All about Microwave Ovens and Recipes

Microwave Garlic bread

Fresh Homemade Garlic Bread In Microwave Oven

Image Credit – by Praisaeng http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Microwave Cooking

Microwave cooking is a cook’s best friend, so much can be cooked, easier and without fuss.

These days with the modern kitchens, well-built appliances, you have an easy to care for a clean kitchen, and microwaves ovens are one of them, very quick to master up a meal in a few minutes, when you are short of time and family are waiting for a meal to be served.

There are not many meals that cannot be cooked in a microwave, it is just a matter of following some good recipe books on a microwave, and a little experience, it is quite simple for the average cook, hope this page will help you achieve that.

Tip for Microwave Cooking

Remember: Microwaves cannot be stored in the food.

When you eat food cooked in a microwave oven you are not eating microwaves.

Modern Kitchen

Photo Credit – Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – the Modern kitchen. 

Microwaves Oven Tips – What are Microwaves?

How does a microwave oven work?

Micro meaning small or electromagnetic waves are a form of radiant energy.

Microwaves travel at 2450 million times a second, as fast as the speed of light and also travel in a straight line.

In a microwave oven, these waves are concealed within the oven itself and are reflected off the walls and door.

Once the doorknob or handle is released all microwave energy stops.

As microwave energy comes into contact with a substance it is reflected, transmitted or absorbed.

Only when this energy is absorbed is heat produced in cooking, microwaves are reflected by metal, transmitted through paper, glass, china, ceramic, wicker or wood products and plastic utensils and absorbed by water in the food.

  • Microwaves cannot be stored in the food.
  • When you eat food cooked in a microwave oven you are not eating microwaves.
  • Microwaves are colorless, odorless and tasteless. They do not affect the flavor of the food.

When you plug in your microwave to a normal 240-volt power outlet, power is fed to a transformer which converts low voltage line power to the high voltage required by the magnetron tube.

The magnetron is the heart of the microwave oven, it converts electrical energy to microwave energy and then the energy is directed into the oven cavity.

When microwaves enter food, they simply cause the liquid or moisture molecules in the food to vibrate at a fantastic rate, friction, created by this vibration produces heat and this is conducted through the food.

Convection Microwave 

800px-TW_Panasonic_NN-SV30_2012-01

Photo Credit A microwave oven with convection feature

Food cooked in the convection microwave can be cooked quickly, as in an ordinary microwave oven, yet come out browned or crisped as in a convection oven.

Advantages of Microwave Cooking.

There is no preheating of the microwave oven, as you do for conventional ovens, this will save time as well as cutting down your fuel bill.

Food cooks more quickly but looks and tastes the same as conventionally cooked food, in fact, you will find vegetables do taste better as the true flavor is retained by using only small quantity of water and the nutritional value is far better for you and the family.

Food can be cooked in the dishes you serve to the table, no extra washing up.

Leftovers can be reheated and served without drying or loss of flavor.

Microwave ovens do not heat up the kitchen.

It remains cool and pleasant at all times.

With the Sunday roast, cook enough for the next day, cover with glad wrap and place in the refrigerator and reheat the next day or when required, take only about three minutes to heat, or deep freeze it and use at a later date, will take about 5 mins all depends what size meal you have saved.

Important Points to Remember for Microwave Ovens

Strips of aluminum foil may be used to cover areas of food that appear to be overcooking, like chicken wings, drumsticks or the tail of a fish, but NEVER allow the foil to touch the oven walls as the wall cause “arcing” and could damage the oven.

Do not cover food completely with foil as this reflects microwave energy and the food will not cook and can also damage the oven.

Don’t operate the oven empty.

Don’t attempt to cook eggs in the shell. Pressure will build inside the shell and it will explode.

How a Microwave Oven Works

About the Video above

Bill details how a microwave oven heats food. He describes how the microwave vacuum tube, called a magnetron, generates radio frequencies that cause the water in food to rotate back and forth. He shows the standing wave inside the oven and notes how you can measure the wavelength with melted cheese. He concludes by describing how a magnetron generates radio waves.

Useful Tips about Microwave Cooking

Maybe you used a microwave for heating food but have never cooked in a microwave oven for cooking.

  • Microwave cooking does not change your whole idea of cooking.
  • Your everyday recipes can be used.
  • But remember to cut down the cooking time.

Take a guide for timings from the cookbook supplied with your oven and learn to open the oven door and test or stir the food just as you would with conventional cooking.

  • Never overcook as this cannot be rectified.
  • Undercook and then you can always give a little more time to complete the cooking if required.

Microwave Oven Cooked Chicken.

Microwave Chicken small

Microwave Cooking – Poultry

Tips for best results for cooking chicken

Poultry (Chicken) is very nice cooked in a microwave oven as the flavor and moisture are retained.

Ensure that poultry is fully thawed prior to cooking: the microwave oven will do this in a much shorter time than by conventional methods (approximately 30 mins).

  • After thawing remember it must be washed, dried and prepared for cooking.

Chicken Pieces with bone – HIGH – 8-10 mins per 500 grams, 185 F / 85 C, Standing Time 15 mins

Chicken Filets – HIGH – 6 mins per 500 grams, 170 F / 75 C, Standing Time Nil

Turkey Whole – HIGH for 10 mins then reduce to Medium 10 mins per 500 grams, 177 F/ 80 C, Standing time 15-20 mins.

Turkey Hindquarters – HIGH 8-9 mins per 500 grams, 177 F/ 80 c Standing time 10 Minutes

Duck – High 8 mins per 500 grams, 177 F/ 80 c, Standing time 15 minutes

Cooked_chicken

Cooking a ROAST CHICKEN in a Microwave

1 x No 15 Chicken (1.5 KG)

1 onion

Seasoned salt or barbecue sprinkle

METHOD

1. Wash and dry chicken, place breast side down into a micro proof baking dish.

Cut onion into quarters and place inside the bird.

If desired, legs may be secured together with string or elastic band.

2. Sprinkle with seasoned salt or barbecue sprinkle and cover with paper toweling.

3. Microwave on high 15 mins. Turn chicken over and cook a further 15 mins.

4. Remove chicken from baking dish. Wrap in foil and allow a standing time of 15 mins before serving.

TIP –  Your favorite stuffing may be used to season chicken, cooking time remains the same.

Helpful Tips for Cooking Microwave Vegetables

By microwaving your vegetables, you save the food value.

If you boil most of the food value is discarded down the sink and very little nutritional value left.

Microwave cooking of Vegetables is superb, so little water is used and the color, flavor, and vitamins are retained within the vegetable.

Vegetables should be covered during cooking to trap the steam. This keeps them moist and hastens the cooking time.

Choose a casserole dish with a lid or use glad-wrap, to cover the utensil.

Use a shallow, wide dish for asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower to keep a single layer rather than pile vegetables on top of each other.

Piling creates a density resulting in longer and uneven cooking.

Remove any covering away from hands and face to prevent steam burns.

Vegetables cooked with their skins on, for example, jacket potatoes, should have the skins pierced prior to cooking to prevent bursting.

Frozen Vegetables can be cooked in their original packages, just pierce the bag as no additional liquid is necessary.

Season, before serving.

Glad freezer bags are also suitable for cooking vegetables, just twist the end and tuck under, no metal ties.

Cooking time will vary depending on quantity and type of vegetable used, however, it is advisable to test occasionally for doneness.

Keep in mind that cooking will continue for a brief period after the Vegetables are removed from the microwave oven.

Overcooking will result in dehydration, toughening the vegetables.

Here is a quick way to cook cauliflower that retains the flavor.

Cauliflower Au Gratin

CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN

1/2 head cauliflower,

1/4 teaspoon salt,

1/4 cup water

METHOD

1. Break the cauliflower into flowerets, wash and cut stalks with a sharp knife.

(the stalks are a lot firmer and by cutting they will cook better).

Place flowerets into a large pie dish plate (stalks down) with the larger pieces around the outside and small pieces in the center.

Sprinkle with salt and pour over the water.

2. Cover with glad wrap and microwave on HIGH 8-10 mins (depending on size, of cauliflower).

Drain off excess liquid, reserve for sauce.

3. Return glad wrap covering over cauliflower and allow to stand while making the sauce.

WHITE SAUCE

2 tablespoons butter,

2 tablespoons flour,

salt and pepper,

300 ml milk or a mixture of milk and cauliflower liquid

grated cheese,

dried breadcrumbs

METHOD:

Place butter into a micro proof mixing bowl, cook on HIGH 40 seconds to melt.

2. Add flour, salt, and pepper, stir well, cook a further 30 seconds on HIGH.

3. Gradually stir in milk, cook on High 2 minutes, stir around outside of bowl return to oven a further 2 1/2 minutes on HIGH.

4. Beat sauce well, pour over cauliflower.

Sprinkle with a mixture of cheese and breadcrumbs.

Return to the oven for 2 mins on HIGH to melt cheese and reheat cauliflower.

If desired place cauliflower under a conventional grill to crisp and brown instead of this last 2 minutes cooking.

P.S. You can prepare this CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN dish while cooking your meat in the conventional oven and brown under the grill, just before serving.

I will be adding more Microwave recipes, hope you try cooking in your Microwave oven, it is easier than you think.

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