What Are Some Tips for Cooking in a Microwave?


Quick Answer

Covering food with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap holds in moisture and ensures even heating when cooking in the microwave. When using a microwave to reheat meat, always bring it to at least 160 degrees F. Since foods cook from the outside in, stirring them partway through cooking ensures even heating.

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What Are Some Tips for Cooking in a Microwave?
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Full Answer

Only use cookware specifically labeled as being microwave-safe. Most paper plates, wax paper and oven-cooking bags are safe for microwave use. Brown paper bags, newspapers, takeout containers with metal handles and foam-insulated trays are not safe to put in the microwave. Metal pans and cold storage containers, such as yogurt cartons, are also not microwave-safe. Never place aluminum foil in a microwave, as it can destroy the machine.

To verify that meats cooked in the microwave come to a safe temperature, use a thermometer. Red meat should reach 160 degrees F, and poultry should reach 180 degrees F. Immediately transfer any partially cooked or defrosted meat to another heat source, such as a grill or oven, after removing it from the microwave. Do not cook stuffed birds in a microwave since they may not cook evenly. Never heat baby foods or formula in a microwave, as doing so can lead to overheating and burns.

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