cause the molecules in the food to move rapidly. The rapid movement of these molecules creates friction and the resulting heat cooks the food.
Cooking Techniques for the Microwave
Stir foods such as casseroles and vegetables while cooking to distribute heat evenly. Food on the edge of the dish absorbs more energy and heats more quickly, so stir from the outside to the center. The oven will turn off when you open the door to stir your food.
Arrange unevenly shaped foods, such as chicken pieces or chops, with the thicker, meatier parts toward the outside of the turntable where they will receive more microwave energy. To prevent overcooking, place thin or delicate parts toward the center of the turntable.
Turn foods over midway through cooking to expose all parts to microwave energy. This is especially important with large items such as roasts.
Food cooked in the microwave builds up internal heat and continues to cook for a few minutes after the oven stops. Let food stand to complete cooking, especially food such as roasts and whole vegetables. Roasts need this time to complete cooking in the center without overcooking the outer areas. All liquids, such as soup or hot chocolate, should be shaken or stirred when cooking is complete. Let liquids stand a moment before serving. When heating baby food, stir well and test the temperature before serving.
- Adding Moisture
Microwave energy is attracted to water molecules. Food that is uneven in moisture content should be covered or allowed to stand so that the heat disperses evenly. Add a small amount of water to dry food to help it moist.
After covering a dish with plastic wrap, vent the plastic wrap by turning back one corner so excess steam can escape.
Limit Usage of Following Items
- Aluminum foil — Use narrow strips of foil to prevent overcooking of exposed areas. Using too much foil can damage your oven, so be careful.
- Ceramic, porcelain, and stoneware — Use these if they are labeled “Microwave Safe”. If they are not labeled, test them to make sure they can be used safely. Never use dishes with metallic trim.
- Plastic — Use only if labeled “Microwave Safe”. Other plastics can melt.
- Straw, wicker, and wood — Use only for short-term heating, as they are flammable.
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