Microwave oven cooking and baking basics

A lot of us only use our microwave ovens for reheating and defrosting.  The following points will make using your microwave to it’s full potential much easier.



Microwave oven cooking and baking basics 

  • A good rule of thumb when cooking in the microwave oven is that 6 minutes per ½ kilogram will cook most foods including meat, poultry and fruit and vegetables. Seafood will take less time and reducing the power of your microwave will require longer cooking time.
  • About 20% of the cooking time takes place after the microwave oven turns off so remember that your food will continue cooking after you’ve removed it.
  • Arrange food in a dish so that the thicker part is on the outside and the thinner part inside for more even cooking.  Using a dish with a cone in the centre will also help distribute heat evenly.
  • Use shallow oval or round dishes for uniform and quicker distribution of heat as opposed to rectangular or square containers, which cause hot spots resulting in drying or hardening of foods.
  • If you cover “it” in a regular oven, cover “it” in the microwave too.
  • Microwave cooking increases the flavour of herbs, spices and salt; therefore, halve the amount of herbs, spices and salt specified.
  • Pierce the outer skins of potatoes and whole vegetables with a knife or a fork before cooking as the build up of pressure can make them explode.
  • Add cheese and other toppings near the end of cooking to keep the top from becoming tough or soggy.
  • Microwave cakes and biscuits will not brown so decorate them with icing, nuts and cherries.
  • When baking a cake, don’t fill the container more than half full as microwave cakes rise more than cakes baked in a conventional oven.
  • Make dough slightly stiffer than for conventional baking.
  • Don’t be afraid to open the microwave door to check your cooking or baking process.
  • Let foods with baking powder in them stand a few minutes before cooking to allow the leavening agents to work. 

8 thoughts on “Microwave oven cooking and baking basics

  1. Amazing information – I have been putting together a document for rules for microwave cooking – and then I come across these…priceless information as so many people in India bake in the microwave oven compared to the conventional one (as baking is a very recent phenomenon in India).

    I can’t thank you enough and ofcourse will give a reference to your blog when I do publish that …..

    Many thanks

    • Hi Shilpa, welcome and thanks for stopping by. I am so pleased that you have found the information helpful, I am looking forward to seeing what you have put together, 🙂 I have also just signed up to receive updated to your lovely blog; looking forward to sharing. 🙂

  2. Hello

    i am new to microwave cooking and baking. i am interested in M/w baking like cookies, cakes, breads etc. i read many forum and articles in blog but none specified the process. i.e. i am confused with the pre heating part.

    my M/w is samsung 28L convection model. i tried making pizza but the first one didnt cooked well even doing so for 16 minutes while the second one was disaster as the whole cheese had over cooked and had become dark brown and it was tasted to dustbin directly

    please advice thanks

    • Hi Yogesh, I’m sorry to hear that you are having problems with your microwave oven. I think you may be confusing the microwave facility and the convection facility of your oven. Read through your manual carefully to learn how to use the 2 different facilities. Good luck. 🙂

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