The basics of cooking with microwave

1,418 Views Updated: 27 Dec 2016
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The basics of cooking with microwave

There are some who indulge in elaborate cooking procedures and there are some who just make ‘microwave’ their best friend. For the convenience and simplicity it offers, microwaves have assumed the role of paramount importance in most urban kitchens.

For those of you blessed with this sorcerous kitchen widget, here’s how to make the best of this appliance:

Power level and cooking time

It’s important to understand the wattage of your microwave, as higher wattage equals quicker cooking time. Adjust your cooking times accordingly.

- The more quantum of food you place in the tray for cooking, the longer it takes for it to cook. Space it out in batches and calculate your cooking time accordingly.

- Microwaves are best known for melting (butter, cheese, chocolate) and the process is visually arresting too.

- If you’re reheating food, stir up large quantities occasionally to ensure heating is thorough and uniform. Sealing the food with foil helps preserve moistness and texture of food.

- One of favoured uses of microwaves is defrosting, especially meats and breakfast items. Defrosting on low temperatures up to 2 minutes can cut down waiting time and speed up the overall cooking time.

- Water based or foods rich in water content should be preferred for microwave cooking over traditional cooking. Examples: Fruits, vegetables and fish which require very little greasing or extra water cook efficient in microwave heat.

Compatible equipment

- Use microwave friendly glass or toughened and microwave compliant plastic for cooking. Paper plates and towels are safe too.

- Avoid using metals, as they can cause moderate to heavy sparking and can completely damage your microwave.

- To ensure safety, use high-quality heat proof gloves while transferring hot food from the microwave or while stirring.

Quick hacks

- More energy is directed towards the outer portion/edges in comparison to the centre of the dish. Accordingly, arrange your food for cooking in the tray. Assemble big pieces or unevenly shaped foods towards the exterior portion or edges of the tray and small pieces in the central portion. Invest is round or oval glass containers to avoid browning that occurs in rectangular or square shaped containers.

- When cooking foodstuff with a covering, shell or skin, don’t forget to pierce the foodstuff to allow the heat energy to pass and to avoid them from exploding inside the microwave.

- Salt attracts more heat. Refrain from sprinkling salt while cooking as it tends to make the food dry. Preferably, add salt to the food after cooking.

- The only way to maintain a stink-free microwave is regular sanitizing of the appliance with a damp cloth, immediately after use. In case of any stubborn stench, lemon works wonders. Simply place it in a bowl of water and the leave the microwave on for 3 - 5 mins. Your microwave will come out as good as new.

- There are a lot of popular Indian as well as international recipes re-written for microwave cooking that are a Google search away. Bookmark these recipes when you want to save time in the kitchen or have unexpected guests for a meal. Thank me later.

Bring out the apron, tap your favourite music playlist and get ready to cook in minutes.

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