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.