Microwave Cooking Tips (sallye)

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sallye bates


Here are some tips for cooking different dishes in a microwave.

These tips and others can be found in the Family Circle Encylopedia of Cooking.


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    1. Cover items to be cooked with waxed paper if you want them browned and crispy. This cover should be used for most meats and casseroles.

    2. Covering items to be cooked with a paper towel or other cover will result in "steamed" food. This method is best for vegetables, pasta, and meats you don't want browned.

    3. Always cover your food when cooking to avoid splattering. (Cleaning up a splattered microwave unit can be an onerous task).

    4. Do not add salt to items before cooking. Salt should be added during standing times.

    Chicken cooks quickly in the microwave on High or Full Power setting, but still retains its natural juices.

    Do not salt chicken before cooking. Add salt after cooking (during the standing time).

    Cook chicken pieces on High or Full Power.

    Cook whole birds on Half Power (50%)

    Lightly cover chicken with waxed paper.

    When cooking chicken pieces, place the thicker parts around the perimeter of the cooking dish and the thinner parts toward the center of the dish. Place giblets under the breast.

    To cook whole chicken, place breast side down on a microwave safe rack in a shallow pan. Microwave on Half Power 9 minutes per pound. Turn the breast side up after half the cooking time.

    Remove from microwave and allow to stand for 10 minutes (Remember it will continue to cook during this time, so don't overcook it in the microwave)

    Cover chicken with wax paper while cooking to avoid splattering.

    Because chicken cooks so quickly, added flavors are absorbed more fully if chicken is marinated before cooking.

    Do not salt meat before cooking, as salting will leach the juices out of the meat and make it dry.

    Cover with waxed paper to avoid splattering.

    Cooking times for Roast beef is 18-22 minutes per pound and for steaks 4 minutes approximately (turn steaks over halfway through the cooking cycle)

    If you don't have a microwave with a turntable, you need to turn the roast pan 1/4 turn 2 or 3 times during cooking cycle to ensure even cooking. If your unit does have a turntable, you don't have to do this, as the dish constantly turns for even cooking.

    For other meat dishes, follow recipe instructions for cooking time.

    When cooking time has elapsed for roast, remove from microwave and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Meat will continue to cook while resting. Test doneness with an instant read meat thermometer (140º for rare, 160º for medium) after resting. If not to desired doneness, return to microwave for an additional cooking time. Be careful not to overcook.

    Generally, you want vegetables to be "steamed" so use a peper towel to cover when cooking in mcrowave to avoicd splattering.

    However, waxed paper works best for mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and moist vegetables such as squash, postatoes and yams.

    Always use microwave safe containers when cooking. DO NOT USE PLASTIC as the carcinogens in plastic will migrate to your food.

    All vegetables should be cooked at Full Power and only until bright and tender-crisp when pierced, Potatoes, yams and squash should give slightly when pressed.

    Place vegetables in a microwave safe dish with 1/8 cup of water (approx 2 tablespoons). Most vegetables make their own liquid, so do not put too much additional water in before cooking.

    Do not salt prior to cooking as it will leach the moisture out of the vegetables.

    Add butter or oil to veggies and water before cooking. Herb mixtures can be added at this time if they don't have salt in them.

    In general, cooking time for vegetables is 6 to 7 minutes per pound. Stir after 3 minutes, then return to microwave to continue cooking.

    Heavy vegetables such as whole potatoes, winter squash, broccoli should be arranged in a circle in baking dish with thickest portions toward the outside of dish.

    Let stand for 5 minutes after removing from oven. Remember, items will continue to cook during standing time.

    Substitution of beef, chicken or vegetable broth in place of water will result in richer tasting vegetables.

    NOTE: Dried peas and beans are better cooked in a conventional manner such as range or conventional oven.

    Follow recipe instructions.

Printable Recipe Card


Course/Dish: Other Non-Edibles
Main Ingredient: Non-Edible or Other
Regional Style: American

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